The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents minted in the United States. Some numismatists consider the denomination to be the first coin minted by the United States Mint under the Coinage Act of 1792, with production beginning on or about July 1792. However, others consider the 1792 half dime to be nothing more than a pattern coin, or "test piece", this matter continues to be subject to debate; these coins were much smaller than dimes in diameter and thickness, appearing to be "half dimes". In the 1860s, powerful nickel interests lobbied for the creation of new coins, which would be made of a copper-nickel alloy; the introduction of the copper-nickel five-cent pieces made the silver coins of the same denomination redundant, they were discontinued in 1873. The following types of half dimes were produced by the United States Mint or under the authority of the Coinage Act of 1792: The half dime was one of the early coins of the U. S. Mint. Authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, it lasted until 1873.
Until 1829 it showed no value anywhere on its reverse. The flowing hair half dime was designed by Robert Scot and this same design was used for half dollar and dollar silver coins minted during the same period; the obverse bears a Liberty portrait similar to that appearing on the 1794 half cent and cent but without the liberty cap and pole. Mintage of the 1794 version was 7,765; the obverse of the draped bust half dime was based on a sketch by artist Gilbert Stuart, with the dies engraved by Robert Scot and John Eckstein. The primary 1796 variety bears fifteen stars representing the number of states in the union. In 1797, fifteen and sixteen star varieties were produced – the sixteenth star representing newly admitted Tennessee – as well as a thirteen star variety after the mint realized that it could not continue to add more stars as additional states joined the union; the reverse bears an open wreath surrounding a small eagle perched on a cloud. 54,757 half dimes of this design were minted. Following a two-year hiatus, mintage of half dimes resumed in 1800.
The obverse remained the same as the prior version, but the reverse was revised substantially. The eagle on the reverse now had outstretched heraldic style; this reverse design first appeared on gold quarter and half eagles and dimes and dollars in the 1790s. Mintage of the series never surpassed 40,000, with none produced in 1804. No denomination or mintmark appears on the coins. Production of half dimes resumed in 1829 based on a new design by Chief Engraver William Kneass, believed to have adapted an earlier John Reich design. All coins were display no mintmark; the high circulating mintage in the series was in 1835, when 2,760,000 were struck, the low of 871,000 was in 1837. Both Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes were minted in 1837; these were the last silver. The design features Liberty seated on a rock and holding a shield and was first conceived in 1835 used first on the silver dollar patterns of 1836; the series is divided into several subtypes. The first lacks stars on the obverse.
In 1838 a semicircle of 13 stars was added around the obverse border, this basic design was used through 1859. In 1853, small arrows were added to each side of the date to reflect a reduction in weight due to rising silver prices, the arrows remained in place through 1855; the arrows were dropped in 1856, with the earlier design resumed through 1859. In 1860, the obverse stars were replaced with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the reverse wreath was enlarged; this design stayed in place through the end of the series. In 1978 a unique 1870-S Seated Liberty half dime became known; the Seated Liberty half dime was produced at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans mints in an aggregate amount of 84,828,478 coins struck for circulation. See United States Seated Liberty coinage. In 1978 a coin collector surprised the coin collecting community with an 1870–S half dime, believed to have been found in a dealer's box of cheap coins at a coin show. According to mint records for 1870, no half dimes had been minted in San Francisco.
At an auction that same year, the 1870-S half dime sold for $425,000. It is believed that another example may exist—along with other denominations minted that year in San Francisco—in the cornerstone of the old San Francisco Mint. In July, 2004, the discovery coin sold for $661,250 in MS-63 in a Stack`s-Bowers auction. Canada once used silver coins of five-cent denomination. Nickel Dime Q. David Bowers, United States Three-Cent and Five-Cent Pieces: An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor. Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena Galleries, 1985. US Half Dime information by type. Half Dime Pictures
Liberty is a loose term in English for the goddess or personification of the concept of liberty, is represented by the Roman Goddess Libertas, by Marianne, the national symbol of France, by many others. The Statue of Liberty by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is a well-known example in art, a gift from France to the United States; the ancient Roman goddess Libertas was honored during the second Punic War by a temple erected on the Aventine Hill in Rome by the father of Tiberius Gracchus. A statue in her honor was raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero's house after it had been razed; the figure bears certain resemblances to Sol Invictus, the late Roman Republic sun deity and the crown associated with that deity appears in modern depictions of Liberty. In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was turned into a "Temple of Reason" and, for a time, the Goddess of Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. In the United States, "Liberty" is depicted with five-pointed stars, as appear on the American flag held in a raised hand.
