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1st Student's Major

Government, History

1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

My name is Jonathan Soucek, I am a double major in political science and history at Minnesota State University-Mankato, USA. I am from Fairmont, a small, rural southern town in Minnesota. I have always enjoyed studying history and political science. Four years ago, I decided to pursue my passions in college, becoming the first person in my family to attend a university. In the future I hope to take my education to a higher level, and eventually become a history professor.

Mentor's Name

Lori Lahlum

Mentor's Email Address

lori.lahlum@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

History

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The Nonpartisan League attempted to enter Minnesota politics in 1918, with Charles Lindbergh, Sr. as the League-endorsed candidate for governor in the Republican primaries. As the League moved into Minnesota in 1917, it hoped to achieve the same success it had in North Dakota. Unfortunately, the United States entered World War I in April of 1917 as the Nonpartisan League began to organize in Minnesota. The League opposed America’s entry into the war, but supported the war effort when the United States declared war on Germany. League opponents and much of the general public, however, labeled the Nonpartisan League a disloyal organization. In Minnesota, the League faced its greatest opposition in the south central region, where county officials and citizens prevented League meetings by using terror and intimidation tactics. Many of these actions seem contrary to Minnesota’s moralistic political culture, but the national security crisis of World War I caused the moralistic political culture of the area to adopt several traits of the traditionalistic political culture. Evidence of this blending of political cultures includes terror and intimidation tactics, disdain of outside influences, and heightened attention to elite interests. This study analyzes League activity in Blue Earth, Brown, Martin, and Jackson counties, and each provides an explanation as to why the League did not succeed in south central Minnesota. In fact, Lindbergh won just one county in the area, Brown County, and the Nonpartisan League failed to establish a significant political presence in the region.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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