Constituting America’s Ninth 90 Day Study:

State and Local Government

 

Reserved to the States: Boundaries on Federal Government for the

Flourishing of the American People

 

 

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The amendment’s purpose is intended to strengthen the Founders’ resolve that each American maintains ownership of the United States government on every level, and to which each entrusts a position of leadership among its elected. In this way, the American people remain free to govern themselves through leaders they choose. The U.S. Constitution, Federalist Papers among other founding discussions, displays how the smaller governing bodies magnify local control each American citizen must keep. This control within agreed upon, respective state constitutions ensures governing remains surrendered to the American people and not surrendered by the American people to an unreachable federal level that cannot be checked or replaced by each citizen who put it there. Directing attention to the true holders of America’s power, her people, and consent of the governed that results in a flourishing United States, the 2019 Constituting America 90 Day Study on State and Local Government seeks to expound upon the gravity of that which makes America thrive due to strict limits of its federal governing powers.

 

 

Contents

 

  • Introduction
  • States and Their Constitutions: History Surrounding Admission of Each New State to the Union
    • First States – The Thirteen Original Colonies After the American Revolutionary War and Constitutional Convention (1787)
    • New States and the American Industrial Revolution (1791)
    • Westward Expansion (1803)
    • Admission of States, and the Civil War (1861-1865)
  • A Growing United States to World War I (1914-1918), the Great Depression and New Deal to the Gulf War (1990-1991)
  • Statewide Leadership and Representation
  • County and City Leadership, and Representation
  • Judges: State, County and City Judiciary
  • Funding State and Local Government
  • Elections: State, County and City
  • Contemporary Issues in State and Local Government
  • Conclusion

 

Introduction – History and constitutional background of American Founders’ and Framers’ views on local governments for a strong, free, prosperous United States – Reserved

 

Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Purpose for limited federal powers and what the amendment means for state and local government; Bill of Rights as “a Line drawn as clearly as may be between the federal Powers vested in Congress and the distinct Sovereignty of the several States upon which the private and personal Rights of the Citizens depend.” – Samuel Adams – Reserved

 

Federalist 45 on Connection of the States to the Federal Level – “…each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments, and must consequently feel a dependence, which is much more likely to beget a disposition too obsequious than too overbearing towards them.” – James Madison – Reserved

 

 

States and Their Constitutions: History Surrounding Admission of Each New State to the Union

 

 

American Revolution and Expanding the States – How the American Revolution and nationhood voided the Proclamation Line of 1763, allowing expansion for American settlement of the Western frontier – Reserved

 

Free, Independent and Sovereign? – The Declaration of Independence on free, independent, sovereign states as the original 13 colonies came together to form the United States; what this meant for state powers and the growing nation as a whole – Reserved

 

State Constitutions? – Why would each state need a constitution when we have the United States Constitution? What it would mean for the states to be run by their citizens rather than royal rule – Reserved

 

Religious Freedom and Early State Constitutions – Meaning of, and how early state constitutions worked regarding religious freedom and the First Amendment – Reserved

 

Amending State Constitutions – Cautions for amending state constitutions and why prudent consideration is necessary before pursuing amendments; some history regarding care taken prior to amending the U.S. Constitution and the similar mindset adopted for America’s state constitutions though amended more often

 

First States – The Thirteen Original Colonies After the American Revolutionary War and Constitutional Convention (1787)

 

1 – Delaware – December 7, 1787

As the Constitutional Convention came to a close in Philadelphia, America’s founding representatives signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. Then, the first of the thirteen original states to ratify (approve, endorse, accept, formally confirm, validate, sign) the new U.S. Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation, was Delaware, signing on December 7, 1787. This signing admitted (entered, received statehood) Delaware, known as “The First State,” to the United States December 7, 1787. The current Delaware State Constitution in use was adopted in 1897 – Reserved

           

2 – Pennsylvania – December 12, 1787

Birthplace of independence and the United States Constitution. “The Keystone State,” Pennsylvania is second of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution and enter the United States. The Pennsylvania State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1968

 

3 – New Jersey – December 18, 1787

Third of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the United States, “The Garden State” of New Jersey entered the United States December 18, 1787. The New Jersey State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1948

 

4 – Georgia – January 2, 1788

Georgia is fourth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution to join the United States of America January 2, 1788. Georgia joined the Confederacy January 19, 1861. The Georgia State Constitution that is the latest version and currently in use was adopted in 1983. Georgia is known as “The Peach State” or “Empire State of the South.”

 

5 – Connecticut – January 9, 1788

Fifth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, Connecticut was admitted to the United States January 9, 1788. The Connecticut State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1965, and is known as “The Constitution State.”

