1976 United States presidential election
The 1976 United States presidential election was the 48th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 1976. Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford from Michigan. Carter's win represented the lone Democratic victory in a presidential election held between 1968 and 1988. President Richard Nixon had won the 1972 election with Spiro Agnew as his running mate, but in 1973 Agnew resigned and Ford was appointed as vice president via the 25th Amendment; when Nixon resigned in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Ford ascended to the presidency, becoming the only president to have never been elected to national office. He faced a strong challenge from conservative former governor Ronald Reagan of California in the Republican primaries, but Ford narrowly prevailed at the convention. Carter was little-known at the start of the Democratic primaries, but the former governor of Georgia emerged as the front-runner after his victories in the first set of primaries.
Campaigning as a political moderate and Washington outsider, Carter defeated opponents such as Jerry Brown and Mo Udall to clinch the Democratic nomination. Ford pursued a "Rose Garden strategy" in which he sought to portray himself as an experienced leader focused on fulfilling his role as chief executive. Carter emphasized his status as a reformer, "untainted" by Washington. Saddled with a poor economy, the fall of South Vietnam and his unpopular pardon of Nixon, Ford trailed by a wide margin in polls taken after Carter's formal nomination in July 1976. Ford's polling rebounded after a strong performance in the first presidential debate, the race was close on election day. Carter won a majority of the electoral vote, he carried most states in the Northeast while Ford dominated the Western states. Carter remains the only Democratic candidate since 1964 to win a majority of the Southern states. Ford won 27 states, the most states carried by a losing candidate. Both of the major party vice presidential nominees, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996, would win their respective party's presidential nominations, but lose in the general election.
Democratic candidates Jimmy Carter, former governor of Georgia Morris Udall, U. S. Representative from Arizona Jerry Brown, Governor of California George Wallace, Governor of Alabama Ellen McCormack, housewife from New York Frank Church, U. S. Senator from Idaho Henry M. Jackson, U. S. Senator from Washington Fred R. Harris, former U. S. Senator from Oklahoma Robert Byrd, U. S. Senator from West Virginia Milton Shapp, Governor of Pennsylvania Sargent Shriver, former U. S. Ambassador to France, from Maryland Birch Bayh, U. S. Senator from Indiana Lloyd Bentsen, U. S. Senator from Texas Terry Sanford, former governor of North Carolina Walter Fauntroy, U. S. Delegate from Washington, D. C; the surprise winner of the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination was Jimmy Carter, a former state senator and governor of Georgia. When the primaries began, Carter was little-known at the national level, many political pundits regarded a number of better-known candidates, such as Senator Henry M. Jackson from Washington, Representative Morris Udall from Arizona, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, California Governor Jerry Brown, as the favorites for the nomination.
However, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Carter realized that his status as a Washington outsider, political centrist, moderate reformer could give him an advantage over his better-known establishment rivals. Carter took advantage of the record number of state primaries and caucuses in 1976 to eliminate his better-known rivals one-by-one. Senator Jackson made a fateful decision not to compete in the early Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, which Jimmy Carter won after liberals split their votes among four other candidates. Though Jackson went on to win the Massachusetts and New York primaries, he was forced to quit the race on May 1 after losing the critical Pennsylvania primary to Carter by twelve percentage points. Carter defeated Governor Wallace, his main conservative challenger, by a wide margin in the North Carolina primary, thus forcing Wallace to end his campaign. Representative Udall, a liberal became Carter's main challenger, he finished second to Carter in the New Hampshire, Wisconsin, New York, South Dakota, Ohio primaries, won the caucuses in his home state of Arizona, while running with Carter in the New Mexico caucuses.
