Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Harl Dalstrom
Dr. Tommy Thompson
Dr. Orville Menard
Historians have frequently examined reforms of government in the Progressive Era. The stated purpose of these modifications, particularly the commission and city manager plans, was "to make elected representatives more responsive to the wishes of the voters." Under the commission, a board of five or seven commissioners elected at-large replaced a council with members chosen by ward. The small number of representatives allowed citizens to pinpoint responsibility since each man was in charge of one city department. The manager plan simply added a hired city manager who implemented the commissioners' policies. Samuel P. Hays and James Weinstein have challenged this view of structural reform and instead found that rather than returning political control to the people, the elite businessmen and professionals who backed these changes succeeded in establishing their own class in power.
Peterson, Garneth Oldenkamp, "The Omaha City Council and Commission: A Profile, 1858-1930" (1980). Student Work. 2246.
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