ELAC Congress Discussion

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Please reply my classmate below, and just write about 100 words. Thank you.

The Constitution of the United States requires that each state be given two representatives in the Senate, (regardless of the size of the state). Think about modern American politics. Is it a problem that small population states like Wyoming and Vermont have the same number of Senators as large states like Texas and California? Do you think this should be changed? Why?

STUDENT 1: I do not consider it a problem, but rather a solution, that American senators are set in number at two per state regardless of population size. From my new understanding based on this week’s readings, our founding fathers were worried about two kinds of tyranny and wished to create a system that protected our country from both as effectively as possible. Tyranny type one is the obvious threat of concentration of power in the hands of one (king) or several corrupt individuals. Effectively a minority “elite” ruling class depriving everyone else from individual freedom. Tyranny type two could be exemplified by Daniel Shay’s rebellion: The idea of mob rule. An angry majority, or “faction (with) impulse of passion” as James Madison writes in Federalist #10 is just as dangerous for trampling the rights of an otherwise voiceless minority (Appendix C). With purely population-based representation, smaller states (which are each still an important 1/50th of the union) are left at a significant disadvantage, and government can never be persuaded to keep their interests in mind.

Congress was shaped into 2 houses in order to protect the interests of both the large and the small states. The house of representatives is apportioned based on population, with larger states receiving more representation, which turns over every 2 years to more directly reflect the votes of the people (Krutz 2.3). The Senate, on the other hand, receives 2 representatives from each state, for a staggered period of 6 years (Krutz). The 6 year staggered exchange of the senate gave each state more consistent representation which cannot be as quickly influenced or overtaken by the shifting current issues at the forefront of citizen’s minds, like the passioned factions Madison was concerned about. In fact, the senators were originally chosen by each state’s assembly (not the people directly) as two intellectuals best qualified to consider and contend for the long term success of both their state and the union at large. Alexander Hamilton argued along these lines in federalist # 35 that average americans might be better served by representatives with “more extensive knowledge of the world” (Krutz 2.3) than they themselves possessed.

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