Founding the United Labor Party
The United Labor Party was founded in New York City in 1886. Its founder was Henry George, the chief proponent of the idea that re-organizing the government would bring about the end of poverty. He believed that land ownership was the key to the building of wealth at the expense of others, so he favored eliminating land ownership and a single tax that would bring equity to society. He became a popular lecturer in the 1880s. In 1886, he ran for mayor of New York City on the United Labor Party and came in second (future US President Theodore Roosevelt placed third on the Republican ticket).
In 1887, Henry George believed that the party was on the rise and would carry the national election of 1888 [New York Times, 9/20/1887]. The party ran candidates in the 1887 races; George was the candidate for NY Secretary of State, and many nominees appeared on the NYC ballot. The party created a daily newspaper The Standard to support its principles [NYT 9/2/1887]. George did not perform well; while the party did not fare well in the NYC races, it fused with the minority Republicans in some races and was competitive [NYT 11/10/1887]. Although some party activists believed that George would be elected President in 1888, he downplayed such rumors [NYT 12/12/1887].
The United Labor Party fragmented in 1888. First, the local Catholic archbishop threatened excommunication of any members in the ULP. Second, a segment of the party left because of a differe[More...]