Beyond Oro Y Plata: The 1971-1972 Montana State Constitutional Convention And The Writing Of Montana's Environmentally Progressive Constitution
Montana reviewed its 1889 Constitution in the late 1960s, and finding much of it obsolete, followed the national trend of that was taking place in the post-World War II period to rewrite the state Constitution. What Montanans produced in 1972, through the process of a constitutional convention, was an environmentally progressive document that would serve as a model for the rest of the nation. My work examines the 1971-1972 Montana Constitutional Convention—the delegates, issues, and debates—within the social, economic, and political context of Montana and the nation in the late 1960s and 1970s in order to explain how and why Montana wrote such an environmentally progressive constitution. My work on this topic is nowhere near complete, but I believe I have succeeded in conveying what happened and offering some insights into why.