Home > Teaching Assistant > Corruption in North Dakota and the Second Dakota Boom

Corruption in North Dakota and the Second Dakota Boom

Today, I covered the lecture in Dr. Porter’s absence. We continued our look at statehood, giving particular attention to the rise of boss politics and the creation of a dependency on Minneapolis/St. Paul of North Dakota. The era of boss politics in North Dakota is characterized by one Alexander McKenzie, who worked on behalf of the Northern Pacific Railroad. North Dakota’s bossism was unique, as boss politics is usually characteristic of more eastern cities, as opposed to rural areas. Further, the duration was particularly long (twenty years). McKenzie did much of his work from various hotels in St. Paul.

In addition to McKenzie, we discussed various opposition movements to the boss politics, including the Farmers’ Alliance and the Populist Party. This led to a mention of the Populist governor Eli Shortridge and the carrying of all state offices, except Secretary of State by the Populists. James Weaver carried North Dakota for the Populists in the 1892 Presidential election by 148 votes out of over 35,000 cast.

After concluding statehood, we briefly looked at the second Dakota Boom. The first book was from 1876-1886 and ended with drought and low grain prices. The second boom began in 1897 and ended in 1915. We briefly talked about the resurgence of inflation and national economic recovery. Overall, this lecture went well and the students were happy to learn that they will get Friday off, as Dr. Porter will still be out of town.

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