Study of the Utah Commission 1882-96

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Author Grow, Stewart Lofgren
Title Study of the Utah Commission 1882-96
Date 1954-08
Description Cushman, in his basic work "The Independent Regulatory Commission," states that the first such federal body was the Interstate Commerce Commission established in 133? He makes a list of such agencies, past and present, which does not include the Utah Commission. Cushman further con- • eludes, and most writers in the public administration field agree, that the early federal regulatory bodies developed from the pattern set by the states in their control of railroads and canals and that regulatory agencies have been almost solely engaged in the control of some phase of the 2 economic process. The completeness of Cushman*s list, the validity of the assumptions as to the priority of the Interstate Commerce Commission in the federal regulatory field, and the conclusion as to the derivation of national regulatory agencies, may be subject to some modifications when the Y history and activities of the Utah Commission are considered. That body, which operated for fourteen years (1332-96), was established by the Edmunds Act of 1332, and possessed the major characteristics of the modern regulatory agency-the status of semi-independence and the exercise of legislative, judicial, and executive powers. It differed from its later federal counterparts in that it operated to control the political rather than the economic process. Its mission was to expedite the extirpation of polygamy through achieving the transfer of political power in the Territory of Utah from the hands of the ruling polygamist ''elite,11 centered primarily in the hierarchy of the Mormon church, to the hands of the non-polygamist and non-Mormon. Such transfer of power was to be accomplished by the administration of the provisions of the Edmunds law of 1332, which gave to the Utah Commission the power to supervise the entire electoral process in Utah and to enforce the provisions of that law which disfranchised and barred from public office all polygamists. Thereby, it was hoped that, through their loss of political power and the diminution of their rights as citizens, polygaj mists would be so stigmatized and penalized that the abandonment of the practice of polygamy by the members of the Mormon church would be hastened. Certainly this assignment of • transferring political control from a well entrenched, dominant group to a naturally non-dominant group represented an administrative problem fraught with great challenge, and involved one of the very unusual, if not unique, objectives in the annals of American public administration. The work of the Commission was both aided and complicated by the necessity of accomplishing its mission through the administration of lavis which denied to American citizens some of their more cherished political privileges because of their religious convictions and consequent actions. It was required to carry on its administration and apply its sanctions among a people possessing very deep religious and political convictions and the firm belief that the laws administered by the Commission were unnecessary, unwise, and unconstitutional.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Elections, Utah; Polygamy--Utah; Politics--Utah
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name PhD
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Study of the Utah Commission 1882-96" J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections E 13.6 1954 G76
Rights Management © Stewart Lofgren Grow
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 38,679 bytes
Identifier us-etd2,133382
Source Original: University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Conversion Specifications Original scanned on Kirtas 2400 and saved as 400 ppi 8 bit grayscale jpeg. Display image generated in Kirtas Technologies' OCR Manager as multiple page pdf, and uploaded into CONTENT dm.
ARK ark:/87278/s6np2k20
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2012-05-17
ID 194036
Reference URL