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Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

While early twentieth century politics were largely associated with the Progressive party, it was also the era of Socialism in Milwaukee. Often referred to as "sewer socialism" for their back-to-basics strategy, Milwaukee Socialists sought to reform the legacy of the Industrial Revolution on the local level by cleaning up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, municipally-owned water and power systems, community parks, and improved education systems. Progressivism and Socialism had different leaders and spoke different languages, but were, in many ways, remarkably similar in practice. Socialists rejected the Progressive idea of government regulation of industry. Instead, they sought to... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: A review of the career of Milwaukee mayor Daniel Hoan.  A review of the career of Milwaukee mayor Daniel Hoan.
Link to article: Berger's death signals a change in the Socialist Party, 1929  Berger's death signals a change in the Socialist Party, 1929
Link to article: "Bergerisms:" Amusing incidents in the political life of Victor Berger  "Bergerisms:" Amusing incidents in the political life of Victor Berger
Link to article: A sketch of the life of Meta Berger  A sketch of the life of Meta Berger
Link to article: A survey of socialist viewpoints, 1918  A survey of socialist viewpoints, 1918
Link to article: Victor Berger, the first Socialist elected to Congress  Victor Berger, the first Socialist elected to Congress
Link to article: A visit to the home of Victor and Meta Berger in 1906  A visit to the home of Victor and Meta Berger in 1906
Link to book: Meta Berger describes her husband's election to Congress in 1910  Meta Berger describes her husband's election to Congress in 1910
Link to images: A Socialist Party campaign poster from 1920.  A Socialist Party campaign poster from 1920.
Link to images: Campaign poster for Victor Berger (ca. 1918)  Campaign poster for Victor Berger (ca. 1918)
Link to images: Milwaukee's former mayor speaks out against WWI  Milwaukee's former mayor speaks out against WWI

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: A sketch of America's first Socialist Congressman  A sketch of America's first Socialist Congressman
Link to article: A traveling debate on the merits of Socialism (1913)  A traveling debate on the merits of Socialism (1913)
Link to book: Wisconsin Blue Books  Wisconsin Blue Books
Link to collections: Documents relating to Socialist groups for children  Documents relating to Socialist groups for children

Related Links

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Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Learn about our book of Victor and Meta Berger's personal letters
Learn about our publication of Meta Berger's autobiography

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