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
William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, was an English nobleman, early Quaker, founder of the English North American colony the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was developed. In 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to Penn to pay the debts the king owed to Penn's father; this land included present-day Delaware. Penn set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle in 1682 after his trans-Atlantic journey. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, the first general assembly was held in the colony. Afterward, Penn founded Philadelphia. However, Penn's Quaker government was not viewed favorably by the Dutch and English settlers in what is now Delaware, they had no "historical" allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they immediately began petitioning for their own assembly.
In 1704 they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of Pennsylvania were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous colony of Lower Delaware. As the most prominent and influential "city" in the new colony, New Castle became the capital; as one of the earlier supporters of colonial unification, Penn wrote and urged for a union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution; as a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of peace deeply. He developed a forward-looking project for a United States of Europe through the creation of a European Assembly made of deputies who could discuss and adjudicate controversies peacefully, he is therefore considered the first thinker to suggest the creation of a European Parliament. A man of deep religious convictions, Penn wrote numerous works in which he exhorted believers to adhere to the spirit of Primitive Christianity.
He was imprisoned several times in the Tower of London due to his faith, his book No Cross, No Crown, which he wrote while in prison, has become a Christian classic. William Penn was born in 1644 at Tower Hill, the son of English Admiral Sir William Penn, Margaret Jasper, from a Dutch family the widow of a Dutch captain, the daughter of a rich merchant from Rotterdam. William Penn, Sr. served in the Commonwealth Navy during the English Civil War and was rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with estates in Ireland. The lands were seized from Irish Catholics in retaliation for the failed Irish Rebellion of 1641. Admiral Penn took part in the restoration of Charles II and was knighted and served in the Royal Navy. At the time of his son's birth, Captain Penn was twenty-three and an ambitious naval officer in charge of quelling Irish Catholic unrest and blockading Irish ports. William Penn grew up during the rule of Oliver Cromwell, who succeeded in leading a Puritan rebellion against King Charles I. Penn's father was at sea.
Little William caught smallpox at a young age, losing all his hair, prompting his parents to move from the suburbs to an estate in Essex. The country life made a lasting impression on young Penn, kindled in him a love of horticulture, their neighbor was famed diarist Samuel Pepys, friendly at first but secretly hostile to the Admiral embittered in part by his failed seductions of both Penn's mother and his sister Peggy. Penn was educated first at Chigwell School, by private tutors whilst in Ireland, at Christ Church, Oxford. At that time, there were no state schools and nearly all educational institutions were affiliated with the Anglican Church. Children from poor families had to have a wealthy sponsor to get an education. Penn's education leaned on the classical authors and "no novelties or conceited modern writers" were allowed including William Shakespeare. Foot racing was Penn's favorite sport, he would run the more than three-mile distance from his home to the school; the school itself was cast in an Anglican mode – strict and somber – and teachers had to be pillars of virtue and provide sterling examples to their charges.
Though opposing Anglicanism on religious grounds, Penn absorbed many Puritan behaviors, was known for his serious demeanor, strict behavior and lack of humor. After a failed mission to the Caribbean, Admiral Penn and his family were exiled to his lands in Ireland, it was during this period, when Penn was about fifteen, that he met Thomas Loe, a Quaker missionary, maligned by both Catholics and Protestants. Loe was admitted to the Penn household and during his discourses on the "Inner Light", young Penn recalled that "the Lord visited me and gave me divine Impressions of Himself."A year Cromwell was dead, the royalists resurging, the Penn family returned to England. The middle class aligned itself with the royalists and Admiral Penn was sent on a secret mission to bring back exiled Prince Charles. For his role in restoring the monarchy, Admiral Penn was knighted and gained a powerful position as Commissioner of the Navy. In 1660, Penn enrolled as a gentleman scholar with an assigned servant; the student body was a volatile mix of swashbuckling Cavaliers, sober Puritans, nonconforming Quakers.
