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 ...


13

There are several types of repeals. First, there are partial repeals where a poorly crafted portion of a law causes problems. For example, the onerous 1099 reporting section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was repealed. The rest of the law remains intact so far but that portion was repealed. Another recent example would 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 ...


11

According to this page, 298 Senators have died in office (it does not include the last member to die, who died in 2010. I included him in the previously stated number). According to this page, 815 House Representatives have died in office (it does not include the last three members to die in office. I included them in the previously stated number). Our ...


8

I think the legislatures in many countries have the same structure. A quite distant example is the Supreme Council of the USSR which also had two chambers, the Council of the Union and the Council of the Nationalities. The former was elected by the population at rate of 1 deputy per 300000 people while the later represented the constituent republics. I ...


8

Simply put, Bill Clinton WAS impeached. The impeachment process is similiar to a Grand Jury in which the House stands as the jury and decides whether or not sufficient evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor is sufficent to turn it over to trial in the Senate. So yes Bill Clinton WAS impeached...but the Senate accquitted him so he was not ousted from ...


8

Kentucky to the Union given, Vermont will make the balance even; Still Pennsylvania holds the scales, And neither South or North prevails. (*) A slogan appearing in a journal at the opening of Congress voiced the politics of equilibrium underlying the compromise that allowed Kentucky into the union. Source: Editorial Note: on the Admission of Vermont and ...


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 ...


7

There is a provision in the Constitution for the President to propose bills to Congress. From Article II, Section 3 (emphasis mine): He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; While every President has had the ability ...


7

Originally I thought that the fact it said "one or the other Houses of Congress" might have something to do with this, since the House tends to be less able to keep up traditions due to the turnover in Representatives every few years. And I was almost right. Although the date looks to be slightly off, it turns out that: February 19, 1979 On this ...


7

As far as I understand you can use Food and Fuel Control Act of August 10, 1917 as a counter-example. It was an independent public act approved by 65th Congress. (not a list of changes to previous acts) It was repealed entirely by the Joint Resolution of 66th Congress at March 3, 1921 (with other wartime acts) Certain sections of Act were amended in ...


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

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

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

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 ...


4

Lincoln first informed his cabinet in July of 1862 that he had decided to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the rebellious states but which left slavery in tact in the border states, as a punitive measure to hurt the Confederate war effort. Lincoln's cabinet was made up of more tenured leaders of the Republican party than ...


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. ...


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

(Update: new summary) I have given in to my weaker loquacious side and allowed this answer to become a tar baby, incorporating many topics that are only tangential to the OP. The summary is that bicameralism is one of many governmental architectures designed to incorporate stakeholders, foster deliberation and slow consensus. Although it was a tool ...


3

"To date, no evidence has surfaced that such a conversation actually took place. The earliest known appearance of this story is in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1884 (the transcription above is from this source).[1] It was repeated by M.D. Conway in his Omitted Chapters of History Disclosed in the Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph, first published in ...


3

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1964 outlawed various forms of discrimation, although what they outlawed were mostly State laws it's hard to say if this is what you are looking for; since you don't make a distinction on what laws Congress has repealed. Most notably, around the same time in 1973 Congress passed the War Powers ...


3

When was the last time you saw an employment advertisement with the words "White Only", or "Blacks need not apply"? Likely you haven't. Before the civil rights act of 1964, specifically title VII such words were common on advertisements for jobs. Today you likely have never seen such advertisements, not because of changes to public perception, but because ...


3

Question: Why does the US House have a ceremonial mace, but the Senate does not? The House of Representatives in the American System of government is the "peoples house". It is originally the only branch of the United States government which was elected by the people. The Senate with it's longer terms and fewer seats, was originally elected by the state ...


2

What you may be confusing in this case is what is termed the War Powers Act which gives the President latitude to actually engage in military operations for up to 90 days before declaring war or going to Congress. Part of this stems from the face that Vietnam avoided this with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which then President Lyndon Johnson used to ...


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.


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