1920s Political Fight against Corporate Power Topic at MHS - news.mt.gov

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1920s Political Fight against Corporate Power Topic at MHS

Friday, March 25, 2016/Categories: Montana Historical Society/Tags:

                From Tom Cook 406-444-1645 Release: Receipt


                Political movements to reign in the power of corporate influence in government affairs and empower the common citizen are nothing new.

                On Thursday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m. at the Montana Historical Society author and historian Michael Lansing will present a free public program based on his new book “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics.”

                In 1915 western farmers and ranchers, who were fed up with corporate influence and being ignored by government, started a movement that is still regarded as one of the most significant challenges that traditional political parties have faced in the history of the nation.

                The Nonpartisan League before its collapse in the 1920s had more than 250,000 paying members, was active in 13 states including Montana, and had even taken control of North Dakota’s state government. It led to strong new farmer/labor political alliances that continue to today.

                Lansing argues that, rather than a spasm of populist rage that burned itself out, the League is an instructive example of how popular movements can create lasting change.

                In addition to being a story of citizen activism and the fight for economic equality, Lansing argues that the history of the non-partisan movement carries lessons that are being played out in today’s elections.

                Lansing will sign copies of his new book, which is available in the MHS Museum Store, after the talk.



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