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County Government Outline and Bibliography for Individual or Group Study

Prepared by E. Jeffries Heinrich Instructor in Citizenship and Government University of Virginia Extension Division Revised April, 1933.

This outline and bibliography was prepared as a guide for individual or group reading and study, and gives special attention to the situation in Virginia. It is not exhaustive as to suggested topics, readings, or questions for discussion, but it may be a satisfactory basis of study for those who need some direction in the organization of reading materials to make them fully significant. It would be well for the individual to outline each topic as he pursues his reading. Under each topic only the essential minimum of reading is suggested. Those who wish to read more widely will find an augmented bibliography attached.

If the outline is used by a group who wish to adopt a textbook it would be well to adopt Fairlie and Kneier's "County Government and Administration". It is more recent and covers the topics more adequately than any one of the other texts, and with the Virginia reports,which may be obtained free from the Division of Purchasing and Printing, it will serve quite satisfactorily without the others. However, all the books may be borrowed from the Extension Library at the rate of 12c for one book, 15c for two, 18c for three, etc., or a package library of a selected number of books, pamphlets and papers may be borrowed for postage and packing charges.

Topics II on County Orgnanization and Functions and Topic III on Changing County Government in Accordance with Modern Needs should occupy several meetings of the group in order that the topics may be studied adequately.

If it is not feasible for all members of the group to do all the reading each time, specific topics may be assigned to several members for report and discussion.

I. Historical survey of local government A. Local colonial government B. Local government following the Revolution C. General tendencies since 1850 D. Types of local government at present time


County and Township Government in the United States. By Kirk H. Porter. Macmillen Company, New York, 1927. Ch. II - IV.

Report of the Commission on County Government to the General Assembly of Virginia, December, 1931. Division of Purchase and Printing, Richmond, Virginia. Ch. III.

County Government. By Helen M. Rocca. National League of Women Voters, Washington, D.C., 1928. pp. 7-16.

Questions for discussion:

1. Why did a more democratic form of local government develop in New England than in Virginia? 2. Identify features of local government inaugurated in earlier periods that have given rise to present day problems.

II. County organizations and functions. A. The county as an agency of the state. B. The county as a unit for local self government. C. Set-up of county government (varies in different states) 1. County Board 2. Courts and judicial officers 3. Clerical officers