Federal Writers Project Research Paper Example


The Federal Writers Project (FWP) was a project created during President Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency in the tutelage of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of the New Deal program. FWP’s main purpose was creating employment, by supporting and employing writers, and by providing federal funding for the written work. The project provided work relief by employing over twenty-five thousand employees, and developed programs, such as the American Guide series, which reviewed the past, described the current situation and outlined the American diversity and culture and to some extent the precise definition of an American. The Federal Writers Program demise was due to ideological criticism resulting from a general attack of the New Deal by conservatives who viewed it as a symbol of a federal government that become too corpulent and posed too much of a threat to individualism, state’s rights and free enterprise.

Following the Great Depression, the American domestic economy was heavily reliant on the New Deal program to rescue it from the stagnation of the Depression. FWP was a significant project in combating the economic stagnation and unemployment in an era when almost one-third of American families were hit by unemployment2. It received federal funding for four years, and at its peak, it supported over seventy-five thousand writers, editors, and researchers3. Others included geologists, historians, art critics and cartographers. It motivated many young writers to create enduring works of American fiction, nonfiction and oral history. Recruited from millions of unemployed, FWP writers drove along roads gathering information on American history, interviewing Americans on their ways of life, and amassing facts on local histories, mythology as well as battles and milestones. They were foot soldiers in an army against the Depression. The FWP provided work relief for new and experienced writers, researchers, newsmen, and historians who carried out research and writing assignments indorsed by the WPA. Most importantly, the program allowed them to continue to exercise their talents and practice their profession. The FWP also offered employment to lawyers, teachers, librarians, ministers, architects, draftsmen and other white collar workers…”

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