Chicago in the Age of Capital
Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
List of Illustrations
In its conception and its writing, this book has been a collaborative project with continuous and systematic interaction between the authors. Over time, we have developed a bond...
In 1821, James Madison predicted that, with the exhaustion of the country’s reservoir of open land, Americans would face the prospect of rising inequality, including “a dependence...
1. The City
During the winter of 1869, an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune found that “in our principal thoroughfares the richly-dressed lady of the avenue magnificently sweeps...
2. The Internationale of the Citizen Workers: From Slavery to the Labor Question
Reflecting on the imminent Fourth of July celebration in 1865, the Chicago Tribune felt that a bridge had been built between the two great revolutionary periods of American...
3. The Eight-Hour Day and the Legitimacy of Wage Labor
On a sunny Wednesday, May 1, 1867, over five thousand workers marched to the lakefront in Chicago to support the eight-hour working day recently written into Illinois law. The sidewalks were thronged with workingmen, who “loudly cheered” the procession...
4. Chicago's Immigrant Working Class and the Rise of Urban Populism, 1867–73
In January 1872—three months after the Great Fire—Anton Hesing, Chicago’s German political boss, organized a protest against the city government’s effort to ban new wooden housing in the city as a fire control measure. The protesters thought that...
5. Class and Politics during the Depression of the 1870s
The economic depression combined with Chicago’s notorious cold weather to make the winter of 1873–74 especially severe. On the afternoon of December 31, 1873, a crowd of about...
6. Combat in the Streets: The Railroad Strike of 1877 and Its Consequences
In the summer of 1877, the United States experienced its first national strike, an unorganized, spontaneous rebellion of working people in cities from Baltimore and Pittsburgh to St. Louis...
7. Regime Change
More than any single person or institution, Democratic Mayor Carter Harrison pacified class relations in Chicago, freeing the city’s capitalists to accumulate wealth without...
About the Author, Further Reading, Production Notes, Back Cover