Politics, Labor, and the War on Big Business details
the rise, fall, and impact of the anticorporate reform effort in
Arizona during the Progressive reform era, roughly 1890-1920.
Drawing on previously unexamined archival files and building on
research presented in his previous books, author David R. Berman
offers a fresh look at Progressive heritage and the history of
industrial relations during Arizona's formative period.
In the 1890s, once-heavily courted corporations had become, in
the eyes of many, outside "money interests" or "beasts" that
exploited the wealth of the sparsely settled area. Arizona's
anticorporate reformers condemned the giant corporations for
mistreating workers, farmers, ranchers, and small-business people
and for corrupting the political system. During a thirty-year
struggle, Arizona reformers called for changes to ward off
corporate control of the political system, increase corporate
taxation and regulation, and protect and promote the interests of
Led by George W.P. Hunt and progressive Democrats, Arizona's
brand of Progressivism was heavily influenced by organized labor,
third parties, and Socialist activists. As highly powerful railroad
and mining corporations retaliated, conflict took place on both
political levels and industrial backgrounds, sometimes in violent
Politics, Labor and the War on Big Business places
Arizona's experience in the larger historical discussion of reform
activity of the period, considering issues involving the role of
government in the economy and the possibility of reform, topics
highly relevant to current debates.
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