We couldn’t find any content because your search may be too narrow.
Consider broadening your search
history.house.govPower of the Purse | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7Congress—and in particular, the House of Representatives—is invested with the “power of the purse,” the ability to tax and spend public money for the national government. Massachusetts’ Elbridge Gerry said at the Federal Constitutional Convention that the House “was more immediately the representatives of the people, and it was a maxim that the people ought to hold the purse-strings.”OriginsEnglish history heavily influenced the Constitutional framers. The British House of Commons has the exclusive right to create taxes and spend that revenue, which is considered the ultimate check on royal authority. Indeed, the American colonists’ cry of “No taxation without representation!” referred to the injustice of London imposing taxes on them without the benefit of a voice in Parliament.Constitutional FramingDebate at the Constitutional Convention centered on two issues. The first was to ensure that the executive would not spend money without congressional authorization. The second concerned the roles the House and Senate would play in setting fiscal policy. At the Convention, the framers considered the extent to which the Senate—like the House of Lords—should be limited in its consideration of budget bills. The provision was part of a compromise between the large and small states. Smaller states, which would be over-represented in the Senate, would concede the power to originate money bills to the House, where states with larger populations would have greater control. Speaking in favor of the provision, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania said, “It was a maxim that those who feel, can best judge. This end would . . . be best attained, if money affairs were to be confined to the immediate representatives of the people.” The provision in the committee’s report to the Convention was adopted, five to three, with three states divided on the question. The Convention reconsidered the matter over the course of two months, but the provision was finally adopted, nine to two, in September 1787.The constitutional provision making Congress the ultimate authority on government spending passed with far less debate. The framers were unanimous that Congress, as the representatives of the people, should be in control of public funds—not the President or executive branch agencies. This strongly-held belief was rooted in the framers’ experiences with England, where the king had wide latitude over spending once the money had been raised.The Early Appropriations ProcessThe First Congress (1789–1791) passed the first appropriations act—a mere 13 lines long—a few months after it convened. The law funded the government, including important pensions for Revolutionary War veterans, with just $639,000—an amount in the tens of millions in real terms. This simple process was short-lived. Over time, nine regular appropriation bills emerged and funded such priorities as pensions, harbors, the post office, and the military. These were considered on an annual basis by the late 1850s. The House Committee on Ways and Means, which also had jurisdiction over tax policy, controlled the appropriations process. But legislation and funding were always kept separate. Priorities were spelled out in one law and money appropriated for those priorities in another. This has remained the practice, as substantive committees design authorization acts and the House and Senate Appropriation Committees fund authorized programs later. Indeed, there are laws and parliamentary rules against making new law in appropriation bills, although such rules are periodically waived.Subsequent ReformsIn 1865, after the Civil War had created a nearly $3 billion national debt and spending exceeded a billion dollars a year, Congress reformed its funding process to handle the government’s new demands. The House separated the Ways and Means Committee’s taxing and spending functions. The Appropriations Committee was established to fund programs, while Ways and Means retained jurisdiction on tax policy. House leadership and other committees also tried to influence the appropriations process, and the lack of coordination over the years led to high deficits and the implementation of the federal income tax in 1913. Congress passed the Budget and Accounting Act in 1921 to address some of the coordination problems it faced funding government programs. This law centralized many of the budgeting functions with the President, who still has considerable agenda-setting power with the federal budget and submits a draft budget to Congress at the beginning of every year. The appropriations process has been reformed multiple times since 1921, including notable restructurings with the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and the Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Acts of 1985 and 1987. For Further ReadingFarrand, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1937).Garfield, James. “National Appropriations and Misappropriations,” North American Review, 270: 572–586.Kiewiet, D. Roderick and Mathew D. McCubbins. The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991).Kimmel, Lewis. Federal Budget and Fiscal Policy, 1789–1958. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1959). Leloup, Lance. The Fiscal Congress. (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1980).Schick, Allen. Congress and Money: Budgeting, Spending and Taxing. (Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1980).—. The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy, Process. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2000).Selko, Daniel. The Federal Financial System. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1940). Stewart, Charles H., III. Budget Reform Politics: The Design of the Appropriations Process in the House of Representatives, 1865–1921. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989).Wildavsky, Aaron B. Budgeting and Governing. (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2006). —. The New Politics of the Budgetary Process. 5th ed. (New York: Longman, 2003).
