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Colorado and the Four Wests: An Introduction to the Political Economy Section

Added by yongli on 04/24/2017 - 14:28, last changed on 04/16/2020 - 10:10

Coal Miners on Strike

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Why has Colorado’s economy experienced booms and busts? Which Coloradans have profited the most from the state’s natural and human resources? In what ways have Colorado’s cities, towns, and regions competed against one another to secure investment, migration, and authority—and how have they...

1908 Democratic National Convention

Added by yongli on 08/30/2016 - 10:23, last changed on 02/14/2020 - 15:22
In 1908 the Democratic Party held its national convention in Denver to nominate candidates for president and vice president. The 1908 convention was the political culmination of a half-century of development in the city and the last time Denver would host the convention until 2008. It also marked...

August Meyer

Added by yongli on 03/13/2020 - 14:42, last changed on 03/13/2020 - 14:42
August Robert Meyer (1851–1905) was a mining engineer who played a central role in starting Leadville ’s silver boom in the late 1870s. Meyer recognized the value of the area’s lead carbonate ores, built a smelter , developed local infrastructure, and helped organize the new city. After leaving...

Bob Beauprez

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 14:56, last changed on 06/09/2020 - 14:56
Bob Beauprez (1948–) is a rancher and former banker and politician from Boulder County . He represented Colorado’s Seventh Congressional District from 2003 to 2007 and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 and 2014. A devout Catholic and member of the Republican Party , Beauprez has long...

Climax Molybdenum Mine

Added by yongli on 04/09/2020 - 11:26, last changed on 02/13/2021 - 08:04
Located in Lake County beside Fremont Pass, the Climax Molybdenum Mine started production in 1918 and grew to become the world’s largest underground mine. Deemed a national priority during World War II because of molybdenum’s importance in hardening steel, Climax continued to grow for a generation...

Coal Mining in Colorado

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 13:06, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 13:06
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, coal mining was the most important industry in Colorado. Coal mines served as the crucibles of empire, churning out the fuel needed to power the railroads, precious-metal mines, and smelters that helped develop the region. They were also...

Colorado Congressional Districts

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 14:59, last changed on 06/22/2020 - 10:50
Colorado is divided into seven Congressional districts according to population, with each district represented by an elected member of the United States House of Representatives. Colorado representatives serve two-year terms, as required by the US Constitution. There are no term limits for members...

Colorado Constitution

Added by yongli on 03/13/2020 - 16:01, last changed on 03/13/2020 - 16:01
The Colorado Constitution establishes the basic framework of the state’s government. Written and ratified in 1876, it has served as the state’s original and only constitution. As in other states, ultimate power rests with the people and is exercised by their representatives in the executive ,...

Colorado Fuel & Iron

Added by yongli on 09/29/2016 - 16:45, last changed on 01/31/2021 - 16:42
The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) was a coal and steel company based in Denver and Pueblo . Most of its coal mines were located in southern Colorado. Its only steel mill was located in Pueblo. The firm came into existence as a result of a merger between the Colorado Coal and Iron...

Colorado Fuel and Iron Strike of 1959

Added by yongli on 10/16/2020 - 11:15, last changed on 01/31/2021 - 16:42
In 1959 union members at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) in Pueblo participated in a nationwide strike for better job security. The strike led to a nationwide shortage of American-made steel, while the suspension of mining operations and steel production at CF&I caused Pueblo to...

Colorado Fuel and Iron Strike of 1997

Added by yongli on 05/28/2020 - 14:13, last changed on 05/28/2020 - 14:13
The Colorado Fuel and Iron strike of 1997 was a labor dispute between Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) and the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) . Oregon Steel Mills had purchased Colorado Fuel and Iron in 1993 and maintained the Pueblo mill’s unionized workforce. When the union...

Colorado Gold Rush

Added by yongli on 05/06/2016 - 14:50, last changed on 12/18/2020 - 01:07
The discovery of gold near present-day Denver in 1858–59 drew thousands of people to present-day Colorado, prompting the political organization of first a US territory and later a state. Many current cities and towns, including Denver , Boulder , Black Hawk , Breckenridge , and Central City , were...

Colorado in World War I

Added by yongli on 09/13/2017 - 14:17, last changed on 04/08/2020 - 10:34
As Europe stumbled into war in late July and early August 1914, Coloradans viewed the conflict with mixed emotions. Some favored the English, French, Italians, Russians, and their allies. Others preferred the Germans and Austrians and their friends. The divisions were predictable. The 1910 federal...

