Political Prairie Fire: The Nonpartisan League, 1915-1922

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U of Minnesota Press, Jan 1, 1955 - History - 408 pages
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Political Prairie Fire was first published in 1955. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Political Prairie Fire was first published in 1955.

The farmers of North Dakota were ripe for revolt when the magnetic figure of A. C. Townley strode into their midst and offered them a new political formula to redress their grievances. Townley's plan was simple but revolutionary; it called for the formation of a Nonpartisan Political League dedicated to the election of candidates through the established two-party system and to a platform emphasizing public ownership of certain vital farm services and facilities, such as terminal grain elevators and hail insurance on crops.

Like the great prairie fires of the plains states, the political flames of the Nonpartisan League spread swiftly from one farm to the next across North Dakota and into the adjoining states. The League is regarded by many as the last of the great agrarian protest movements. It is historically significant because it achieved a measure of success well beyond that of most similar movements. It controlled the government of one state for some years, elected state officials and legislators in a number of midwestern and western states, and sent several congressmen to Washington. Its impact helped shape the destinies of a dozen states and the political philosophies of an important segment of the nation's voters. The League's methods of operation often serve today as a guide for political action.

This is the first detailed, unbiased history of the Nonpartisan League. Thoroughly documented for the specialist, it is nevertheless equally interesting for the general reader.

 

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Contents

1 PATTERN FOR CONFLICT
3
2 GRASS ROOTS OPERATIONS
22
3 UP FROM THE SOD HOUSE
47
4 FIRST BLOOD
60
5 DAYBREAK ON THE PRAIRIE
76
6 FARMERS AT THE HELM
92
7 STORM WARNINGS
109
8 THE REIGN OF TERROR
152
11 SCHISMS AND PROSECUTIONS
239
12 REVENGE POLITICS
262
13 YEAR OF CRISIS
279
14 A LEGISLATURE WITHOUT LEGISLATION
303
15 THE RECALL IMBROGLIO
315
16 THE TIDE EBBS
336
FOOTNOTES
365
BIBLIOGRAPHY
391

9 A NEW NATIONAL PARTY?
183
10 THE NEW DAY IN NORTH DAKOTA
222
INDEX
403
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About the author (1955)

Robert Morlan was an associate professor of government at the University of Redlands in California and was active in practical politics. He served as a councilman for the city of Redlands. This is his third book.

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