 

6 – Massachusetts – February 6, 1788

“The Bay State,” Massachusetts, is sixth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution and thus be admitted to the Union of the United States. The Massachusetts State Constitution adopted its current one in use was adopted in 1780 – Reserved

 

7 – Maryland – April 28, 1788

Maryland is the seventh state admitted to the United States, ratifying the U.S. Constitution April 28, 1788. The current Maryland State Constitution in use was adopted in 1867. Maryland is known as the “Old Line State.” – Reserved

 

Secession – Reasons and consequences for states seceding from the Union; strength of America and why states do not secede today – Reserved

 

8 – South Carolina – May 23, 1788

The eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, South Carolina, was admitted to the United States May 23, 1788. It was also the first state to secede from the Union. The current South Carolina State Constitution was adopted in 1896. South Carolina is known as “The Palmetto State.”

 

9 – New Hampshire – June 21, 1788

Known as “The Granite State,” New Hampshire was ninth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, admitting it to the Union June 21, 1788. The New Hampshire State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1783. Article VII of the U.S. Constitution says nine states would be sufficient to ratify and officially make the U.S. Constitution law of the land. New Hampshire was the ninth and final state needed to accomplish this official ratification which ended government under the Articles of Confederation

 

10 – Virginia – June 25, 1788

“Old Dominion” as Virginia is known, was tenth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, admitting it to the Union June 25, 1788. The Virginia State Constitution in current use was adopted in 1971; the Virginia Constitution of 1776 compared to the MA Constitution of 1780 – Reserved

           

11 – New York – July 26, 1788

Eleventh of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, New York was admitted to the Union July 26, 1788 and is known as “The Empire State.” The current New York State Constitution was adopted in 1895 – Reserved

 

12 – North Carolina – November 21, 1789

Twelfth of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, North Carolina, “The Tar Heel State,”  was admitted to the United States November 21, 1789. The North Carolina State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1971

 

13 – Rhode Island – May 29, 1790

Last of the thirteen original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, Rhode Island was admitted to the Union May 29, 1790. The Rhode Island State Constitution in current use was adopted in 1986. Rhode Island is known as “The Ocean State.” – Reserved

 

Admitting States to the Union – Article IV, Section 3 on entry of new states to the Union, and how the U.S. Constitution protects each state individually and as a whole nation; all of the original thirteen states except Rhode Island sent delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention to complete the new U.S. Constitution that includes Article IV; the Northwest Ordinance – Reserved

 

New States and the American Industrial Revolution (1791)

 

14 – Vermont – March 4, 1791

On March 4, 1791, Vermont, known as “The Green Mountain State” was the first admitted to the Union after the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the original thirteen colonies. The current Vermont State Constitution in use was adopted in 1793

 

15 – Kentucky – June 1, 1792

Known as “The Bluegrass State,” Kentucky is the fifteenth state to enter the Union, having ratified the U.S. Constitution June 1, 1792. The current Kentucky State Constitution in use was adopted in 1891

 

16 – Tennessee – June 1, 1796

Tennessee entered the Union as the sixteenth state, having ratified the U.S. Constitution June 1, 1796. “The Volunteer State” currently uses its latest version of the Tennessee State Constitution adopted in 1870

 

Westward Expansion (1803)

 

17 – Ohio – March 1, 1803

The seventeenth state to enter the Union, known as “The Buckeye State,” Ohio ratified the U.S. Constitution on March 1, 1803. The current Ohio State Constitution in use was adopted in 1851

 

18 – Louisiana – April 30, 1812

Known as “The Pelican State,” Louisiana was the eighteenth admitted to the United States, ratifying the U.S. Constitution April 30, 1812 just before the start of the War of 1812. The current Louisiana State Constitution in use was adopted in 1975; Louisiana Purchase, territory history prior to the statehood – Reserved

 

19 – Indiana – December 11, 1816

The U.S. Constitution ratification date of December 11, 1816 marks Indiana as the nineteenth state to enter the Union. The Indiana State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1851. Indiana is known as “The Hoosier State.”

