Economic Crisis and Local Liberalism

in The Problem of Jobs

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226560120
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226560144 | DOI:
Economic Crisis and Local Liberalism

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This chapter examines the connection between economic crisis and local liberalism in postwar Philadelphia. It suggests that the victory of Joseph Clark and Richardson Dilworth in the mayoral and district attorney elections in 1951 marked the culmination of decades of work by liberal activists and started a period of profound change in the city's governance. The reformers' victory rested on their successful construction of a coalition of business leaders, union members, African Americans, Democratic Party ward leaders, and intellectuals. Clark and Dilworth also exemplified a national trend toward reform in urban politics during the 1950s. The chapter also discusses the launch of an industrial renewal program.

Keywords: economic crisis; local liberalism; postwar Philadelphia; Joseph Clark; Richardson Dilworth; liberal activists; political reform; industrial renewal program

Chapter.  8372 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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