The new government's discouragement of religious dissent gave the Cavalier
Sussex County, Delaware
Sussex County is a county located in the southern part of the U. S. state of Delaware, on the Delmarva Peninsula. As of the 2010 census, the population was 197,145; the county seat is Georgetown. The first European settlement in the state of Delaware was founded by the Dutch in 1631 near the present-day town of Lewes on the Atlantic Coast. However, Sussex County was not organized until 1683 under English colonial rule. Sussex County is included in the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses much of central Delmarva. Archaeologists estimate that the first inhabitants of Sussex County, the southernmost county in Delaware, arrived between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago. Various indigenous cultures occupied the area along the river and the coast having seasonal fishing villages. Historic Native Americans in Sussex County were members of Algonquian-speaking tribes, as were most coastal peoples along the Atlantic Coast. By the historic period of European encounter, the most prominent tribes in the area were the Lenape, whose territory extended through the mid-Atlantic states to Connecticut and the future New York metropolitan area, Nanticoke tribes.
The people settled along the numerous bodies of water in the area where they were able to harvest fish and other shellfish in the fall and winter. In the warmer months the women planted and cultivated crops, processed the food; the men hunted other small mammals, as larger game was not present in the area. There is no agreement. Historians believe that, in the early years of exploration from 1593 to 1630, Spanish or Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to see the Delaware River and the lands of present-day Sussex County. On an expedition for the Dutch West India Company, Henry Hudson recorded discovery in 1609 of what was named the Delaware River. Attempting to following him, Samuel Argall, an English explorer, was blown off course in 1610 and landed in a strange bay which he named after the Governor of Virginia, Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. In the first half of 1613, Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, a Dutch navigator and named both Cape May and Cape Henlopen in the Delaware Bay, it was found that what May had named Henlopen was Fenwick Island, protruding into the Atlantic Ocean.
The name of the cape was moved to its present location just east of Lewes. Sussex County was the site of the first European settlement in Delaware, a Dutch trading post named Zwaanendael at the present site of Lewes. On June 3, 1631, Dutch captain David Pietersen de Vries landed along the shores of the Delaware to establish a whaling colony in the mid-Atlantic of the New World; the colony lasted only until 1632. Upon returning to Zwaanendael that December, he found the Indian tribes had killed his men and burned the colony; the Dutch set about settling the area once again. Although the Dutch and Swedes returned to resettle the Delaware River region as early as 1638, much of the Delaware Bay area south of what is today the city of Newcastle was not settled until 1662. At that time, the city of Amsterdam made a grant of land at the Hoernkills to a party of Mennonites. A total of 35 men were to be included in the settlement, led by a Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy of Zierikzee, funded by a sizable loan from the city to get them established.
This settlement, established in 1663, was organized in part by the Dutch to respond to threats from the English colony of Maryland to the west beginning to assert rights over the area. The English wrested control of New Netherland from the Dutch in 1664 and they destroyed the Mennonite settlement that same year. Settlement in the area after the English ejected the Dutch was slow; the Swedes and Finns who had settled in the area from the days of New Sweden had welcomed the English and were allowed to stay. Lord Baltimore encouraged Marylanders to move east to settle the area, but the land was far removed from other, more established settlements and did not appeal to many new settlers. It was a tempting wilderness base for pirates to hide out from authorities and pillage settlers for supplies; the Dutch recaptured the territory in 1673 as part of the Third Anglo-Dutch War. At that point, they established courts in the town of New Castle and at the Hoerkill at the southern end of the territory creating two counties out of the territory.
