Richard Anderson, Princeton University | Newberry

Richard Anderson, Princeton University

Friday, March 25, 2016

3 to 5pm

Room 101

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Labor History Seminar

The Fight for Good Government: Machine Politics and Municipal Reform in Chicago, 1955-1966

Richard Anderson, Princeton University

Independent Democrat Martin H. Kennelly’s two terms as mayor of Chicago witnessed a protracted battle over the political culture of the Windy City. Between 1947 and 1955 Kennelly’s administration targeted both patronage hiring and the informal “vice” economy that sustained Chicago’s Democratic machine. The “good government” campaign led by Kennelly and prominent civic organizations faltered when Richard J. Daley ascended to City Hall. The reform crusade nevertheless produced an enduring political discourse that anathematized the system of labor relations undergirding the Democratic machine. Daley maintained control over metropolitan government for the next two decades but the machine never attained full political legitimacy.

Respondents: D.Bradford Hunt, The Newberry Library and Joseph Bigott, Purdue University

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.