Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

When most Americans think about Delaware, they may focus on its smallness and the conservative business image it projects. And surely these are two characteristics that help to condition the government and politics of this small state. But there are many other dimensions of Delaware's political culture that also contribute to an understanding of its complexity and ...

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1. Delaware in Transition

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pp. 1-14

Delaware is a small state, but as realtors are often heard to say, the three things that matter are "location, location, location." The location of Delaware on a peninsula just south of Philadelphia in the midst of the Boston-Washington megalopolis is central to the state's development. It is also midway between Washington, the center of the nation's political power, and...

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2. Political Culture of the "First State"

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pp. 15-24

Every state develops a "political culture" that consists of its norms and symbols of political engagement. This culture is generally defined as the orientations and expectations of politicians and the general public about the purpose and conduct of government. Political culture, then, is a concept that includes a polity's character and how people choose to govern themselves.1...

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3. Delaware in the Federal System

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pp. 25-38

The fact that Delaware is the "corporation capital of the world" where more companies have incorporated than anywhere else means that Delaware's business-friendly political culture has been achieved by its successful rivalry with the other forty-nine states to become the nation's preferred corporate home. John Kincaid's study of "competitive federalism" calls such ...

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4. The Constitution

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pp. 39-51

The constitutions of a state reflect the people of that state and their views of governance at various points in time. Since constitutions are documents that change as those views change, they leave footprints preserved in time. While Delaware's current constitution—drafted in 1897 and amended through the twentieth century—defines governance today, it is still a work in progress. ...

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5. Political Parties and Elections

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pp. 52-70

It is somewhat of a stretch to date the beginnings of Delaware's current party system to the cleavage between the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists in the days after ratification of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. However, it is possible to see some historic affinities of the present Democratic Party, with its antecedents of Anti-Federalists evolving through Jeffersonians ...

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6. The Governor and Administration

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pp. 71-82

The governor is arguably the most powerful government official in Delaware.1 But this was a late developing phenomenon in the state's history. This chapter provides an overview of the governor and administration of the state government, especially analysis of the governor's role in terms of constitutional powers and constraints, administrative impediments, and ...

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7. The General Assembly

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pp. 83-102

The primary legislative body in Delaware is known as the General Assembly. It is in a very real sense a creature of the counties. Both the counties and the precursor of the General Assembly predate the creation of the State of Delaware by many decades. The counties were first asked to provide representatives to an assembly in 1682, joining three Pennsylvania counties. ...

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8. Courts, Judges, and Lawyers

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pp. 103-115

The judiciary, as in other states, is the third branch of Delaware's state government. However, the influence of Delaware's judicial branch extends far beyond the boundaries of this small state, which cannot be said of its other two branches. Delaware's corporate law is preeminent in the nation, and its judicial system's role in administering that law, elevates its judiciary to be ...

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9. State-Local Relations

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pp. 116-133

Delaware is so small in area and population that the economy-of-scale principle ordains that Delaware's state government administer many public services that are functions of local governments in other states. The consequences for state-local relations in Delaware are profound. The trend in other states is for state governments to devolve increasing authority to their local governments.1...

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10. Public Finance

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pp. 134-145

Previous chapters have shed some light on the status of public finance in Delaware. We have learned, for example, that Delaware deserves plaudits for its "triple-A" bond rating, that public schools are funded largely by the state government, and that businesses that incorporate in Delaware are willing in the aggregate to pay handsomely to have access to Delaware courts....

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11. Nongovernmental Influence and Participation

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pp. 146-156

Nongovernmental involvement in public affairs in the United States is so pervasive that it resists attempts toward simplification, orderly classification, or even public-private differentiation. Our purpose in this chapter is to isolate and illustrate selectively the character of nongovernmental influence and participation in the governance process of Delaware. Accordingly, ...

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12. Sprawl, Pollution, and Health

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pp. 157-170

Like other states, Delaware is challenged by multiple policy problems, as discussed in the book Governing Delaware: Policy Problems in the First State (2000). This chapter focuses selectively on three major policy and political problems affecting the quality of life of Delawareans: sprawl, pollution, and health. These persistent problem areas are exacerbated by ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 171-176

After the 2006 legislative session ended in June, political activity within the state shifted from the General Assembly toward the off-year November elections. Once again, most incumbent state legislators were reelected, and including popular Democratic state treasurer Jack Markell, who won by garnering 70.5 percent of the vote—the highest among candidates for ...

Notes

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pp. 177-196

Suggested Sources for Further Reading

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pp. 197-200

Index

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pp. 201-217