The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 331
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Book Reviews and Notices
the third takes up the actual establishment of state government
and the preliminary workings of the new machinery. One chap-
ter in this division is concerned with the national aspect of Cali-
fornia's admission; and still another contains certain interesting
statistics for the year 1850.
The student of economic and legal history will find much of
interest in the volume, particularly in the chapters dealing with
the convention's attitude toward banks and corporations, Governor
Burnett's financial recommendations, the land question, the sources
of the constitution, and the debates over the establishment of the
civil or common law in the state.
Of more particular value, however, and to the reviewer's mind
the essential contribution the study has made to the history of
the period, is the author's treatment of the establishment of the
eastern boundary and the introduction of the negro into California.
With regard to both of these questions, misconception has been
widely prevalent and strongly rooted. Almost without exception,
earlier writers, following in the steps of Bancroft, who is prone
to wander wherever his prejudices lead, without regard to fact,
have seen in these issues the sinister and malignant influence of
slavery, when in fact such influence did not exist. Sectionalism,
Mr. Goodwin found; though not the sectionalism created by Mason
and Dixon's line, but that which resulted from the divergent
interests of the mining regions on the one hand and the remaining
districts of the state, led by San Francisco and San Jos6, on
In this sober examination of the slavery question and restate-
ment of the actual issues at stake in the convention, the author
has conferred marked benefit upon the history of California. In-
deed, he has done more--he has given another illustration of how
essential it is for the sake of truth that much of our western his-
tory be rewritten by those able to consider events before the Civil
War dispassionately and find as their causes other motives and
interests than the sombre issue of slavery. If for no other reason
than this, Mr. Goodwin's book deserves a permanent place in the
historical literature of the state.
The reader will notice several outstanding defects, most of
which could easily have been obviated. There is no bibliography;
and if one be inclined to overlook this, he is struck at once with
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/337/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.