The Social Democratic Herald. Vol. 12 No. 50. April 9, 1910.

Emil Seidel’s and hthe Socialist Party’s 1910 victory in Milwaukee was the first major electoral success of the Socialist Party, and the largest city to ever be governed by it. It Began of a near 50-year dominance of Milwaukee mayoral politics. Starting with Seidel, who aligned with the Debsian left of the Party and achieved one term, though a second in 1912 was stolen from him, to the later Socialist administrations of Hoan and Zeidler, which along with the politics of Congressman Berger, personified the ‘sewer socialism’ positively coined by Morris Hillquit in 1932 and derided by radicals and revolutionaries since.

The Social Democratic Herald. Vol. 12 No. 50. April 9, 1910.

The Social Democratic Herald began as the Social Democrat. The Social Democrat was the paper of Eugene Debs’ pioneering industrial union, the American Railway Union. Begun in 1894 as the Railway Times, in July of 1897 it was renamed The Social Democrat and served as the paper of the Chicago based Social Democratic Party. First published in Terre Haute and then Chicago, the paper was produced weekly. After a split with Utopians who retained the paper, Debs’ published The Social Democratic Herald. When they joined with the Springfield, Massachusetts based Social Democratic Party in 1901, the Socialist Party was born. Victor Berger took over the paper in 1901 and moved it Milwaukee where it ran until 1913. It was supplanted by the Milwaukee Leader, also edited by Berger. The Herald, and later the Leader, is most important historically for the weekly coverage of Milwaukee’s city Socialist government, by far the most successful electoral socialist experience in US history. Emil Seidel was elected as mayor in1910, the first (only?) city in the US of any size to do so and became Eugene Debs’ running mate in 1912. Victor Berger, historic leader of the SP’s right wing, became the first socialist to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, also in 1910. Daniel Hoan was elected the second socialist mayor in 1916, and reelected each term until 1940. Frank P. Zeidler, was elected the city’s third socialist mayor in 1948, serving three terms before retiring in 1960.

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