The Nonpartisan League in Power: An Overview

In the election of 1916, the Nonpartisan League gained control of the executive branch of government and the House of Representatives. It tried to enact its program of state-owned industries, but the senate, which remained in anti-NPL control, blocked every attempt. The election of 1918 changed that. The NPL won control of all three branches of government and in 1919 easily put its program into law. Control of state government with the overwhelming support of the people prompted the League to go beyond its original program. A December 1919 special legislative session enacted controversial laws that were intended to solidify the NPL's grip on the state. The NPL also established a chain of cooperative general stores and bought several newspapers and banks. Hoping to become a national political force, Townley moved headquarters from Bismarck to St. Paul. The North Star Dakotan elaborates on the NPL's brief days of power.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change