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The Public CityThe Political Construction of Urban Life in San Francisco, 1850-1900$
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Philip Ethington

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230019

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230019.001.0001

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A language of politics in a politics of class: The Workingmen’s Party of California

A language of politics in a politics of class: The Workingmen’s Party of California

Chapter:
(p.242) Chapter 6 A language of politics in a politics of class: The Workingmen’s Party of California
Source:
The Public City
Author(s):

PHILIP J. ETHINGTON

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520230019.003.0007

This chapter presents a reinterpretation of the rise and fall of the Workingmen's Party of California (WPC). The WPC has often been interpreted as the eruption of class conflict into mainstream party politics. However, a close narrative analysis of political campaigns in the 1870s suggests that a politics of class was the creation of mainstream party politicians and journalists who introduced a language of class in the effort to mobilize voters. It clarifies that the electorate began voting by class long before the creation of the WPC.

Keywords:   WPC, class conflict, party politics, political campaigns, politics of class, voters, electorate

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