Flag of the United States
The flag of the United States of America referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars alternate with rows of five stars; the 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, became the first states in the U. S. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner; the current design of the U. S. flag is its 27th. The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on July 4, 1959; the 50-star flag was ordered by the president Eisenhower on August 21, 1959, was adopted in July 1960. It is the longest-used version of the U. S. has been in use for over 58 years.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the Continental Congress would not adopt flags with "stars, white in a blue field" for another year. The flag contemporaneously known as "the Continental Colors" has been referred to as the first national flag; the Continental Navy raised the Colors as the ensign of the fledgling nation in the American War for Independence—likely with the expedient of transforming their previous British red ensigns by adding white stripes—and would use this flag until 1777, when it would form the basis for the subsequent de jure designs. The name "Grand Union" was first applied to the Continental Colors by George Preble in his 1872 history of the U. S. flag. The flag resembles the British East India Company flag of the era, Sir Charles Fawcett argued in 1937 that the company flag inspired the design. Both flags could have been constructed by adding white stripes to a British Red Ensign, one of the three maritime flags used throughout the British Empire at the time.
However, an East India Company flag could have from nine to 13 stripes, was not allowed to be flown outside the Indian Ocean. Benjamin Franklin once gave a speech endorsing the adoption of the Company's flag by the United States as their national flag, he said to George Washington, "While the field of your flag must be new in the details of its design, it need not be new in its elements. There is in use a flag, I refer to the flag of the East India Company." This was a way of symbolising American loyalty to the Crown as well as the United States' aspirations to be self-governing, as was the East India Company. Some colonists felt that the Company could be a powerful ally in the American War of Independence, as they shared similar aims and grievances against the British government tax policies. Colonists therefore flew the Company's flag. However, the theory that the Grand Union Flag was a direct descendant of the flag of the East India Company has been criticised as lacking written evidence. On the other hand, the resemblance is obvious, a number of the Founding Fathers of the United States were aware of the East India Company's activities and of their free administration of India under Company rule.
In any case, both the stripes and the stars have precedents in classical heraldry. Mullets were comparatively rare in early modern heraldry, but an example of mullets representing territorial divisions predating the U. S. flag are those in the coat of arms of Valais of 1618, where seven mullets stood for seven districts. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white. Flag Day is now observed on June 14 of each year. While scholars still argue about this, tradition holds that the new flag was first hoisted in June 1777 by the Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment; the first official U. S. flag flown during battle was on August 3, 1777, at Fort Schuyler during the Siege of Fort Stanwix. Massachusetts reinforcements brought news of the adoption by Congress of the official flag to Fort Schuyler. Soldiers cut up their shirts to make the white stripes.
Abraham Swartwout's blue cloth coat. A voucher is extant that Capt. Swartwout of Dutchess County was paid by Congress for his coat for the flag; the 1777 resolution was most meant to define a naval ensign. In the late 18th century, the notion of a national flag was only nascent; the flag resolution appears between other resolutions from the Marine Committee. On May 10, 1779, Secretary of the Board of War Richard Peters expressed concern "it is not yet settled what is the Standard of the United States." However, the term, "Standard," referred to a national standard for the Army of the United States. Each regiment was to carry the national standard in addition to its regimental standard; the national standard was not a reference to the naval flag. The Flag Resolution did not specify any particular arrangement, number of points, nor orientation for the stars and the arrangement or whether the flag had to have seven red stripes and six white ones or vice versa; the appearance was up to the maker of the flag.
Some flag makers arranged the stars into one big star, in a circle or in rows and some re
United States congressional committee
A congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty. Committee membership enables members to develop specialized knowledge of the matters under their jurisdiction; as "little legislatures", the committees monitor on-going governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review and evaluate information, recommend courses of action to their parent body. Woodrow Wilson once wrote, "it is not far from the truth to say that Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work." It is neither expected nor possible that a member of Congress be an expert on all matters and subject areas that come before Congress. Congressional committees provide valuable informational services to Congress by investigating and reporting about specialized subjects. Congress divides its legislative and internal administrative tasks among 200 committees and subcommittees. Within assigned areas, these functional subunits gather information.
