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Relentless ReformerJosephine Roche and Progressivism in Twentieth-Century America$
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Robyn Muncy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691122731

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691122731.001.0001

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Working with the New Deal from Colorado, 1933–1934

Working with the New Deal from Colorado, 1933–1934

(p.143) Chapter 9 Working with the New Deal from Colorado, 1933–1934
Relentless Reformer

Robyn Muncy

Princeton University Press

This chapter details events in Josephine Roche's life from 1933 to 1934. Roche's experience at Rocky Mountain Fuel primed her for the New Deal. As Franklin Roosevelt's administration began to grapple in 1933 with the devastation caused by the Great Depression, Roche was asked to serve in several capacities. Early on, the most important was in the National Recovery Administration, an attempt to stabilize the U.S. economy through industry-wide economic planning. Shortly after that, Roche broke through yet another gender barrier by running for governor of Colorado. She took this bold step because the sitting state executive refused to cooperate with the relief programs of the New Deal, and Roche wanted Colorado effectively linked with the national government. She did not succeed, but her gubernatorial bid was nevertheless significant. It demonstrated both the centralizing force that Washington exerted through the New Deal and some of the bases for resistance. It also drew a direct line between progressivism in the early twentieth century and progressivism in the New Deal, highlighting a range of tactics for diminishing inequality that New Dealers brought straight from the Progressive Era into the 1930s.

Keywords:   Josephine Roche, New Deal, Roosevelt administration, Great Depression, National Recovery Administration, biography, gender barrier

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