 

20 – Mississippi – December 10, 1817

“The Magnolia State” of Mississippi is the twentieth admitted to the Union, having ratified the U.S. Constitution December 10, 1817. The current Mississippi State Constitution in use was adopted in 1890

 

21 – Illinois – December 3, 1818

Admitted to the Union December 3, 1818, Illinois is the twenty-first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Known as “The Prairie State,” the Illinois State Constitution adopted in 1970 is the version currently used – Reserved

 

22 – Alabama – December 14, 1819

The December 3, 1818 ratification of the U.S. Constitution by Alabama brought the twenty-second state into the Union. “The Heart of Dixie” currently uses the Alabama State Constitution adopted in 1901

 

23 – Maine – March 15, 1820

Known as “The Pine Tree State,” Maine is the twenty-third to enter the Union, doing so by ratifying the U.S. Constitution on March 15, 1820. The current Maine State Constitution in use was adopted in 1820

 

24 – Missouri – August 10, 1821

“The Show-Me State” of Missouri ratified the U.S. Constitution August 10, 1821 making it the twenty-fourth state to join the United States. The Missouri State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1945 – Reserved

 

Founders’ Vision for Keeping the States Strong, United, and Free – Thomas Jefferson’s 1798 Nullification in the Kentucky Resolution, how it contributed to John Calhoun’s 1830s Nullification, acts showing how each state has a duty and right to question and determine if federal laws exceed constitutional limits on federal powers, obstructing state sovereignty – Reserved

 

25 – Arkansas – June 15, 1836

Twenty-Fifth of the growing United States to be added was Arkansas, known as “The Natural State.” The current Arkansas State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1874

 

26 – Michigan – January 26, 1837

Michigan, known as “The Wolverine State,” was admitted to the United States January 26, 1837 making it the twenty-sixth to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The current Michigan State Constitution in use was adopted in 1963

 

27 – Florida – March 3, 1845

On March 3, 1845, Florida, “The Sunshine State,” ratified the U.S. Constitution admitting it to the Union as the twenty-seventh state. The adopted 1968 Michigan State Constitution is the version in use today

 

28 – Texas – December 29, 1845

The “Lone Star State” of Texas ratified the U.S. Constitution on December 29, 1845 making it the twenty-eighth to enter the Union. The Texas State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1876 – Reserved

 

29 – Iowa – December 28, 1846

The U.S. Constitution ratified by Iowa on December 28, 1846 admitted “The Hawkeye State” as the twenty-ninth to enter the Union. The 1857 Iowa State Constitution is the adopted version currently in use

 

30 – Wisconsin – May 29, 1848

Thirtieth to join the United States, Wisconsin, known as “The Badger State,” ratified the U.S. Constitution May 29, 1848. The Wisconsin State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1848

 

31 – California – September 9, 1850

Ratifying the U.S. Constitution September 9, 1850, California, known as “The Golden State,” was the thirty-first admitted to the United States. The California State Constitution adopted in 1879 is the version currently in use; the Mexican War and Compromise of 1850 – Reserved

 

32 – Minnesota – May 11, 1858

Minnesota ratified the U.S. Constitution May 11, 1858 making it the thirty-second to join the United States. The current Minnesota State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1857. Minnesota is known as “The North Star State.”

 

33 – Oregon – February 14, 1859

Joining the Union February 14, 1859 by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, Oregon became the thirty-third state. Currently in use is the Oregon State Constitution ratified in 1857, and adopted in 1859 once Oregon became a state

 

Admission of States, and the Civil War (1861-1865)

 

34 – Kansas – January 29, 1861

“The Sunflower State,” as Kansas is known, ratified the U.S. Constitution January 29, 1861 as the thirty-fourth admitted to the United States. Prior to the start of the Civil War and eight states having just seceded, Kansas was admitted as a free state; Bleeding Kansas; The Kansas State Constitution currently in use was adopted in 1861 – Reserved

 

35 – West Virginia – June 20, 1863

Admitted in June 20, 1863 by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state. It is known as “The Mountain State” with the West Virginia State Constitution in current use adopted in 1872 – Reserved

 

36 – Nevada – October 31, 1864

The thirty-sixth state admitted to the Union was Nevada, having ratified the U.S. Constitution October 31, 1864. “The Silver State,” as it is known, currently uses the Nevada State Constitution adopted in 1864 – Reserved

 

37 – Nebraska – March 1, 1867

March 1, 1867 ushered in the thirty-seventh state, Nebraska, to ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the United States. The Nebraska State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1875. Nebraska is known as “The Cornhusker State.” – Reserved

 

Bill of Rights, State and Local Government – How the Bill of Rights was aimed at the federal government because states had their own bills of rights; Barron v. Baltimore (1833) supports this until the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868 – Reserved

 

38 – Colorado – August 1, 1876

Colorado, “The Centennial State,” ratified the U.S. Constitution August 1, 1876, making it the thirty-eighth state to enter the Union. The year 1876 also marks adoption of the Colorado State Constitution in use today – Reserved

 

39 – North Dakota – November 2, 1889

Ratifying the U.S. Constitution November 2, 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union as the thirty-ninth state. Known as “The Peace Garden State,” it uses the North Dakota State Constitution adopted in 1889

