The purpose of this section is to give the student access to all primary and secondary resources for Unit 2.7: Politics and the Copper Kings - 1889 to 1904.
"The fight over where to situate Montana's permanent capitol was one of the ugliest and most corrupt in Montana's history. By 1894 the principal contenders had been reduced to two: Helena and Anaconda. Deep in the matrix of the contest was economic as well as political rivalry. William Andrews Clark was a financial power in Montana-a mining millionaire - and so was Marcus Daly, head of the Anaconda Copper Company. Their economic rivalry and affluence spilled beyond the confines of their corporate interests and permeated all Montana politics. Naturally, Daly's sympathies and finances favored Anaconda as capital. Likewise, Clark rose to the challenge. No businessman or politician was exempt from the ramifications of the feud; no expense or county spared in the struggle. Missoula entrepreneur and lumber magnate A. B. Hammond discussed the campaign's status in western Montana, illustrating how local issues, like county seat fights, became means to statewide political ends" (Montana Historical Society).
"Formation of the Butte Workingmen's Union, in 1878, was labor's first major step toward organizing in Montana. Although it changed its name numerous times, for thirty-six years this miners' league and Butte itself, were known as the "Gibraltar of Unionism." Laborers formed their coalition on June 13, 1878, a week before William Read composed this account. They had allied to protest a threatened reduction in wages at the Alice and Lexington mines. As an Alice Mine official, Read reported daily to his superiors on the activities of the miners" (Montana Historical Society).