Download An Introduction to the U.s. Congress by Charles B. Cushman PDF

By Charles B. Cushman

What does Congress do? How does it do it? Why is it this kind of complex establishment? This concise primer bargains scholars and basic readers a quick and systematic creation to Congress and the function it performs within the US political process. Drawing on his adventure as a former Congressional employees member, the writer explores the various political natures of the home and Senate, examines Congress's interplay with different branches of the government, and appears forward to the family and overseas demanding situations which are more likely to force the Congressional schedule for many years to come back. The ebook offers revealing insights into the sometimes-contradictory Congressional duties of illustration and lawmaking; oversight and appropriation; and handling and organizing the govt.. It contains a case examine (on the formation of the dep. of place of origin safety) that sheds mild on Congress's often-complicated systems. The ebook additionally contains boxed beneficial properties on Congressional motion - highlighting such themes as dossier sharing and pupil loans - that convey scholars how Congress's paintings impacts their lives. Chapter-ending lists of net assets upload to the book's usefulness.

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Sample text

They thus sought to use the powers of each part of the government to limit the other sections of the government; as Hamilton or Madison wrote in Federalist No. ”61 ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL SYSTEM 35 The first innovation that the Framers introduced was the concept of federalism, or a system of government on several levels. At the national level, there was to be a central government, which would manage the foreign affairs of the new nation. 62 The Framers also limited the power of the central government by leaving the militia in the hands of the states, so the states would have a military force to counterbalance the army and the navy of the new nation.

But the singleness of purpose found in war disappeared once peace began. By 1787, it was clear that the Articles of Confederation had failed as a system of government for the new nation. So a convention was called to revise the Articles. 56 Many of the members of the convention, including its leaders, realized that the Articles would have to be replaced with a new, more effective system of government. This new government, they believed, needed to meet the twin challenges of government in the New World: the new government would need sufficient energy to enable the country to make use of the resources it could access across the continent of North America, but such a government had to be built in a way that would prevent the slide into corruption and tyranny that England had experienced in the century before the American Revolution.

In this period, the national government ran on patronage, and every office was a political gift to supporters. The House began to shift toward a more partisan style of politics, and the Speaker became an important party leader. S. political competition since the presidency of Andrew Jackson (1829–1837). 76 In this period, the Speaker evolved into the majority party leader of the House, and the majority party began to exert control over the actions of the chamber, taking control of the committee system and shaping the floor procedures that allow the majority to dominate the House.

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