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Ethnic Succession in Detroit Politics, 1900-1950

Martin Marger
Polity
Vol. 11, No. 3 (Spring, 1979), pp. 340-361
DOI: 10.2307/3234313
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3234313
Page Count: 22
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Ethnic Succession in Detroit Politics, 1900-1950
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Abstract

In tracing the changing ethnic patterns in the composition of the highest elective offices in Detroit from 1900 to 1950, the author distinguishes three eras in the ethnic makeup of the city's political elite directly related to shifts in the economic and industrial structure. The relative ethnic balance during the first two decades of the century was displaced by Anglo-Saxon domination after the automotive industrialists, Detroit's new economic elite, had succeeeded in instituting an electoral reform. The alliance of the Democratic party with the United Automobile Workers restored the predominance of the non-Anglo-Saxon ethnics in the 1930's. This case study should be of general interest to students of political ecology.

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