history.house.govRhode Island’s Ratification of the Constitution | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Rhode Island became the 13th state to enter the Union after ratifying the Constitution. Ironically, the new state’s late arrival came after the new federal government commenced on April 1, 1789, and the First Congress (1789–1791) had already passed 12 proposed amendments to the Constitution. Rhode Island was the only state not to send a representative to the Constitutional Convention, which approved the document on September 17, 1787. Nine states were needed to ratify the Constitution, and on June 21, 1788, the Constitution became the official governing document of the United States when New Hampshire ratified it. The “Hope State” made 11 attempts to hold a constitutional ratifying convention and held unsuccessful state referendums. The first referendum rejected the Constitution by ten to one. At great length, Rhode Island finally approved the Constitution with provisional amendments. On August 31, 1790, the state’s lone Representative, Benjamin Bourne, arrived in Philadelphia fashionably late to the First Congress.
johnpaulfauves.comLos AngelesJM Art Management and HOMME Gallery presents "FACES", group exhibition at HOMME Gallery Los Angeles showcasing some of the most popular international artists: Justin Bower, John Paul Fauves, DAIN, Hossam Dirar, Popovy Sisters and Mike Dargas. "What is the human experience? Throughout history, portraiture has allowed2
history.house.govHERNÁNDEZ, Joseph Marion | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesJoseph Hernández, the first Hispanic Member of Congress and the first Territorial Delegate to represent Florida, bridged his state’s cultural and governmental transition from Spanish colony to U.S. territory. Hernández fought first for Spain and later for the United States; he also earned—and lost—a fortune that included three plantations and numerous slaves. His complex life and career as a slave-owning, Indian-fighting politician cut from Jacksonian cloth embodied conflicting attitudes toward statehood, representation, and territorial conquest. Though brief, his service to the territory set an effective precedent, prompting the Washington City Gazette to declare, a “compliment is due to the zeal and industry of the honourable delegate from Florida, who during the session, appeared at all times attentive to the objects connected with the prosperity of his constituents and the interests of the Territory.”1José Mariano Hernández was born on May 26, 1788, in St. Augustine, Spanish Florida. He was the third of 10 children and the first son of Martín Hernández, Jr., and Dorotea Gomila, immigrants from the island of Minorca. The Hernándezes settled in St. Augustine in 1784, living in the northern section of the city, dubbed the Minorcan Quarter. Local residents earned their livelihoods by farming, fishing, and making handcrafts. Although the Hernándezes were not among St. Augustine’s elite families, Martín Hernández was a skilled laborer and a slave owner, indicating that the family had some wealth. José Hernández attended local schools run by Catholic priests and worked with his father in carpentry. As an adolescent, he was educated in Savannah, Georgia, and Havana, Cuba. He returned to East Florida in 1811 after studying law, most likely in Cuba.2During the Second Spanish Period (1783–1821), Spain regained territory lost to the British in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763). At that time, the Florida peninsula was divided between East and West Florida.3 One historian describes Spanish East Florida as a “province virtually devoid of people, a place rich in land but poor in inhabitants.” By 1811 the population numbered barely 4,000. St. Augustine and Fernandina, both coastal ports, were its only urban centers. The remainder of East Florida was “a scattering of forts, cotton and rice plantations, citrus groves, farms, cattle-ranching operations, sawmills, and lumber camps.” Many of the colonial properties were nestled along the St. Marys, Nassau, and St. Johns Rivers. The area’s major landmarks were military installations that guarded important routes on the rivers. East Florida society was a “small, somewhat self-contained world, one in which Spanish officials had to carefully balance Crown prerogatives against local needs and … defend Spanish interests with limited resources. Political life revolved entirely around the governor in his dealings with various factions of settlers.” As a result of East Florida’s physical isolation, small tax base, and limited funding from the Spanish government, local officials sought regional trade opportunities. In the 1790s, East Florida increased its trade with neighbors such as Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. However, territorial ambitions, economic competition, and distinct cultural differences between East Florida and its northern neighbors in Georgia and the Mississippi Territory poisoned their relations and plunged the region into armed conflict. In 1790 the king of Spain spurred increased settlement—and possible conflicts—by offering homestead grants to U.S. citizens.A variety of factors stirred tensions between the settlers in Georgia and those in Florida. Economic competition played a major role. Both groups of settlers jockeyed for influence with the Florida Indians, who controlled lucrative trade markets and were potentially a significant force in an armed conflict. Also, much of the commerce in the Southern United States was based on access to rivers, many of which emptied into the Gulf of Mexico through the Floridas. Furthermore, control of the Floridas was a security issue because foreign powers could encroach into the Deep South by using the Florida route. Cultural conflicts deriving from differences in religious background (U.S. Protestants vs. Spanish Catholics) and great-power alliance (Spain was an ally of Great Britain, and memories of the American Revolution were still fresh) further divided the two groups. But their attitudes toward slavery drove the largest wedge between them. First, many of the conflicts regarding slavery developed from the differences between the black-white framework of Anglo-American jurisprudence and the more permeable three-race structure of Hispanic societies. Second, U.S. slaveholders were aware that Florida was a close haven for fugitive slaves, who could blend into Spanish or Seminole communities with relative ease. Third, the use of armed black soldiers in the Florida militia alarmed U.S. slaveholders, who feared possible slave revolts. Underlying all this was the lack of a clear governing authority, which encouraged violent acts of retribution. After 1790, neither the U.S. nor the Spanish authorities could effectively control border conflicts.4For the next two decades, U.S. encroachment into East Florida, though sporadic, was sanctioned by two presidential administrations. President Thomas Jefferson and his Secretary of State, James Madison, sought to expand U.S. territory to the south and west of the original 13 colonies. Both men particularly coveted the Louisiana territory and the Floridas. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Jefferson and Madison pressured Spain to cede the Floridas through a combination of economic inducement, military force, and slow advancement by U.S. settlers.5The outbreak of what is known as the Patriot War developed out of U.S. settlers’ resentment toward the Spanish government and their wanton desire to annex the territory for the United States. In March 1812, a group of self-proclaimed “Patriots” led by U.S. general George Mathews occupied the town of Fernandina and laid siege to St. Augustine. They declared victory in July 1812. The Madison administration supported the Patriots as a low-risk effort to foment instability in East Florida that could be used as a pretext for seizing new land and stopping British incursion into the region. However, when President Madison later withdrew his support, the initiative became a bloody, destructive war that lasted two more years. After returning to Florida, Hernández volunteered to join the Spanish military to defend the territory against U.S. expansionists.6In February 1814, Hernández married Ana Hill Williams, a wealthy widow who lived in St. Augustine. Ana had at least nine children from her first marriage, including Guillermo, José Mariano Tomas, Eliza Ana, José Sam Gil, Juan Theofilio, Ana Teresa, Martín, Dorotea, and Louisa. Ana owned properties—among them, a 3,200-acre sugar cane plantation called Orange Grove—that allowed Hernández to become a prominent planter. Hernández also acquired a number of profitable land grants during the Patriot War.In 1817 the First Seminole War erupted in the West Florida province. In January 1818 Andrew Jackson led a force of 4,800 men into the Spanish Floridas, seizing a fort and destroying Seminole settlements along the way. The campaign concluded in May 1818 with the formal cession of West Florida to the United States. