The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
Vol. XVII.* OCTOBER, 1913 No. 2
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY.
THE MOVEMENT FOR STATE DIVISION IN CALI-
FORNIA, 1849-1860
WILLIAM HENRY ELLISON
Between the calling of the constitutional convention in 1849 and
the meeting of the legislature in 1860, various efforts were made
to divide California by a line running east and west. Writers on
the history of California have obscured the real significance of the
division movement by making it an incident in the national slavery
controversy. Further investigation, however, reveals the incidental
character of the slavery issue in the movement, and the priority
of the struggle for the adjustment of local interests in a newly
formed frontier.
The whole movement of population westward in the United States
has been attended by conflicts of classes, nationalities, and develop-
ing interests. In particular has the struggle been manifest in the
efforts of the older communities to retain a preponderance of control
in determining social, economic, and political forms in which
national or state life has found expression, as against the newer
communities struggling to free themselves from that control, or
rather to determine their own forms of expression.
The movement for the division of California in the first decade
of the state's history was a part of this struggle known as section-
alism. But the struggle here had phases peculiar to itself, by reason
of California's early settlement by the Spaniards, and of the sud-
den influx of a great new population, with interests and traditions
*Volumes I-XV published as THE QUARTERLY of the Texas State His-
torical Association.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/. Accessed July 14, 2014.