Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Beth Ann Fennelly

Relational Format



In this thesis, I explore the history of the city of Detroit in order to better understand the factors that have led to Detroit's current state. The research materials I have used are standard history books as well as newspaper articles, journals, and published interviews with former and current Detroit residents. I have incorporated this research into the construction of both a strict research element as well as poetry in order to present varying accounts of the city of Detroit beginning in the early 20th century and continuing into the present-day. I have found that the history of Detroit has been/is being most notably shaped through three factors: race relations, the automotive industry, and depopulation. In conclusion, although these three factors continue to affect the city at large, I have found that there are many political and social movements within the city that are working to combat the deterioration of a Detroit and, ultimately, I believe it is possible for Detroit to reconstruct itself as a new, modern American city.



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