Lecture, Online Video     Series: Oregon History 101

Economic Change: Ships to Silicon Chips

As the Second World War came to an end, Oregonians looked to the future with both hope and fear. They shared the nation’s anxiety that peacetime would bring a return to Great Depression conditions; yet the taming of the Columbia River and the wartime boom gave hope that the state would achieve wide-ranging economic prosperity. There was a broad consensus that electricity, notably hydropower, would transform the Northwest and that Oregon’s well-being depended largely on its exploitation of land and water resources through fisheries, agriculture, and, above all, forestry.

Event Type: Lecture, Online Video

In this Oregon History 101 presentation, Dr. Pope will present how the relationship of Oregon's natural resources and economic change, specifically through energy production, has transformed Oregon in ways not anticipated at the end of WWII. The legacy of this development poses benefits for the residents of Oregon, but also long-term economic challenges that have not been resolved.

Dr. Daniel Pope is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Oregon where he specialized in United States business and economic history. Additional background reading is available online to complement this talk on The Oregon Encyclopedia, and historical records from the Oregon History Project are also available.

Many of the images prepared by the speakers for Oregon 101 presentations are copyrighted by institutions other than the Oregon Historical Society. The Oregon Historical Society may not make those images available on the Web, so the PowerPoints have been excluded from the videos.