Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paulby Mary Lethert Wingerd
Pub. Date: 11/28/2001
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Are Minneapolis and St. Paul "Twin Cities" in proximity only? How can two cities, spoken of so often in one breath, differ so greatly in their histories and characteristics? Claiming the City traces the contours of St. Paul's "civic identity" to show how personal identities and political structures of power are fundamentally informed by the social geography… See more details below
Are Minneapolis and St. Paul "Twin Cities" in proximity only? How can two cities, spoken of so often in one breath, differ so greatly in their histories and characteristics? Claiming the City traces the contours of St. Paul's "civic identity" to show how personal identities and political structures of power are fundamentally informed by the social geography of place. St. Paul proves a particularly fruitful site for such analysis because it has developed along a divergent path from that of Minneapolis, its sister city just across the Mississippi river.
While Minneapolis in the last part of the nineteenth century bore the stamp of Scandinavians, Protestants, and Republican Yankee progressives, St. Paul emerged as an Irish, Catholic, Democratic stronghold. Increasingly overshadowed by the economic might of Minneapolis, out of necessity St. Paul evolved complex alliances among business, labor, and the Catholic Church that cut across class and ethnic lines-a culture of compromise that sharply contrasted with Minneapolis' more strident labor politics.
Mary Lethert Wingerd brings together the voices of citizens and workers and the power dynamics of civic leaders including James J. Hill and Archbishop John Ireland. She crafts a portrait of St. Paul remarkable for its specificity as well as its relevance to broader interpretations of place-based culture and politics.
Wingerd's rich and lively history of St. Paul is a clear demonstration that place-the lived experience and memory located in a specific spatial context-is a constitutive element of all other aspects of identity.
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations|
|I||Starting from Scratch: The Construction of Civic Identity|
|1||The Economy of Culture: City Building on the Frontier||13|
|2||Money, Status, and Power: The Making of an Irish-Catholic Town||33|
|3||Delivering the Goods: The Social Geography of a Declining Economy||68|
|II||The Great War: Conflict Abroad and Casualties at Home|
|4||Raising the Flag: The Struggle to Reshape Civic Identity||117|
|5||Taking Aim: Enemies of the State||137|
|6||The First Volley: Policing the Social Order||152|
|7||The War of St. Paul and the End of the Civic Compact||175|
|III||From Battle Zone to "Holy City": New Alliances, Old Loyalties, and the Power of Place|
|8||Vying for Power: The Showdown between Business and Labor||215|
|9||Hard Times in the "Holy City": Old Alliances and New Deals||233|
|Epilogue: Political Change and the Power of Place||263|
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