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Chicago in the Age of CapitalClass, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction$
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John B. Jentz and Richard Schneirov

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036835

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036835.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

The Internationale of the Citizen Workers

The Internationale of the Citizen Workers

From Slavery to the Labor Question

Chapter:
(p.53) 2 The Internationale of the Citizen Workers
Source:
Chicago in the Age of Capital
Author(s):

John B. Jentz

Richard Schneirov

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036835.003.0002

This chapter focuses on the destruction of slavery in Chicago. The destruction of slavery as a national economic and political interest cleared the ground for the rise of a new working class of wage earners, in part by creating a space within the public sphere for working-class issues. Organized in April 1864 by eighteen unions, the General Trades Assembly served as the most important vehicle for articulating a class outlook. Labor's citywide organization was a political interest group representing workers of all skills and backgrounds in Chicago's public life. Workers' awareness of themselves as a class developed further as ethnic and political leaders began to appeal publicly to the new labor interest. The creation of such an enduring organized interest in the public sphere was a critical element in the formation of a new kind of urban politics appropriate to the new capitalist order.

Keywords:   slavery, working class, wage earners, public sphere, General Trades Assembly, urban politics, new capitalist order

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