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

  • Marjorie Murphy

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Real Estate Chicago School Cook County Public School Teacher Fiscal Crisis 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Minutes of the Chicago Teachers’ Federation, 1897, Chicago Teachers’ Federation Collection. Chicago Historical Society. For the history of the CTF and the Chicago school system, see Marjorie Murphy, “From Artisan to Semi-Professional: White Collar Unionism among Chicago Public School Teachers, 1870–1930,” Diss. University of California—Davis 1981;Google Scholar
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    Studs Terkel, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 388–89.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John L. Rury 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie Murphy

There are no affiliations available

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