 

40 – South Dakota – November 2, 1889

The “Mount Rushmore State” of South Dakota, on the same day as its northern counterpart, ratified the U.S. Constitution November 2, 1889 making it the fortieth to enter the United States. Plus, in the same year of 1889, the South Dakota State Constitution in use today was adopted – Reserved

 

41 – Montana – November 8, 1889

Entering the Union as the forty-first state, Montana ratified the U.S. Constitution November 8, 1889 and is known as “The Treasure State.” The current Montana State Constitution in use was adopted in 1973

 

42 – Washington – November 11, 1889

Washington, known as “The Evergreen State,” became the forty-second to ratify the U.S. Constitution, admitted to the Union November 11, 1889. The Washington State Constitution was adopted in 1889 and is the version in use today

 

Modern State and the Capacity for Political Liberty of Citizens to Participate in Civil Governance –Debate on ‘overseas empire’ and its implications for federalism as structured within the U.S. Constitution – Reserved

 

43 – Idaho – July 3, 1890

Known as “The Gem State,” Idaho ratified the U.S. Constitution July 3, 1890 admitting the forty-third state to the Union. The Idaho State Constitution currently use today was adopted on the same day as the state’s admission to the Union, July 3, 1890 – Reserved

 

44 – Wyoming – July 10, 1890

July 10, 1890 marks the admission of Wyoming as the forty-fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the United States. Known as “The Equality State,” it currently uses the Wyoming State Constitution adopted in 1889

 

45 – Utah – January 4, 1896

Utah makes the forty-fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, admitting it to the Union January 4, 1896. Utah became known as “The Beehive State” and currently uses the Utah State Constitution adopted in 1896

 

46 – Oklahoma – November 16, 1907

Forty-sixth to ratify the U.S. Constitution was “The Sooner State,” Oklahoma, thus admitting it to the United States. The Oklahoma State Constitution adopted in 1907 is the current version used today

 

47 – New Mexico – January 6, 1912

Admitted to the United States January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the forty-seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The New Mexico State Constitution used today is the version adopted on the same day as its statehood, January 6, 1912. New Mexico is known as “The Enchanted State.”

 

48 – Arizona – February 14, 1912

“The Grand Canyon State” of Arizona became the forty-eighth and last of the contiguous states to enter the Union, ratifying the U.S. Constitution February 14, 1912. The Arizona State Constitution in use today was adopted in 1912

 

 

A Growing United States to World War I (1914-1918), the Great Depression and New Deal to the Gulf War (1990-1991)

 

 

49 – Alaska – January 3, 1959

Known as “The Last Frontier,” Alaska was the forty-ninth to ratify the U.S. Constitution and be admitted to the United States. The Alaska State Constitution currently in use was actually ratified in 1956 before Alaska entered the Union, and went into effect upon statehood January 3, 1959

 

50 – Hawaii – August 21, 1959

The last and fiftieth state to enter the Union, “The Aloha State” of Hawaii, ratified the U.S. Constitution August 21, 1959. The Hawaii State Constitution adopted in 1959 is the version in use today

 

Territories of the United States – Major territories of the U.S. include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; history surrounding types of territories or commonwealths connected to the United States; how the Organic Act establishes a U.S. territory and its governance; purpose and difference between remaining a territory or obtaining statehood

 

State Capitals and State Capitols – Importance of state capital cities and their respective state capitol buildings where legislatures meet; significances even in design and construction offering symbols of America’s history with separate places for the house, senate, governor and state judiciaries as reminders of the separation of powers in every level of government from federal to local as envisioned by America’s Founders and Constitution Framers – Reserved

 

Washington, D.C. – February 21, 1871

While not a state in the Union, Washington, D.C. was founded July 16, 1790 and serves as the nation’s capital. The name is derived from America’s first president, George Washington, who selected the location. The federal district is named for Christopher Columbus, and officially the nation’s capital became the District of Columbia on February 21, 1871; the Twenty-Third Amendment to the United States Constitution provides D.C. ability to participate in the Electoral College

 

 

Statewide Leadership and Representation

 

 

Form of Government – Purpose and impact of Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution in that “The United States Shall guarantees to every state in the Union a Republican Form of Government” – How the republican (representative) styles such as Commission Form, County Administrator, Elected Executive, City-County Consolidation, Constitutional Row Offices or Home Rule Authority ensures power remains in the hands of each American, preventing a monarchy or aristocracy in each state and local government – Reserved

 

State Representation – How state representation is set up, how most have a bicameral system like Congress; significance of Nebraska as a unicameral legislature

