Ohio History Politics & Government

The books and articles below are about the political and legal history of Ohio. See the right column for more info about this website.

“Development of the Judicial System of Ohio”

Ohio History XLI, April 1932/Number 2, 195-236.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Aumann, Francis R.Go to Article

The author describes the evolution of court or judicial systems, beginning with the establishment of the Northwest Territory in the 1787 ordinance, which provided for a court of three judges that would share legislative power with the Governor. When the U.S. achieved independence the existing states already had functioning judicial systems that continued from the colonial era, but a new system had to evolve in the Northwest Territory, along with a new government. Because Ohio had the first Territorial government and then became the first new state in the region, it had to continually invent a judicial system that fit the needs of the population there. The author traces the many changes in the Ohio system, providing explanations and extended quotes from contemporary observers to illustrate why aspects of the system often worked poorly and needed to be fixed.

Ohio history, judicial history, state government, books online free

“The Struggle for Statehood in Ohio”

Ohio History XXXII, July 1923/Number 3, 472-505.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Bartlett, Ruhl J.Go to Article

The author describes the political struggle in Ohio Territory from 1799 to 1803 between Federalists, represented by appointed Governor Arthur St. Clair, and the Anti-Federalists, represented by a majority of the popularly elected Legislative Assembly. The principal issue over which they fought was whether Ohio would apply for statehood. The author characterizes St. Clair and the Federalists in Ohio as made up mainly of people from the eastern states, especially Connecticut and Massachusetts, who settled in eastern Ohio, with the cities of Marietta and Cleveland the centers of Federalist power. The anti-Federalists or Republicans were most often from Virginia and Kentucky, settled in central and western Ohio, and they dominated Chillicothe.

See related historical documents at:
Great Lakes Region History: Documents & Collections of Records
Ohio History: Documents & Collections of Records

statehood, Ohio history, Ohio Territory, Ohio state government, ebooks online

Ohio History Politics & Government

“Economic Basis of Ohio Politics”

Ohio Archeological and Historical Quarterly XLVII, October 1938/Number 4, 288-318.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Davis, H. E.Go to Article

The author begins by examining trade and production in Ohio in the first two decades of the 19th century. Farmers were able to produce a large volume of a range of products, but high transportation costs and an inadequate market kept prices for most Ohio producers very low, preventing most farms from being profitable. Prices of manufactured goods from the east were exorbitant, again because of transportation costs. Because of these factors and others there was little cash available for infrastructure investment. However, the high cost of manufactured goods encouraged a rise of small scale mining, milling and manufacturing in Ohio, which would later contribute to the development of large-scale manufacturing. The author goes on to explore how the geography of Ohio and regionalization of certain leading industries led to political sectionalism.

history of Ohio, economic history, political history, history magazine, free online library

“The Evolution of Ohio County Boundaries”

Ohio History XXXVI, July 1927/Number 3, 340-477

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Downes, Randolph C.Go to Article

The introductory paragraph partially explains the intent of the article. “The first of Ohio’s eight-eight counties was established in 1788. The last revision in the boundaries was made in 1888, exactly one hundred years later. The following study has taken all the data concerning the boundaries, and by arranging them in eighteen chronological groups, has presented graphically the evolution of Ohio’s counties in eighteen maps.”

Legislative enactments defining boundaries of newly-created counties were often ambiguous. The author delves into (apparently) every such boundary controversy by citing the opinions of various commentators and explaining the issues. At the end of the paper is a list of all counties, showing the legislative enactments affecting each.

Ohio history, Ohio counties, legislation, books online, public domain

Civics of Ohio

Boston: Ginn 1914
Fess, Simeon D.Go to Book

Constitutional Conventions of Ohio

Columbus: Stoneman 1911
Galbreath, C. B., comp.Go to Book

“The Ohio-Michigan Boundary Line Dispute”

Ohio History IV, January 1896/Annual, 199-230.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Galloway, Tod B.Go to Article

The author narrates the events that led to Ohio fixing its northern boundary further north than where Michigan Territory believed it should be, and reviews all the factors that led to their different understandings of the proper boundary. He made clear that, once he had fully analyzed the issue, he was unable to conclude which interpretation was ‘correct’.

Toledo War, Ohio border, free history journal

Ohio History Politics & Government

Ohio Government

Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall 1961
Greene, AlexanderGo to Book

The Increasing Cost of Crime in Ohio

Columbus: Ohio Board of Administration 1916
Haines, Thomas H.Go to Book

This booklet is from the Bureau of Juvenile Research.

