Virginia the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U. S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna; the capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million. The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy.
Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy, Virginia's First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia; the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government was ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States in both 2005 and 2008, it is unique in how it treats cities and counties manages local roads, prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.
C. to the north and east. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D. C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River. The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes; the border with Tennessee was not settled until 1893, when their dispute was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court; the Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The bay was formed from the drowned river valleys of the James River. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay; the Tidewater is a coastal plain between the fall line. It includes major estuaries of Chesapeake Bay; the Piedmont is a series of sedimentary and igneous rock-based foothills east of the mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era. The region, known for its heavy clay soil, includes the Southwest Mountains around Charlottesville.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The Ridge and Valley region includes the Great Appalachian Valley; the region includes Massanutten Mountain. The Cumberland Plateau and the Cumberland Mountains are in the southwest corner of Virginia, south of the Allegheny Plateau. In this region, rivers flow northwest, into the Ohio River basin; the Virginia Seismic Zone has not had a history of regular earthquake activity. Earthquakes are above 4.5 in magnitude, because Virginia is located away from the edges of the North American Plate. The largest earthquake, at an estimated 5.9 magnitude, was in 1897 near Blacksburg. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was felt as far away as Toronto and Florida. 35 million years ago, a bolide impacted. The resulting Chesapeake Bay impact crater may explain what earthquakes and subsidence the region does experience.
Coal mining takes place in the three mountainous regions at 45 distinct coal beds near Mesozoic basins. Over 64 million tons of other non-fuel resources, such as slate, sand, or gravel, were mined in Virginia in 2018; the state's carbonate rock is filled with more than 4,000 caves, ten of which are open for tourism, including the popular Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns. The climate of Virginia is humid subtropical and becomes warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F in January to average highs of 86 °F in July; the Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. In spite of its position adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean the coastal areas have a significant continental influence with quite large temperature differences between summ
Virginia House of Delegates
The Virginia House of Delegates is one of two parts in the Virginia General Assembly, the other being the Senate of Virginia. It has 100 members elected for terms of two years; the House is presided over by the Speaker of the House, elected from among the House membership by the Delegates. The Speaker is a member of the majority party and, as Speaker, becomes the most powerful member of the House; the House shares legislative power with the Senate of Virginia, the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly. The House of Delegates is the modern-day successor to the Virginia House of Burgesses, which first met at Jamestown in 1619; the House is divided into Republican caucuses. In addition to the Speaker, there is a majority leader, majority caucus chair, minority leader, minority caucus chair, the chairs of the several committees of the House; the House of Burgesses was the first elected legislative body in the New World. Having 22 members, the House of Burgesses met from 1619 through 1632 in the choir of the church at Jamestown.
From 1632 to 1699 the legislative body met at four different state houses in Jamestown. The first state house convened at the home of Colonial Governor Sir John Harvey from 1632 to 1656; the burgesses convened at the second state house from 1656 until it was destroyed in 1660. Historians have yet to identify its location; the House has met in Virginia's Capitol Building, designed by Thomas Jefferson, since 1788. The legislative body met from 1788 to 1904 in what is known as today the Old Hall of the House of Delegates or referred to as the Old House Chamber; the Old House Chamber is part of the original Capitol building structure. It measures 76 feet in width and is filled today with furnishings that resemble what the room would have looked like during its time of use. There are many bronze and marble busts of historic Virginians on display in the Old House Chamber, including: George Mason, George Wythe, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Meriwether Lewis. From 1904 to 1906, University of Virginia graduate and architect John K. Peeples designed and built compatible classical wings to the west and east side of the Capitol building.
The new wings added to provide more space and serve as the legislative chambers in the Virginia General Assembly, the Senate of Virginia resides in the west chamber and the House of Delegates resides in the east chamber. The General Assembly members and staff operate from offices in the General Assembly Building, located in Capitol Square. Prior to 1788 the House of Delegates met in the Colonial Capital of Williamsburg. In 1999, Republicans took control of the House of Delegates for the first time since Reconstruction; the Republican Party has held the majority in the House since then. The annual salary for delegates is $17,640 per year; each delegate represents 84,702 people. Candidates for office must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the districts they seek to represent, qualified to vote for General Assembly legislators; the regular session of the General Assembly is 60 days long during numbered years and 30 days long during odd numbered years, unless extended by a two-thirds vote of both houses.
Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of Virginia stipulates that the House of Delegates shall consist of between 90 and 100 members. It does not put any condition on the number of districts and only speaks of "several house districts". While there used to be multi-member districts, starting with the 1982 election there have been 100 districts electing one member each; the House has 14 standing committees. The Virginia House of Delegates is reelected every two years, with intervening vacancies filled by special election; the list below contains the House delegates serving through January 2020. In January 2019, to mark the 400th anniversary of the House of Burgesses, the Virginia House of Representatives Clerk’s Office announced a new Database of House Members called "DOME" that " the 9,700-plus men and women who served as burgesses or delegates in the Virginia General Assembly over the past four centuries." List of Speakers of the Virginia House of Delegates Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2017 Senate of Virginia Members of the Virginia House of Delegates Mace of the Virginia House of Delegates Redistricting in Virginia Political party strength in Virginia List of Virginia state legislatures Virginia General Assembly Official website Project Vote Smart – State House of Virginia
New Kent County, Virginia
New Kent County is a county in the eastern part the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 18,429, its county seat is New Kent. New Kent County is included in the Greater Richmond Region. New Kent County was established in 1654, using territory annexed from York County and was organized and settled by William Claiborne; the county's name originated because several prominent inhabitants, including William Claiborne had been forced from their settlement at Kent Island, Maryland by Lord Baltimore upon the formation of Maryland. Claiborne had named the island for his birthplace in England. New Kent County is the birthplace of two US presidents' wives - Martha Washington and Letitia Christian Tyler; the church where George and Martha Washington are believed to have been wed, St. Peters, still holds services today; the Chickahominy Indians frequented this area as well as nearby Charles City County, two tribes are still well-established in this area. Among the earliest settlers of New Kent County was Nicholas Gentry, who settled in New Kent in 1684.
The parish register books of St. Peter's Parish show that Nicholas Gentry's daughter was baptized in the church in 1687; the records reflect other Gentrys Nicholas Gentry's relations and Samuel Gentry. As the result of arson confessed to by John Price Posey and Tho Green, involving "a negro boy belonging to W. Chamberlayne" on July 15, 1787, many county records were burned, making identifying relationships between family members difficult. Due to the "many Inconveniencys" suffered by the "Upper Inhabitants by reason of their Great distance from the Court house and other places appointed for publick meetings", New Kent County was divided "into Two distinct Countys and that that part of the County lyeing below the parish of Saint Paul shall for Ever thereafter be called and knowne by the Name of New Kent County And that that part of the County which lyeth in the parish of Saint Paul Shall be called and knowne by the Name of Hannover County". In 1720, a portion of New Kent County known as St. Paul's Parish was formed into a separate county, now Hanover County.
In 2006, the US Census Bureau rated New Kent County among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in the U. S; the northeast border of the county is defined by the meanderings of the Pamunkey River, the southwest county border is defined by the Chickahominy River. The county terrain consists of rolling hills, either wooded or devoted to agriculture, carved by drainages; the terrain slopes to the east and south, with its highest point on the west border at 174' ASL. The county has a total area of 223 square miles, of which 210 square miles is land and 14 square miles is water; the Chickahominy River borders the county to the south, the Pamunkey and York rivers border it to the north and east. Crawfords State Forest Cumberland marsh Natural Area Preserve As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,429 people in the county. 81.7% were White, 13.5% Black or African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% of some other race and 2.3% of two or more races. 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino. 15.2 % were of 11.7 % American, 10.6 % German and 9.4 % Irish ancestry.
