Life in the Chiaroscuro

Topics: Socialist Party USA, Theodore Roosevelt, Emil Seidel Pages: 4 (1483 words) Published: December 15, 2011
The novel depicts the political situation in Milwaukee in 1904 to be very corrupt and dishonest in every way. Police officers would not put people in jail because “there was no evidence” when there was clearly evidence that they would just ignore. The government was corrupt in the sense that the elected officials would do things to benefit themselves and their friends who help them. Everyone in the police force would look out for those people who the mayor told them to look out for. This is why those who were supposed to be in jail, are not. The high up officials who were part of the corruption had the means to destroy anyone who went against them. They had the power to do whatever they wanted and never suffer any type of consequence. I think that this is an accurate portrayal of corruption and politics in Milwaukee in this time period because there are very many similarities in the book and what actually happened. David Stuart Rose served five terms as mayor in Milwaukee. His corrupt mindset was held in office for 10 years. “He was elected in 1898 until 1906 and again in 1908-1910.” He suggested improving the port by building docks off of Jones Island. He said that the rivers were becoming inadequate to meet the demands of trade. He was rumored to have accepted $50,000 from an electric utility but he was never found guilty in court. He was known for his corrupt administrative. He allowed brothels and casinos to operate even though it was against Milwaukee rules. While he was mayor, police were asked to turn “blind eye” upon the request of City Hall. After people started to realize what was going on, he was eventually elected out of office and a Socialist was elected in. Emil Seidel was the first Socialist mayor of Milwaukee in 1910. The book also depicts politics in 1904 in Milwaukee accurately because in the book, it says that Theodore Roosevelt makes a speech and is shot in the middle of it. Without leaving to seek medical help, he stood there and finished his...
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