vided the educational foundations for constitutional reform for the next
twenty years. By 1927, through the work of Governor Alfred E. Smith, Robert Moses, Belle Moskowitz, and others, amendments were
adopted providing for executive consolidation, the short ballot, and an
executive budget. Of the thirty-three changes recommended in 1915,
a majority had been adopted by 1935, including women's suffrage,
home rule for the cities, and provisions concerning the judiciary. The
accomplishments of the 1915 convention paved the way for those later
successes. Its proposals presaged the shift of power in state government from the legislative to the executive branch, providing affirmative
grants of power to the executive. However, its move toward a parliamentary democracy has not taken hold in the constitutional culture of New York.
At a reunion dinner of the delegates to the 1915 convention, Elihu
Root gave a fitting assessment of their work: "I think it makes but little
difference whether a man gives his life and his service to laying the
foundation and building up the structure, or whether he is the man
that floats a flag on the battlements and cries, 'Victory'."
Revised Record of the Constitutional Convention of the State of New
York, 1915, 4 vols. ( Albany: J. B. Lyons, 1916), IV, p. 4380 (hereinafter referred
to as Rev. Rec.).
Dougherty, Constitutional History of the State of New York, 2nd ed.,
Peter Hoffer and
N. E. H. Hull, Impeachment in America, 1635-1805
( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984), pp. xi, 59-67.
Sutton, Debates and Proceedings, 1846, p. 436.
Lincoln, Constitutional History, IV, p. 603.
Annual Message to the Legislature, January 1, 1913. Public Papers of
William Sulzer, Governor, 1913 ( Albany: J. B. Lyon, 1914).
Proceedings of the Court for the Trial of Impeachments: The People
of the State of New York by the Assembly Thereof Against William Sulzer as
Governor, 1913, 2 vols. ( Albany: J. B. Lyon Co., 1913), hereafter Court for the
Trial of Impeachments. See Jacob Friedman, The Impeachment of Governor
William Sulzer ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1939) for full treatment.
See "Tammany and the Sulzer Case," The American Review of Reviews, XLVIII ( 1913), pp. 531-533.
New York Code of Criminal Procedure, Sec. 12 ( 1913).
Court for the Trial of Impeachments, I, pp. 46-47.
163 A.D. 725 ( 1914).
Court for the Trial of Impeachments, II, p. 1596.
This conclusion is based on the analysis of cases found in New York's
Impeachment Law and the Trial of Governor Sulzer: A Case for Reform ( Albany: New York State Senate Judiciary Committee, 1986), pp. 31-38.