After the war concluded in 1674, the Delaware territory was returned to the English. It was placed under the control of James Stuart, Duke of York. In 1680, the Duke reorganized the territory south of the Mispillion River as Deale County with the county seat at New Deale. In 1682, English King Charles II awarded the Delaware territories to William Penn in settlement of family debts, Penn reorganized all three Delaware counties: Deale County become Sussex County, St. Jones County became Kent County, in recognition of Penn's homelands in Sussex County, England, he brought 200 people from England as colonists. The town of New Deale was renamed Lewistown. At this time, Penn claimed. The'Three Lower Counties' along Delaware Bay were considered under Penn's sphere of settlement and became the Delaware Colony, a satellite of Pennsylvania, but the boundary disputes continued between Pennsylvania and Marylan
Caesar Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, east of Dover, he was an officer of the Delaware militia during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, President of Delaware during most of the American Revolution. Caesar Rodney was born in October 7, 1728 on his family's farm, "Byfield", on St. Jones Neck in East Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. Caesar was the eldest son of eight children of Caesar and Elizabeth Crawford Rodney and grandson of William Rodney. William Rodney emigrated to the American colonies in 1681–82, along with William Penn. Speaker of the Colonial Assembly of the Delaware Counties in 1704. Rodney's mother was the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Crawford, Anglican rector of Christ Church at Dover. Among the Rodney family ancestors were the prominent Adelmare family in Treviso, Italy, as attested by genealogy studies. Byfield was an 800-acre prosperous farm, worked by slaves.
With the addition of other adjacent properties, the Rodneys were, by the standards of the day, wealthy members of the local gentry. The plantation grew to 1,000 acres, was worked by 200 slaves. At the age of 17 and upon the death of his father in 1746, Caesar's guardianship was entrusted to Nicholas Ridgely by the Delaware Orphan's Court. Caesar was educated when he was 14 years old, he attended the Latin School in Pennsylvania until his father's death. Caesar was the only one of the Rodney children to receive anything approaching a formal education. Caesar was tormented throughout his life by asthma, his adult years were plagued by a facial cancer, he experienced expensive and futile medical treatments on the cancer. Caesar would wear a green scarf to hide his disfigured face; the disease would kill him in eight years. Thomas Rodney described his brother at this time as having a "great fund of wit and humor of the pleasing kind, so that his conversation was always bright and strong and conducted by wisdom..."
He always lived a bachelor, was esteemed, was indeed popular. We know he professed his love and affection for several Delaware ladies at various times, but was never a successful suitor. Accordingly, he moved into the political world occupied by his father and guardian. At age twenty-seven in 1755, he was elected Sheriff of Kent County and served the maximum three years allowed; this was a powerful and financially rewarding position, in that it supervised elections and chose the grand jurors who set the county tax rate. After serving his three years, he was appointed to a series of positions including Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of the Orphan's Court, Justice of the Peace, judge in the lower courts. During the French and Indian War, he was commissioned captain of the Dover Hundred company in Col. John Vining's regiment of the Delaware militia, they never saw active service. From 1769 through 1777, he was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Lower Counties. Eighteenth-century Delaware was politically divided into loose factions known as the "Court Party" and the "Country Party."
The majority Court Party was Anglican, strongest in Kent and Sussex Counties, worked well with the colonial Proprietary government, was in favor of reconciliation with the British government. The minority Country Party was Ulster-Scot, centered in New Castle County, advocated independence from the British. In spite of being members of the Anglican, Kent County gentry and his brother, Thomas Rodney aligned themselves with the Country Party, a distinct minority in Kent County; as such, he worked in partnership with Thomas McKean from New Castle County and in opposition to George Read. Rodney joined Thomas McKean as a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765 and was a leader of the Delaware Committee of Correspondence, he began his service in the Assembly of Delaware in the 1761/62 session and continued in office through the 1775/76 session. Several times he served as Speaker, including the momentous day of June 15, 1776 when "with Rodney in the chair and Thomas McKean leading the debate on the floor," the Assembly of Delaware voted to sever all ties with the British Parliament and King.
