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Conservative CounterrevolutionChallenging Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee$
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Tula A. Connell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039904

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039904.001.0001

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Race, Class, Free Enterprise, and Suburbia

Race, Class, Free Enterprise, and Suburbia

(p.96) 5 Race, Class, Free Enterprise, and Suburbia
Conservative Counterrevolution

Tula A. Connell

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on suburban opposition to annexation. Frank Zeidler's attempt to annex land on the city's periphery and provide the territorial expansion and improved tax base necessary for Milwaukee's growing population set the stage for a massive battle with the suburbs. The conflict highlights the interconnections between classist and racialist notions, with the growing socioeconomic needs of the city's inner core of low-income residents pitted against an “iron ring” of suburbs whose inhabitants were equally convinced of the right to define who could be their neighbors. Further, the years-long standoff, which gained momentum in the mid-1950s, highlighted the winner-take-all perception involved in the battle between individual rights and the collective good, and further complicates the suburban–urban dialectic that often focuses on busing or white flight. The chapter also explores how the issue of race was wielded as a political weapon against Zeidler, dividing the city as never before.

Keywords:   suburban–urban dialectic, annexation, class, race, low-income residents, suburban residents, individual rights, public good

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