While this investigatory function is important, procedures such as the House discharge petition process are so difficult to implement that committee jurisdiction over particular subject matter of bills has expanded into semi-autonomous power. Of the 73 discharge petitions submitted to the full House from 1995 through 2007, only one was successful in securing a definitive yea-or-nay vote for a bill; the growing autonomy of committees has fragmented the power of each congressional chamber as a unit. This dispersion of power has weakened the legislative branch relative to the other two branches of the federal government, the executive branch and the judiciary branch. In his cited article History of the House of Representatives, written in 1961, American scholar George B. Galloway wrote: "In practice, Congress functions not as a unified institution, but as a collection of semi-autonomous committees that act in unison." Galloway went on to cite committee autonomy as a factor interfering with the adoption of a coherent legislative program.
Such autonomy remains a characteristic feature of the committee system in Congress today. In 1932, a reform movement temporarily reduced the number of signatures required on discharge petitions in the U. S. House of Representatives from a constitutional majority of 218 down to 145, i.e. from one-half to one-third of the House membership. This reform was abolished in a 1935 counterattack led by the intra-House oligarchy, thus the era of the Great Depression marks the last across-the-board change, albeit a short-lived one, in the autonomy of House standing committees. The modern committee structure stems from the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, the first and most ambitious restructuring of the standing committee system since the committee system was first developed; the 1946 act reduced the number of House committees from 48 to 19 and the number of Senate committees from 33 to 15. Jurisdictions of all committees were codified by rule in their respective chambers, which helped consolidate or eliminate many existing committees and minimize jurisdictional conflicts.
The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, a temporary committee established in 1993 to conduct a policy and historical analysis of the committee system, determined that while the 1946 Act was instrumental in streamlining the committee system, it did fail to limit the number of subcommittees allowed on any one committee. Today, Rules in the U. S. House of Representatives limit each full committee to five subcommittees, with the exception of Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure. There are no limits on the number of subcommittees in the U. S. Senate. Congress has convened several other temporary review committees to analyze and make recommendations on ways to reform and improve the committee system. For example, the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 led to further reforms to open Congress to further public visibility, strengthen its decision-making capacities, augment minority rights; the 1970 Act provided for recorded teller votes in the House's Committee of the Whole.
Between 1994 to 2014, overall committee staffing was reduced by 35 percent. The number of hearings held in the House declined from 6,000 hearings per year in the 1970s, to about 4,000 hearings in 1994, to just over 2,000 hearings in 2014. Commentators from both parties have expressed concern regarding the loss of committee capacity to research and develop legislative initiatives; the first Senate committee was established April 1789, to draw up Senate rules of procedure. In those early days, the Senate operated with temporary select committees, which were responsive to the entire Senate, with the full Senate selecting their jurisdiction and membership; this system provided a great deal of flexibility, as if one committee proved unresponsive, another could be established in its place. The Senate could forgo committee referral for actions on legislation or presidential nominations; these early c
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801; the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation. Jefferson was of English ancestry and educated in colonial Virginia, he graduated from the College of William & Mary and practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War, he became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793.
Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts; as president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He organized the Louisiana Purchase doubling the country's territory; as a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U. S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson, while a planter and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages, he corresponded with many prominent people. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia, considered the most important American book published before 1800. After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Although regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's historical legacy is mixed; some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that "all men are created equal." Another point of controversy stems from the evidence that after his wife Martha died in 1782, Jefferson fathered children with Martha's half-sister, Sally Hemings, his slave.
Despite this, presidential scholars and historians praise his public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank among U. S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the family home in Shadwell in the Colony of Virginia, the third of ten children, he was of English, Welsh and was born a British subject. His father Peter Jefferson was a surveyor who died when Jefferson was fourteen. Peter Jefferson moved his family to Tuckahoe Plantation in 1745 upon the death of William Randolph, the plantation's owner and Jefferson's friend, who in his will had named him guardian of his children; the Jeffersons returned to Shadwell in 1752, where Peter died in 1757. Thomas inherited 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, he assumed full authority over his property at age 21. Jefferson began his childhood education beside the Randolph children with tutors at Tuckahoe. Thomas' father, was self-taught, regretting not having a formal education, he entered Thomas into an English school early, at age five.