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish Ambassador Luis de Onís negotiated and signed a treaty of cession on February 22, 1819. After two years of diplomatic wrangling, the treaty was approved by the Senate on February 22, 1821. Although Hernández’s role in the war remains ambiguous, it is clear that he benefited from the conflict by receiving more land grants from the Spanish government.7 Ultimately, with the land that he purchased or inherited by marriage and the massive holdings he received as service grants from the Spanish crown, Hernández controlled 25,670 acres at the time of the U.S. annexation.8Rather than fleeing with other Spanish settlers to Cuba, Mexico, or Texas, Hernández chose to stay and work with the new regime, changing his name from José Mariano to Joseph Marion. Hernández became friendly with the territory’s first civil governor, William Pope DuVal, a Jeffersonian Republican, a former Representative from Kentucky, and an ally of Andrew Jackson’s. In April of 1822, DuVal submitted the names of Hernández and seven others as delegates to Florida’s first legislative council. Hernández was also nominated to the brigadier generalship of the East Florida militia. The Florida legislative council selected Hernández to serve as Territorial Delegate, a decision that was confirmed by a three-day election (September 30 to October 2, 1822) in which Hernández faced no opposition.9Hernández was sworn into the House on January 3, 1823.10 As a Hispanic Catholic Representative in a Congress that was predominantly Anglo-American and Protestant, Hernández was entering uncharted territory. But Hernández was well qualified to usher in Florida’s transition from Spanish to U.S. rule: He was bilingual, an established planter, and a well-known soldier who had fought in two major wars that determined Florida’s territorial status. However, his legislative role was circumscribed, largely because of institutional restrictions on the powers of a Territorial Delegate. At the time, Territorial Delegates were prohibited from serving on standing House committees; thus, Hernández did not hold a committee assignment during his brief tenure.11During Hernández’s time in Congress, the finalization of Florida annexation by the United States involved two controversial issues, access to owning land or validating land deeds and the removal of Seminoles from the territory.12 These overarching priorities shaped Hernández’s four-pronged legislative agenda as Delegate: verifying the status of land grants as a result of their transition from Spanish to Anglo-American jurisprudence; advocating for infrastructural improvements; assisting Florida with its recovery from recent wars; and fostering relations among U.S. settlers and the remaining Spanish elites, Indians, and territorial authorities.Hernández’s first objective was to facilitate the verification of land claims from the Spanish government to the U.S. government. This was a personal issue as much as a diplomatic matter, given his extensive land holdings. On January 20, 1823, Hernández submitted a bill asking the House Committee on Public Lands to award “public lots and houses within the city of Pensacola” to the city instead of to the U.S. government. The next day, in a letter to Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Hernández noted, “[It] is to be regreted Sir, that in a Territory so recently obtained from a forign Nation, whose Inhabitants are yet unacquainted with the System & Laws of Our Government, Should have had instances of … open Controvercy between its public functionaries” regarding these land claims. Hernández included a memorial from the St. Augustine city council and his own resolution. He asked Adams to “lay the enclosed papers before the President [Monroe], in order … to prevent … interference with the said property” until Congress rendered a decision.13 On February 17, upon hearing that the Senate would reject the bill, Hernández appealed to Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins of New York to submit a bill creating an additional board of commissioners to settle the land claims.14On behalf of the residents of St. Augustine, Hernández submitted a petition that lobbied for the separation of East and West Florida, outlining a plan for “a separate board of commissioners … to ascertain titles and claims to land” in East Florida and to permit settlement on public land.15 The petition also requested that the “aid of Congress may be extended” toward building and maintaining transportation infrastructure and asked Congress to prohibit U.S. soldiers from voting for Territorial Delegates. The House sent the petition to five committees, each of which had jurisdiction over specific complaints.16 Hernández also submitted a petition that called for a revision to the “assessment of taxes and the establishment of county courts.”17 In February 1823, Hernández objected to a bill that proposed forming a single board of commissioners; he argued that two boards were required because the dispensation of land grants in East Florida differed from that in West Florida. A new law (3 Stat. 754–756) resolved the issues regarding land claims and the formation of a board of commissioners described by Hernández in his legislation.18Federal support for capital improvement