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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: 22 September 2021

An Uncertain Influence: The Role of the Federal Government in California, 1846–1880

An Uncertain Influence: The Role of the Federal Government in California, 1846–1880

(p.224) 9 An Uncertain Influence: The Role of the Federal Government in California, 1846–1880
Taming the Elephant

Robert J. Chandler

University of California Press

This chapter states that federal involvement was vital in certain arenas; chief among them was the creation of California's transportation system, including the railroads. After the war, the federal government began to exceed some state and private efforts in economic affairs and assert more influence over politics, but the same imprecision existed. Federal assistance, including by the armed services, was vital in building California's transportation system. Complicating the federal role in Indian policy, intense conflict erupted in California after 1846. The Civil War ended Indian-settler conflict in California. General federal land law for California became more troublesome than that governing mineral lands. As the twentieth century approached, new economic and environmental areas caused federal government concern. Conservation, land use and water rights, and abuses by huge monopolies such as the government-spawned Southern Pacific Railroad, would bring regulation. The new century would give the national government the dominant role.

Keywords:   federal government, California, Southern Pacific Railroad, Civil War, Indian policy, mineral lands, federal land law, conservation, water rights, land use

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