The History of the New York City Legislature

By Frederick Shaw | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3. HOME RULE, 1924-1937

A city is not a province to be administered by some outside authority, but a government.--HORACE DEMING1

UNTIL 1924 New York was not a self-governing community. The city legislature could exercise no authority whatever without a grant of power from the state. And from the state legislature at Albany flowed a continuous stream of special or local laws. Charter-revising legislation was enacted in such numbers that New York's charter became a "thing of shreds and patches." In 1921 a charter revision commission published a volume of digests of special laws of the legislature pertaining to New York City which filled 1300 pages in fine print. Nor did the state legislature confine itself to delimiting the powers of the municipal government. A large proportion of its time was spent in passing special legislation dealing in minute detail with the organization and operation of city governments. One local law increased the space in New York City's Hall of Records to be allotted to the Register and Commissioner of Records from 10,000 to 40,000 feet. Another abolished the grade of doorman in the New York Police Department.2

For two generations various officials and official bodies in the state condemned the recourse of individuals to the state legislature for special bills as a serious abuse. The New York Charter Revision Commission of 1907, for example, scored the "frequent legislative interventions which have practically destroyed all self-government, created more local mischief than they have

____________________
1
The Government of American Cities ( New York, 1909), p. 153.
2
Report of Chart. Rev. Comm. of 1907, p. 11; Home Rule for New York City ( New York, 1916), unpaged; Joseph D. McGoldrick, "Home Rule in New York State," American Political Science Review, XIX ( 1925), 695.

-42-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The History of the New York City Legislature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 302

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?