Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
IOWA, a state of the American Union, formed from the "Louisiana purchase." (See
—The constitution of 1846 prohibited slavery, the loaning of state credit to individuals or corporations, the contraction of a state debt of more than $250,000 or county debt to more than 5 per cent. of its property valuation, and the granting of charters except by general laws; made the sessions of the legislature biennial and the governor's term two years; restricted the suffrage to white males; and fixed the capital at Des Moines. A new constitution, formed by a convention which met Jan. 19, 1857, and ratified by popular vote Aug. 3, changed none of the above particulars, and no change has since been made except that the word "white" was stricken out of it in 1868.
—The political history of Iowa falls into two periods, 1846-54 and 1855-81. In the first of these the state was democratic in all elections, presidential, congressional and state, except that a whig congressman was chosen in one of the two districts in 1848. The general election of 1854 was the turning point between the two periods; in it the republicans succeeded in electing the governor, one of the two congressmen, a heavy majority of the lower house of the legislature, and came one short of a majority in the upper house. One result was the election of James Harlan to the United States senate. Since that time (1855-81) the democratic party has been practically a nonentity in the state. Until 1859 one of the United States senators (chosen in 1853) was a democrat, and in 1854 and in 1874 a democrat was chosen in one of the congressional districts; these, and from 20 to 40 of the 150 members of the biennial legislatures, have been the extent of democratic influence upon the politics of the state. The republicans have elected all the governors, United States senators and representatives (with three exceptions), and have maintained from 60 to 70 per cent. of the popular vote. In 1874 the democrats, taking the name of "anti-monopolists," succeeded in electing one of the nine representatives, in the northeastern or Dubuque district, by a majority of but 63 in a vote of 22,069; in 1878 two of the representatives, Weaver and Gillette, were "greenbackers," the former from the southern or Keokuk district, and the latter from the southwestern district of the state; but in all these cases the lost district was again carried by the republicans. (See
—This almost invariable regularity has operated very much to the disadvantage of the public men of the state. One party has always been careless, and the other party hopeless, as to the result of Iowa's vote; and the favors of the national parties have been reserved for the public men of states whose vote was more doubtful. Consequently, though Iowa has never lacked able men, their services have been better appreciated by the state than by the nation. Among them are W. B. Allison, republican representative 1863-71. United States senator 1873-85; Wm. W. Belknap, secretary of war under Grant (see
—The name of Iowa was given from that of its principal river, an Indian word said to mean the sleepy ones; but its popular name is The Hawkeye State.
—GOVERNORS: Ansel Briggs (1846-50); Stephen Hempstead (1850-54); Jas. W. Grimes (1854-8); R. P. Lowe (1858-60); S. J. Kirkwood (1860-64): W. M. Stone (1864-8); Samuel Merrill (1868-72), C. C. Carpenter (1872-6); S. J. Kirkwood (1876-8); John H. Gear (1878-82).
—See Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Plumb's Sketches of Iowa (1839); Parker's Iowa as it is (1855); Barber and Howe's History of the Western States (1867); Ingersoll's Iowa and the Rebellion (1867); Salter's Life of J. W. Grimes; the acts of June 12, 1838, and March 3, 1845, are in 5 Stat. at Large, 235, 742, and those of Aug. 4 and Dec. 28, 1846, in 9 Stat. at Large, 52, 117; Porter's West in 1880, 272.
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