Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era by John D. Buenker

By John D. Buenker


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William Boyd Allison. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1956. Altgeld, John Peter (1847–1902) Highly controversial governor of Illinois from 1892 to 1897, John Peter Altgeld was best known for pardoning three Haymarket anarchists and opposing President Grover Cleveland's decision to use federal troops to end the Pullman Strike in 1894. Born in Germany, he was only three months old when he and his parents emigrated to Newville, Ohio, where they lived the arduous life of small farmers.

In 1889, at its annual meeting in St. Louis the Alliance drafted its controversial “subtreasury scheme,” in which farmers would receive certificates of deposit for storing their products in government-operated warehouses and elevators. Its proponents insisted that the plan would give farmers a guaranteed market and greater purchasing power, while providing the rest of the nation with a more equitable system of food distribution. By 1890, Alliance members plunged into politics, stirring up action for a third party in the West and virtually seizing control of the Democratic Party in the South.

Whites were outraged, arguing that California land had to remain in “white” hands. Governor Johnson caved in to whites' demands and signed the Alien Land Law of 1913. As its coauthor, State Attorney General Ulysses S. ” It also prohibited Japanese aliens from leasing land for more than three years. Between 1913 and 1920, Japanese took advantage of loopholes in the law. Many of them evaded the law by purchasing land in the names of their nativeborn (citizen) sons and daughters. Others opted to use the names of native-born relatives and friends to acquire land.

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