At the 2000 United States Census, there were 13,462 people, 4,925 households and 3,895 families in the county. The population density was 64.1/sqmi. There were 5,203 housing units at an average density of 24.8/sqmi. The racial makeup of the county was 80.26% White, 16.20% Black or African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, 1.17% from two or more races. 1.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 4,925 households of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.60% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 20.90% were non-families. 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.60% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 2.97. The county population contained 25.00% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 32.00% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.90 males. The median household income was $53,595, the median family income was $60,678. Males had a median income of $40,005 versus $28,894 for females; the per capita income for the county was $22,893. 4.90% of the population and 3.40% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.40% are under the age of 18 and 7.00% are 65 or older. New Kent County has four schools within the school system. There are two elementary schools, New Kent Elementary, George W. Watkins Elementary; the school system includes New Kent Middle School and New Kent High School. All four schools are accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. At the high school level various honors and advanced placement courses are available along with dual enrollment through Rappahannock Community College. Gifted and enrichment programs are offered in all grades K-12.
There are over 430 employees including 220 licensed teachers, seven guidance counselors, four media specialists, four principals, five assistant principals, a central office staff composed of 1 Superintendent and 5 Directors. The current superintendent is Rick Richardson, the assistant superintendent is Ed Smith. New Kent County received a new site for Rappahannock Community College in 2015, located at the renovated "historic" New Kent High School site
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison Sr. was a United States military officer and politician who served as the ninth president of the United States in 1841. He died of paratyphoid fever 31 days into his term, he became the first president to die in office. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis regarding succession to the presidency, as the Constitution was unclear as to whether Vice President John Tyler should assume the office of President or execute the duties of the vacant office. Tyler claimed a constitutional mandate to carry out the full powers and duties of the presidency and took the presidential oath of office, setting an important precedent for an orderly transfer of presidential power when a president leaves office. Harrison was a son of Founding Father Benjamin Harrison V and the paternal grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, he was the last president born as a British subject in the Thirteen Colonies before the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775. During his early military career, he participated in the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, an American military victory that ended the Northwest Indian War.
He led a military force against Tecumseh's Confederacy at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Old Tippecanoe". He was promoted to major general in the Army in the War of 1812, in 1813 led American infantry and cavalry at the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada. Harrison began his political career in 1798, when he was appointed Secretary of the Northwest Territory in 1798, in 1799 he was elected as the territory's delegate in the House of Representatives. Two years President John Adams named him governor of the newly established Indiana Territory, a post he held until 1812. After the War of 1812, he moved to Ohio where he was elected to represent the state's 1st district in the House in 1816. In 1824, the state legislature elected him to the United States Senate. Afterward, he returned to private life in Ohio until he was nominated as the Whig Party candidate for president in the 1836 election. Four years the party nominated him again with John Tyler as his running mate, the Whig campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too".
They defeated Van Buren in the 1840 election. Harrison was 68 years, 23 days old at the time of his inauguration, the oldest person to have assumed office until Ronald Reagan in 1981 at 69 years, 349 days, Donald Trump in 2017 at 70 years, 220 days. Due to his brief tenure and historians forgo listing him in historical presidential rankings. However, historian William W. Freehling calls him "the most dominant figure in the evolution of the Northwest territories into the Upper Midwest today". Harrison was the seventh and youngest child of Benjamin Harrison V and Elizabeth Harrison, born on February 9, 1773 at Berkeley Plantation, the Harrison family home along the James River in Charles City County, Virginia, he was a member of a prominent political family of English descent whose ancestors had been in Virginia since the 1630s and the last American president born as a British subject. His father was a Virginia planter who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and who signed the Declaration of Independence.
His father served in the Virginia legislature and as the fifth governor of Virginia in the years during and after the American Revolutionary War. Harrison's older brother Carter Bassett Harrison represented Virginia in the House of Representatives. Harrison was tutored at home until age 14 when he entered Hampden–Sydney College, a Presbyterian college in Virginia, he studied there for three years, receiving a classical education which included Latin, French and debate. His Episcopalian father removed him from the college for religious reasons, he attended a boys' academy in Southampton County, Virginia before being transferred to Philadelphia in 1790, he boarded with Robert Morris and entered the University of Pennsylvania in April 1791, where he studied medicine under Doctor Benjamin Rush and William Shippen Sr. His father died in the spring of 1791, shortly, he was only 18 and Morris became his guardian. Governor Henry Lee III of Virginia was a friend of Harrison's father, persuaded Harrison to join the military.