“The Aaron Burr Conspiracy in the Ohio Valley”

Ohio History XXIV, April 1915/Number 2, 121-37.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Henshaw, LeslieGo to Article

The author begins this concise history with this statement: “What the movement known as the Burr Conspiracy really was, will probably never be accurately known. It might have been one of three things; first, a filibustering expedition directed against Spain; second, a plan to revolutionize the West and join this section with Louisiana to form a new republic; third, a scheme to join the Western States and Louisiana with Spanish America to form an empire.”

Henshaw narrates what is known of the movements and correspondence of Burr and other participants, and also reports newspaper articles that began about the ‘conspiracy’ as it was in progress. She also discusses possible motives of some of Burr’s opponents. At the end of the article she draws some conclusions about Burr and his methods, but stops short of weighing in on his exact intentions.

Burr conspiracy, Aaron Burr, history journal, free online library

“Party Politics in Ohio, 1840-50”

Ohio History XXXVII, July 1928/Number 3, 439-591; XXXVIII, January 1929/Number 1, 47-182; April 1929/Number 2, 260-402.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Holt, Edgar A.Vol 37 Part 1|Vol 38 Part 2|Vol 38 Part 3

This 400-page paper published in 3 issues of Ohio History was a PhD dissertation. In the Preface, the author wrote that his purpose was, “to trace the political history of Ohio during the ‘forties in relation to state and national problems. The period under investigation affords an interesting cross section of American political history, revealing appeals to party prejudice, conflicting economic and social interests, political manipulations and “log-rollings”, and the emergence of the Northwest as a powerful section demanding in vigorous terms a new consideration in the councils of the National Government. The period also marks the growing divergence of northern and southern interests which ended in the Civil War, for the Northwest, like the South, was developing a peculiar sectionalism which threatened the integrity of the Union.”

Ohio history, Ohio politics, history journal, free online books

Ohio History Politics & Government

The Government of the People of the State of Ohio

Philadelphia: Eldredge & Brother 1895
Knight, George Wells Go to Book

A Handy Guide for Ohio Taxpayers

Columbus: Ohio State Board of Commerce 1916
Ohio State Board of CommerceGo to Book

The Penal Problem in Ohio

Columbus: Heer 1926
Ohio LegislatureGo to Book

Report of the Joint Legislative Committee on Prisons and Reformatories Appointed by the 86th General Assembly of Ohio.

Township Officers’ Guide

Cincinnati: Robert Clarke 1887
Peck, Hiram D.Go to Book

(title continued) ” … A manual of the law relating to the formation and government of townships, and the rights and duties of township officers in the State of Ohio, with numerous forms and annotations of decisions”

“Location of Site of Ohio Capital”

Ohio History 25, April 1916/Number 2, 210-34.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Randall, E.O.Go to Article

Author E. O. Randall begins with a short review of the establishment of the first settlements in Ohio in 1788, and a brief political history from the late 1790s into the early 1800s. His main story begins about 1808, by which time the Ohio legislature and many land speculators and leading citizens understood that Ohio needed to select a new capital city. Randall describes the various proposals and the factional struggles that continued for years over the issue.

Ohio history, Ohio politics, Ohio settlements, online history magazine

The Nation and the State; Civil Government of Ohio

Syracuse, NY: Bardeen 1902
Roberts, Frank. Hunt HurdGo to Book

“Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824”

Ohio History XXVI, April 1917/Number 2, 153-224.

Columbus: Ohio Historical Society
Roseboom, Eugene H.Go to Article

Note that this paper begins part-way down the page.

This article, an M.A. thesis, is a study of the presidential campaign of 1824 in Ohio. The author wishes to show through this Ohio political campaign how the economic and geographical groupings nationwide were breaking down and re-forming. The western states had undergone rapid growth in population and economic power. In 1824 Ohio was the most populous western state, and fourth in the union. By 1830, 6 in 15 Americans would live west of the Alleghenies. Partly as a result of the shift to the west, the two national parties, Republicans and Federalists, were beginning to disintegrate.

The chapter headings of the thesis, and some of the topics within, are:

-Situation in the Beginning
-The Preliminary Campaign. The Clinton movement, Calhoun in Ohio
-Parties and Conventions. The Jackson movement, Clay ticket, Adams ticket.
-The Campaign for Clay. Tariff and internal improvements, slavery issue, bank issue.
-The Campaign for Jackson. Jackson and western interests.
-The Campaign for Adams. Adams and the domestic policy
-The Election by the People. Analysis of returns.
-The House Election. Effects in Ohio.

