The new citizenship : origins of progressivism in Wisconsin, 1885-1900
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This is a book about people with different ideas about democracy from those that prevail today. Wisconsin's early progressives would have been astonished by the focus historians have placed on producer identifications. They identified mainly with their roles as consumers and taxpayers, and they gravely doubted whether the existing political economy could ever meet their needs. Many of them favored public ownership of certain corporations because the particular relationship of those corporations to the political process made it impossible for consumers to receive redress in any other way. For these early progressives oppression resulted from "special privilege," not from relationship to the means of production. A socialist state could be as dominated by special privilege as a capitalist one, and it, too, could deny real power to consumers.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- I. Gilded Age reform, 1885-1893: Mugwumpery : the old reform legacy ; Interest groups : the new reform thrust ; Reformers and the public in the Gilded Age -- II. The roots of a new citizenship and social progressivism, 1893-1900: The depression and the birth of civic conciousness ; Foundations of social progressivism : the "new woman" and the "new religion" ; From mugwumpery to sociqal progressivism -- III. The roots of political progressivism, 1893-1900: The new mugwumpery and urban politics ; The Milwaukee Municipal League and the birth of a state-wide reform movement ; Two patterns of municipal reform : the cases of Ashland and Superior ; From mugwumpery to progressivism ; Quasi-public corporations and popular sovereignty ; Politics, reform, and streetcars at Milwaukee ; Robert M. La Follette and the origins of Wisconsin progressivism -- Epilogue.