At the turn of the 20th century, North Dakota’s population was mostly rural farmers, yet a small number of powerful corporate interests dominated the state’s politics and finances. The farmers took back political power with the founding of the Nonpartisan League. The Nonpartisan League started with a clear, precise platform that was simple to understand. The NPL asked supporters to sign a pledge to support the platform, and it expected them to support candidates endorsed by the NPL, regardless of political party, in order to create and maintain a tight association which could work toward a single goal.
|By: Jon Walker Monday July 5, 2010 12:00 pm|
|By: Jon Walker Saturday July 3, 2010 12:48 pm|
The NPL was one of the most powerful political organizations in American history and the speed of its rise to power was unprecedented. The organization was formed in 1915 by two men sitting around a kitchen table. By 1918, it had taken complete control of the government of North Dakota and enacted much of its platform. Its success and failures hold a wealth of lessons for anyone interested in political organizations.