projects such as roads, bridges, and canals was another priority. Hernández sought the construction of a 380-mile road between St. Augustine and Pensacola, Florida’s two largest settlements. A contemporary observed, “The best practicable track is about seven hundred miles, through an unsettled and savage wilderness, which is travelled with great hazard and difficulty.”19 Hernández also lobbied for new roads south of St. Augustine to facilitate the economic development of East Florida. In February 1823, Hernández submitted H.R. 275, which called for congressional funding for these routes, noting in a memorandum that a portion of the Pensacola–St. Augustine road “was originally opened by the British Government” during its occupation of the Floridas. After consideration by the Committee on Public Lands, a bill appropriating $15,000 for the project was passed by the House. On March 1, the bill was taken up by the Senate, where it was ordered to lie on the table but was not acted upon before the 17th Congress closed on March 3.20 Hernández did not give up. In a March 11, 1823, letter to Secretary of War John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Hernández insisted that a major roadway would benefit the military and the territorial government. He also believed it would facilitate the construction of a capital city and make Florida an attractive candidate for statehood.21Hernández was a diplomatist as well as a legislator, promoting resolutions to conflicts with American Indians and seeking to smooth the transition from Spanish to U.S. rule. In the first decades of the 19th century, relations between Anglos and Indians often involved the imposition of racial separation. Although Hernández had interacted with Indians during his youth and adulthood, he conformed to the separatist practices of U.S. settlers. He encouraged the James Monroe administration to negotiate a treaty that would gather the Seminoles in one location and outline their relationship with the U.S. government. The resultant Treaty of Moultrie Creek, ratified in December 1823, compelled all Indians in Florida to move to a four-million-acre reservation with defined boundaries.22When Hernández’s term ended in March 1823, he prepared to run for a second term. A local newspaper endorsed his candidacy, stating, “In the faithful execution of the various and important trusts committed to him … his good sense and information on every subject connected with the interests and prosperity of this territory have inspired confidence and esteem in the Administration … and gained for Florida many warm and valuable friends on the floor of Congress.”23 Three opponents challenged the incumbent in the June 1823 election: Alexander Hamilton of St. Augustine and Farquar Bethune of Fernandina, both from East Florida; and Richard Keith Call, a Jackson acolyte who served on the territorial legislative council, from West Florida. According to one scholar, “Politics in Florida were largely of a personal nature as certain men of wealth and education became the natural leaders of political life on the frontier.” In sum, voters were predisposed to support political candidates because of regional ties rather than party loyalties.24 The candidates from East Florida split the vote three ways: Hernández garnered 252 votes to Hamilton’s 249 and Bethune’s 36. Call ran unopposed in West Florida, capitalizing on his service as the region’s brigadier general of the militia, and with 496 votes he won a seat in the 18th Congress (1823–1825). Hernández’s political career shifted to territorial politics with his appointment by President James Monroe to the territorial legislative council at the suggestion of Territorial Delegate Call. President John Quincy Adams renewed Hernández’s appointment in 1825.25Hernández ran for Delegate in 1825 against Joseph M. White, a Kentucky lawyer and politician who lived in Pensacola, and James Gadsden, a territorial council member who would eventually become known for negotiating the purchase of a portion of southern Arizona and New Mexico in 1853.26 A laudatory editorial in the East Florida Herald reminded readers of Hernández’s service in the House. Describing Hernández’s efforts to secure passage of H.R. 275 and his facilitation of the Treaty of Moultrie Creek, the editor wrote, “We cannot but admit, that if talent or zeal deserve reward; if useful services call for some gratitude and acknowledgement … the claims of Gen. Hernández are paramount to those of every other candidate.”27 A rebuttal stressed White’s superior qualifications and suggested that having a Hispanic Delegate would be a liability for Florida. While no one would deny Hernández credit for his previous service, the writer argued, White was “better acquainted with our language, the