November 26, 2014

A Study of Newspaper Coverage of South Dakota Constitutional Conventions

Candace Spurlin, Catherine Chicoine, Stacy Hegge, and Patrick M. Garry, all of the University of South Dakota School of Law, have published Journalistic Coverage of the 1883, 1885 and 1889 Constitutional Conventions, in volume 59 of the South Dakota Law Review (2014). Here is the abstract.

Newspapers have played a significant role in politics in the United States throughout its history. South Dakota is no exception, newspaper played a significant role in the passage of South Dakota's Constitution and its striving for statehood. Newspapers were so prevalent in the southern part of the Dakota Territory in the late 1800s that more than two hundred and twenty towns published their own papers.

Not only did newspapers proliferate in these prairie towns, but they became intimately involved in territorial and statehood politics. This article reprints selected newspaper articles from across the Territory that highlight the discussions taking place at the three Constitutional Conventions of 1883,1885 and 1889. The final of these three conventions ratified the South Dakota Constitution which ultimately led to statehood in November of 1889.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

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