Another hand may hold a sword pointing downward. Depictions familiar to Americans include the following: The Statue of Liberty, its replicas, its portrayal on many U. S. postage stamps. Many denominations of American coins have depicted Liberty in both bust side-view and full-figure designs; the flags of the States of New York and New Jersey On the dome of the U. S. Capitol as Freedom On the dome of the Georgia State Capitol as Miss Freedom On the dome of the Texas State Capitol On the dome of the Allen County Courthouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana On the dome of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, New Jersey On both Union and Confederate currencyIn the early decades of the 20th Century, Liberty displaced Columbia, used as the National personification of the US during the 19th Century. Texas Memorial Museum Texas Statue Bee county courthouse in Texas Another article on Beeville courthouse Mackinac Island
A metallurgical assay is a compositional analysis of an ore, metal, or alloy. Some assay methods are suitable for raw materials. Raw precious metals are assayed by an assay office. Silver is assayed by titration, gold by cupellation and platinum by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Precious metal items of art or jewelry are hallmarked. Where required to be hallmarked, semi-finished precious metal items of art or jewelry pass through the official testing channels where they are analyzed or assayed for precious metal content. While different nations permit a variety of acceptable finenesses, the assayer is testing to determine that the fineness of the product conforms with the statement or claim of fineness that the maker has claimed on the item. In the past the assay was conducted by using the touchstone method but it is done using X-ray fluorescence. XRF is used; the most exact method of assay is known as fire cupellation. This method is better suited for the assay of bullion and gold stocks rather than works of art or jewelry because it is a destructive method.
The age-old touchstone method is suited to the testing of valuable pieces, for which sampling by destructive means, such as scraping, cutting or drilling is unacceptable. A rubbing of the item is made on a special stone, treated with acids and the resulting color compared to references. Red radiolarian chert or black siliceous slate were used to view the resultant treated streak of the sample. Differences in precious metal content as small as 10 to 20 parts per thousand can be established with confidence by the test, it is not indicated for use with white gold, for example, since the color variation among white gold alloys is imperceptible. The modern X-ray fluorescence is a non-destructive technique, suitable for normal assaying requirements, it has an accuracy of 2 to 5 parts per thousand and is well-suited to flat and large surfaces. It is a quick technique taking about three minutes, the results can be automatically printed out by computer, it measures the content of the other alloying metals present.
It is not indicated, for articles with chemical surface treatment or electroplating. The process for X-ray fluorescence assay involves melting the material in a furnace and stirring to make a homogeneous mix. Following this, a sample is taken from the centre of the molten sample. Samples are taken using a vacuum pin tube; the sample is tested by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Metallurgical assay is completed in this way to ensure that an accurate assay is performed. X-ray Fluorescence assay is not as accurate as fire-assay but dependent on the spectrometer used, can achieve results of within 1 percent; the most elaborately accurate, but destructive, precious metal assay is fire-assay. If performed on bullion to international standards, the method can be accurate on gold metal to 1 part in 10,000. If performed on ore materials using fusion followed by cupellation separation, detection may be in parts per billion. However, accuracy on ore material is limited to 3 to 5% of reported value. Although time consuming, the method is the accepted standard applied for valuing gold ore as well as gold and silver bullion at major refineries and gold mining companies.
In the case of fire assaying of gold and platinum ores, the lengthy time required to carry out an assay is offset by carrying out large numbers of assays and a typical laboratory will be equipped with several fusion and cupellation furnaces, each capable of taking multiple samples, so that several hundred analyses per day can be carried out. The principal advantage of fire assay is that large samples can be used, these increase the accuracy in analysing low yield ores in the <1g/T range of concentration. Fusion: the process requires a self-generating reducing atmosphere, so the crushed ore sample is mixed with fluxes and a carbon source mixed with powdered lead oxide in a refractory crucible. In general, multiple crucibles will be placed inside an electric furnace fitted with silicon carbide heating elements, heated to between 1000–1200 °C; the temperature required, the type of flux used, are dependent on the composition of the rock in which the precious metals are concentrated, in many laboratories an empirical approach based on long experience is used.
