Public affairs in Arkansas, 1874-1896
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Since the publication in 1923 of Thomas S. Staples' Reconstruction in Arkansas, 1862-1874 the post-Civil War history of Arkansas has been generally neglected. The period from 1874 to 1896 was an important one in the history of the state. Those years witnessed the overthrow of the Republican controlled Reconstruction government, the development of political agrarianism, and the confirmation of one-party rule under the Democracy. They were also a time when the state expanded the public service institutions established by the Republicans, created new ones, reordered the penal system, and attempted to regulate the railroads. The purpose of this study is to analyze and describe political developments, and to trace the evolution of public affairs with respect to education, charitable institutions, the penal system, and railroad regulation. Although numerous sources have been consulted, the most important is the Arkansas Gazette.