What were the goals of the Tennessee Valley Authority?
The Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, was one of a number of agencies set up by President Roosevelt under the New Deal to help tackle the chronic economic problems of the Great Depression. More specifically, the TVA aimed to provide for the economic regeneration of the Tennessee Valley, an area of the country hit particularly hard by the Depression. This would be achieved by flood control, reforestation, and the strategic development of agriculture and industry, in the expectation that many new jobs would be created.
New businesses and new industries would need to rely on a regular supply of cheap energy. However, private energy companies were unwilling to provide electricity to rural parts of the Tennessee Valley: it was considered way too expensive. As a result, only around 10% of rural dwellers in the area had access to electricity. Under the TVA, a massive program of rural electrification was begun, largely through the construction of hydroelectric dams. This brought electricity to thousands of homes and businesses which had previously been without electricity.