He was commissioned as an ensign in the Army in the 1st Infantry Regiment within 24 hours of meeting Lee. He was assigned to Fort Washington, Cincinnati in the Northwest Territory where the army was engaged in the ongoing Northwest Indian War. Harrison was promoted to lieutenant after Major General "Mad Anthony" Wayne took command of the western army in 1792 following a disastrous defeat under Arthur St. Clair. In 1793, he learned how to command an army on the American frontier. Harrison was a signatory of the Treaty of Greenville as witness to Wayne, the principal negotiator for the U. S. Under the terms of the treaty, a coalition of Indians ceded a portion of their lands to the federal government, opening ⅔ of Ohio to settlement. Following his mother's death in 1793, Harrison inherited a portion of his family's Virginia estate
Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 U. S. Census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is bordered by James City York County. Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation, a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers; the city served as the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the only one of the nine colonial colleges located in the South. S. Presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation's early history; the city's tourism-based economy is driven by Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city.
Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year. Modern Williamsburg is a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students and staff. Prior to the arrival of the English colonists at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia in 1607, the area which became Williamsburg was within the territory of the Powhatan Confederacy. By the 1630s, English settlements had grown to dominate the lower portion of the Virginia Peninsula, the Powhatan tribes had abandoned their nearby villages. Between 1630 and 1633, after the war that followed the Indian Massacre of 1622, the English colonists constructed a defensive palisade across the peninsula and a settlement named Middle Plantation as a primary guard station along the palisade. Jamestown was the original capital of Virginia Colony, but was burned down during the events of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676; as soon as Governor William Berkeley regained control, temporary headquarters for the government to function were established about 12 miles away on the high ground at Middle Plantation, while the Statehouse at Jamestown was rebuilt.
The members of the House of Burgesses discovered that the'temporary' location was both safer and more pleasant environmentally than Jamestown, humid and plagued with mosquitoes. A school of higher education had long been an aspiration of the colonists. An early attempt at Henricus failed after the Indian Massacre of 1622; the location at the outskirts of the developed part of the colony had left it more vulnerable to the attack. In the 1690s, the colonists tried again to establish a school, they commissioned Reverend James Blair, who spent several years in England lobbying, obtained a royal charter for the desired new school. It was to be named the College of Mary in honor of the monarchs of the time; when Reverend Blair returned to Virginia, the new school was founded in a safe place, Middle Plantation in 1693. Classes began in temporary quarters in 1694, the College Building, a precursor to the Wren Building, was soon under construction. Four years in 1698, the rebuilt Statehouse in Jamestown burned down again, this time accidentally.
The government again relocated'temporarily' to Middle Plantation, in addition to the better climate now enjoyed use of the College's facilities. The College students made a presentation to the House of Burgesses, it was agreed in 1699 that the colonial capital should be permanently moved to Middle Plantation. A village was laid out and Middle Plantation was renamed Williamsburg in honor of King William III of England, befitting the town's newly elevated status. Following its designation as the Capital of the Colony, immediate provision was made for construction of a capitol building and for plotting out the new city according to the survey of Theodorick Bland, his design utilized the extant sites of the College and the almost-new brick Bruton Parish Church as focal points, placed the new Capitol building opposite the College, with Duke of Gloucester Street connecting them. Alexander Spotswood, who arrived in Virginia as lieutenant governor in 1710, had several ravines filled and streets leveled, assisted in erecting additional College buildings, a church, a magazine for the storage of arms.
In 1722, the town of Williamsburg was granted a royal charter as a "city incorporate". However, it was a borough. Middle Plantation was included in James City Shire when it was established in 1634, as the Colony reached a total population of 5,000.. However, the middle ground ridge line was the dividing line with Charles River Shire, renamed York County after King Charles I fell out of favor with the citizens of England; as Middle Plantation and Williamsburg developed, the boundaries were adjusted slightly. For most of the colonial period, the border between the two counties ran down the center of Duke of Gloucester Street. During this time, for 100 years after the formation of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States, despite practical complications, the town remained divided between the two counties. Williamsburg was the site of the first attempted canal in the United States. In 1771, Lord Dunmore, who would turn out to be Virginia's last Royal Governor, announced plans to connect Archer's Creek, which leads to the James River with Queen's Creek, leading to the York River.
