History 237 Blog Post #3


The year was 1890, the state of Michigan was just starting to get away from the stagnant republican control and beginning to move towards a democrat state. This move however did not stop mayor elect Hanzen S. Pingree from Detroit from taking office.

He was a progressive thinker who was young and full of ideas that would ultimately help the “common man” and this is why, even though he was a Republican candidate, he was elected as mayor. As mayor he changed many policies that help “progressive” lawmakers of the future progress in social reform. In his time in office he pushed utility companies, and railways to lower their rates. He also urged arbitration when strikes occurred instead of simply sending in the militia to break up the strike. He even went as far as to sell his prized horse at public auction to help raise money for a financial relief fund and also opened up public vacant lots for gardens to grow food for citizens impoverished during the 1893 recession.

Pingree was even elected governor and wanted to stay mayor of Detroit at the same time but was not allowed to do so. During his stent as governor he kept trying to improve labor relations and fought to bring an end to corrupt business practices. Unfortunately most of his reforms were not accepted and in frustration he resigned in 1901.

In my life I have not seen a politician who has truly cared about his people like the way Pingree did. Governor Snyder for example has done almost anything he can to avoid helping the people of Flint during this water crisis.

I believe that it should be the people in office’s job to make laws and policies that benefit the majority of the people. When things aren’t running optimally they need to get the opinions of the masses and make changes and in this day in age we are not seeing this. We are unfortunately subjected to politicians personal agendas and most of the time the “common man” is of no importance. We as a society need more lawmakers and politicians like Pingree if we are wanting to advance as a society and to help the greater good.

13 thoughts on “History 237 Blog Post #3

  1. We should be able to count on our elected officials to do what they say they will do in their campaign promises. Unfortunately, all too often what they say they will do, and what they actually follow through on, are two different things. When the people we vote for don’t stand up for us and enact upon the social changes that are most important to us, voters can’t just sit back and wait for them to do the right thing. We need to change who we vote for and keep changing until we find someone who will at least try to make things better for everyone and not just the 1%.

  2. Pingree was truly passionate in time in office in serving the people and doing the right thing to move us as a society into the right direction. Maybe that is the problem with government officials today, that they’re not as engaged as Pingree was. Maybe its all about the fame and the money for them and that is why they don’t follow through on what they say they will do in their campaigns. This is really unfair to the people who use their votes towards them in hopes to see a difference that they can make.

  3. I loved the way you started off this blog. It made it feel more like a story rather than just a fact written paper. Your paper provided me with lots of knowledge about Pingree, which I really enjoyed. I agree that if things start to go sour, they should turn to the citizens and ask what they can do to be better. I know that it’s a lot of people and a lot of information, but we don’t have someone like Pingree in office right now. We need to figure out how to make our cities better, and Pingree did good with that.

  4. You could really tell that Pingree was loved by the people. Through all the years he was Mayor and eventually Governor. He even wanted to serve as both at one point to better help the people he was serving. Pingree had this sort of drive that excelled him to be a great politician. I agree with your last paragraph, it would be helpful to politicians who care to consult the people and see what they should do.

  5. Rarely do officials do what they promise citizens in their campaigns. People tend to forget about everything that was said and promised to them for their vote and officials get away with it. Pingree did many things to move society in the direction he said he would and he upheld and went beyond his promises. He is a huge role model to what officials should be like today. He was respected and he listened to his people. This is how officials should act as they are the voices for their people and can actually create change.

  6. It honestly shocks me how different Pingree was compared to today’s politicians. How he went above and beyond to help people, and to use his platform for change, is practically unheard of nowadays. The fact that he even sold his own horse to raise money for a financial relief fund is astounding. The lengths he went to to affect change and make life better for his people is astonishing, not only because it was an amazing effort, but because it’s something none of us are familiar with since our politicians today are nothing like Pingree and wouldn’t even do half of what he did.

  7. I agree in the statment of Snyder that doing anything about the Flint water crisis. It is shocking to see how much the world of politics and goverment has changed and been corrupted so much that most of them won’t choose to do something for the people even if its an option. Politicians in history hav been so much more willing to do whats best for the people even if it wasn’t always agreed with by others in their career.

  8. A politician for the “common man.” This is exactly what Detroit needed and remains true today for so many areas across our country. Not only did he try to make a difference for the people, but went as far as to selling his own possessions to do so. I like that you compared him to Governor Snyder, especially in light of the upcoming elections. Hopefully we will see a change in this and we can get back to someone who is for the “common man.”

    Great post!
    Monica

  9. Pingree will be remembered as a politician who didn’t take no for an answer, and didn’t give in to special interests that often plague today’s politics. We see with Pingrees’ relations with big business and political opponents, while a popular move in the public eye, and a moral move, big business and special interests are vastly powerful in the realm of politics.

  10. I love how you opened your blog! I loved your point of “When things aren’t running optimally they need to get the opinions of the masses and make changes and in this day in age we are not seeing this”. That sentence is so important and really ties together your blog. It shows your comparison to how Pingree would try to make things better compared to your outlook on Snyder who has done very little to change the status quo. Great points, very insightful!

  11. You never see politicians nowadays who really truly care for common people. All they care about is their campaign, reputation, and next paycheck. We’re the ones stuck in the dust if their personal agendas while they make a profit, and that’s why I find Pingree to be such an interesting person and politician. He cared so much for his people that he sold his prized horse to feed them while they were starving. He recognized his city was hurting, and he made a personal sacrifice to make it end. I doubt we will ever see a politician do that today, and lord knows we need it now more than ever.

  12. You did a great job relating this to modern day. If someone wants to be a full-time politician with a politician’s paycheck, they should be focused on being a politician and serving the people, even if it means selling your horse (which would have been an especially big deal at the time). A more modern example would be when Jimmy Carter was elected president, and was made to sell his family’s peanut farm in order to focus on his public service.

  13. I think we should be able to count on elected officials to do what they promise to do. But at the end of the day, a majority of them do not keep their promises. I think you did a great job relating this to modern day politics. It is sad that today you don’t see many politicians that care about the common people. I loved your perspective!

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