Cold War Economy

Cold War Economy

During 1950s, the United States was preparing to stockpile the raw materials it needed for Americans to survive a war. Arizona had many raw materials to offer, but agriculture was faced with a quandary: what if the thousands of Mexican Braceros that worked on Arizona farms needed to return to their home country? Another concern was what would happen to Arizona’s economy if tourists in California needed to evacuate that state. Many believed that if the tourists became stranded in Arizona, large-scale disruption would result.

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. What resources did AZ have to stockpile? What industries would have been affected if a nuclear war broke out?
  2. What historical Arizona event may have been repeated if the Braceros had needed to return to Mexico?
  3. Who created the documents linked above? How were they preparing for a cold war? Whose perspective is not present in the documents above?
  4. Would Arizona's economy have survived if Arizona had beenswamped with tourists from California? What if all the Braceros had left? Why do you think it would or would not have?


Labor and Economics