Colorado’s Second Fur Trade

Added by yongli on 10/06/2016 - 16:33, last changed on 12/02/2019 - 01:07
Colorado’s “Second Fur Trade ” was typified by the burgeoning popularity of mink fur coats, a luxury item that enjoyed great popularity during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. As one of Colorado’s leading productive industries for several decades, mink farming is an example of the state’s transition...

Columbine Mine Massacre

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 13:13, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 13:18
On November 21, 1927, members of a Colorado militia fired into a crowd of hundreds of striking miners in the Weld County town of Serene , killing six and wounding twenty. The Columbine Massacre showed that little had changed in Colorado in terms of relations between workers and companies, as well...

David H. Moffat

Added by yongli on 01/30/2017 - 11:14, last changed on 01/23/2020 - 01:07
David Halliday Moffat (1839–1911) left a lasting impression on Colorado from his involvement in many industries, including banking, mining, and railroads. Through his civic involvement in Denver , Moffat helped the city develop financially and industrially. His most significant contribution to...

Denver International Airport

Added by yongli on 09/14/2020 - 16:36, last changed on 09/17/2020 - 11:11
Located on a 52.4-square-mile site 25 miles northeast of the city, Denver International Airport (DIA) is the largest airport in North America by land area and the second-largest in the world. This vast airport with a spectacular tented terminal makes Denver one of the nation’s top air hubs. Since...

Denver Ordnance Plant

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 11:21, last changed on 10/07/2019 - 12:12
The Denver Ordnance Plant in Lakewood produced ammunition during World War II . The plant was the largest federal project in Colorado history before its conversion into the Federal Center , which today houses dozens of government agencies. Beginnings The federal government announced plans for a...

Denver Tramway Company

Added by yongli on 07/09/2020 - 10:50, last changed on 07/09/2020 - 10:58
The Denver Tramway Company (DTC) was the dominant private transit company in Denver ’s history, serving tens of millions of commuters per year at its peak and making it possible for the city to expand beyond its urban core. Established in 1885 by John Evans , William Byers , and other prominent...

Denver Tramway Strike of 1920

Added by yongli on 08/11/2016 - 13:15, last changed on 02/14/2020 - 15:25
The Denver Tramway Strike of 1920 typified the active militancy of many labor unions during the early 1900s. The strike brought the conversation surrounding labor relations to the forefront of Denver politics and would influence the larger labor landscape for decades to come. Today the strike is...

Diana DeGette

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 15:03, last changed on 11/06/2020 - 09:48
Diana DeGette (1957– ) is a lawyer and politician who has represented Colorado’s First Congressional District —the city of Denver —in the US House of Representatives since 1997. A member of the Democratic Party , DeGette is known for her ardent support of reproductive and civil rights,...

Equitable Building

Added by yongli on 10/19/2020 - 17:21, last changed on 10/21/2020 - 11:41
The Equitable Building (730 Seventeenth Street) is located in the heart of downtown Denver ’s financial district. Built in 1892 as the town’s premier office structure, it arguably still is. It also signaled that eastern capitalists had begun focusing on Denver as the most promising location for...

Great Western Sugar Company

Added by yongli on 01/20/2021 - 17:50, last changed on 01/21/2021 - 10:43
The Great Western Sugar Company was co-founded by Charles Boettcher in 1900 after he observed the hardy, profitable sugar beet crop while vacationing in Europe. In Colorado, the sugar beet industry he helped launch proved a boon to the state and local communities for nearly eighty years. After...

Hastings Mine Explosion

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 13:21, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 13:22
The Hastings Mine Explosion was the deadliest mining disaster in Colorado history. Caused by the misguided striking of a match in the Hastings coal mine north of Trinidad on April 27, 1917, the blast killed 121 coal miners; one other worker died of overexertion while trying to recover the bodies...

Henderson Molybdenum Mine

Added by yongli on 04/10/2020 - 10:25, last changed on 04/13/2020 - 12:13
Located about nine miles west of Empire , the Henderson Molybdenum Mine was developed by American Metal Climax (AMAX) and opened in 1976 to work one of the world’s largest known molybdenum deposits. A conveyor belt for transporting ore connects the mine to a separate mill on the western side of the...

