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Manufacturing workers in Madison, 1895

Workers stand around piles of lumber in 1895 the Starck Manufacturing Company along East Washington Avenue in Madison. The company eventually became J.H. Findorff and Sons.

This State Journal editorial ran on Sept. 22, 1894:

The recent elections gave a further insight into the change that has come over American politics. The fact has been made manifest to every observer that the people are not disposed to range themselves permanently within party lines or to stick to any particular creed simply because it is the platform of a party with which they have acted. They are becoming rather independent and may be properly termed nonpartisan. At least this is the character of a large and increasing element.

In 1892, it was the popular determination to vote free trade up. The country has been prosperous under protection, but in many campaigns the revenue reformers or free-traders had contended that prosperity was not due to the protective system, but that all the interests of the United States would continue to flourish if free trade were adopted.

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Two-thirds if not three-fourths of the voters have never had any experience of the tariff-for-revenue-only policy — which has not obtained since the war — and most of them concluded, rashly enough, to make the experiment. A tidal wave swept the Democratic Party into power.

Having seen and felt the effect of the threatened overthrow of protection, in 1893 the people of those states holding general elections have reversed their decision of last year with tremendous emphasis. They have rushed back to protection.

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