One of the most persistent themes in state–local relations has been the conflict between state legislatures and the largest cities in the states. This conflict has particular historical significance because the drive for local home rule originated in the struggle of large cities to free themselves from state legislative interference. Putting much of the blame on unfriendly rural state legislators who held power, city leaders and municipal reformers pushed for and eventually secured home rule and other measures to enhance the independence of cities and protect them from state interference. Anti-big-city viewpoints, however, have not disappeared and the goal of big-city independence has been undermined by several forces, not the least of which has been the suburbanization of the country.