Henry Teller

Added by yongli on 08/12/2016 - 14:09, last changed on 07/24/2020 - 01:07
Henry Moore Teller (1830–1914) was a successful Colorado businessman, lawyer, and politician. His business and legal interests, which included mining and helping to organize the Colorado Central Railroad , were surpassed only by his political achievements. Teller served five full terms as US...

J. Quigg Newton

Added by yongli on 01/30/2017 - 16:28, last changed on 12/29/2017 - 08:02
James Quigg Newton, Jr. (1911–2003) was a distinguished lawyer, politician, and philanthropist who served as mayor of Denver (1947–55), president of the University of Colorado (CU; 1956–63), and the head of several national charitable foundations. As mayor, Newton modernized Denver’s city...

Jared Polis

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 15:27, last changed on 06/10/2020 - 16:18
Jared Schutz Polis (1975– ) is the forty-third governor of Colorado , elected in 2018. A member of the Democratic Party , Polis formerly represented Colorado’s Second Congressional District and served on the State Board of Education . Polis is a progressive and the state’s first openly gay governor...

Joe Neguse

Added by yongli on 07/06/2020 - 14:54, last changed on 11/06/2020 - 09:45
Joseph “Joe” D. Neguse (1984–) is a politician who represents Colorado’s Second Congressional District , which includes Boulder , Fort Collins , and most of the northern Front Range . A member of the Democratic Party , Neguse is the first African American elected to Congress from Colorado. He...

John Hickenlooper

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 17:15, last changed on 11/04/2020 - 08:49
John Wright Hickenlooper II (1952– ) is a Colorado businessman and politician who served as mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011 and forty-third governor of the state from 2011 to 2019. In 2020 Hickenlooper was elected to the US Senate. In 1988 he founded Wynkoop Brewing Company , Denver’s first...

John R. Smith

Added by yongli on 07/06/2020 - 16:17, last changed on 07/07/2020 - 14:56
John R. Smith (1860–1927) was Colorado’s chief state prohibition officer during the years 1923–25. He successfully rooted out black-market alcohol crime but received harsh public criticism for his often-unconstitutional methods. He brought his friends on “booze” raids and did not shy away from...

Jokerville Mine Explosion

Added by yongli on 01/21/2021 - 13:35, last changed on 01/22/2021 - 10:05
On January 24, 1884, the Jokerville Mine outside of Crested Butte was full of methane gas and exploded, killing fifty-nine workers. As the third-deadliest mine disaster in Colorado history, the Jokerville explosion demonstrated the dangers of coal mining, even as coal was an essential industry for...

Josephine Roche

Added by yongli on 03/31/2017 - 14:56, last changed on 04/16/2020 - 10:09
Josephine Aspinwall Roche (1886–1976) was a Colorado industrialist, labor advocate, and politician known for her role in reforming the Colorado coal industry in the 1930s. The daughter of a wealthy coal baron, Roche improved miners’ working conditions and pay when she took over the Rocky Mountain...

Ken Buck

Added by yongli on 07/08/2020 - 15:44, last changed on 11/06/2020 - 09:43
Ken Buck (1959–) is an attorney and politician from Weld County . He represents Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, an office he has held since 2015, winning reelection in 2016 and 2018. Since March 2019, Buck has served as head of Colorado’s Republican...

Leadville Strike of 1896–97

Added by yongli on 04/10/2020 - 11:41, last changed on 01/29/2021 - 17:27
The Leadville strike of 1896–97 was a nine-month labor conflict pitting the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) against the owners of the district’s mines. The strike began in June 1896, when miners requested higher wages and were rejected, and reached a violent climax in September, when strikers...

Ludlow Massacre

Added by yongli on 09/29/2016 - 16:39, last changed on 01/31/2021 - 16:41
The Ludlow Massacre began on the morning of April 20, 1914, when a battle broke out between the Colorado National Guard and striking coal miners at their tent colony outside of Ludlow in Las Animas County . Nobody knows who fired the first shot, but the incident is remembered as a massacre because...

Mark Udall

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 17:18, last changed on 06/10/2020 - 15:27
Mark Emery Udall (1950–) is a former US representative (1999–2008) and senator (2009–14) from Colorado. A member of the Democratic Party , Udall comes from a prominent political family in the American West. His father was former senator Morris Udall; his uncle was three-term congressman Stewart Lee...

