The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 85
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California and the Nation, 1846-1869
the "California Republic" came to an early end, and California
became on July 7, 1846, as has been stated, practically, though
not technically, United States territory.
II. THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL GOVERNMENT
Demand for a Territorial Government: The keynote to the
period from 1846 to 1850, was the struggle for civil government.
This was the most absorbing issue, not only in California, but also
in Washington. In few other instances in United States history
has civil government been ushered in with so much violent dis-
cussion. The reasons are two: the unique conditions in California,
and the slavery conflict in the East.
In California there was an effete, and dilapidated system of
government, adjusted to the simple wants of a pastoral people, but
now called upon to serve the needs of a rapidly growing, aggressive
population of the conquering nation. Furthermore, the nature of
the established government was utterly repugnant to American
ideas of justice. Hence, it is not at all surprising that the Ameri-
cans, especially the more recent arrivals from the western states,
should demand the privilege of being governed in "American
fashion," and fail entirely to appreciate the argument of the mili-
tary governors that until the country was definitely ceded to the
United States, the government in California must be a military
one administered under the existing Mexican laws. They could
not understand that Americans in California could claim no rights
and privileges not also guaranteed to the other inhabitants of a
conquered territory. American settlers maintained that, since for
all practical purposes California was already a part of the United
States, they were already under the Constitution and laws of the
United States, and their personal rights and privileges the same
as those guaranteed in any other portion of the United States
territory. As early as 1846, the California press began to advocate
the immediate establishment of a civil government under the Con-
stitution of the United States. This demand became more pro-
nounced after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had been signed
and California definitely became United States territory.
Indeed, the situation had now become an anomaly: United
States territory governed by military men, and by means of an
effete Mexican system of administration. Because of the slavery
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/99/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.