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History 1118 United States History and Culture - Term Paper Example

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The Seventeenth Amendment The 17th amendment is an amendment to the constitution of the United States. This was meant to change a previous article in the constitution, which allowed for the elections of the United States’ Senators only by individual state legislatures…
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History 1118 United States History and Culture
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Download file to see previous pages Here, the law allows for two senators for each state in the United States. In addition, the minimum term allowed by law to all senates is six years, with each senate having one vote. This part of the US constitution also has a provision that the senators will be elected into office by the specific legislatures of the state in which they seek rulership. Nonetheless, the 17 amendment has the same provisions like those in the article one, section three, except one difference with regard to the method of election for the senators. Therefore, while the number of senators, number of votes, and term of office is similar in both cases, the 17th amendment considers popular vote or electors as the main method of election of senators. In addition, the 17th amendment included that each senator seeking office must meet certain qualifications, including specific age and residency qualifications (Gailmard 324). Nonetheless, this amendment is responsible for various changes in the United States. Before the 17th amendment, the constitution of the United States had specified that only the legislatures of a senate would elect a senator. Therefore, the American citizens did not participate in the election of their senators. However, beginning the mid 1850’s this election system of senators by the government began to raise concerns among the American citizens, who felt they were being excluded from this important practice. Meanwhile, in 1866, in order to control this election approach, the US Congress passed a law, which was considered the main influence of the 17th amendment. However, this law did not change the election method of senators, thus was less useful, as most people wanted to be involved in voting in their senators. In the year 1893, the proposal for constitutional amendment in favour of direct elections of senators was first made. However, for a long time, this was not implemented, despite it being proposed every year. In 1903, this proposal was made in the US Congress, but the senate rejected it. However, in May 1912, the Congress passed direct elections of senators as the 17th amendment, and had it ratified in April 1913. Apart from allowing for direct elections of senators, it also allowed for a way of replacing senators, when the senate seat became vacant before the end of a term (Gailmard 324). As seen the government of the United States only allowed the legislatures in a state to elect the senator of their state. Various parties, including the founding fathers who wrote the constitution, as well as President James Madison, influenced this decision. In 1787, various delegates from different states were invited to Philadelphia to attend the Constitutional Convention meant to improve various confederation articles. James Madison attended and kept he took notes during the convention. From Madison’s notes, it is possible to understand the main reasons why the founding fathers, who created the US constitution, were opposed to a Congress made up of a single house, thus, supporting the senate. In addition, one might understand why the founding fathers were of the opinion that state legislatures, and not the majority, elect senators. Nonetheless, deciding that state legislatures appoint senators was in a bid to prevent or avoid the election of unethical or incompetent individuals into the senate. The founding fathers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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