Local Labor History: The Socialists Of North Texas, 1900 1914

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Local Labor History: The Socialists Of North Texas, 1900 1914
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Dallas/Fort Worth Jacobin Reading Group says
Historian Kyle G. Wilkison, author of "Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists: Plain Folk Protest in Texas, 1870-1914," will give a talk on the history of the Populist and Socialist movements in North Texas at the turn of the 20th century.

His research paints an incredible portrait of how the Socialist Party organized thousands of tenant farmers, union militants, and even Holy Rollers throughout Texas and neighboring states to denounce capitalism in favor of the "cooperative commonwealth." They successfully elected socialists in rural Texas, led strikes involving thousands of workers, influenced policy on questions of land ownership and taxation that were critical to poor farmers, and opposed racial segregation and inequality.

While the Party was at its strongest across the US in the 1910s, what might surprise many is that its activity in states like Oklahoma and Texas could hardly be matched. As Eugene Debs himself explained after a speaking tour through Texas, "the most class conscious industrial workers in the cities are not more keenly alive to the social revolution nor more loyal to its principles...than these farmers in Texas and Oklahoma."

As usual, we'll discuss the implications this history has for our own movements for economic justice and the continuing struggle for a society that is run by and for working people.

RECOMMENDED READING: Paul Heideman's article from the last issue of Jacobin Magazine, "The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Party of America," provides an excellent overview of the pre-war Socialist Party. Available online at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/02/rise-and-fall-socialist-party-of-america/

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This event is organized by the DFW JACOBIN MAGAZINE READING GROUP. Jacobin Magazine (https://www.jacobinmag.com) is a leading publication of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The DFW Reading Group is an independent group with no formal affiliation to the publication.
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By: Dallas/Fort Worth Jacobin Reading Group

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