However, the fact that Udall finished second to Carter in most of these races meant that Carter accumulated more delegates for the nomination than he did. As Carter closed in on the nomination, an "ABC" movement started among Northern and Western liberal Democrats who worried that Carter's Southern upbringing would make him too conservative for the Democratic Party; the leaders of the "ABC" movement – Idaho Senator Frank Church and California Governor Jerry Brown – both announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination and defeated Carter in several late primaries. However, their campaigns started too late to prevent Carter from gathering the remaining delegates he needed to capture the nomination. By June 1976, Carter had captured more than enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination. At the 1976 Democratic National Convention, Carter won the nomination on the first ballot. Carter chose Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale, a liberal and political protégé of Hubert Humphrey, as his running mate.
Republican candidates Gerald Ford, President of the United States Ronald Reagan, former governor of California The contest for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1976 was between two serious candidates: incumbent president Gerald Ford from Mich
1980 United States presidential election in South Carolina
The 1980 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 4, 1980. All fifty states and The District of Columbia were part of the 1980 United States presidential election. South Carolina voters chose eight electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. South Carolina was won by former California Governor Ronald Reagan by a slim margin of 1 point and a half; the state weighed in for this election as 8 percentage points more Democratic than the national average, just 3% less than four years earlier. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which the following counties voted for a Democratic presidential candidate: York, Oconee, Greenwood and Saluda
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U. S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president. Kennedy was born in Brookline, the second child of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the U. S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After the war, Kennedy represented the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953, he was subsequently elected to the U. S. Senate and served as the junior Senator from Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960.
While in the Senate, he published his book Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Biography. In the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, the incumbent vice president. At age 43, he became the second-youngest man to serve as president, the youngest man to be elected as U. S. president, as well as the only Roman Catholic to occupy that office. He was the first president to have served in the U. S. Navy. Kennedy's time in office was marked by high tensions with communist states in the Cold War, he increased the number of American military advisers in South Vietnam by a factor of 18 over President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In April 1961, he authorized a failed joint-CIA attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, he subsequently rejected Operation Northwoods plans by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to orchestrate false flag attacks on American soil in order to gain public approval for a war against Cuba.
However his administration continued to plan for an invasion of Cuba in the summer of 1962. In October 1962, U. S. spy planes discovered. Domestically, Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps and supported the civil rights movement, but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Texas. Pursuant to the Constitution, Vice President Lyndon Johnson automatically became president upon Kennedy's death. Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the state crime, but he was killed by Jack Ruby two days and so was never prosecuted. Ruby was sentenced to death and died while the conviction was on appeal in 1967. Both the FBI and the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had acted alone in the assassination, but various groups challenged the findings of the Warren Report and believed that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy. After Kennedy's death, Congress enacted many of his proposals, including the Civil Rights Act and the Revenue Act of 1964.
Kennedy continues to rank in polls of U. S. presidents with historians and the general public. His personal life has been the focus of considerable public fascination following revelations regarding his lifelong health ailments and alleged extra-marital affairs, his average approval rating of 70% is the highest of any president in Gallup's history of systematically measuring job approval. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, at 83 Beals Street in suburban Brookline, Massachusetts, to businessman/politician Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy and philanthropist/socialite Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy, his paternal grandfather P. J. Kennedy was a member of the Massachusetts state legislature, his maternal grandfather and namesake John F. Fitzgerald served as a U. S. Congressman and was elected to two terms as Mayor of Boston. All four of his grandparents were children of Irish immigrants. Kennedy had an elder brother, Joseph Jr. and seven younger siblings: Rosemary, Eunice, Robert and Edward.
As of 2019, he has been the only Catholic U. S. President. Kennedy lived in Brookline for the first ten years of his life and attended the local St. Aidan's Church, where he was baptized on June 19, 1917, he was educated at the Edward Devotion School in Brookline, the Noble and Greenough Lower School in nearby Dedham and the Dexter School through the 4th grade. His father's business had kept him away from the family for long stretches of time, his ventures were concentrated on Wall Street and Hollywood. In September 1927, the family moved from Brookline to the Riverdale neighborhood of New York City. Young John attended the lower campus of Riverdale Country School, a private school for boys, from 5th to 7th grade. Two years the family moved to suburban Bronxville, New York, where Kennedy was a member of Boy Scout Troop 2 and attended St. Joseph's Church; the Kennedy family spent summers and early autumns at their home in Hyannis Port and Christmas and Easter holidays at their winter retreat in Palm Beach, Florida purchased in 1933.