organization of our political institutions, and the mode of transacting business in the councils of the nation.” Hernández was almost left off the ballot. Announcing his candidacy in a public letter to local electors, he wrote that hearing rumors “I had withdrawn my name; I deem it a duty, that I owe to the public and my friends … to put an end to any uncertainty, that may prevail on this subject.”28 In the general election, White prevailed with 742 votes, Gadsden placed second with 460 votes, and Hernández trailed with 362 votes.29During the 1820s, Hernández established himself as a major territorial planter, producing some of Florida’s biggest cash crops, including sugar cane and cotton. Contemporary publications noted the outstanding productivity of the Mala Compra and St. Joseph Plantations. However, Hernández’s sugar cane and cotton crops required him to use between 60 and 150 slaves to run three massive plantations. Despite his agricultural success, Hernández was forced to sell large tracts of land during the mid-1820s to retire debts and make mortgage payments. In 1835 he borrowed money and used his estates as collateral to remain solvent.30By this time, relations between white settlers and the Seminoles had deteriorated almost to the point of open conflict. Territorial authorities believed Indian removal policies that had been adopted in other parts of the Southeast would also work for Florida, and white settlers wanted to permanently eliminate Indian enclaves for fugitive slaves. Like other slave owners, Hernández was concerned about havens for fugitive slaves and about the possibility of armed rebellion by escaped slaves and the Seminoles. In response to the unrest, President Andrew Jackson sent a 700-man regular army force to coordinate the defense of East Florida. By late December 1835, black and Seminole insurgents had destroyed a half-dozen plantations in the St. Augustine area. A number of other devastating attacks in the region signaled the start of the Second Seminole War.31Hernández returned to the battlefield in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). According to his most recent biographer, he “was incredibly influential in shaping the course of … the conflict” as the senior commander of the East Florida militia. He was responsible for ensuring the safety of civilians in East Florida and for protecting its complex of plantations, including his own. Hernández managed the defenses of the region with limited manpower in a territory that covered all of modern-day Florida except the Panhandle. Hernández contended with the militia, which was reluctant to fight away from home and with recalcitrant army regulars, who refused to follow his orders. After the arrival of reinforcements in March 1836 and a new field commander, Hernández played a significant role in the conflict, but was not the senior field commander. Throughout 1836, he helped recover slaves and prevented them from fleeing toward enemy lines.32The war brought Hernández financial and political misfortune. In early 1836, the Seminoles attacked and destroyed 16 plantations in East Florida, among them Hernández’s St. Joseph sugar cane operation. Compounding this loss, the U.S. Army requisitioned the Mala Compra Plantation. Mala Compra’s use as a hospital, field headquarters, and supply depot, along with its abuse by soldiers, all but destroyed Hernández’s home. Moreover, his workforce was greatly diminished. The war also brought Hernández unwanted national recognition. An informer led Hernández, two mounted companies of militia, and three companies of regular troops to a secluded camp of escaped slaves and Seminoles. Hernández’s group captured dozens of enemy combatants, including a prominent leader who had organized the destruction of Hernández’s St. Joseph plantation. In October 1837 he facilitated a meeting between U.S. forces and a group of prominent Seminole leaders that included Osceola.33 Osceola’s party arrived under a flag of truce but with no indication that they were willing to surrender. However, Hernández’s commander, General Thomas Sidney Jesup, ordered Hernández to capture the men. Following orders, Hernández’s 250-soldier contingent captured Osceola and 79 Seminoles. Within Florida, Hernández and Jesup were hailed as heroes, but nationally, Jesup’s decision to ignore the truce was criticized by the press. Although Hernández escaped censure, his association with the incident tarnished his political prospects. For the remainder of 1837, Hernández participated in expeditionary campaigns against Seminole insurgents in central and South Florida. In January 1838, he asked to be relieved from duty because of the war’s toll on his personal fortunes. The Seminole War dragged on for four more years.34Hernández attempted to revive his