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Democratic beginnings : founding the Western States / Amy Bridges.

By: Bridges, Amy [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2015]Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780700621491; 0700621490.Subject(s): Constitutional conventions -- West (U.S.) -- History | Constitutional history -- West (U.S.) | State governments -- West (U.S.) | Democracy -- West (U.S.)Additional physical formats: Print version:: Democratic beginnings.DDC classification: 342.7802/92 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Upon the shores of an unknown sea -- Frontier foundings -- Managing the periphery -- Progressive settlements -- Creating the western states.
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KF4530 (Browse shelf) Available ocn929784536

Upon the shores of an unknown sea -- Frontier foundings -- Managing the periphery -- Progressive settlements -- Creating the western states.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


In this innovative and highly engaging work, Bridges (Univ. of California, San Diego) analyzes the development of the founding state constitutional conventions and constitutions in the American West from 1850 to 1910. The creation of the constitutions of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming serve as the centerpiece of the study, which emphasizes each state's constitutional convention. The author posits that western constitutions "tried to assemble the best provisions and the modern understanding of equity and progress, for the constitutions they wrote." Unlike the federal constitutional convention, the delegates to the founding western state conventions were forced to respond to changing political environments and new, previously unanticipated challenges (for example, irrigation and mining rights). Such deliberations often took place without the advantage of any legal or political precedent. The salutary role of state constitutional conventions in the development of western state constitutions is defended, and this constitutes a serious challenge to earlier scholarship. The explication of the state constitutional convention delegates' diligence and statesmanship is of great importance to future studies of federalism and American political development. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. --H. Lee Cheek, East Georgia State College

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