In September 1930, Kennedy—then 13 years old—attended the Canterbury School in New Milford, for 8th grade. In April 1931, he had an appendectomy, after which he withdrew from Canterbury and recuperated at home. In September 1931, Kennedy started attending Choate, a prestigious board
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is an American politician who served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Delaware in the U. S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. Biden was born in Scranton and lived there for ten years before moving with his family to Delaware, he became an attorney in 1969 and was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970. He was first elected to the U. S. Senate in 1972, when he became the sixth-youngest senator in American history. Biden was re-elected to the upper house of Congress six times and was the fourth most senior senator when he resigned to assume the vice presidency in 2009. Biden was a long-time former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he opposed the Gulf War in 1991, but advocated U. S. and NATO intervention in the Bosnian War in 1994 and 1995. He voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the Iraq War in 2002 but opposed the surge of U. S. troops in 2007. He has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, civil liberties.
Biden led the efforts to pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the Violence Against Women Act. He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the contentious U. S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, both times dropping out after lackluster showings. In 2008, Biden was chosen as the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. After being elected vice president, Biden oversaw infrastructure spending aimed at counteracting the Great Recession and helped formulate U. S. policy toward Iraq up until the withdrawal of U. S. troops in 2011. His ability to negotiate with congressional Republicans helped the Obama administration pass legislation such as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Job Creation Act of 2010, which resolved a taxation deadlock. Biden was reported to have advised President Obama against approving the 2011 military mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, though he has disputed this.
Obama and Biden were re-elected in 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. In October 2015, after months of speculation, Biden announced he would not seek the presidency in the 2016 elections. In one of the final acts of his term in January 2017, President Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction. After completing his second term as vice president, Biden joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Presidential Practice; as of March 2019, Biden was reported to be considering a 2020 presidential run, after a mid-2018 Hill/HarrisX poll placed him at the top among potential Democratic presidential candidates. Biden was born on November 20, 1942, at St. Mary's Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Catherine Eugenia Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden Sr, he was the first of four siblings in a Catholic family, with two brothers. His mother was of Irish descent, with roots variously attributed to County Louth or County Londonderry.
His paternal grandparents, Mary Elizabeth and Joseph H. Biden, an oil businessman from Baltimore, were of English and Irish ancestry, his paternal great-great-great grandfather, William Biden, was born in Sussex and immigrated to the United States. His maternal great-grandfather, Edward Francis Blewitt, was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Biden's father had been prosperous earlier in his life but suffered several business reversals by the time his son was born. For several years the family had to live with the Finnegans; when the Scranton area went into economic decline during the 1950s, Biden's father could not find enough work. In 1953, the Biden family moved to an apartment in Claymont, where they lived for a few years before moving to a house in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe Biden Sr. was more successful as a used car salesman, the family's circumstances were middle class. Biden attended the Archmere Academy in Claymont where he was a standout halfback/wide receiver on the high school football team.
He played on the baseball team as well. During these years, he participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a Wilmington theatre. Academically, he was an above-average student, was considered a natural leader among the students, was elected class president during his junior and senior years, he graduated in 1961. He earned his bachelor's in 1965 from the University of Delaware, with a double major in history and political science, graduating with a class rank of 506 out of 688, his classmates were impressed by his cramming abilities, he played halfback with the Blue Hens freshman football team. In 1964, while on spring break in the Bahamas, he met and began dating Neilia Hunter, from an affluent background in Skaneateles, New York, attended Syracuse University, he told her that he aimed to become a senator by the age of 30 and President. He dropped a junior year plan to play for the varsity football team as a defensive back, enabling him to spend more time visiting out of state with her, he entered Syracuse University College of Law, receiving a half scholarship based on financial need with some additional assistance based on academics.
