Painting the town red : the "Communist" administration at Blairmore, Alberta, 1933-1936

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Franz, Kyle Randolph
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2007
On 14 February 1933, the citizens of Blairmore, Alberta, elected a Communist town council; this so-called Red administration remained in power until 1936. Best known for their seemingly outrageous actions, the council exists within current historiography as either the result of protracted depression or an example of the success experienced by the Communist Party of Canada during this period. This thesis will challenge both arguments, demonstrating that a series of social, economic, and political experiences resulted in the election of known Communists being socially permissible by 1933. It will be demonstrated that the agenda of council was not strictly “Communist,” rather it represented a balance between radical and populist programs, thus enabling council to challenge capitalist society while providing a practical response to the local effects of the Depression. The deterioration of this balance by 1936, coupled with a series of scandals, was resultant in the council’s electoral downfall.
vii, 161 leaves ; 29 cm.
Blairmore (Alta.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century , Communism -- Alberta -- Blairmore -- History -- 20th century , Dissertations, Academic