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Taming the ElephantPolitics, Government, and Law in Pioneer California$
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John Burns, Vivian Louie, and Roberto Suro

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234116

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234116.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

“Officialdom”: California State Government, 1849–1879

“Officialdom”: California State Government, 1849–1879

(p.137) 6 “Officialdom”: California State Government, 1849–1879
Taming the Elephant

Judson A. Grenier

University of California Press

This chapter deals with the conventional wisdom that denigrates early California officialdom with charges of ineptitude and graft. It also confirms that the 1879 constitution in fact did little to alter the fundamental structure of officialdom imposed by the first constitution-builders and legislators. The legislature established committees in ten areas: finance, judiciary, militia, counties, privileges, engrossed bills, a state library, printing, public buildings, and commerce. It was common for political parties out of power to attack state governments controlled by the opposition. The chapter then presents an overview of the influence of public policy on economic growth in California during the years 1849 to 1879. Governments on all levels found existing methods wanting and began to experiment with alternate means to deal with new economic problems.

Keywords:   California officialdom, legislature, California state government, public policy, economic growth, 1879 constitution, political parties

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