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Class And Gender Politics In Progressive-Era Seattle

John Putman

Publication Year: 2008

This book traces the interplay of class, gender, and politics in progressive-era Seattle, Washington during the formative period of industrialization and the establishment of a national market economy. With the rapid westward expansion of the capitalist marketplace by the dawn of the 20th century, national political and economic pressures significantly transformed both city and region. Despite the region's vast natural resources, the West had a highly urbanized population, surpassing even that of the industrial Northeast. Westerners celebrated the region's wide-open spaces, and even though a large part of the West's economy was centered in the mines, fields, and forests, most chose to live in the city. Cities thus witnessed the intersection of class, gender, and political reform as residents struggled to

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: The Urban West Series


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Title Page

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p. iii


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p. vii

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pp. 1-10

In 1915, Seattle labor leaders urged working-class women to follow the example of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) by dropping out of the craft-oriented women’s labor auxiliaries and joining the Women’s Card and Label League. Inspired by the King County Legislative Federation—a political organization led by middle-class feminists who sought to bring ...

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Chapter 1: Class, Gender, and Politics in Late-Nineteenth-Century Seattle

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pp. 11-26

Early one Sunday morning in February 1886, several hundred white working-class men and women gathered in the Chinese district in Seattle. On the pretense of enforcing local health regulations, they pounded on doors, summarily condemned buildings, and strongly suggested that all Chinese leave the city. The teamsters among the throng of white workers ...

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Chapter 2: Citizens and Workers

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pp. 27-69

In the summer of 1909, the eyes of much of the nation were fixed on Seattle. To celebrate the decade of prosperity that the Klondike and Nome gold strikes had brought to the city, local leaders organized the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE). The exposition showcased the beauty and possibilities of Alaska as well as Seattle’s place as the jewel of the Pacific North-...

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Chapter 3: Civic Life and Woman Suffrage

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pp. 70-114

On election day in 1910, Seattle voters no doubt passed working-class residents stumping on behalf of the United Labor Party. If they paid any attention, these men would have most likely heard about capitalist oppression and demands to exclude Japanese workers from the city. Yet the United Labor Party and its Democratic...

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Chapter 4: Chiffon Politics in Progressive-Era Seattle

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pp. 115-144

In 1911, Seattle captured a great deal of national attention for its rather unique political scene. Readers from New York to Los Angeles not only read about Washington’s successful suffrage campaign in local papers and national magazines, but also learned how Seattle women exploited this newfound power to remove the city’s mayor from office. This triumph ...

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Chapter 5: The Demise of Seattle’s Progressive Spirit

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pp. 145-196

On a rather warm evening in July 1913, Mrs. Annie Miller climbed on top of her rented speaking platform to deliver a speech to workers and others milling around Seattle’s Skid Row district. After heckling Miller, a sailor took to the soapbox to offer his thoughts on the issues of the day. Matters soon turned ugly when the sailor refused to give up the platform to Miller ...

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Epilogue: Patriotism, War, and the Red Scare

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pp. 197-216

The growing class divide in Seattle exemplified by Anna Louise Strong’s recall from the Seattle School Board continued to widen during and after World War I. The cross-class and cross-gender political alliance born out of the suffrage campaign a decade earlier virtually collapsed under the weight of the class conflict generated by such momentous events as the ...


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pp. 217-270


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pp. 271-288


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pp. 289-296

E-ISBN-13: 9780874177435
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874177367

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: The Urban West Series
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OCLC Number: 226379046
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Class And Gender Politics In Progressive-Era Seattle

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Subject Headings

  • Labor unions -- Political activity -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- History.
  • Women -- Political activity -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- History.
  • Seattle (Wash.) -- Politics and government.
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