Chapter

The Beginnings of Anglo-American Local Government in California

Edward Leo Lyman

in Taming the Elephant

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520234116
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936485 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520234116.003.0008
The Beginnings of Anglo-American Local Government in California

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This chapter demonstrates the difficulties confronting county officials in El Dorado County and San Bernardino County, and in San Francisco and Sacramento, as samples of the struggles counties faced to provide schools, law enforcement, fire and flood protection, and other basic services. The structure and functions of local government as they would continue to operate were successfully established throughout the state. The various county governments were not slow in levying the usual taxes, nor in directing either the county treasurer or sheriff to collect them. There is no question of the large degree of venality and inefficiency in San Francisco government during the early years of California statehood. There was naturally some chaos at the beginning in California, particularly because of the unprecedented influx of people associated with the Gold Rush and differences between their governmental preferences and the already existing forms established in the Spanish-Mexican era.

Keywords: county officials; El Dorado County; San Bernardino County; San Francisco; Sacramento; schools; law enforcement; fire; flood; Anglo-American local government

Chapter.  10632 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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