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Insurgent DemocracyThe Nonpartisan League in North American Politics$
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Michael J. Lansing

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226283500

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226283647.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Birth
Insurgent Democracy

Michael J. Lansing

University of Chicago Press

Born in North Dakota in 1915, the NPL empowered disadvantaged citizens to directly engage in electoral politics. It defied the common assumption that agrarians could not transcend regional, ethnic, and economic differences to vote as a bloc. Growing out of co-operative movements and influenced by Socialist Party organizers, NPL members used the open primary to take over the state’s dominant Republican Party in 1916. They touted a program of government competition that set up state-owned enterprises to challenge private corporations in various economic sectors.

Keywords:   co-operatives, corporations, middle class, wheat farming, socialism, Populism, nonpartisan, equity, North Dakota

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