Was the creation of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) a good idea? I would say it was a good idea given the reasons behind its creation. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, he immediately embarked on a massive revitalization of the country’s economy. He started many programmes aimed at putting Americans back to work and the CCC was one of them. As it is said, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and so coming up with this programme was very imperative as it helped in keeping the youths who could have engaged in criminal activities busy. The program helped in job creation too (Gower, 1972).
This program did not only keep the youths busy but also, it helped in the reconstruction of the country especially when a depression hung over the Nation in the early 1930s. According to Gower (1972) there are more than ten projects on record as having been undertaken under the CCC project. These include: more than 3,470 fire towers were erected; 97, 000 miles of fire roads were built; 4, 235,000 man-days were devoted to fighting fires; more than 3 billion trees were planted; 46 camps were assigned to work under the direction of the U.S. Bureau of Agriculture Engineering and many other projects were implemented under the program. It is also said that enrollees of the program did not only participate in work but also participated in saving lives and property during disasters (Parman, 1976).
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Towards 1937 as the program approached maturity, hundreds of youths had passed through the program, and returned home to boast of their experiences and still hundreds of others demonstrated their satisfaction by extending their enlistment. Their experience in the program helped in shaping their personality and it is even said that many employers preferred to employ youths who had been through the system to others.
Given all that the program achieved all this, it would be unfair to say the CCC program was a pre-military program that was shy of becoming like the Hitler Youth.