Ohio history, Ohio politics, nineteenth century history, U.S. history, online history journal

Ohio History Politics & Government

Ohio Government Survey

Columbus: 1936
Sherrill, C. O. (Col.), DirectorGo to Book

At the request of the Governor, a study of Ohio government was carried out by about 130 business executives and professional men of Ohio. Some 143 bureaus and departmental operations were included. This 300-page volume is a compilation of the 5,000 pages of reports that resulted.

The Government of Ohio, Its History and Administration

New York: Macmillan 1904
Siebert, Wilbur H.Go to Book

This book is one in a series called Handbooks of American Government, and was produced at the centennial of Ohio’s statehood. It was intended for use in schools. Part and Chapter headings are:

Part 1 – The Growth of the Government
-Ohio as a Part of the Northwest Territory
-Ohio as a State

Part 2 – The Structure of the Government
-Character of the State Constitution
-Citizenship and the Suffrage
-The Central Government of the State
-The Local Governments of the State

Part 3 – The Work of the Government
-The Administration of Justice
-The Protection of the Public
-The Support of Public Education
-The Supervision of Charities and Corrections
-The Control of Economic Interests
-The Management of the Public Finances

-Appendix A – Chronological Lists
-Appendix B – Historical Documents
-Appendix C – Political Divisions of the State
-Appendix D – Review Outline of the State Government
-Appendix E – Statistical Tables

Also useful is: Encyclopedias, Encyclopedia Guides & Year Books

state of Ohio, state government, statehood, state constitution, state administration, books online

History of the Republican Party in Ohio and Memoirs of its Representative Supporters

Chicago: Lewis 1898
Smith, Joseph Patterson, ed.Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

A Compilation of Laws, Treaties, Resolutions, and Ordinances of the General and State Governments…

Columbus: 1825
Swan, GustavusGo to Book

(title continued) “… which relate to lands in the state of Ohio; including the laws adopted by the governor and judges; the laws of the territorial legislature; and the laws of this state, to the years 1815-16. Published in pursuance of resolutions of the General assembly, passed January 22, 1825”

Contains the laws, grants, treaties, etc., relating to the U. S. Military Bounties, Ohio Company’s Purchase, John Cleves Symmes’ Purchase, Sales of Public Lands in Ohio, Refugee Lands, Western Reserve of Connecticut, Virginia Military Bounties, French Grant, Grants and Privileges to Ohio, Laws for the Support of the Gospel and Schools, and much more.

Also see: Laws of the Territory of Michigan in Michigan History: Politics & Government;
Philbrick, Francis S. ed., The Laws of Indiana Territory 1801-1809 in Indiana History Politics & Government ;
Alvord, Clarence W. ed., Laws of the Territory of Illinois 1809-1811 in Illinois History Politics & Government;
Pease, Theodore C., The Laws of the Northwest Territory, 1788-1800 in Great Lakes History Politics & Government

Ohio history, Ohio laws, public land sales, Ohio Company, Western Reserve history, land grant schools, online book

Ohio Interrogation Points

Columbus: Heer 1917
Tannehill, J. W., preparedGo to Book

(title continued) ” … For the use of Ohio High Schools and Colleges and to increase interest among voters and others in the Government of the Buckeye State”

Qs and As on Ohio history and government.

Areas of Ohio: 1960

U.S. Department of Commerce 1967
U.S. Department of Commerce Go to Book

An issue of “Area Measurement Reports” by the Dept of Commerce.

The Facts and Historical Events of the Toledo War of 1835

Toledo: 1869
Way, W.V.Go to Book

This paper provides a detailed narrative history of the dispute and ‘war’ between Ohio and Michigan over their different versions of the boundary between them. A number of letters, including a few to or from the two governors, are reproduced.

Ohio Boundary Dispute, Toledo War, Ohio-Michigan War, free online library, public domain

Municipal Government in Michigan and Ohio: A Study in the Relations of City and Commonwealth

NY: Columbia University 1896
Wilcox, Delos F.Go to Book

A volume in the Series Studies in History, Economics and Public Law.

Evolution of Township Government in Ohio

Washington: American Historical Association 1895
Wilgus, James AlvaGo to Book

Bossism in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati News 1905
Wright, Henry CollierGo to Book

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