A complex reaction takes place, whereby the carbon source reduces the lead oxide to lead, which alloys with the precious metals: at the same time, the fluxes combine with the crushed rock, reducing its melting point and forming a glassy slag. When fusion is complete, the sample is tipped into a mold where the slag floats to the top, the lead, now alloyed with the precious metals, sinks to the bottom, forming a'button'. After solidification, the samples are knocked out, the lead bullets recovered for cupellation, or for analysis by other means. Method details for various fire assay procedures vary, but concentration and separation chemistry comply with traditions set by Bugby or Shepard & Dietrich in the early 20th century. Method advancements since that time automate material handling and final finish measurements (i.e. instrument finish r
The half eagle is a United States coin, produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since the 1980s. Composed entirely of gold, it has a face value of five dollars, its production was authorized by The Act of April 2, 1792, it was the first gold coin minted by the United States. The design and composition of the half eagle changed many times over the years, but it was designed by Robert Scot. At this time the coin contained.0833 copper and silver. It had a diameter of 25 mm, a weight of 8.75 grams, a reeded edge. The obverse design, or "Turban Head", depicted a capped portrait of Liberty facing to the right; the reverse depicted a small eagle. This type was produced from 1795 to 1798. Another type was minted that depicted a larger heraldic eagle on the reverse with the inscription "E PLURIBUS UNUM"; this type was produced through 1807. From 1807 to 1812, a new type designed by John Reich was produced, the "Draped Bust", featuring a round-capped Liberty facing left on the obverse and a modified eagle on the reverse.
For the first time, the value "5 D." was placed on the reverse of the coin to indicate its value. In 1813 a modified version of the Draped Bust was introduced, removing much of the bustline and giving Liberty an overall larger appearance; this design which would last through 1834. Another modification occurred in 1829 when the diameter of the coin was reduced to 23.8 mm, although the overall design remained unchanged. By 1834, the gold in the half eagle had been worth more than its face value for several years; the Act of June 28, 1834 called for a reduction in the gold used. The weight of the coin was reduced to 8.36 grams, the diameter reduced to 22.5 mm, the composition changed to.8992 gold and.1008 silver and copper. A new obverse, the "Classic Head", was created by William Kneass for the altered coin; the reverse still depicted the modified eagle introduced in 1813, but "E PLURIBUS UNUM" was removed to distinguish further the new composition. In 1837, the gold content of this type was increased to.900 in accordance with the Act of January 18, 1837.
In 1839 the coin was redesigned again. The new obverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht and is known as the "Liberty Head or "Coronet head"; the reverse design remained the same, although the value was changed from "5 D." to "Five D.". For those struck at the Philadelphia Mint, there was no longer any silver in the coin - its composition was now.900 gold and.100 copper. However, gold ore used at the southern branch mints of Charlotte and Dahlonega had a high natural silver content, many of these coins contained up to five percent silver, giving them a distinct so-called "green gold" color, its weight was the same, 8.359 grams, but the diameter was reduced one final time, to 21.6 mm, in 1840, for a gold content of 0.242 Troy Oz. This design was used for nearly 70 years, from 1839 to 1908, with a modest change in 1866, when "In God We Trust" was placed on the reverse above the eagle; the Liberty Head half eagle holds the distinction of being the only coin of a single design to be minted at seven U.
S. Mints: Philadelphia, Charlotte, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, Denver. Common date Liberty Half Eagles in circulated grades are worth about $330 as of December 2017. Scarcer dates and coins of higher grades can be worth much more, all Charlotte, Carson City and Dahlonega pieces are scarce and valuable. In 1908, the final type, designed by Bela Lyon Pratt, was first produced; the composition and diameter of the coin remained unchanged, but both the obverse and reverse were drastically altered. The new design matched the new quarter eagle design of the same date; these two series are unique in United States coinage because the design and inscriptions are stamped in incuse, rather than being raised from the surface, meaning that the flat surfaces are the highest points of the coin. The obverse depicted an Indian head wearing a feathered headdress; the reverse depicted a perched eagle with the inscriptions "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "IN GOD WE TRUST". Production of the half eagle was suspended during World War I and not resumed until 1929, the final year of issue.
Due to higher demand common date Indian Head half eagles tend to be worth more than common date Liberty Head half eagles. The $5 denomination has the distinction of being the only denomination for which coins were minted at eight US mints. Prior to 1838 all half eagles were minted in Philadelphia because there were no other operating mints. In 1838, the Charlotte Mint and the Dahlonega Mint produced half eagles of the Coronet type in their first years of operation, would continue to mint half eagles until 1861, their last year of operation; the New Orleans Mint minted half eagles from 1840 to 1861. The San Francisco Mint first produced half eagles in 1854, its first year of operation, as did Carson City in 1870, Denver in 1906. Although circulating half eagle production was discontinued in 1929, half eagle commemorative and $5 denominated bullion coins were minted at West Point starting in the late twentieth century. Proof coins were produced at Philadelphia from 1859 on. Turban Head 1795–1807 Turban Head, Small Eagle 1795–1798 Turban Head, Large Eagle 1795–1807 Draped Bust 1807–1812 Capped Head 1813–1834 Classic Head 1834–1838 Liberty Head 1839–1907 Coronet, without motto 1839–1866 Coronet, with motto 1866–1908 Indian Head 1908–1916, 1929 A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.
