Cat. 41

Arizona Constitution of 1910

Curator Commentary

By the turn of the twentieth century, some Americans found that their elected officials were unresponsive and refusing to enact the will of the people.

In 1910, the convention writing Arizona’s first constitution sought to provide citizens a more direct way to effect change through “initiative” and “referendum” procedures. The initiative gave the citizens the right to propose their own laws or constitutional amendments, while the referendum gave citizens the right to block acts of the legislature.

About half of the states eventually adopted some form of these procedures, even though many citizens criticized them for their potential to be misused.

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