In 1752, at age nine, he began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister and began studying the natural world, for which he grew to love. At this time he began studying Latin and French, while learning to ride horses. Thomas read books from his father's modest library, he was taught from 1758 to 1760 by Reverend James Maury near Gordonsville, where he studied history and the classics while boarding with Maury's family. During this period Jefferson came to know and befriended various American Indians, including the famous Cherokee chief, who stopped at Shadwell to visit, on their way to Williamsburg to trade. During the two years Jefferson was with the Maury family, he traveled to Williamsburg and was a guest of Colonel Dandridge, father of Martha Washington. In Williamsburg the young Jefferson met and came to admire Patrick Henry, eight ye
United States Senate chamber
The United States Senate Chamber is a room in the north wing of the United States Capitol that serves as the legislative chamber of the United States Senate, since January 4, 1859. The Senate first convened in its current meeting place after utilizing Federal Hall, Congress Hall, the Old Senate Chamber in the Capitol building for the same purpose; the chamber, designed by then-Architect of the Capitol Thomas Ustick Walter, is a rectangular two-story room with 100 individual desks, one per Senator, on a multi-tiered semicircular platform facing a central rostrum in the front of the room. The Senate floor itself is overlooked on all four sides by a gallery on the second floor; the Senate floor itself is 80 by 113 feet. The Senate convened, beginning in 1790, in a second-floor chamber in Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until moving into the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol building in 1800. From 1810 to 1859, the Senate utilized the Old Senate Chamber for legislative functions.
During this time, the Senate nearly doubled in size. In light of the increased size of both houses of congress, two new wings were added on to the United States Capitol. Beginning in 1851, the Capitol underwent several expansions including the new wings and their respective chambers, as well as a new dome. In addition to expanding the space available for the Senate's use, the chamber's designers were concerned that the room have acoustical and line-of-sight qualities comparable to those of a theater; the construction of the chamber began in 1851 and continued until senators began utilizing the room for legislative business in 1859. Shortly after beginning to utilize the chamber, senators noted the poor acoustic qualities, the sounds created by rain as it hit the glass-paneled ceiling, uncomfortable drafts of air throughout the room; the general design of the chamber, a rectangular, two-story room in the center of the Capitol's north wing, includes 100 individual desks on a tiered platform. This platform, semi-circular in shape, faces a raised rostrum in the front of the room.
On all four sides of the chamber's second level, a visitor's gallery overlooks the Senate floor. The Senate first allowed visitors to observe proceedings in 1795; the galleries for observing the Senate, including a women's gallery, became popular destinations for tourists and residents alike throughout the nineteenth century. Above the presiding officer's desk at the rostrum was the press gallery. Here, reporters are able to cover the proceedings of the Senate; because of the chamber's theater-like qualities and size, numerous requests were made and fulfilled to use the chamber for functions other than that of legislation. In 1863, the chamber was used for a presentation of a narrative poem about a Union Army soldier, William Scott, who had fallen asleep at his post and was sentenced to be shot. Among the audience for the performance was the then-President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who had pardoned the sentinel months earlier. Senators grew tired of the competition for the chamber's usage and allowed the final non-legislative usage of the chamber, a lecture on post-Civil War reconstruction, before enacting a rule dictating that the chamber would not be used for any purpose other than that of the United States Senate.
In 1923, practicing physician and former commissioner of the New York City Board of Health Royal Copeland began his first term in the Senate. He noted the poor quality of the air in the chamber, arguing that the premature deaths of 34 serving senators over the previous 12 years were caused by the overly hot and poorly humidified air, which he blamed for the spread of common illnesses during the winter and the general discomfort of the chamber during the summer. In June 1924, the Senate voted to adopt a measure by Copeland to improve the "living conditions of the Senate Chamber." Carrere & Hastings, the architectural firm that had designed the Russell Senate Office Building, submitted a plan for the improvements, to include removing interior walls and lowering the ceiling, subsequently approved by the Senate on May 11, 1928. On May 16, Copeland requested the indefinite postponement of his proposal in light of a new ventilation system that received the endorsement of experts in public health.