By his own description, he found law school to be "th
Timothy Michael Kaine is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Virginia since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006 and 70th Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010. Kaine was the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election. Born in Saint Paul, Kaine grew up in Overland Park, graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School before entering private practice and becoming a lecturer at the University of Richmond School of Law, he was first elected to public office in 1994. He was elected Mayor of Richmond in 1998 and was in that position until being elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2001. Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia in 2005 and was in that office from 2006 to 2010, he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011. On July 22, 2016, Hillary Clinton announced that she had selected Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate in the 2016 presidential election, the 2016 Democratic National Convention nominated him on July 27.
Despite winning a plurality of the national popular vote, the Clinton-Kaine ticket lost the Electoral College, thus the election, to the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence on November 8, 2016. Kaine was born at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Minnesota, he is the eldest of three sons born to Mary Kathleen, a home economics teacher, Albert Alexander Kaine, Jr. a welder and the owner of a small iron-working shop. He was raised Catholic. One of Kaine's great-grandparents was Scottish and the other seven were Irish. Kaine's family moved to Overland Park, when Kaine was two years old, he grew up in the Kansas City area. In 1976, he graduated from Rockhurst High School, a Jesuit all-boys preparatory school in Kansas City, Missouri. At Rockhurst, Kaine was elected student body president. Kaine received his B. A. in economics from the University of Missouri in 1979, completing his degree in three years and graduating summa cum laude. He was a Coro Foundation fellow in Kansas City in 1978, he entered Harvard Law School in 1979, interrupting his law studies after his first year to work in Honduras for nine months from 1980 to 1981, helping Jesuit missionaries who ran a Catholic school in El Progreso.
While running a vocational center that taught carpentry and welding, he helped increase the school's enrollment by recruiting local villagers. Kaine is fluent in Spanish as a result of his nine months in Honduras. After returning from Honduras, Kaine met his future wife, first-year Harvard Law student, Anne Holton, he graduated from Harvard Law School with a J. D. degree in 1983. Kaine and Holton moved to Holton's hometown of Richmond, after graduation, Kaine was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1984. After graduating from law school, Kaine was a law clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Macon, Georgia. Kaine joined the Richmond law firm of Little, Parsley & Cluverius, P. C. In 1987, Kaine became a director with the law firm of Mezzullo & McCandlish, P. C. Kaine practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in fair housing law and representing clients discriminated against on the basis of race or disability, he was a board member of the Virginia chapter of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, which he represented in a landmark redlining discrimination lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. arising from the company's practices in Richmond.
Kaine won a $100.5 million verdict in the case. Kaine did regular pro bono work. In 1988, Kaine started teaching legal ethics as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. Kaine taught at the University of Richmond for six years, his students included future Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, he was a founding member of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness. Kaine had a apolitical childhood, but became interested in politics in part due to the influence of his wife's family and his experience attending Richmond city council meetings. In 1994, Kaine was elected to the city council of the independent city of Richmond, as the member from the 2nd district, he took his seat on July 1 and retained the position until September 10, 2011, when he was succeeded by William Pantele. He defeated the incumbent City Councilman Benjamin P. A. Warthen by 97 votes. Kaine spent four terms on the latter two as Mayor of Richmond. On July 1, 1998, Kaine was elected Mayor of Richmond, he was chosen by an 8-1 vote on the majority-black City Council, becoming the city's first white mayor in more than ten years, viewed as a surprise.
Rudy McCollum, an African American city councilor interested in the position of mayor, decided to back Kaine after a private meeting between the two, clearing the way for Kaine to win election. Previous mayors had treated the role as a ceremonial one, with the city manager operating the city; as mayor, Kaine used a sale-leaseback arrangement to obtain funds to renovate the historic Maggie L. Walker High School and reopen it in 2000 as a magnet governor's school, the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies, which "now serves the top students in Central Virginia." Three elementary schools and one middle school were built in Richmond under Kaine. Along with Commonwealth's Attorney D
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art