Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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1. Tracing How American Legislatures Changed Over Time

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pp. 1-10

The 50 state legislatures and U.S. Congress are deeply rooted in the representative bodies that preceded them beginning with the first colonial assembly that met in Virginia in 1619. These roots explain the shape of today’s legislatures. Indeed, the evolutionary path of American legislatures...

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2. The Colonial Assemblies and the Beginnings of American Legislatures

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pp. 11-71

Representative assemblies emerged in each of the American colonies within a decade or two of their coming under English control, despite the fact that the colonies were settled by different people at different points in time for different reasons.1 By American colonies I mean those that...

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3. The Original State Legislatures

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pp. 72-101

The colonial assemblies led to the original state legislatures. But, while the transmission of organizational rules and structures to the new legislatures from the old assemblies appears direct, the transition between them was actually interrupted by a little noticed institutional detour: the...

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4. The Missing Link: Territorial Legislatures

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pp. 102-156

There is a gap in our understanding of American legislative evolution. As noted in chapter 1, most, but not all, state legislatures after the original 13 were preceded by territorial legislatures. In this chapter I point to these bodies as a missing link in the storyline of American legislative...

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5. The Odd Evolutionary Cases

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pp. 157-215

The original 13 state legislatures emerged almost directly from their colonial predecessors, as documented in chapter 3. In chapter 4 it was shown that another 31 state legislatures evolved straight out of their territorial legislatures. That leaves the evolutionary stories behind 6 state legislatures unexplained. In addition, earlier legislative bodies preceded territorial...

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6. The Institutionalizing of State Legislatures in the Nineteenth Century

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pp. 216-265

Over the course of the nineteenth century, state legislatures institutionalized. In this context, I use institutionalize to mean that over time increasingly advanced structures and procedures become enmeshed in the organizational fabric. Although this perspective is consistent with Polsby’s (1968) notion of institutionalization,...

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7. The Professionalizing of State Legislatures since 1900

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pp. 266-316

State legislatures institutionalized during the nineteenth century. As chapter 6 documented, complex procedural rules and well-developed standing committee systems became permanent organizational ‹xtures. Once institutionalized, however, a legislature does not necessarily...

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8. Where Does Legislative Evolution Go from Here?

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pp. 317-324

In November 1990, California voters passed Proposition 140. Its three provisions directly affected the state legislature in ways that were relevant to its evolution. The first provision enacted term limits. The second provision abolished legislative pensions. The final provision imposed a 38...

Notes

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pp. 325-335

Abbreviations

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pp. 337-340

References

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pp. 341-414

Index

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pp. 415-440