This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Law and order and admission to statehood

Arizona, the state where I live, will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of being admitted to the Union on February 14, 2012. And it really was a big deal back then, and meant a lot to the people who lived here. And it had to be earned.

You really don't hear the word *Union* much anymore when referring to the United States, but that's what this country is all about - separate states that are united into one country. Unless your state was one of the first 13 that united in 1776, your state had to earn the right, and the privilege, of being a state of the Union.

The first step to becoming a state is to become a territory. That's the *training wheels* that the federal government has always put on states to make them prove themselves. And the most important thing that a territory had to prove in order to request statehood was stability. They needed to show that they were civilized, and especially that they had law and order. If you would like to watch a movie that shows what's involved with this process, take a look at *Hang "Em High", a Clint Eastwood movie from 1968. It is set in Territorial Oklahoma, but it might as well as been Arizona.

Jed Cooper: You're lynching those boys. Why? 
Judge Adam Fenton: Why? Because of you, Cooper. Because of that beautiful, that magnificent journey you took to bring three killers to justice. Because if the law didn't hang them, the next posse that goes out will say, "Hang 'em and hang 'em high, there's no justice in Fort Grant." And if there's no justice in Fort Grant, Cooper, there will be no statehood for this territory.

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