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Confronting DeclineThe Political Economy of Deindustrialization in Twentieth-Century New England$
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David Koistinen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049076

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049076.001.0001

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Responses to Deindustrialization in New England during the Cold War Years

Responses to Deindustrialization in New England during the Cold War Years

(p.187) Chapter 7 Responses to Deindustrialization in New England during the Cold War Years
Confronting Decline

David Koistinen

University Press of Florida

Deindustrialization was the principal economic reality in New England for much of the Cold War era, despite impressive growth in electronics and other sectors. The region experienced sharp industrial downsizing in the late 1940s and early 50s and again in the late 1960s and 70s. To counter post–World War II industrial decline, New England leaders once more pursued retrenchment, federal assistance, and economic development. The chapter explores this activity, again with a focus on Massachusetts. Cold War–era events, together with what occurred in the 1920s and 30s, provide an opportunity to survey responses to deindustrialization in New England over a sixty-year span. This examination reveals strong continuities over a lengthy period in the efforts to counter downsizing—both in the specific initiatives pursued and in the interest groups backing these steps. There was also a key change, as the government role in formulating responses to downsizing became more important over time.

Keywords:   deindustrialization, New England, Massachusetts, Cold War era

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