It was not completed. Remains of this c
Jacksonian democracy was a 19th-century political philosophy in the United States that expanded suffrage to most white men over the age of 21, restructured a number of federal institutions. Originating with the seventh President Andrew Jackson, his supporters, it became the nation's dominant political worldview for a generation; this era, called the Jacksonian Era by historians and political scientists, lasted from Jackson's 1828 election as president until slavery became the dominant issue in 1854 and the political repercussions of the American Civil War reshaped American politics. It emerged when the long-dominant Democratic-Republican Party became factionalized around the 1824 election. Jackson's supporters began to form the modern Democratic Party and his rivals John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay created the National Republican Party, which would afterward combine with other anti-Jackson political groups to form the Whig Party. Broadly speaking, the era was characterized by a democratic spirit and built upon Jackson's equal political policy.
Before the Jacksonian era began, suffrage had been extended to a majority of white male adult citizens, a result the Jacksonians celebrated. Jacksonian democracy promoted the strength of the presidency and executive branch at the expense of Congress, while seeking to broaden the public's participation in government; the Jacksonians demanded elected judges and rewrote many state constitutions to reflect the new values. In national terms, they favored geographical expansion. There was a consensus among both Jacksonians and Whigs that battles over slavery should be avoided. Jackson's expansion of democracy was limited to Americans of European descent and voting rights were extended to adult white males only. There was little or no progress for the rights of African Americans and Native Americans during the extensive period of Jacksonian Democracy, spanning from 1829 - 1860. Jackson's biographer Robert V. Remini argues: stretches the concept of democracy about as far as it can go and still remain workable....
As such it has inspired much of the dynamic and dramatic events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in American history—Populism, the New and Fair Deals, the programs of the New Frontier and Great Society. William S. Belko in 2015 summarizes "the core concepts underlying Jacksonian Democracy" as: equal protection of the laws. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in 1945 argues Jacksonian democracy was built on the following: Expanded suffrage – The Jacksonians believed that voting rights should be extended to all white men. By the end of the 1820s, attitudes and state laws had shifted in favor of universal white male suffrage and by 1856 all requirements to own property and nearly all requirements to pay taxes had been dropped. Manifest destiny – This was the belief that Americans had a destiny to settle the American West and to expand control from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and that the West should be settled by yeoman farmers. However, the Free Soil Jacksonians, notably Martin Van Buren, argued for limitations on slavery in the new areas to enable the poor white man to flourish—they split with the main party in 1848.
The Whigs opposed Manifest Destiny and expansion, saying the nation should build up its cities. Patronage – Also known as the spoils system, patronage was the policy of placing political supporters into appointed offices. Many Jacksonians held the view that rotating political appointees in and out of office was not only the right, but the duty of winners in political contests. Patronage was theorized to be good because it would encourage political participation by the common man and because it would make a politician more accountable for poor government service by his appointees. Jacksonians held that long tenure in the civil service was corrupting, so civil servants should be rotated out of office at regular intervals. However, patronage led to the hiring of incompetent and sometimes corrupt officials due to the emphasis on party loyalty above any other qualifications. Strict constructionism – Like the Jeffersonians who believed in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Jacksonians favored a federal government of limited powers.
Jackson said that he would guard against "all encroachments upon the legitimate sphere of State sovereignty". However, he was not a states' rights extremist—indeed, the Nullification Crisis would find Jackson fighting against what he perceived as state encroachments on the proper sphere of federal influence; this position was one basis for the Jacksonians' opposition to the Second Bank of the United States. As the Jacksonians consolidated power, they more advocated expanding federal power, presidential power in particular. Laissez-faire – Complementing a strict construction of the Constitution, the Jacksonians favored a hands-off approach to the economy as opposed to the Whig program sponsoring modernization, railroads and economic growth; the chief spokesman amongst laissez-faire advocates was William Leggett of the Locofocos in New York City. Opposition to banking – In particular, the Jacksonians opposed government-granted monopolies to banks the national bank, a central bank known as the Second Bank of the United States.
Jackson said: "The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" and he did so. The Whigs, who supported the
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader