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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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Class and Politics during the Depression of the 1870s

Class and Politics during the Depression of the 1870s

(p.155) 5 Class and Politics during the Depression of the 1870s
Chicago in the Age of Capital

John B. Jentz

Richard Schneirov

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at Chicago's working class during the 1873 depression, during which all major industries experienced steep declines in revenues, and perhaps a third of the nation's workers lost their jobs. With the start of the 1873 depression, it quickly became apparent that the city's unskilled, largely immigrant working class could not be ignored. Distinctly different from the crowds during the eight-hour strike in 1867, the marches of the unemployed in December 1873 marked a new era in the history of Chicago's working class. Indeed, the December 1873 marches helped push the city's upper class into new self-awareness and political action, while crystallizing divisions between Anglo Americans and central Europeans in the Chicago labor movement.

Keywords:   Chicago, working class, 1873 depression, immigrant working class, unemployment, Chicago labor movement

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