Article ID: CBB694387604

Coordinating the Local: Building Water Regimes in the Ruhr and Louisiana (2012)


States along the Rhine and Mississippi Rivers built themselves through water. The Rhine River Commission's member states oversaw work on their segments of the Rhine, and the Ruhr region developed watershed agencies. By contrast, the Mississippi River became a national issue, with Louisiana and New Orleans looking to Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers to resolve many problems. Prussian officials gained reputations as centralising authoritarians by coordinating multi—level development and attending to local natural, social and political variations. This empirical orientation is clearly seen in the Ruhr region's current watershed agencies, created before World War I. By seeking votes and Congressional support to resolve water problems, politicians in Louisiana helped create institutional arrangements that have diverted attention from local variations and helped fashion an image of a weak, invisible, even muddled, federal system. This essay stresses local and regional development of infrastructure and historical perspectives toward the topic.

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Authors & Contributors
Reynolds, Terry S.
Berneking, Carolyn Bailey
Colten, Craig E.
Kelman, Ari
Fandrich, Ina J.
Vandal, Gilles
Louisiana History
Technology's Stories
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Environmental History
Missouri Historical Review
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of California Press
Texas A&M University Press
Cornell University Press
University of Hawaiʻi Press
MIT Press
Water supply
Technology and politics
Water purification
Bailey, Edgar Henry Summerfield
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
18th century
United States
Louisiana (U.S.)
New Orleans (Louisiana, U.S.)
Mississippi River (North America)
Missouri (U.S.)
St. Louis (Missouri, U.S.)

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