Award Date

1-1-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Committee Member

David Tanenhaus

Number of Pages

90

Abstract

The years between the American Revolution and the Civil War witnessed the prevalence of public disorder and social violence, especially in the expanding American West. In many instances, crowds took the law into their own hands and dealt summary vengeance on suspected criminals. This study delves into the political and legal climate of San Francisco in the 1850s to examine perhaps the most famous episodes of vigilantism in antebellum America; the San Francisco Vigilante Committees of 1851 and 1856. Through a careful contextualization and comparison of these committees, the thesis argues that the leaders of the respective committees believed that extralegal traditions seemed to be the best solution for securing law and order in the short run and for establishing a solid foundation for civic development. The thesis concludes with an examination of how future generations viewed these committees and their actions.

Keywords

Civic; California; Development; Francisco; Justice; San; Vigilante

Controlled Subject

Law

File Format

pdf

File Size

2375.68 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Language

English

Permissions

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Identifier

https://doi.org/10.25669/ncqg-edvl


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