 

Governor – Role and purpose of a state governor – Reserved

 

Appointments – Influence and impact appointments have on state governments as made by the governor; how appointments are made, and which ones must the state legislature approve – Reserved

 

Lieutenant Governor – Role, purpose and how the lieutenant governor serves as president of the senate in some states

 

Legislative Sessions of State Legislatures – History, role and purpose of state legislatures; how often state legislatures are in session and in relation to Congress – Reserved

 

Special Sessions – Purpose and importance of a special session called by the governor or legislature; impact of long legislative sessions on state and local, depending on the state or region – Reserved

 

State Senators – Role and purpose, how a state senate (upper chamber) is smaller than a state house of representatives (lower chamber), yet each senator represents more people than the representatives

 

State Representatives – Role and purpose of state representatives

 

Speaker of the State House of Representatives – How chosen in most states, speaker purpose and roles

 

Attorney General – Role and purpose for attorneys general of the states; history, and as compared to the Attorney General of the United States

 

Secretary of State – Role and purpose for the secretary of state or commonwealth of the states; history, and as compared to the Secretary of State of the United States

 

 

County and City Leadership, and Representation

 

 

“All Politics is Local” – The view that “all politics is local” and why; purpose for the amount of local governments that exist such as counties, municipalities, towns and townships, special districts and school districts within the United States; effects of sparse versus dense geographic areas represented, urban versus rural for effective, constitutional representation – Reserved

 

County Leadership – Elected and appointed county roles; purpose and impact of county boards, county executives, county managers, assessor, treasurer, supervisor, commissioners; history and development of counties and their governance, functions of the county seat; how some are airport hubs, for example, and maintain other significant functions different from city government; relationship to state level leadership for local management of statewide issues – Reserved

 

City Leadership – Elected and appointed city roles; purpose of city council and impact of local city councils, city managers, administrators and other municipal, legislative bodies – Reserved

 

Mayor – Role of a mayor, and significance in how states differ regarding the mayoral role as compared to other elected seats; how in some states a city mayor may carry significant power as compared to that of the governor; examples such as Mayors Robert Moses or Rudy Giuliani of New York City and how each, in his service, affected not only the city but the entire state

 

Home Rule or Dillon Rule? – Meaning, purpose and impact of “Home Rule” or “Dillon Rule” authority, how each works for local government in comparison to state; initiative and referendum, delegation and management to make and implement local policy decisions as made by voters and local leadership – Reserved

 

 

Judges: State, County and City Judiciary

 

 

Lower Courts – How local judiciary systems work; lower courts from state supreme to municipal that sit below the United States Supreme Court – Reserved

 

State Supreme Courts – How state supreme courts work in relation to the United States Supreme Court; how America’s Founders intended the nation’s judiciary would serve as lower than, and not superior to, the legislative branch in order only to function as interpreter and not maker of law; Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78, “The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts.” – Reserved

 

 

Funding State and Local Government

 

                                                                                            

Funding States and Cities: How Dollars Work – Connection to Congress regarding funding of states and municipalities; how taxes, which is how governments have money, work for the United States as a whole and individual states down to the most local levels; what and how from federal, to state, to county, to city gets funded

 

Funding States and Cities: The Arguments – Why America’s founders wanted limited government; what this means in relation to the ongoing arguments presented by America’s voters and their elected representatives for and against raising and lowering taxes

 

Comptroller, Tax Assessor/Collector – Role and purpose for the states as an elected or appointed office in charge of the state budget

 

State Agencies – How agencies work, their connections to federal government, impact on state and local governments as bureaucracies; whether agencies help or weaken individual constituent representation

 

 

Elections: State, County and City

 

 

Apportionment – Population and how it works to affect development of not only congressional representation, but also city, county and state governing bodies, and districts – Reserved

 

Statewide Elections – Role, importance, and how statewide elections differ from federal elections

 

Down-Ballot – How local elections differ from statewide elections; role and importance of local elections though they tend to receive lower voter turnout – Reserved

 

 

Contemporary Issues in State and Local Government

 

 

Regulations – Effects of congressional regulations on issues held by the states, intrastate and interstate

 

Would the United States Exist Without Borders? – Significance of borders between cities, counties, each state in the Union, and the entire United States

 

Civil Society and Local Government – Meaning, importance and how free and independent states of America maintain it; civil as related to citizens and their concerns; polite, courteous, well-mannered approach; consequences for failure in relation to solving political concerns and issues today – Reserved

 

Battle for Power Between Congress and the States – How to keep the Founders’ intentions for “we the people” who are in charge of their own governing – Reserved

 

 

Conclusion – Reserved

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *