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Creating the Land of LincolnThe History and Constitutions of Illinois, 1778-1870$
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Frank Cicero Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041679

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041679.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

The Constitution of 1870

The Constitution of 1870

Progressive Foundation for a Century

(p.185) Chapter 7 The Constitution of 1870
Creating the Land of Lincoln

Frank Cicero Jr.

University of Illinois Press

Chapter 7 summarizes debates of the 1869–70 Illinois state constitutional convention, whose blend of representatives from Democratic, Republican, and People’s Parties yielded a relatively nonpartisan outcome. The balance of governmental powers was adjusted so that the executive branch had a stronger veto, the legislative branch was barred from passing special-interest legislation, and the judicial system was enhanced with more courts and judges, a particular benefit to populous Cook County, home to the economic powerhouse of Chicago. Other major issues included African Americans’ civil rights and state management of railroads and warehouses. A progressive approach to minority representation sought to bridge sharp political divisions between north and south. The proposed 1870 constitution was ratified by the voters and remained in force for a century.

Keywords:   African Americans—civil rights, Chicago—economic development, Cook County—judicial system, Democratic Party—Illinois, Illinois—state constitution, 1870, Illinois—state constitutional convention, 1869–70, People’s Party—Illinois, Republican Party—Illinois, state government—balance of powers, state government—minority representation

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