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Important offices like judge and sheriff went vacant; court proceedings were erratic.
Services improved after Arkansas Territory came into existence in 1819.
Accordingly, although state government was dominated by the elite, no politician could expect deference.
Instead, campaigns were back-slapping, baby-kissing, whisky-drinking affairs.
The differing interests of the upland northwestern half of the state and the lowland southeast could be detected in the rivalry between Democrats and Whigs.
While both parties garnered votes all over the state, the Whigs got a disproportionate share from slaveholding planters in the south and east and merchants and professional men in towns such as Little Rock (Pulaski County), Batesville (Independence County), and Van Buren (Crawford County).
Moreover, the Family hardly ruled without challenge.
Some prominent politicians—such as Archibald Yell, Chester Ashley, and Solon Borland—eventually put some distance between themselves and the Family, as did the state’s most important newspaper, the .
If anything, Arkansans complained that they were not governed enough under this arrangement.It also set enduring patterns in Arkansas politics.A loud, sometimes vicious factionalism emerged among politicians—one that typically centered less on policy or principle than personal reputation and the rewards of office.The Quapaw were also governed by hereditary chiefs and councils of male elders.But consensus as much as command seems to have structured Quapaw government, decisions for the tribe being made collectively by various town chiefs.