I guess township democracy was of a piece with pre-industrial do-it-yourself pioneer life. You grew your own crops, made your own homes, tools, clothing, etc. (with the help of family, hired hands, indentured servants & sometimes slaves). & you do your own municipal democracy.

things have gotten a bit more centralized, professionalized, & technical since then, yah? but people still get involved.

Stubborn Grew touched on some of these things in RI experience. The Dorr War (over extending the franchise to non-property owners), populism, slavery, Newport gilded age, Nelson Aldrich & the corruption of state politics, etc.

But the poem doesn't really examine them. There's no dispassionate observer, no lingering over historical events. The narrator of SG is deeply corroded, you might say. There's more to be said about this, but enough blah blah for now. SG's divided narrator (Henry-Bluejay) is bound up in an interior psychodrama for which local history is mostly furniture.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, though it goes against the grain of certain modernist ideals.

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