GOV STUDY GUIDE EXAM 3

GOV STUDY GUIDE - The Structure of Congress o Bicameral legislature Both chambers held substantial power Founders purposely dispersed power to

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The Structure of Congress o Bicameral legislature Both chambers held substantial power Founders purposely dispersed power to prevent one body of gov from dominating all the others Share law making power Increases number of voices heard when policy proposals are being considered (+) Makes it difficult to change existing laws since no bill can be sent to president to sign into law unless both House and Senate have passed it o House Of Representatives Sensitive to public opinion Constitution requires all reps to stand for election every 2 years which creates opportunity for a rapid turnover (change) in House membership if public wants Everyone of its members is elected by the voters # of reps in each state is proportional to the population; states w/ larger populations=more reps; every state guaranteed at least 1 rep Reapportionment is the redistribution of seats in House among the states; occurs every 10 yrs following the census so that size of each state’s delegation is proportional to its share of the total population Reallocation or redistribution of legislative districts Must be 25 yrs old and US citizen for at least 7 yrs o Senate Rules designed for creating senate= create more mature body Must be 30 yrs old and US citizen for at least 9 yrs Connecticut Compromise gave each state 2 senators 6 year terms; 1/3 of senate up for reelection in any election yr o Makes rapid turnover far less likely
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State legislatures elect senators rather than voters= unpopular= 17 th amendment (1913) mandated the direct, public election of senators Structural rules make senate more distanced from public opinion (unlike house) Evolution of Congress o Substantial turnover in congress membership took place in the 1 st half of 19 th century; Service in congress= not of great importance during this time (state= real action!) Congress was dealing w/ issues less important than those decided elsewhere= members left voluntarily and often took another political office, usually at state level (where real action was during time) Practice of rotation; an informal version of term limits Lack of incentives for long service; pay was low=members put their financial futures at risk by serving in Congress Life in Washington wasn’t appealing; difficult travel to/from capitol for most members High turnover= important consequences for House/ Senate Affected how members conducted themselves o Serve short amount of time= little fear if their behavior offended their colleagues Changes in the House o 19 th Century Sometime during 2 nd half of 19 th century, members began to view their service as a career o Changes in economic and social fabric of country created new political interests that only the federal gov could satisfy= pushed congress toward center of decision making and made being a member more interesting and important than it was before Shift of viewing congressional service as a career
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course POL SCI 1100 taught by Professor Overby during the Spring '08 term at Missouri (Mizzou).

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GOV STUDY GUIDE - The Structure of Congress o Bicameral legislature Both chambers held substantial power Founders purposely dispersed power to

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