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The Sagebrush State, 3Rd Edition

Nevada'S History, Government, And Politics

Michael Bowers

Publication Year: 2006

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities


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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations and Tables

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pp. ix

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Preface to the Third Edition

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pp. xi-xii

Since the second edition of The Sagebrush State was published in early 2002 the state of Nevada has seen a great deal of political change. In addition to the elections of 2002 and 2004 and the new officeholders who assumed their duties during that time, there have been two very contentious regular sessions ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

When I first began discussing this book with Nicholas Cady and Thomas R. Radko of the University of Nevada Press some years ago, I had in mind a relatively short work that would provide readers with an overview of Nevada history and government. I thought then, as I do now, that many Nevadans and non-Nevadans ...

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Chapter One Nevada: Origins and Early History

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pp. 1-14

Although archaeological excavations indicate the migration from Asia of prehistoric peoples to the area now known as Nevada as early as 12,000 years ago, the state’s written history can be said to have begun in 1776, the same year the American colonists in the East launched their war for independence against the British Crown. ...

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Chapter Two Nevada Territory and Statehood

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pp. 15-27

In 1861, the settlers’ representative, John J. Musser, finally persuaded Congress to establish a separate territory in western Utah. Musser was aided by the election of Abraham Lincoln as president and the resulting secession from the Union of the southern states. With the pro-slavery states no longer represented in Congress ...

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Chapter Three Civil Rights and Liberties in Nevada

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pp. 28-44

Civil rights are generally defined as those “positive acts of government designed to protect persons against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government, or individuals.”1 Civil rights include those we deem necessary for equality to prevail among and between citizens: the right to vote, for example, and the right to equal ...

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Chapter Four Political Parties and Elections

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pp. 45-58

Nevada has traditionally been a competitive, two-party state in which elections are fought more on the basis of personalities and issues than parties. Nevadans are notorious ticket splitters who take pride in the fact that they vote for the “person” and not the “party.” Nonetheless, it is possible to divide Nevada’s political ...

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Chapter Five Interest Groups and Lobbying

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pp. 59-65

While political parties are concerned with ensuring that their members are elected to various governmental positions, interest groups are more interested in seeing that the policies they favor are enacted into law, regardless of which party controls the government. Thus, parties tend to be more personnel oriented, ...

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Chapter Six The Nevada Legislature

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pp. 66-77

Like the federal government, the state government of Nevada consists of three branches that oversee one another through a series of checks and balances. The state legislature is the first of these. Unlike the federal Constitution, which merely implies the separation of powers, the state constitution establishes ...

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Chapter Seven The Nevada Executive

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pp. 78-90

In general, the executive power can be defined as one that enforces and implements the laws passed by the legislature as interpreted by the courts. The area now known as Nevada has been governed by an executive throughout its recorded history. During the period of Spanish colonialism the area was governed by ...

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Chapter Eight The Nevada Judiciary

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pp. 91-104

In interpreting the meaning of various statutes and constitutional provisions, the judges of Nevada’s courts engage in a form of policy making that affects not only the lives of the litigants in each case but also the lives and fortunes of all the state’s citizens. It should come as little surprise, then, that the state’s judges, ...

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Chapter Nine City and County Governments

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pp. 105-109

It is generally true that most citizens pay far more attention to the actions of the national and state governments than they do to local governments such as counties and cities. This is due in part to the nature of the issues dealt with by those larger entities, such as war and peace and economic policies; in part it is due to ...

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Chapter Ten State and Local Finance

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pp. 110-121

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once noted that taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. Although most can agree with Holmes’s sentiment, questions over who will pay taxes and how those funds will be spent inevitably invite disagreement. Indeed, revenue and appropriations questions are ...

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Chapter Eleven Nevada: Past, Present, and Future

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pp. 122-138

Chapters 1 and 2 examined the history of Nevada through 1864. The subsequent eight chapters outlined, within the context of individual topics, the state’s historical and political path since it achieved statehood. It seems appropriate, therefore, in this final chapter to discuss and summarize in chronological sequence ...


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pp. 139-250


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pp. 251-258

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 259-262


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pp. 263-275

E-ISBN-13: 9780874177107
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874176827

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in History and Humanities