Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type

Honors Project

Additional Department



American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Francis J. Ryan


The primary topic of this essay is the causes for disinvestment that occurred during the deindustrialization of Camden, NJ, between 1960 and 1980. The paper constructs a framework based on the industrial history of Camden, which is composed roughly of the years between 1900 and 1960. This basis explains Camden’s transition from a small town with the purpose of ferry terminal to an industrial powerhouse city. The main portion of the essay discusses the economic and social events that affected Camden between the transformative years of 1960 and 1980, as the industrial era was concluding. The events that transpired in the city during these two decades are compared to the historical demographic information for the city to pinpoint national and local trends. The primary sources used for this demographic and population data are the United States Censuses from 1960, 1970, and 1980. After reasoning the cause for change in Camden, the focus of the essay shifts to the effects of these changes, primarily continued disinvestment, low socioeconomic status, and poor environmental conditions. The essay concludes by discussing the changes in Camden since 1980.