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About Illinois Staats-Zeitung. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1862-1922
Chicago, Ill. (1862-1922)
- Illinois Staats-Zeitung. [volume] : (Chicago, Ill.) 1862-1922
- Place of publication:
- Chicago, Ill.
- Geographic coverage:
- Ill. Staats-Zeitung Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began with Apr. 13, 1862 issue; ceased in 1922.
- Daily <1891>-
- German Americans--Newspapers.
- German Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00941308
- In German.
- Jahrg. 26, Nr. 208 (1. Sept. 1873).
- Sunday ed.: Chicago Sonntags-Zeitung.
- Weekly ed.: Westen (1868).
- sn 82014079
- Preceding Titles:
- Related Titles:
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Illinois Staats-zeitung, Abendblatt der Illinois Staats-zeitung and Abendblatt
The Illinois Staats-Zeitung (ISZ) was a German-language immigrant newspaper that existed in various formats from 1848-1922. At first a weekly paper, it added a daily run (except Sunday) beginning in 1851, and it published a daily evening edition, the Abendblatt der Illinois Staats-zeitung 1891-1894 and Abendblatt from 1894-1899. The paper was founded by Forty-Eighters: progressive revolutionaries who were forced to flee Germany and seek refuge elsewhere—including Chicago, where they quickly became the largest ethnic group. Forty-Eighters such as Editor Georg Schneider brought modern values to the paper, arguing against slavery, anti-immigrant discrimination, and liquor regulations. When the Republican Party was formed in 1854, the ISZ became a firm supporter, and "the leading Republican paper of the Northwest." Even though most German immigrants at the time were Democrats, the ISZ grew rapidly, and within a decade, it became the biggest German-language paper west of New York.
Anton C. Hesing bought the paper in 1867. He brought Hermann Raster, a well-known correspondent from the New Yorker Abend-Zeitung, aboard as editor, and the two of them began an effort to use the ISZ to convince German Americans to support Republicans. The pair became major players in the Illinois Republican Party, especially Hesing, who acted as the political boss for Chicago Germans from the 1860s to 1875. The first German to hold elected office in Illinois, Hesing leveraged his power to put Germans in city and county offices, combat nativism, and push Republicans towards repealing liquor laws. Alcohol control was an especially strong point of contention: in 1872, Hesing and Raster forced the Republican Party to adopt an anti-Prohibition platform if they wanted the German vote. The resulting declaration of the "right to drink what one pleases" became known as the Raster resolution.
Though the ISZ's political influence declined after the 1870s, it enjoyed steady growth throughout the end of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth. The paper reached its peak circulation in 1915, publishing 50,000 papers a day. Unfortunately, World War I and the resulting anti-German sentiment sent the ISZ into a massive downward spiral: within three years, the paper lost 10,000 subscribers and most of its advertisers. Part of this was due to the ISZ favoring Germany in the war; former president Theodore Roosevelt attacked it as "German propaganda." Though the paper rebuked this statement and later supported the United States, the financial damage was done, and the Staats-Zeitung Corporation suspended business in June 1918. In October, the ISZ was sold, and daily publication resumed for "government purposes" of reaching citizens who only spoke German. This revival was short-lived: from March to November 1921, it was suspended again and sold. That December, it had its final death-knell when Editor Arthur Lorenz wrote an article harshly criticizing the American Legion, an association of WWI veterans. Fewer than ten days later, he was arrested, charged with libel, and recommended for deportation. This was more than the ailing paper could stand. In 1922, the ISZ finally folded and was incorporated into the Deutsch-Amerikanische Bürger-Zeitung.