Upstream Influence: The Economy, the State, and Oregon's Landscape, 1860-2000
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation examines the ways that people in Oregon mobilized the state apparatus linked to federal, state, and city governments. It traces their efforts at state mobilization across nearly a century and a half of economic and environmental change. Two shifting ideologies shaped Oregon and its landscape between 1860 and 2000. A producerist ideology assumed a rural label and an ideology centered around place assumed an urban label. The development of these twin ideologies hardened what had been contingent boundaries between city and country. That development enshrined in Oregon politics a division between urban and rural interests. This division was never simple and rarely involved clear urban dominance over a hinterland. Portland's relationship with the rural Northwest and the distinction between urban and rural people and landscapes that shaped it were as much the product of rural ideology as urban power. Portland was subject to upstream influence. Five episodes in Oregon and Northwest history support and explain this argument. This dissertation considers the role that global and national finance played in shaping the Northwest economy in the nineteenth century and the response that Northwest farmers made to economic elites. It details the effects of hinterland trade on Portland's environment and examines the limited efforts that progressive-era reformers made to ameliorate those effects. It traces the growth of the state during the New Deal by detailing the debates over and development of federal electrical power policy in the Northwest. The last chapters examine the ways Oregonians responded to environmental and economic change in the late twentieth century. These chapters provide an intellectual, economic, and political history of Oregon's land use planning system. They demonstrate that rural, urban, and suburban Oregonians supported land use planning as a way to protect the resource economy in the 1970s. That support waned only as the economy, particularly associated with timber production, changed after 1980.
- History