Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
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
Booker T. Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, they were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League, his base was the Tuskegee Institute, a black college in Tuskegee, Alabama. As lynchings in the South reached a peak in 1895, Washington gave a speech, known as the "Atlanta compromise", which brought him national fame, he called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.
Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community's economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling. But, secretly, he supported court challenges to segregation and restrictions on voter registration. Black militants in the North, led by W. E. B. Du Bois, at first supported the Atlanta compromise, but disagreed and opted to set up the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to work for political change, they tried with limited success to challenge Washington's political machine for leadership in the black community, but built wider networks among white allies in the North. Decades after Washington's death in 1915, the civil rights movement of the 1950s took a more active and militant approach, based on new grassroots organizations based in the South, such as Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, develop strategy, push, reward friends, distribute funds, while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who still lived in the South. In 1856, Washington was born into slavery in Virginia as the son of an African-American slave. After emancipation, she moved the family to West Virginia to join her husband Washington Ferguson; as a young man, Washington worked his way through Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and attended college at Wayland Seminary. In 1881, Washington was named as the first leader of the new Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, founded for the higher education of blacks. Washington attained national prominence for his Atlanta Address of 1895, which attracted the attention of politicians and the public, he became a popular spokesperson for African-American citizens.
He built a nationwide network of supporters in many black communities, with black ministers and businessmen composing his core supporters. Washington played a dominant role in black politics, winning wide support in the black community of the South and among more liberal whites, he gained access to top national leaders in politics and education. Washington's efforts included cooperating with white people and enlisting the support of wealthy philanthropists. Beginning in 1912, he built a relationship with philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who served on the board of trustees for the rest of his life and made substantial donations to Tuskegee. In addition, they collaborated on a pilot program for Tuskegee architects to design six model schools that could be built for African-American students in rural areas of the South. Given their success in 1913 and 1914, through the Rosenwald Foundation, established in 1917, Rosenwald expanded the program to encourage school construction through giving matching funds to communities who committed to operate the schools.
Thousands of new, small rural schools to improve education for blacks throughout the South were built, most after Washington's death in 1915. Washington had asserted that the surest way for blacks to gain equal social rights was to demonstrate "industry, thrift and property." Northern critics called Washington's widespread organization the "Tuskegee Machine". After 1909, Washington was criticized by the leaders of the new NAACP W. E. B. Du Bois, who demanded a stronger tone of protest in order to advance the civil rights agenda. Washington replied that confrontation would lead to disaster for the outnumbered blacks in society, that cooperation with supportive whites was the only way to overcome pervasive racism in the long run. At the same time, he secretly funded litigation for civil rights cases, such as challenges to southern constitutions and laws that had disenfranchised blacks across the South since the turn of the century. African Americans were still affiliated with the Republican Party, Washington was on close terms with national Republican Party leaders.
He was asked for political advice by presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. In addition to his contributions in education, Washington wrote 14 books. During a difficult period of transition, he did much to improve the working rel
Nature fakers controversy
The nature fakers controversy was an early 20th-century American literary debate highlighting the conflict between science and sentiment in popular nature writing. The debate involved important American literary and political figures. Dubbed the "War of the Naturalists" by The New York Times, it revealed irreconcilable contemporary views of the natural world: while some nature writers of the day argued as to the veracity of their examples of anthropomorphic wild animals, others questioned an animal's ability to adapt, learn and reason; the controversy arose from a new literary movement, which followed a growth of interest in the natural world beginning in the late 19th century, in which the natural world was depicted in a compassionate rather than realistic light. Works such as Ernest Thompson Seton's Wild Animals I Have Known and William J. Long's School of the Woods popularized this new genre and emphasized sympathetic and individualistic animal characters. In March 1903, naturalist and writer John Burroughs published an article entitled "Real and Sham Natural History" in The Atlantic Monthly.
Lambasting writers such as Seton and Charles G. D. Roberts for their fantastical representations of wildlife, he denounced the booming genre of realistic animal fiction as "yellow journalism of the woods". Burroughs' targets responded in defense of their work in various publications, as did their supporters, the resulting controversy raged in the public press for nearly six years; the constant publicity given to the debate contributed to a growing distrust of the truthfulness of popular nature writing of the day, pitted scientist against writer. The controversy ended when President Theodore Roosevelt publicly sided with Burroughs, publishing his article "Nature Fakers" in the September 1907 issue of Everybody's Magazine. Roosevelt popularized the negative colloquialism by which the controversy would be known to describe one who purposefully fabricates details about the natural world; the definition of the term expanded to include those who depicted nature with excessive sentimentality. A renewed public interest in nature and its promise of aesthetic and recreational enjoyment began in the United States during the late 19th century.
