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The Rise of the Chicago Police DepartmentClass and Conflict, 1850-1894$
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Sam Mitrani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038068

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038068.001.0001

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The Pullman Strike and the Matrix of State Institutions

The Pullman Strike and the Matrix of State Institutions

(p.208) Epilogue The Pullman Strike and the Matrix of State Institutions
The Rise of the Chicago Police Department

Sam Mitrani

University of Illinois Press

This epilogue examines how the Pullman Strike of 1894 exposed the Chicago Police Department's still quite limited ability to deal with a mass strike of such magnitude. The Pullman Strike was the largest and most important strike of the nineteenth century, with Chicago as its epicenter. It revealed as a failure George Pullman's attempt to apply a modified earlier version of order, based on the pre-police idea that a paternalistic system of organization could embed wage workers within an ordered system controlled by their employer. This strike also revealed the limits of police power, since the Chicago Police Department did not have the will or the force to break it. The Pullman Strike was primarily broken by the army, with the police department playing only a supporting role. The Pullman Strike also shows that municipal police departments were just one set of institutions within the broader matrix of state power, including the state militias and the military, that was built to maintain the businessmen's order in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   wage workers, Pullman Strike, Chicago Police Department, George Pullman, police power, municipal police departments, state power, state militias, military, businessmen

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