22

I believe this is referring to the gag rule (aka: Pickney Resolution 3) of the US House, adopted in 1836. It read: Resolved, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way or to any extent whatever to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be ...


12

You betcha! In fact, the movie was rather mild. The most famous incident in the Congress (comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives) was the caning of Senator Sumner: Walking cane used in beating Sen. Charles Sumner. Old State House Museum in Boston MA. Via Wikimedia Commons Lithograph by John L. Magee (1856). Via Wikimedia Commons On May ...


8

The House's tradition of a ceremonial mace descends from the British House of Commons: Ceremonial maces originated in the Ancient Near East, where they were used as symbols of rank and authority across the region during the late Stone Age, Bronze Age, and early Iron Age. .... The earliest ceremonial maces in France and England were practical weapons ...


6

According to senate.gov When should Congress begin its annual session? The 18th-century framers of the United States Constitution, accustomed to an agriculturally based economy with its cycles of planting, growing, and harvesting, considered the mostly dormant month of December to be a particularly good time for senators and representatives to begin their ...


6

I don't think it makes a lot of sense to compare numbers, because they are completely different kinds of votes, with different thresholds. But we can look at some historic trends. First off, veto overrides are quite rare. It has to be an issue both houses of Congress have 2/3rds support for, yet the POTUS doesn't want. If its clear that level of support is ...


5

No, they didn't. From their point of view there was now a hostile anti-South majority in Congress. Any attempt by themselves to do things to protect slavery through US Congressional action was doomed to failure. So there was no reason to bother trying. The closest thing they had was allied Copperheads, Northern Democrats who felt the issue wasn't worth ...


5

Apparently the mistake was an electoral appeal that urged Americans to vote Democratic because a vote for Republicans would ". . . be interpreted on the other side of the water as a repudiation of my leadership." . This achieved the opposite of the desired effect, losing the election for the Democrats, as the letter was (correctly) perceived as an ...


5

I'm familiar with the story, but it is a highly suspect claim. It is part of the Myth of the Lost Cause. The idea here is that compromise was impossible so war was the only option. For this reason, many sources may be unreliable and it would be best to use only primary sources to prove or disprove its veracity. James Henry Hammond made his famous speech "On ...


4

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 http://www.nationalcenter.org/FugitiveSlaveAct.html It was the law of the land. It was repealed June 28, 1864...14 years and a Civil War later. The ACA may have a similar affect on our country.


4

Probably the most famous and historically significant US Congressional leader was Henry Clay, who was a dominant, if not the dominant leader of the early 19th Century Congress. He was the founder and leader of the Whig party (one of the two main parties of the era), and was the driving force behind The Missouri Compromise and (as a Senator) The Compromise of ...


3

To expand on (and slightly correct) David Hammen, the CCC and WPA were not closed because of partisan politics. They were closed because unemployment was low due to the industrialization of the war effort. They were programs designed to combat the high unemployment and were no longer needed. As far as Congress was concerned, no. From 1938-41, Congress very ...


3

During WWII, did Congress show solidarity with the President? Not really. While Congress did show solidarity as far as the war effort was concerned (and that took some effort), internal politics were very much against the President. The 1942 midterm elections were the first to be held after the declaration of war. The Democrats barely won that election. ...


3

For one thing, the 1788 elections were held in 1789. The following quote is from p. 166 of Sol Bloom, The Story of the Constitution, United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 1937. Q. When did the United States government go into operation under the Constitution? A. The Constitution became binding ...


3

This custom developed because it was always the custom of the British House of Commons, from which most legislative traditions of the United States ultimately derive. This custom also serves a functional purpose in the assembly: to maintain an illusion of (at least partial) impartiality on the part of the Speaker, as a means of enhancing his authority on ...


3

First I will acknowledge it is difficult to write on this topic neutrally, even 150 years later, as the scar of the Civil War still runs through the country. I'll do my best to remain factual. Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union, prior to 1861, through an act of Congress? I cannot find any record of a serious attempt, no. ...


2

There is a book on the gag rule and John Quincy Adams' multiyear struggle to overturn it (I read the book and it's a good read...): Arguing about Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress (auth. William Miller, 1995).


2

I had doubts of the reference when I used it for my book: I decide it was likely genuine. As I note in my reference, drinking tea from a saucer dates it to the appropriate time period. By 1869, "to pour tea or coffee into a saucer... are acts of awkwardness never seen in polite society." So if invented, someone got some very specific details correct.


1

It looks like there was a bit of a brouhaha owing to the treaty having a ratification deadline, but it being an unusually bad winter that made it difficult for states to get their representatives there within the deadline. "There" being Annapolis Maryland, where the Continental Congress was meeting at the time. This was a big problem, not just a ...


1

No, they did not use peaceful or legal means. Often the secession commissions used did not even fully represent the population of the state seceding. Southerners only started worrying about supposed legality after they lost the war and wanted to look better after the fact.


1

No, they did not. If they did, most likely they could get peaceful separation (considering that the Corwin Amendment passed Congress even without the votes of seven seceding states). Instead, they recalled representatives from Congress, and demanded recognition from presidents (Buchanan and Lincoln), who did not have the constitutional power to change state ...


1

This quote appears to have been written in 1982. Under normal circumstances, the US's Highway Trust Fund gets all its money from gasoline sales taxes. However, in 1982 the amount hadn't been raised in nearly 30 years. This amount was clearly no longer sufficient, as congress at the end of that year felt the need to essentially double it. I'm not familiar ...


1

I have had an interest in this reported conversation between the two "fathers" because it involves handleless cups which were standard tea and coffee cups in their time. (handles came later). Hot liquid was poured from the pot into the cup, and then into the bowl (which we now refer to as a saucer) to cool before drinking. One drank from this shallow ...


1

Historian J. L. Bell has done some research on this tl:dr He believes this is a spurious quotation. My ego leads me to quote the following from Bell, which states far more clearly the concept I tried to articulate in my other answer(s). It’s worth noting that the “senatorial saucer” anecdote contrasts the wisdom of Washington with the “zealous,” ...


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