A Community in Search of Itself: A Case History of Cairo, Illinois

By Herman R. Lantz | Go to book overview

9
Power, dependency, alienation, and resignation

Insofar as community failure is a process, it becomes necessary to examine the variables with which failure is associated and the relationship which one variable may have to another.

Power in the community, previously touched on in voluntary associations, was primarily manifest in the activities of individuals, at times alone, more often in union with others, but without the benefit of formal associations.

In making assertions about the nature of power in the community, several things are apparent. If one takes the historic view, the following observations would appear to be in order. Prior to the Cairo City Property, power was briefly vested in a corporate structure with a dominant head. Following the advent of the Cairo City Property, power was vested in the corporation and its representative. Following the Civil War, a power group, sometimes referred to as a consensual elite, does clearly emerge. The documentation for this is clearly evident in the major issues, such as railroads, noted in earlier sections of this book.

As Cairo moved into the third quarter of the last century, the earlier pattern was not so evident. One finds different power groups separating out on different issues. This is clearly the case on bonded indebtedness in 1878, efforts to force filling of low property in 1880, efforts to divide the city for filling in 1883, efforts to test the Linegar Bill in 1891, the attempt to provide a new city hall in 1901, the effort by the Illinois Central Railroad to purchase property for a switch track in 1905, the situation with the Cairo and Thebes Railroad around 1920, the bond issue for levee construction in 1949, the sales tax in 1955, and the community development

-146-

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A Community in Search of Itself: A Case History of Cairo, Illinois
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables viii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Purpose and Overview 1
  • 2 - The Early Years 7
  • 3 - River Transshipment and Railroads 20
  • 5 - The Economy of Liquor and Vice 68
  • 6 - Political Development 88
  • 7 - Failure in Process 111
  • 8 - Flooding and Seep Water 132
  • 9 - Power, Dependency, Alienation, And Resignation 146
  • 10 - The Present and the Future 170
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 219
  • Index 231
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