The Nonpartisan League in Power: An Overview
In the election of 1916, the Nonpartisan League gained control of the executive branch of government and the House of Representatives. It tried to enact its program of state-owned industries, but the senate, which remained in anti-NPL control, blocked every attempt.
The election of 1918 changed that. The NPL won control of all three branches of government and in 1919 easily put its program into law. Control of state government with the overwhelming support of the people prompted the League to go beyond its original program. A December 1919 special legislative session enacted controversial laws that were intended to solidify the NPL's grip on the state. The NPL also established a chain of cooperative general stores and bought several newspapers and banks. Hoping to become a national political force, Townley moved headquarters from Bismarck to St. Paul. The North Star Dakotan elaborates on the NPL's brief days of power.
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.
Identify similarities and differences between past events and current events in North Dakota (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Explain how people create and change structures of power (e.g., force, elections, wars, reactions to economic conditions and natural disasters)
Explain how reform efforts led to major changes in society (e.g., abolitionists, women’s movement, temperance, education)
Describe how technological advances (e.g., cotton gin, steel plow, McCormick reaper, steamboat, steam locomotives) and industrialization impacted regions of the United States prior to the Civil War
Analyze the role government plays in an economy (e.g., provision of public goods and services, taxes, protection of property rights, resolution of market failures)
Explain the various purposes of social groups, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function (e.g., minority groups, cliques, counterculture, family relations and political groups)
Analyze conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions (e.g., gender roles, social stratification, racial/ethnic bias)