Producers, Proletarians, and Politicians


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Workers and Party Politics in Evansville and New Albany, Indiana, 1850-87

By Lawrence M. Lipin
University of Illinois Press

The dynamics of local politics come to life in this exploration of business, labor, and political life in two small Ohio River cities. New Albany was a steamboat construction site; there, native-born artisans were militant about their rights and involved in party politics. This involvement decreased with the appearance of factories. By contrast, the large German working class that settled in Evansville continued to protest changes in working conditions in the industrial era, fearing a return to the misery of Germany in the famine years.

Politicians and workers responded to each other in both cities. Coalition building was a nearly constant and perilous project for party leaders, and workers engaged in the process with great gusto. Lawrence Lipin argues that working-class participation in party politics played an essential role in creating a political environment friendly to working-class protest.

Additional information

Weight 23.9 oz
Dimensions 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.25 in



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