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History of Collective Social Action

Citizen Action for Social Change is as American as Apple Pie

You might say that Johnny Appleseed was the first advocate--sharing frontier fruit for settlers. The reality is that the US was settled by malcontents--religious dissidents, the criminalized poor, ethnic minorities, political asylum seekers all contributed to the social fabric of the US beginning in the 17th century.  Any wonder why "conservatives" were constantly in a battle against immigration?

But there's more. The Founding Fathers imagined local self-governing communities as the backbone of a sprawling continental power. 

Idealists imagined "America" as a place to found utopias and model forms of equality and opportunity.


 Notes & Links

Alinsky reinvents community

Civil Rights Movement unites idealism and practical empowerment

Populists shake up the countryside

Progressive Movement triggers urban reforms