of the state, particularly with regard to canal policy and the judiciary. The 1821 Constitution, by allowing for the local election of justices of the peace, sheriffs, county clerks, and coroners, reduced legislative influence not only on the politics of local government but also on the administrative processes of those governments. The constitution gave increased recognition to locality by guaranteeing one assemblyman to each county. Such reforms, coupled with the decisions made at the 1846 convention, would lead to the reinvigoration of local governmental institutions.
On the other hand, the delegates' decision to ensconce key legislative policies such as those concerning canals and lotteries in the constitution indicated a distinct distrust of the legislature and made it difficult for future legislatures to deal flexibly with changing economic and financial conditions. Such provisions meant that change in those policies could be made only by further constitutional amendments. Escalating resort to the constitution for policy changes when conditions demanded inevitably created a more detailed and cumbersome document. The decision to treat the state constitution as a repository for the public policies of the state, first made in 1821, opened the way for future groups to use that constitution and its successors to insulate their policy goals from alteration by ordinary legislative process.
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Publication information: Book title: Ordered Liberty:A Constitutional History of New York. Contributors: Peter J. Galie - Author. Publisher: Fordham University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 91.
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