Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Politics Of The Old West...!

I figured that today for western Wednesday, we would look at some of the politics of the old west! That's a bit of history that we don't discuss that often.

It would seem to me that not much has changed in the "good ol' boy's club" from then until now. If you make the wrong folks mad, or don't "play the game", then your political future is almost over as fast as it began!

Jan 16, 1847:
Fremont appointed Governor of California

A leader in the successful fight to wrest California away from Mexico, the explorer and mapmaker John C. Fremont briefly becomes governor of the newly won American territory.

Still only in his early mid-30s at the time, Fremont had already won national acclaim for his leadership of two important explorations of the West with the military's Corps of Topographical Engineers. Shortly after the government published Fremont's meticulously accurate maps of the Far West, they became indispensable guides for the growing numbers of overland emigrants heading for California and Oregon. In 1845, though, the lines between military exploration and military conquest began to blur when President James Polk sent Captain Fremont and his men on a third "scientific" mission to explore the Rockies and Sierra Nevada—with 60 armed men accompanying them. Polk's ambition to take California from Mexico was no secret, and Fremont's expedition was clearly designed to place a military force near the region in case of war.

When Mexico and the U.S. declared war in May 1846, Fremont and his men were in Oregon. Upon hearing the news, Fremont immediately headed south, calling his return "the first step in the conquest of California." When the Anglo-American population of California learned of Fremont's arrival, many of them began to rebel against their Mexican leaders. In June, a small band of American settlers seized Sonoma and raised a flag with a bear facing a five-pointed star—with this act, the revolutionaries declared the independent Republic of California.

The Bear Flag Republic was short-lived. In August, Fremont and General Robert Stockton occupied Los Angeles. By January 1847, they had put down the small number of Californians determined to maintain a nation independent of the United States. With California now clearly in the U.S. hands, Stockton agreed to appoint Fremont as the territorial governor. However, a dispute broke out within the army over the legitimacy of Fremont's appointment, and the young captain's detractors accused him of mutiny, disobedience, and conduct prejudicial to military discipline. Recalled to Washington for a court martial, Fremont was found guilty of all three charges, and his appointment to take the position of governor was revoked. Though President Polk pardoned him and ordered him back to active duty in the army, Fremont was deeply embittered, and he resigned from the military and returned to California a private citizen.

Although he never regained the governorship of California, the turmoil of Fremont's early political career did not harm his future prospects. In 1851, citizens of California elected him a senator, and became the territorial governor of Arizona in 1878. Today, however, Fremont's youthful accomplishments as an explorer and mapmaker are more celebrated than his subsequent political career.

Guess that it's another case of the PTB in Washington trying to control the states, regardless of what the citizens want.Like I said, not much has changed over the years in politics.

Coffee outside again, as the floors inside Mom's are all torn up. Boy, what a mess!


Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Good one today, Mr. Hermit. I learn more here than I ever did in school!
Snowing again like he77 - the Christmas snow finally melted all away yesterday and now more to shovel. Oh, well. It is pretty!
Coffee on the patio is fine - we can watch the construction. I'll bring chocolate cake for all.

linda m said...

Good one today. You're right not much has changed in over a hundred years. i want to watch the construction - sounds like fun. We can all "supervise" the workers. lol!

Rob said...

The last time I was in Sonoma I never thought of it as being the birthplace of a Republic.

That was a nice piece of history, thanks for sharing!

JO said...

Great post and anothr lesson learned from out history.
Sure glad your mom isn't there to see her house all torn up.I think we might be warming up here. but I would rather have coffee with friends on your patio

Sixbears said...

Lets give California its independence back -please. :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Man, do I need some of that chocolate cake! It has been crazy around here, that's for sure!

Sorry to hear about all your snow, but the mud is the worse part. Having 6 guys parading in and out of Mom's house with mud covered boots is terrible. Glad I sent her off.

Gotta have something to gripe about, I reckon!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Linda...
Watching it is a lot more fun than doing it! Glad it's not me!

We actually have some sunshine today! That's a good thing!

Many thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Rob...
I guess we don't think much about how other states got started. I sure didn't!

Wonder if they teach this in California schools? Probably not!

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Jo...
Right now it would break her heart, that's for sure! Still, it could be worse! At least it's still standing!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in today!

Hey Sixbears...
Man, do I ever hear ya on that! But if we did, who would we get to laugh at? Have to admit, the folks there can be entertaining!

Enjoy Florida...and thanks for taking the time to drop by!