The country's first national park, was established in 1872, by 1900 it had been followed by half a dozen more. Railroads made it easy to get to the parks, their advertising promoted the wonders of nature that could be seen courtesy of their trains. Tourists frequented the parks but there were numerous opportunities for people to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation closer to home. City parks, such as New York City's Central Park, became popular destinations because of their accessibility, camps like the ones owned by the YMCA were frequented by boys and girls of all ages. Wilderness protection and the conservation movement, led by figures such as John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club began to appear at this time. By the turn of the century, those in favor of recreational ideals of nature began to clash with conservationists such as Muir. Critics and natural scientists became skeptical of what they saw as a growing cult of nature, thought to wrongly champion sentimentality and aesthetics rather than scientific facts.
Sympathy for animals and their survival became a developing thought in the 19th century, due in part to wide acceptance of theories pertaining to organic evolution. In 1837, Charles Darwin wrote in his diary that "If we choose to let conjecture run wild animals, our fellow brethren in pain, death and famine—our slaves in the most laborious works, our companions in our amusements—they may partake of our origin in one common ancestor—we may be all melted together." As the popularity and marketability of the natural world rose during the late 19th century, books dedicated to nature came to be in great demand. One reviewer noted in 1901 that "It is a part of the progress of the day that the Nature study is coming into prominence in our schemes of education, beyond these, is entering into our plans for coveted diversion, yet it is a real surprise that so large and increasing a number of each season's publications are devoted to the purpose." Such literature was published in a wide variety of subjects: children's animal books, wilderness novels, nature guides, travelogues were all immensely popular.
The study of nature became part of the public school curriculum, making nature writing profitable. As the public's hunger for such imaginative works grew, a new genre in which nature was depicted in a compassionate, rather than realistic, light began to take form; the tendency to portray animals as having human traits was not new. However, one of the features separating the turn-of-the-century animal writers from those before them was the desire to have their animals set an example through their noble, sympathetic characteristics. Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, for example, told the story of a gentle horse from the animal's own point of view; the budding animal welfare movement helped establish a climate for wider public support of wildlife conservation, soon nature writers sought to gain sympathy for wild animals—specifically those who displayed honorable human traits—by depicting them in a positive light. One popular nature writer of the day, Mabel Osgood Wright, told of wolves nobly taking their
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Houghton Library, on the south side of Harvard Yard adjacent to Widener Library, is Harvard University's primary repository for rare books and manuscripts. It is part of the Harvard College Library, the library system of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Harvard's first special collections library began as the Treasure Room of Gore Hall in 1908; the Treasure Room moved to the newly-built Widener Library in 1915. In 1938, looking to supply Harvard's most valuable holdings with more space and improved storage conditions, Harvard College Librarian Keyes DeWitt Metcalf made a series of proposals which led to the creation of Houghton Library, Lamont Library, the New England Deposit Library. Funding for Houghton was raised with the largest portion coming from Arthur A. Houghton Jr. in the form of stock in Corning Glass Works. Construction was completed by the fall of 1941, the library opened on February 28, 1942. Along with much else, Houghton holds collections of papers of Samuel Johnson, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Margaret Fuller, John Keats, Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family, Amos Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, along with the papers of other notable transcendentalists, Theodore Roosevelt, T.
S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, Henry James, William James, James Joyce, John Updike, Jamaica Kincaid, Gore Vidal, many others. Houghton holds the letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the 54th Massachusetts during the Civil War, was killed during the assault on Fort Wagner. Houghton has five main curatorial departments: Early Books and Manuscripts, which includes a large collection of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and over 2,500 incunabula. Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, featuring the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson, one of the largest collections of books and manuscripts relating to Samuel Johnson and his circle. Modern Books and Manuscripts, which collects material from 1800 to the present, including the papers and libraries of Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Leon Trotsky, Gore Vidal, John Updike, Amy Lowell, collector Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. among many others. Modern Books & Manuscripts New Acquisitions Blog Printing & Graphic Arts which documents the history and art of book production.
The Harvard Theatre Collection covering the history of the performing arts. A Houghton Library Chronicle, 1942–1992. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard College Library. 1992. OCLC 26633110. Centuries of books & manuscripts: collectors and friends and librarians build the Harvard College Library: an exhibition on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Houghton Library, 1942–1992. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard College Library. 1992. OCLC 26024581. Houghton Library home page Houghton 75: Celebrating Houghton Library's 75th Anniversary Online exhibition: Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200 Online exhibition: Books in Books: Reflections on Reading and Writing in the Middle Ages Online exhibition: Harvard's Lincoln Online exhibition: A Monument More Durable Than Brass: The Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson Online exhibition: History of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Collection Online exhibition: "I shall be your dearest love": John Keats and Fanny Brawne Online exhibition: "Such a Curious Dream!: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at 150 Houghton Library Blog Department of Modern Books & Manuscripts new acquisitions blog
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