Mexican Land Grants in Colorado

Added by yongli on 07/06/2020 - 16:34, last changed on 07/06/2020 - 16:34
From the sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth, the king of Spain and the Mexican government awarded land grants to individuals and communities throughout the American Southwest. All seven of Colorado ’s land grants, comprising more than 8 million acres, were awarded by the Mexican government...

Michael Hancock

Added by yongli on 07/08/2020 - 15:56, last changed on 08/17/2020 - 12:53
Michael Hancock (1969– ) is the forty-fifth mayor of Denver , elected in 2011. Currently in his third term, Hancock succeeded fellow Democrat John Hickenlooper and interim mayor Guillermo Vidal. Widely seen as a pro-growth mayor, Hancock is credited with boosting the city’s economy by investing in...

Mike Coffman

Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 17:51, last changed on 07/07/2020 - 11:12
Mike Coffman (1955–) is a Colorado politician who is currently the mayor of Aurora , his childhood hometown. From 2009 to 2019, Coffman served in Congress, representing Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District , which includes Aurora. He also previously served as the state’s treasurer and secretary...

Nathaniel P. Hill

Added by yongli on 01/15/2020 - 16:02, last changed on 03/04/2021 - 01:07
Nathaniel Peter Hill (1832–1900) was a mining entrepreneur and US senator from Colorado. In the 1860s, Hill, an accomplished chemist and metallurgist, bought mining interests in Black Hawk and developed the first successful smelter in Colorado, revolutionizing the mining industry in the fledgling...

New Deal in Colorado

Added by yongli on 08/03/2016 - 13:44, last changed on 05/11/2020 - 12:00
As the United States entered the third year of a great economic depression triggered by the 1929 stock market crash, many Americans put their hope in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his pledge to give them a “new deal.” During his first term (1933–37), he pushed Congress to pass legislation...

Otto Mears

Added by yongli on 01/16/2020 - 16:13, last changed on 07/02/2020 - 01:07
Otto Mears (1840–1931) was a Colorado businessman who played a key role in the removal of the state’s Ute Indians and is best known for building more than 450 miles of toll roads and railroads on the Utes’ former lands in the southern and southwestern parts of the state. Called the “Pathfinder of...

Panic of 1893

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 14:16, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 14:16
The Panic of 1893 touched off a nationwide economic depression that lasted for at least three years, threw millions out of work, and caused banks and businesses to fail across the country. In Colorado and other silver-mining states, the panic was tied to the abrupt collapse of the silver industry...

Pat Stryker

Added by yongli on 07/06/2020 - 15:29, last changed on 07/06/2020 - 15:29
Patricia “Pat” Stryker (1956–) is a Colorado-based businesswoman and philanthropist. With an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion, Stryker has donated more than $195 million to charity in her lifetime, mostly through the Bohemian Foundation , her Fort Collins –based nonprofit. In addition to charity...

Philip Anschutz

Added by yongli on 01/21/2021 - 16:28, last changed on 01/21/2021 - 16:28
Philip Anschutz (1939–) is a Denver -based businessman and Colorado’s richest person, with a wealth estimated at more than $10 billion. He has garnered comparisons to Gilded Age financier J. P. Morgan for his success across a wide range of businesses—oil and gas, railroads , telecommunications,...

Populism in Colorado

Added by yongli on 01/31/2017 - 12:51, last changed on 05/04/2020 - 09:33
Populism was a third-party political movement of the 1890s that left an enduring imprint on Colorado history. The Populist or People’s Party was especially strong in the south, Midwest, and west because it focused on the grievances of farmers, workers, and members of what Populists called “the...

Progressive Era in Colorado

Added by yongli on 01/14/2020 - 15:30, last changed on 12/02/2020 - 01:07
The Progressive Era (1900–20) was a national period of social and political reform in which grassroots activists and their political allies sought the power of government and science to address pressing public problems. In Colorado, Progressives brought significant political and social changes to...

Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility

Added by Greg Vogl on 02/04/2015 - 09:22, last changed on 07/27/2020 - 01:07
Rocky Flats is a gravelly, narrow floodplain cut by gullies as it slopes from the Rocky Mountain foothills into the plains just northwest of Denver . Unlike many places, its name is known more for what was manufactured there than for its geology. Today it is a national wildlife refuge, but for...

Shenandoah-Dives Mining Company

Added by yongli on 09/21/2016 - 15:34, last changed on 11/13/2019 - 11:43
The Shenandoah-Dives Mining Company was active in the San Juan Mountains from the 1930s through the 1960s. As one of the largest mining operations in the region during the twentieth century, the company’s history exemplifies the boom and bust cycles and labor strife that were common in Colorado’s...

