Municipal Home Rule

From Ohio History Central

Americans became interested in reform of the political system in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These concerns contributed to the growth of Progressivism, a major reform movement of this era. In 1912, many Ohioans debated the need for a new state constitution, establishing the Constitutional Convention of 1912. In the end, delegates decided to modify the current constitution through amendments rather than replacing the current document. One amendment dealt with the idea of municipal home rule. This amendment, if passed, would have allowed Ohio communities with at least five thousand residents to govern themselves, as long as they followed conditions established by the state legislature. Later that same year, Ohioans voted to approve the municipal home rule amendment. Progressives hoped that passage of the amendment would lead to more participation in the democratic process at the local level, as well as the establishment of more efficient and less corrupt city governments.

After passage of the municipal home rule amendment, a number of Ohio cities created their own city charters. Cleveland was one of the first cities to write a new charter, and was soon followed by Columbus, Dayton, and a number of other cities. Cincinnati's attempt to adopt a charter was unsuccessful at first, although several years later it finally completed the process.

See Also


  1. Hofstadter, Richard. The Age of Reform: From Bryan to F.D.R. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1960.  
  2. Hofstadter, Richard. The Progressive Movement, 1900-1915. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963.  
  3. McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. New York, NY: Free Press, 2003.