The "manufactured weather" ventilation system, designed by Carrier Corporation, was completed in 1929 - the Senate's first air conditioning system. In 1949-1950, the Senate Chamber underwent a reconstruction that involved the removal of the skylight and a redesign of the room's walls. In place of the chamber's original cast-iron pilasters, newer red Levanto marble pilasters were installed; the wooden rostrum was replaced with a larger version made of marble. The iron and glass ceiling, including the skylight, was replaced with a ceiling of stainless steel and plaster; this redesign, in addition to improving the acoustic properties of the room, was to update the room's mid-nineteenth century decor, out of date. Rule IV of the Senate prohibits the taking of photographs inside the Senate Chamber; the Senate suspended this rule on September 24, 1963, to take the first official photograph of the Senate. During the same year, National Geographic requested permission to take the first official photograph of the Senate while in session for the organization's illustrated book on Congress, We, the People.
Each two-year session of the United States Congress, the Photographic Studio of the Senate is charged with taking the official photo of the Senate. Beginning in 1979, the House of Representatives began televising coverage of its daily sessions live on the network C-SPAN. Senators opposed televised cover
A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the "requirement for a quorum is protection against unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons."The term quorum is from a Middle English wording of the commission issued to justices of the peace, derived from Latin quorum, "of whom", genitive plural of qui, "who". As a result, quora as plural of quorum is not a valid Latin formation; each assembly determines the number of members. The quorum may be set by law. Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised states that the quorum set in an organization's bylaws "should approximate the largest number that can be depended on to attend any meeting except in bad weather or other unfavorable conditions."In the absence of such a provision, a quorum is an assembly whose membership can be determined is a majority of the entire membership. In the meetings of a convention, unless provided otherwise, a quorum is a majority of registered delegates if some have departed.
In a mass meeting or in an organization in which the membership cannot be determined, the quorum consists of those who attend the meeting. In committees and boards, a quorum is a majority of the members of the board or committee unless provided otherwise; the board or committee can not set its own quorum. In a committee of the whole or its variants, a quorum is the same as the assembly unless otherwise provided. In online groups, a quorum has to be determined in a different manner since no one is "present"; the rules establishing such groups would have to prescribe this determination. An example is that a quorum in such groups could be established as "present" if enough members state that they are "present" at the designated meeting time; the chairman of the group has the responsibility to determine. In addition, any member can raise a point of order about an apparent absence of a quorum; because it is difficult to determine when a quorum was lost, points of order relating to the absence of a quorum are "generally not permitted to affect prior action.
When a quorum is not met, the assembly can only take limited procedural actions. These limited actions are to fix the time to which to adjourn, recess, or take measures to obtain a quorum, such as a motion that absent members be contacted during a recess. Any other business, conducted is not valid unless it is ratified at a meeting where a quorum is present. However, there is no obligation to ratify such action and those responsible may be punished for their actions. In legislatures and other assemblies that have the legal power to compel the attendance of their members, the call of the house procedure may be used to obtain a quorum; this procedure does not exist in ordinary societies, since voluntary associations have no coercive power. When a call of the house is ordered, the clerk calls the roll of members and the names of absentees. Members who do not have an excused absence are brought in; the arrested members may be charged a fee. The tactic of quorum-busting—causing a quorum to be prevented from the meeting—has been used in legislative bodies by minorities seeking to block the adoption of some measure they oppose.
This only happens where the quorum is a super-majority, as quorums of a majority or less of the membership mean that the support of a majority of members is always sufficient for the quorum. Rules to discourage quorum-busting have been adopted by legislative bodies, such as the call of the house, outlined above. Quorum-busting has been used for centuries. For instance, during his time in the Illinois Legislature, Abraham Lincoln leapt out of a first story window in a failed attempt to prevent a quorum from being present. A recent prominent example of quorum-busting occurred during the 2003 Texas redistricting, in which the majority Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives sought to carry out a controversial mid-decade congressional redistricting bill which would have favored Republicans by displacing five Democratic U. S. Representatives from Texas from their districts; the House Democrats, certain of defeat if a quorum were present, took a plane to the neighboring state of Oklahoma to prevent a quorum from being present.
The group gained the nickname "the Killer Ds." The minority Democrats in the Texas Legislature's upper chamber, the Texas Senate, fled to New Mexico to prevent a quorum of the Senate to prevent a redistricting bill from being considered during a special session. The Texas Eleven stayed in New Mexico for 46 days before John Whitmire returned to Texas, creating a quorum; because there was now no point in staying in New Mexico, the remaining ten members of the Texas Eleven returned to Texas to vote in opposition to the bill. During the 2011 Wisconsin protests, fourteen Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate went to Illinois in order to bust the necessary 20-member quorum. Democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives did the same in order to block another union-related bill, causing the legislative clock on the bill to expire. Traveling out of their state placed these legislators beyond the jurisdiction of state troopers who could comp
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.
