Seventeenth Amendment

Seventeenth Amendment

The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the popular election of U.S. senators by the people of the states. The Seventeenth Amendment, passed in 1913, provided for the direct election of U.S. senators by citizens. Until 1913 the state legislatures elected the U.S. senator. It changed the electoral system established by Article 1 of the Constitution 3, which provided for the appointment of senators in the state legislatures. Adopted in the progressive era of democratic political reform, the amendment reflected popular dissatisfaction with corruption and inefficiency that characterized the U.S. senators’ legislative elections in many states. This successful struggle has been hailed as a major victory for progressivism – a political movement in the early twentieth century dedicated to pushing the government towards reform at all levels. In addition to meeting the far-reaching goals of the reformers, the campaign for the amendment sought to put an end to delays and was widely regarded as corruption in the election of senators by the state legislature. It also changed the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing state legislatures to temporarily appoint their governors until a special election is held.

At the time of adoption of the amendment, many states had already created systems that allow voters to effectively elect their state senators. Nevertheless, the amendment is seen as necessary to reduce the influence of big business and other special interests in the election of senators and to prevent vacancies or frequent turnover in the Senate as a result of party quarrels or changes in party leadership at the state level. As a result of such developments, at least 29 states by 1921, a year before the approval, were electing senators on a popular basis, and as a result, the constitutional consideration of the legislature was somewhat reduced to that reserved by the President Voters. This transition began with two special elections in Georgia and Maryland, then sincerely with the November 1914 election; It was completed on March 4, 1919, when elected senators took office during the November 1919 election. Towards the end of the twentieth century, some conservative political pundits called for a decision based on the Seventeenth Amendment that it undermined the proper balance of power between the federal government and the states.

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