Meanwhile, Rodney served in the Continental Congress along with Thomas McKean and George Read from 1774 through 1776. Rodney was in Dover tending to Loyalist activity in Sussex County when he received word from Thomas McKean that he and Read were deadlocked on the vote for independence. To break the deadlock, Rodney rode 70 miles through a thunderstorm on the night of July 1, 1776, arriving in Philadelphia "in his boots and spurs" on July 2, just as the voting was beginning, he voted with McKean and thereby allowed Delaware to join eleven other states in voting in favor of the resolution of independence. The wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved two days later. Backlash in Delaware led to Rodney's electoral defeat in Kent County for a seat in the upcoming Delaware Constitutional Convention and the new Delaware General Assembly. John Haslet was the best soldier Delaware had to offer, the next best soldier, his good friend Caesar Rodney. Upon learning about the death of Haslet at the Battle of Princeton, Rodney rushed to the Continental Army to try to fill his place.
Haslet was succeeded as colonel by David Hall as Washington returned Rodney home to be Delaware's wartime
Caesar Augustus Rodney
Caesar Augustus Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as well as a U. S. Representative from Delaware, U. S. Senator from Delaware, U. S. Attorney General, U. S. Minister to Argentina. Rodney was born in Dover, son of Thomas Rodney and Elizabeth Fisher, he was the nephew of Caesar Rodney, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, depicted on the Delaware state quarter. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1789, he studied law under Joseph B. McKean in Philadelphia and was admitted to the bar in 1793, he practiced law in Wilmington and New Castle, for the next three years. Rodney married Susan Hunn, the daughter of Captain John Hunn, their home was "Cool Springs", located in Wilmington. Rodney served six terms from the 1797 session through the 1802 session. There he became one of the leaders of the Jeffersonian party, now known as the Democratic-Republican Party.
Encouraged by Jefferson to compete for the U. S. House against the staunch Federalist James A. Bayard, Rodney ran and won a lively campaign by fifteen votes. While in the U. S. House, he was a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, established a national reputation as one of the managers appointed in January 1804 to prepare the articles of impeachment against John Pickering, judge of the United States District Court for New Hampshire. Pickering was charged with conduct unbecoming a judge, his acquittal was viewed as strengthening the independence of the judiciary. In December of the same year, Rodney led another such case against Samuel Chase, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. After serving one term in the U. S. House from March 4, 1803, until March 3, 1805, he was defeated for reelection in 1804 by Bayard, by nearly as close a vote; the two men, always vigorous political opponents, remained good friends throughout their tumultuous political careers. While Rodney spent most of his legal career in public service, he took on at least one notable case as a private advocate during the year before his appointment as Attorney General.
In 1806, he made an appearance before the Mayor's Court of Philadelphia to defend the Philadelphia Cordwainers against a common law charge of conspiracy. The conspiracy charge was instituted by retail shoe merchants, based on attempts by the journeyman shoe and boot makers, to organize for the purpose of setting their wages and hours. Rodney was unsuccessful in attaining an acquittal for the workers. On January 20, 1807, U. S. President Thomas Jefferson named Rodney his U. S. Attorney General, he served in that office for the remainder of Jefferson's term and for nearly three years in President James Madison's first term. As Attorney General, Rodney participated as a member of the prosecution during the second treason trial of former Vice-President Aaron Burr. Rodney resigned December 5, 1811, unhappy about being passed over for a U. S. Supreme Court appointment. During the War of 1812, he was captain of a rifle corps, they served at Fort Union in Wilmington, on the Canadian frontier, assisted in the defense of Baltimore in 1814.
Rodney returned to politics, serving in the State Senate for three sessions from 1815 through 1817. In 1820 he was again elected to the U. S. House, serving from March 4, 1821, until January 24, 1822, when he resigned upon being elected to the U. S. Senate, he served there only a year as well, to accept a diplomatic appointment. During that brief year Rodney was Delaware's only Democratic-Republican U. S. Senator ever. Along with John Graham and Theodorick Bland, Rodney was selected by President James Monroe in 1817 for a special diplomatic mission to South America, the South American Commission of 1817–1818. Rodney was appointed to lead the commission to investigate whether the newly formed South American republics should be recognized, he advocated such recognition and, with Graham, published his findings in 1819 as Reports on the Present State of the United Provinces of South America. This report is thought to have contributed much to the thinking behind the policy that became expressed as the Monroe Doctrine.