History of the 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 legislative branch of the federal government of the United States. Like its counterpart, the Senate was established by the United States Constitution and convened for its first meeting on March 4, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City; the history of the institution begins prior to that date, at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, in James Madison's Virginia Plan, which proposed a bicameral national legislature, in the Connecticut Compromise, an agreement reached between delegates from small-population states and those from large-population states that in part defined the structure and representation that each state would have in the new Congress. The U. S. Senate, named after the ancient Roman Senate, was designed as a more deliberative body than the U. S. House. Edmund Randolph called for its members to be "less than the House of Commons... to restrain, if possible, the fury of democracy."
According to James Madison, "The use of the Senate is to consist in proceeding with more coolness, with more system, with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Instead of two-year terms as in the House, senators serve six-year terms, giving them more authority to ignore mass sentiment in favor of the country's broad interests. The smaller number of members and staggered terms give the Senate a greater sense of community. Despite their past grievances with specific ruling British governments, many among the Founding Fathers of the United States who gathered for the Constitutional Convention had retained a great admiration for the British system of governance. Alexander Hamilton called it "the best in the world," and said he "doubted whether anything short of it would do in America." In his Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, John Adams stated "the English Constitution is, in theory, both for the adjustment of the balance and the prevention of its vibrations, the most stupendous fabric of human invention."
In general, they viewed the Senate to be an American version of House of Lords. John Dickinson said the Senate should "consist of the most distinguished characters, distinguished for their rank in life and their weight of property, bearing as strong a likeness to the British House of Lords as possible." The Senate was intended to give states with smaller populations equal standing with larger states, which are given more representation in the House. The apportionment scheme of the Senate was controversial at the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton, joined in opposition to equal suffrage by Madison, said equal representation despite population differences "shocks too much the ideas of justice and every human feeling." Referring to those who demanded equal representation, Madison called for the Convention "to renounce a principle, confessedly unjust." The delegates representing a majority of Americans might have carried the day, but at the Constitutional Convention, each state had an equal vote, any issue could be brought up again if a state desired it.
The state delegations voted 6–5 for proportional representation, but small states without claims of western lands reopened the issue and turned the tide towards equality. On the final vote, the five states in favor of equal apportionment in the Senate—Connecticut, North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware—only represented one-third of the nation's population; the four states that voted against it—Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia—represented twice as many people than the proponents. Convention delegate James Wilson wrote "Our Constituents, had they voted as their representatives did, would have stood as 2/3 against equality, 1/3 only in favor of it". One reason the large states accepted the Connecticut Compromise was a fear that the small states would either refuse to join the Union, or, as Gunning Bedford, Jr. of Delaware threatened, "the small ones w find some foreign ally of more honor and good faith, who will take them by the hand and do them justice". In Federalist No. 62, James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," admitted that the equal suffrage in the Senate was a compromise, a "lesser evil," and not born out of any political theory.
"t is superfluous to try, by the standard of theory, a part of the Constitution, allowed on all hands to be the result, not of theory, but'of a spirit of amity, that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.'" Gunning Bedford, Jr. of Delaware admitted that he only favored equal representation because it advanced the interests of his own state. "Can it be expected that the small states will act from pure disinterestedness? Are we to act with greater purity than the rest of mankind?"Once the issue of equal representation had been settled, the delegates addressed the size of the body: to how many senators would each state be entitled? Giving each state one senator was considered insufficient, as it would make the achievement of a quorum more difficult. A proposal from the Pennsylvania delegates for each state to elect three senators was discussed, but the resulting greater size was deemed a disadvantage; when the delegates voted on a proposal for two senators per state, all states supported this number.
Since 1789, differences in population between states have become more pronounced. At the time of the Connecticut Compromise, the largest state, had only twelve times the population of the smallest state, Delaware. Today, the largest state, has a population, seventy times greater than the population of the smallest state, Wyoming. In 1790, it would take a theoretical 30% of the population to elect