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Gov Joseph Dixon and the Mining Tax

Page history last edited by Marcella Walter 6 years, 6 months ago

In the 1910s, Montana mining companies paid almost no taxes, which is how they liked it. When Montana’s progressive Republican governor Joseph Dixon pressed for tax reform in the 1920s, the Anaconda Mining Company struck back. The reform passed—but at what cost to Governor Dixon?  The history of the politics of taxation AND mineral extraction is filled with companies and elected officials both engaging in political pressure and conflict.  Sometimes the application of pressure results in compromise, but not always.  In other words, the hunt for and retrieval of precious metals and a company's battle with the state over revenues surely illustrates several kinds of conflict.  But look to see whether those conflicts resulted in satisfactory conclusions or more conflict.


Secondary Sources


Jules A. Karlin, Joseph M. Dixon of Montana. 2 vols. (Missoula: University of Montana, 1974), see esp. Vol. 2, Chap. 11, "The Election of 1924," pp. 171-208.


Michael P. Malone, Richard B. Roeder, and William L. Lang, Montana: A History of Two Centuries. Rev. Ed. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991), pp. 285-288.


Ellis Waldron, Atlas of Montana Elections, 1889-1976 (Missoula: University of Montana Press, 1978).


Dennis Swibold, Copper Chorus: Mining, Politics, and the Montana Press, 1889-1959, (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2006), Chapter 7, "The 'Anvil Chorus': Joseph Dixon Versus the Copper Press," 195-228.


Primary Sources


Joseph M. Dixon Papers (MSS 055), K. Ross Toole Archives, Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula.

          To view a detailed inventory of this collection click here.


Newspapers: All of the major Montana newspapers covered the 1924 election campaign season, roughly Sep.-Nov. 1924, and provide important day-to-day accounts of the campaign.



Vertical Files at the Montana Historical Society


"Joseph M. Dixon"

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