Government in Utah
A gavel presented to Albion Emery, Speaker of the House, by members of the 1894 Territorial legislature.
The land now called Utah has had many forms of "government" over the centuries.
- Theocracy. When Brigham Young and the Mormons arrived in Utah, their government was a theocracy. That is, Brigham Young was both the head of the civil government and the head of the church. The Mormons were happy with this, because they felt they were establishing the Kingdom of God. They formed the State of Deseret, which Congress did not recognize, but which was the region's government for about two years.
- Utah Territory. Congress made Utah a Territory in 1848. In a Territory, the President of the United States appointed the governor and other leaders. (He could remove the leaders, too.) Often, the governors sent by the President disliked the Mormon religion, and this led to conflicts between them and the people. Learn more about Territorial government.
Learn more about Utah's government today and our rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Learn about Utah's state symbols.