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Learning One's Native TongueCitizenship, Contestation, and Conflict in America$
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Tracy B. Strong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226623191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226623368.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

America Moves into the Wider World: The Labor Movement and the Example of the USSR

America Moves into the Wider World: The Labor Movement and the Example of the USSR

(p.181) 7 America Moves into the Wider World: The Labor Movement and the Example of the USSR
Learning One's Native Tongue

Tracy B. Strong

University of Chicago Press

As America enters the twentieth century, it's unprepared for ways of dealing with concentrated private economic power; state and federal governments are weak; there is little national administrative apparatus; no income tax or social security or national banking or transport system. The country has also engaged a particular sort of imperialism. Resistances grown up. Among them are the International Workers of the World movement (IWW). They meet with some success in organizing, especially in the West. In Seattle, after the war, the benefits from the necessities of war-time production are cut and in 1919 the Seattle workers organized a General Strike. It lasts for a little over a week, with no violence recorded. But its failure leads to soul searching on the part of progressive forces. An example of success presents itself: the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Resistance to the progressive forces increasingly takes on the quality of American versus unAmerican (“this is America, not Russia!”). The Progressive movement seeks to counter the left-wing forces by a process of accommodation and cooptation. Politics is more and more thought of as a professional occupation, not as a possibility open as part of being a citizen.

Keywords:   International Workers of the World, Ralph Chapin, ‘Solidarity Forever’, Everett Massacre, Big Bill Haywood, free speech and citizenship, Woodrow Wilson, Anna Louise Strong, Herbert Croly, scientific management

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