California Republic / Edition 1

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Even before its budget crisis and recall election, California held a unique position in the United States. Often lauded as having the fifth largest economy in the world, California leads the nation in other measures as well, particularly cultural and political trends. But were it an independent state, it would have one of the world's most unusual democracies. In The California Republic Brian P. Janiskee and Ken Masugi bring together a diverse group of contributors to shed light on the Progressive nature of California government. In addition to thorough treatment of perennial issues like affirmative action, gun control, and education, the work goes outside the conventional understanding of political issues to examine such topics as the Hollywood western, the electronic media, and California's revolutionary founding. Accordingly, the contributors include not only political scientists and historians, but journalists and political activists as well. The result is a clear exploration of the evolution of Progressive government in California and its contemporary policy consequences.

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Editorial Reviews

A useful addition to the literature on state politics. Highly recommended.
A useful addition to the literature on state politics. Highly recommended.
Charles Kesler
The most interesting book on California politics in decades, and the only volume that weaves together the state's constitutional origins and development with discerning accounts of its major political figures and contemporary policy issues.
From the Publisher
The wide-ranging California Republic will provide a buffet for thought.
Kenneth E. Grubbs
California even now—when the supposed legatees of Progressivism denounce the idea of a gubernatorial recall—remains the land of golden promise, the Eureka! state. But its citizens, its leaders, its students, its observers sorely need a sober rendering of its history and its institutions. Brian P. Janiskee and Ken Masugi have delivered. If you care at all about the direction of this loveliest of states, then this book is critical to your understanding of a perplexing and wonderful land.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742532519
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian P. Janiskee is assistant professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino. Ken Masugi is the director of the Center for Local Government at the Claremont Institute.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction: Republican Government in California Part 3 California in a Federal System Chapter 4 Popular Sovereignty, the Right of Revolution, and California Statehood Chapter 5 Nature and Convention in the Creation of the 1849 California Constitution Chapter 6 California and the Seventeenth Amendment Chapter 7 Californians and Their Constitution: Progressivism, Direct Democracy, and the Administrative State Part 8 Institutions Chapter 9 Broken Promise: The Rise and Fall of the California Legislature Chapter 10 No Allegiance but to the State: California Governors Hiram Johnson and Gray Davis Chapter 11 The Progressive Court Chapter 12 The Elections of 2002: Clear Cut or Ambiguous? Part 13 Local Government Chapter 14 The Problem of Local Government in California Chapter 15 Local Government Finance in California Chapter 16 The California Tax Revolt Part 17 Statesmanship Chapter 18 Armageddon in the West: California's Hiram Johnson Chapter 19 Nixon, California, and American Politics Chapter 20 Ronald Reagan and the Transformation of Modern California Part 21 Policies and Perspectives Chapter 22 Affirmative Action and Proposition 209 Chapter 23 Western Justice: John Ford and Sam Peckinpah on the Defense of the Heroic Chapter 24 California Farming in a Classical Context Chapter 25 The Politics of California Public Education Chapter 26 The Least Secure Right: Privately Owned Firearms in California Chapter 27 California's Political Mass Media Chapter 28 An EPIC Legacy Chapter 29 Water, Water Everywhere and Nary a Drop to Drink

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2004

    The California Republic: A Review

    Karl Marx once said that ''the most important thing' to have occurred in America was 'the discovery of gold in California.'' While this may have been a bit of an exaggeration, the Gold Rush was certainly the impetus behind the creation of one of the most interesting, and at times the strangest, states in the Union. California undoubtedly has bizarre politics. In a year's time, it has re-elected Gray Davis, only to recall him and replace him with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It has offered a haven for homosexual marriage on the steps of San Francisco's city hall. It is still attempting to offer drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants. While some look at California with admiration, others view the state with revulsion and are relieved that they have avoided or escaped the borders of the 'Left Coast.' In The California Republic: Instiutions, Statesmanship, and Policies, Brian P. Janiskee of CSU-San Bernardino and Ken Masugi of the Claremont Institute explore how California has become what it is. Specifically, the aim of the book is to 'explore the evolution of Progressivism in California and its contemporary policy consequences.' The book also explores how 'the role of government became transformed-from the earlier one of protecting equal rights¿to one guaranteeing minimum levels of security and comforts for all,' as a result of Progressivism. The California Republic is a collection of essays written mostly by university professors and historians, but it also includes journalists and notables such as Dan Walters, Ward Connerly, and Victor Davis Hanson. The book is arranged topically and is in relatively chronological order. It begins with the founding of the state and its first constitutional convention in 1849, and ends with modern policy issues such as affirmative action, gun rights, and the 'water problem.' But the continuous theme throughout the book is Progressivism - its birth and the effects that are still felt today in California. The Progressivism discussed in this book is not the radical liberalism the term now denotes; in fact, the first Progressives were radical Republicans. California Progressivism would be impossible to understand without a discussion of Hiram Johnson, 'the father of the modern state of California,' who was elected governor in 1910 and remained a California statesman until 1945. Johnson became a household name during the recall election since he was responsible for instituting the recall process in California, along with the initiative and referendum, which have become increasingly popular ways for the people to bypass the inept state legislature. While Johnson and other Progressives supported 'dramatically increased government power,' they also believed in individualism. They essentially mixed the individualism of Thomas Jefferson and the statism of Alexander Hamilton to create Progressivism. According to contributor Scot Zentner, 'Johnson¿was neither a classical liberal nor an abject socialist, but one who thought of himself as holding on to some kind of individualism, albeit an individualism regulated by the tender and caring state.' Although Johnson supported a strong centralized government, he became dissatisfied with FDR's New Deal because it had become too regimented. The Progressives wanted a government with a greater moral and maternal responsibility, one that would be 'personified as a feeling and compassionate being.' From Johnson's viewpoint, the state 'now would provide 'care and tenderness' to those harmed by society or otherwise unable to find success within it.' Even though Johnson did not approve of FDR's cold administrative state, his ideology was the beginning of California's current mindset. According to Zentner, '[In] Johnson's theory of government, the primary task of the state was, in fact, to provide, through its expanded regulatory and redistributive powers, a much fuller reconciliation of private and public interests than had been thought p

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