In 1846 the Mormons were expelled westward from Nauvoo, Illinois. Beyond the borders of the United States, the Mormon Church absorbed the civil functions of municipal government, a pattern which continued in the Great Basin and received the sanction of state authority in 1849 under Deseret.
As the political arm of the "Kingdom of God," the Council of Fifty influenced local political development as its members simultaneously occupied elective offices in both the territorial legislature and municipal government.
During the first decade as a territory, Utah's city charters generally followed the pattern established by Nauvoo in 1840. However, in the Great Basin, municipalities included vast areas of incorporation and were granted extensive control over surrounding natural resources. The alderman was a powerful municipal official until 1866 when his judicial duties were transferred to the municipal justice of peace and the strong mayor was introduced. Utah's municipalities were classified according to population in 1888.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Political Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Koritz, Alvin Charles, "The Development of Municipal Government in the Territory of Utah" (1972). Theses and Dissertations. 4856.
Utah, Politics, government, Local government, Utah