Ski Industry

Added by yongli on 09/13/2017 - 14:40, last changed on 04/17/2020 - 08:28
Colorado’s ski industry anchors the state’s thriving tourist economy. Built primarily on national forest lands, the state’s numerous ski resorts attract upwards of 12 million visitors annually, generating billions in revenue. Introduced to the state in the late nineteenth century, downhill skiing’s...

Stan Kroenke

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 13:48, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 13:48
Stan Kroenke (1947–) is a Missouri-based billionaire whose extensive portfolio of real estate and sports franchises includes Denver ’s Nuggets (basketball), Avalanche (hockey), Rapids (soccer), and Mammoth (lacrosse), as well as Ball Arena , Dick ’ s Sporting Goods Park , and the Altitude Sports...

Sugar Beet Industry

Added by yongli on 11/02/2015 - 16:15, last changed on 03/03/2021 - 01:07
Today sugar beet production is a small part of Colorado’s economy, but in the twentieth century it was the most important agricultural activity in the state. Of more than twenty sugar-refining factories, most built between 1899 and 1920, only the Fort Morgan factory remains in operation. In recent...

Susan B. Anthony

Added by yongli on 01/15/2020 - 11:35, last changed on 04/08/2020 - 11:19
Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) was a well-known civil rights activist and prominent leader of the women’s suffrage movement . She made her first visit to Colorado in 1877 to advocate for women’s suffrage before an upcoming referendum. Although she spent little time in Colorado, Susan B. Anthony...

The Denver Police Department since 1933

Added by yongli on 01/25/2021 - 14:39, last changed on 02/02/2021 - 10:37
The Denver Police Department is the primary law enforcement apparatus for the city of Denver . Officially formed in 1859 as a small group of marshals, today’s Denver Police Department consists of more than 1,500 officers in sixteen units active in a metropolitan community of more than 620,000...

The Great Die Up

Added by yongli on 02/16/2021 - 13:40, last changed on 02/16/2021 - 13:40
“The Great Die Up” is one of three nicknames for the winter of 1886–87, when hundreds of thousands of cattle across the Great Plains died in harsh weather. The event changed the cattle industry forever, ending the practice of open-range grazing. Ranchers also called this weather event “The Big Die-...

The Rocky Mountain Fleet

Added by yongli on 01/23/2017 - 11:09, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 07:32
During World War II, Denver ’s war production industry expanded to include the production of ship parts bound for assembly on the West Coast. Known colloquially as “the Rocky Mountain Fleet,” dozens of ships would eventually see production at the Colorado works. Today, the Rocky Mountain Fleet...

United Mine Workers of America

Added by yongli on 01/21/2021 - 14:09, last changed on 01/22/2021 - 10:10
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) formed in 1890 to fight for better pay and working conditions for the nation’s coal miners. In Colorado the union was most active in the early twentieth century, with thousands of members joining strikes in the southern coalfields of Fremont , Huerfano ,...

Verner Zevola Reed

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 12:46, last changed on 03/01/2020 - 01:07
Verner Zevola Reed (1863–1919) was one of Colorado’s most successful businessmen, playing a central role in the development of mining operations during the Cripple Creek Gold Rush and for the US oil industry. Early Life and Business Ventures Born in 1863 on an Ohio farm,...

Vulcan Mine Explosions

Added by yongli on 02/08/2021 - 15:47, last changed on 02/13/2021 - 10:57
Between 1896 and 1918, the Vulcan Mine in Garfield County exploded three times, killing a total of eighty-five workers. The successive blasts prompted action from labor unions and politicians to make coal mines safer. At the site of the Vulcan Mine today, there remains an active underground coal...

Western Federation of Miners

Added by yongli on 01/21/2021 - 15:17, last changed on 01/22/2021 - 10:06
Founded in 1893, the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) was one of the largest and most active labor unions in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American West. The union was involved in some of the most important labor disputes in Colorado and American history, including the 1894...

William Dudley Haywood

Added by yongli on 01/21/2021 - 15:32, last changed on 01/22/2021 - 10:07
William Dudley “Big Bill” Haywood (1869–1928), a labor activist in the late 1800s and early 1900s, was the most prominent leader of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), the largest union ever operating in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain states. Hardened by tragic and bleak experiences early in...
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