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Marching on WashingtonThe Forging of an American Political Tradition$
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Lucy Barber

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242159

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242159.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Marching on Washington
Author(s):

Lucy G. Barber

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520242159.003.0001

Critics of the tactic of marching on Washington dreaded—precisely, it turned out—that Jacob Coxey's Army might inspire many organized protests in the capital of the United States. Before Coxey's Army even reached the District of Columbia, a senator alerted his colleagues that if they permitted his march, it may become a habit to make pilgrimages annually to Washington and endeavor to dominate Congress by the physical presence of the people. Some of what the senator predicted has happened more than a century later. Since 1894, millions of people have marched on Washington. During the imperial crisis that led to the Revolutionary War, colonists have proven their displeasure at merchants and government officials, much as they or their relatives had done in Europe. This moral crowd generally respected the authority of the government, and elected officials sometimes considered such actions an essential gauge of public opinion.

Keywords:   Washington, Jacob Coxey, Revolutionary War, Europe, colonists

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