It resulted in Rodney's 1823 appointment as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, now known as Argentina. He remained at this posting until his death. Rodney died June 10, 1824, in Buenos Aires and was buried there in the Victoria district British Cemetery, his remains were moved to a crypt at St. John's Cathedral in Buenos Aires; the crypt is at the peristyle of the entrance of the cathedral. Elections were held the first Tuesday of October. Members of the General Assembly took office on the first Tuesday of January. State Representatives were elected for one year. U. S. Representatives have a two-year term; the General Assembly chose the U. S. Senators, who took office March 4, but for a six-year term. In this case the General Assembly failed to fill the position for nearly a year. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Delaware's Members of Congress Find a Grave The Political Graveyard Delaware Historical Society.
Delaware is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the South-Atlantic or Southern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, north by Pennsylvania, east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean; the state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor. Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. It's the sixth most densely populated. Delaware's largest city is Wilmington; the state is divided into the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, Sussex County. While the southern two counties have been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County is more industrialized. Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south, it was colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of Lewes, in 1631.
Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, has since been known as "The First State"; the state was named after the Delaware River, which in turn derived its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the ruling governor of the Colony of Virginia at the time Europeans first explored the river. The Delaware Indians, a name used by Europeans for Lenape people indigenous to the Delaware Valley derive their name from the same source; the surname de La Warr is of Anglo-Norman origin. It came from a Norman lieu-dit La Guerre; this toponymic could derive from the Latin word ager, from the Breton gwern or from the Late Latin varectum. The toponyms Gara, Gaire appear in old texts cited by Lucien Musset, where the word gara means gore, it could be linked with a patronymic from the Old Norse verr. Delaware is 96 miles long and ranges from 9 miles to 35 miles across, totaling 1,954 square miles, making it the second-smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island.
Delaware is bounded to the north by Pennsylvania. Small portions of Delaware are situated on the eastern side of the Delaware River sharing land boundaries with New Jersey; the state of Delaware, together with the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland and two counties of Virginia, form the Delmarva Peninsula, which stretches down the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The definition of the northern boundary of the state is unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and Pennsylvania was defined by an arc extending 12 miles from the cupola of the courthouse in the city of New Castle; this boundary is referred to as the Twelve-Mile Circle. Although the Twelve-Mile Circle is claimed to be the only territorial boundary in the United States, a true arc, the Mexican boundary with Texas includes several arcs, many cities in the South have circular boundaries; this border extends all the way east to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey shore continues south along the shoreline until it again reaches the 12-mile arc in the south.
To the west, a portion of the arc extends past the easternmost edge of Maryland. The remaining western border runs east of due south from its intersection with the arc; the Wedge of land between the northwest part of the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921, when Delaware's claim was confirmed. Delaware is with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation, its highest elevation, located at Ebright Azimuth, near Concord High School, is less than 450 feet above sea level. The northernmost part of the state is part of the Piedmont Plateau with rolling surfaces; the Atlantic Seaboard fall line follows the Robert Kirkwood Highway between Newark and Wilmington. A ridge about 75 to 80 feet in elevation extends along the western boundary of the state and separates the watersheds that feed Delaware River and Bay to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. Since all of Delaware is a part of the Atlantic coastal plain, the effects of the ocean moderate its climate.
The state lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. Despite its small size, there is significant variation in mean temperature and amount of snowfall between Sussex County and New Castle County. Moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, the southern portion of the state has a milder climate and a longer growing season than the northern portion of the state. Delaware's all-time record high of 110 °F was recorded at Millsboro on July 21, 1930; the all-time record low of −17 °F was recorded at Millsboro on January 17, 1893. The transitional climate of Delaware supports a wide variety of vegetation. In the northern third of the state are found Northeastern coastal forests and mixed oak forests typical of the northeastern United States. In the southern two-thirds of the state are found Middle Atlantic coastal forests. Trap Pond State Park, along with areas in other parts of Sussex County, for example, support
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