Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

6-2014

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

David Doellinger

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks

Abstract

Using a three-tiered system of analysis, the lenses of vigilantism, militarism, metropolitanism provide a way to analyze the deportations within Coos Bay. At the base, vigilance committees policed community morals, ideas, and actions. Community policing spurred a process of militarization that needed an "other" or subaltern menace to marginalize. Metropolitanism became the end product: a recasting of the community norms and the use of elitist boosterism (a rhetoric of community aggrandizement) as a way to move closer to the metropole ideal. However, this was not simply a Coos Bay phenomenon; it was a process of metropolitanization that was happening across the nation.

It is with this context that this paper argues that the 1913 deportations of Wobblies and Socialists in Coos County were part of a national crusade of vigilante violence that used extralegal force as a mechanism for implementing a program of social militarization that combatted the perceived threats of socialism, anarchism, and communism embodied in “the radical other.” The First World War saw the creation of government programs such as the American Protective League (APL) that emphasized “100 percent Americanism” and counteracted these perceived threats by shaping the nation into a cohesive and homogenous whole.

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