What were the goals for the Tennessee Valley Authority? 

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While the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is usually remembered only for the construction of hydroelectric dams in the Tennessee Valley region, it was originally intended to do much more. Essentially, the TVA was intended to provide a stimulus for the region, one of the poorest in the United States. It provided education and valuable farm implements, including tractors and fertilizer, to area farmers, engaged in anti-erosion projects similar to those conducted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and sought to provide jobs to the region. The main way it did this, of course, was through the construction of the hydroelectric dams mentioned already. These dams, built along the river, would do several things. First, they would provide electricity to the region, a project the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) would later attempt to do elsewhere in the rural South. Second, their construction would pump much-needed money into the region, where skilled jobs were scarce. In the long term, it was hoped that the electric infrastructure would attract industry to the Tennessee Valley. Third, the TVA would curb the floods that periodically devastated the region. These measures, a combination of the relief, recovery, and reform motives often ascribed to New Deal programs, were intended to modernize a very economically challenged region, and one which had suffered horribly even before the Depression hit.

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