Taxation and Social Conflict: Teacher Unionism and Public School Finance in Chicago, 1898–1934

  • Marjorie Murphy


Increasing school attendance and shifting tax burdens in Chicago spawned a fiscal crisis that grew throughout the late nineteenth century and culminated in the collapse of public schools during the “payless paydays” of the 1930s. The actors pitted against each other in the struggle over tax policy were newly unionized teachers, who flaunted their affiliation with labor and the working class, and a loose coalition of attorneys representing railroad, utility, bank, and real estate interests. The stalemate created on the floor of the Illinois General Assembly and in the courts of law eventually triggered, during the Depression of the 1930s, the mechanism for the collapse of urban public finance.


Real Estate Chicago School Cook County Public School Teacher Fiscal Crisis 
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Copyright information

© John L. Rury 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie Murphy

There are no affiliations available

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