While my last trip to the Iron Range was doubly-immersive, acclimatizing to both the politics and the culture of Minnesota’s Northeast, this one took on more of a “business trip” feel. This was both good, because I explored the deteriorating relationship between Perpich and the DFL, and frustrating, because it provided fewer outlets when things really got confusing.
What do you do when you need some time off the road but still getting work done? Find an archive under 40 minutes away that has relevant papers!
In a few ways, North Dakota confirmed a lot of the cultural characteristics of the Midwest I’d long come to expect. In a few other ways, it was an entirely new world for me.
When historians talk iron ore and the Midwest, we’re all familiar with the docks of Duluth and the radicalism of the Iron Range. But less often, we talk about the forgotten “twin” of the Twin Ports, Superior, Wisconsin.
Since I’m on this barnstorming tour for the remainder of 2017, I don’t need to live in Milwaukee until the spring, meaning I’m moving out of my apartment. That meant the unenviable task of cleaning it out but also provided the opportunity to use the Marquette University Archives, which play host to dozens and dozens of feet of relevant material from some of Wisconsin’s prominent politicians of the 1980s. There are 2200 words ahead, click on if you dare.
It’s practically guaranteed to be a good trip to the archives when the archivist greets you with “Oh, I actually knew Al! I sat with him just a couple of months before he passed.”
I needed a little break after a week of camping in Pierre, so a little time spent among familiar papers in the Twin Cities–those of Saint Paul Mayor George Latimer–seemed just fine by me. Of course, given that the Minnesota Historical Society is closed on Monday, I decided to head up to a collection that had always intrigued me, the papers of Gene Wenstrom, perennial Seventh District congressional candidate in the early 1980s. Challenging incumbent Independent-Republican Arlan Stangeland, who won…
The 2016 elections, in addition to making what I am trying to get a PhD in about 100x more relevant than I ever could have done myself, have also led to a very, very obnoxious trend among national political outlets: a newfound fascination with rural or agriculturally-oriented Democratic interests, groups, and politicians. Take, for example, the Washington Post‘s breathless exploration in November 2016 of “Why rural voters don’t vote Democratic anymore,” in which they suddenly rediscover Collin Peterson (DFL-MN7). In the…
The following are excerpts from a larger panel titled “The New Midwestern Politics? The 2016 Election and Beyond” at the 2017 Midwestern History Association Conference, hosted at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, MI, and hosted by the Ralph Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Feel free to contact me with questions about the maps, findings, or methodology. CH
In preparation for a panel on the Midwest in the 2016 elections for the Midwestern History Association Conference in Grand Rapids this June, I’m working on my particular focus: down-ballot elections. My biggest problem was this–besides saying “things didn’t go well for Democrats,” I had little-to-no idea how to show that (Ted, if you read this, I swear things are going better now). We talk a lot about the growing rural-urban divide between Republicans and Democrats, but elections within even…