The Spring 2008 issue of Chicago History Magazine, published by the Chicago History Museum, has been released. The two in-depth articles are "Regulating Urban Living" by Margaret Garb and "Solidarity Forever" by Bucky Halker.
Garb's article is actually an excerpt from chapter three of her acclaimed book, City of American Dreams: A History of Home Ownership and Housing Reform in Chicago 1871-1919 (Ironically, I purchased a copy just last week). The book begins and end, as Garb states in the introduction, with street riots. "The first, in January 1872, was a protest by immigrant wage laborers seeking to maintain their ability to purchase houses...The book concludes with the race riot of 1919, which in important ways was a tragic result of the reorganization of residential property relations that began in the final decades of the nineteenth century." Halker's article, which focuses on the thousands of Chicago labor songs written between 1865 and 1900, is thematically tied. "The city stood at the center of the postbellum, Gilded Age revolution in American industry and society. Workers flooded Chicago in response to industry's demand. Immigrants from across Europe filed into the city's burgeoning workshops where they generally received good wages but faced long hours, harsh working conditions, harassment in myriad forms, and regular bouts of unemployment. Almost as soon as the Civil War ended, workers began to seek methods of collective redress for a growing list of grievances." The right to home ownership was just one of those grievances.
Chicago History Magazine is one of the many perks included with the Museum's membership (a real bargain, I might add), but issues can also be purchased on the website's Museum Store. Back issues are also available, but for harder to find copies, try an eBay search.
Holt Labor Library May Day website (includes a lot of information on Haymarket and labor songs)Hat tip to Mark Stoneman at Clio and Me.
Health, Morality, and Housing: The “Tenement Problem” in Chicago by Margaret Garb (similar article as in Chicago History Magazine)
Education and Working Class Culture: German Workers' Clubs in nineteenth Century Chicago by Fred M. Schied