The History of the New York City Legislature

By Frederick Shaw | Go to book overview

Appendix A. CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF IMPOR
TANT DATES PERTAINING TO THE NEW
YORK CITY LEGISLATURE
1851 Board of Aldermen grants first trolley franchise. William M. Tweed elected to the Board.
1852 Board of Aldermen earns the name, "The Forty Thieves." Tweed a ringleader.
1871 Simon Sterne publishes On Representative Government and Personal Representation, first American treatise on proportional representation.
1872 State Commission drafts a charter with a plan of proportional representation for the Board of Aldermen.

Governor Hoffman vetoes it.

1873 New city charter provides a crude system of proportional representation called "limited voting" for the Board of Aldermen.
1880 State Legislature enacts a new charter for the City of Brooklyn, to go into effect in 1882, centering the government in the hands of the Mayor.
1882 Limited voting for Board of Aldermen discarded in favor of single-member district system.
1884 The "Boodle Board": All but two aldermen involved in a franchise scandal.
1893 Founding of the Proportional Representation League.
1894 National Municipal League founded.
1896 State Legislature passes a law to consolidate Greater New York. Charter Commission appointed by the Governor.
1897 State Legislature ratifies report of Charter Commission for Greater New York. New charter creates a bicameral municipal legislature--a Board of Aldermen (with two-year term) and a Council (elected for four years).

First elections for the government of Greater New York.

1898 Government of Greater New York goes into operation. First meetings of Municipal Assembly.
1899 Mazet Committee investigates corruption in the city. Its revelations help turn Tammany out in the 1901 elections.
1900 Governor Theodore Roosevelt appoints Charter Revision Commission to remedy defects of the original Greater New York Charter: a unicameral Board of Aldermen recommended.

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