S. Yeoman ed. Kenneth Bressett, 2003 Complete U. S. Coin History United States Department of the Treasury: "Half eagle" references "Rare Half Eagle" (Profe
Draped Bust dollar
The Draped Bust dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1795 to 1803, was reproduced, dated 1804, into the 1850s. The design succeeded the Flowing Hair dollar, which began mintage in 1794 and was the first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint; the designer is unknown, though the distinction is credited to artist Gilbert Stuart. The model is unknown, though Ann Willing Bingham has been suggested. In October 1795, newly appointed Mint Director Elias Boudinot ordered that the legal fineness of.892 silver be used for the dollar rather than the unauthorized fineness of.900 silver, used since the denomination was first minted in 1794. Due to a decrease in the amount of silver deposited at the Philadelphia Mint, coinage of silver dollars declined throughout the latter years of the 18th century. In 1804, coinage of silver dollars was halted. In 1834, silver dollar production was temporarily restarted to supply a diplomatic mission to Asia with a special set of proof coins. Officials mistakenly believed that dollars had last been minted with the date 1804, prompting them to use that date rather than the date in which the coins were struck.
A limited number of 1804 dollars were struck by the Mint in years, they remain rare and valuable. Coinage began on the first United States silver dollar, known as the Flowing Hair dollar, in 1794 following the construction and staffing of the Philadelphia Mint; the Coinage Act of 1792 called for the silver coinage to be struck in an alloy consisting of 89.2% silver and 10.8% copper. However, Mint officials were reluctant to strike coins with the unusual fineness, so it was decided to strike them in an unauthorized alloy of 90% silver instead; this caused depositors of silver to lose money. During the second year of production of the Flowing Hair dollar, it was decided that the denomination would be redesigned, it is unknown what prompted this change or who suggested it, though numismatic historian R. W. Julian speculates that Henry William de Saussure, named Director of the Mint on July 9, 1795, may have suggested it, as he had stated a redesign of the American coinage as one of his goals before taking office.
It is possible that the Flowing Hair design was discontinued owing to much public disapproval. Though the designer of the coin is unknown, artist Gilbert Stuart is acknowledged to have been its creator, it has been suggested that Philadelphia socialite Ann Willing Bingham posed as the model for the coin. Several sketches were approved by Mint engraver Robert Scot and de Saussure and sent to President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to gain their approval. After approval was received, the designs were sent to artist John Eckstein to be rendered into plaster models. Eckstein, dismissed by Walter Breen as a "local artistic hack" and described by a contemporary artist as a "thorough-going drudge" due to his willingness to carry out most painting or sculptural tasks at the request of clients, was paid thirty dollars for his work preparing models for both the obverse Liberty and reverse eagle and wreath. After the plaster models were created, the engravers of the Philadelphia Mint began creating hubs that would be used to make dies for the new coins.
It is unknown when production of the new design began, as precise records relating to design were not kept at that time. R. W. Julian, places the beginning of production in either late September or early October 1795, while Taxay asserts that the first new silver dollars were struck in October. In September 1795, de Saussure wrote his resignation letter to President Washington. In his letter, de Saussure mentioned the unauthorized silver standard and suggested that Congress be urged to make the standard official, but this was not done. In response to de Saussure's letter, Washington expressed his displeasure in the resignation, stating that he had viewed de Saussure's tenure with "entire satisfaction"; as de Saussure's resignation would not take effect until October, the president was given time to select a replacement. The person chosen to fill the position was former congressman Elias Boudinot. Upon assuming his duties at the Mint on October 28, Boudinot was informed of the silver standard, used since the first official silver coins were struck.
He ordered that this practice be ceased and that coinage would begin in the 89.2% fineness approved by the Coinage Act of 1792. The total production of 1795 dollars totalled 203,033, it is estimated that 42,000 dollars were struck bearing the Draped Bust design. Boudinot soon ordered. Assayer Albian Cox died from a stroke in his home on November 27, 1795, leaving the vital post of assayer vacant. This, together with Boudinot's increased focus on smaller denominations, as well as a lull in private bullion deposits, caused a decrease in silver dollar production in 1796; the total mintage for 1796 was 79,920, which amounts to an approximate 62% reduction from the previous year's total. Bullion deposits continued to decline, in 1797, silver dollar production reached the lowest point since 1794 with a mintage of just 7,776 pieces. During this time, silver deposits declin
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
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