political career by running for the U.S. Senate. In the early 1840s, as Florida became more partisan with the Whig-Democrat divide, Hernández joined the Nucleus, a faction of conservative elites drawn from the ranks of planters, businessmen, and merchants. Like his counterparts, Hernández opposed single statehood for Florida; instead, he advocated for two states, East Florida and West Florida. His main competitor was David Levy, a Whig who tirelessly promoted the one-state concept. In July 1845, several months after Florida was admitted to the Union, Hernández, Levy, James D. Westcott, and Jackson Morton ran for Florida’s two U.S. Senate seats. A majority of the Florida senate chose Levy and Westcott, who won handily with 41 votes each; Hernández and Morton received 16 votes each.35Though his dreams of national office had ended, Hernández remained active in local politics, serving as mayor of St. Augustine in 1848. He eventually left Florida to reside in Matanzas, Cuba, in his later years and died on June 8, 1857.36
mudabure.comHOW DID VINCENT VAN GOGH DIE? PAINTER WAS MURDERED, BIOPIC CLAIMSFor centuries, art historians claimed Vincent Van Gogh died by suicide in the late 1800s. A new biopic, however, seeks to challenge history by depicting Van Gogh’s death as a murder. Starring Willem Dafoe as Van Gogh, At Eternity’s Gate, premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Monday. The film follows the Dutch artist in his adult years traveling from the Netherlands to the south of France, spending time in and out of mental institutions and living the life of an impoverished painter in Paris in the 1880s. One of the film’s most shocking elements came during the depiction of Van Gogh’s7
history.house.govCeremonial Meeting of Congress in Philadelphia for Bicentennial of Constitution | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Congress convened in a ceremonial session at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. It marked the first time since 1800, the year the federal government moved from Philadelphia to Washington, that Congress met somewhere other than on the banks of the Potomac. The 100th Congress (1987–1989) authorized the special session earlier in the year, and selected July 16th because it marked the 200th anniversary of the “Great Compromise” in which Delegates to the Constitutional Convention approved the federal government’s two-chamber legislative branch. The Delegates signed the final version of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. “That compromise saved the convention from collapse,” House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas said at the ceremony. “It made the Constitution, with all of its other delicately balanced compromises, possible.” Initially, event planners had hoped to include every Member of the 100th Congress in the celebration but security, space, and cost made it nearly impossible. Instead, in an ode to the 55 original Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, each state delegation appointed one lawmaker to accompany five members of the congressional leadership to attend the gathering in Independence Hall’s Assembly Room. Following a roll call of the states, the Members elected Representative Lindy Boggs of Louisiana to chair the proceedings. The participants then passed a resolution commemorating the Great Compromise. In order to accommodate the thousands of people who gathered outside, the organizers televised the event on screens on Independence Mall.
history.house.govOrigins & Development: From the Constitution to the Modern House | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesLearn about the framers’ vision for the newly created governing body and subsequent major developments through essays exploring the institutional powers and duties of the House of Representatives."And whether these forms be in all cases the most rational or not is really not of so great importance. It is much more material that there should be a rule to go by than what that rule is; that there may be a uniformity of proceeding in business not subject to the caprice of the Speaker or captiousness of the members. It is very material that order, decency, and regularity be preserved in a dignified public body."— Thomas Jefferson, Manual of Parliamentary Practice, 1801
history.house.govThe Temporary Appointment of Representative Lindsay Warren as Majority Leader | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, newly elected Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas named Lindsay Warren of North Carolina temporary House Majority Leader. In the days following the death of Speaker William Bankhead of Alabama, Democrats expected a heated contest to fill the Majority Leader’s position left vacant by Rayburn’s ascension to the Speakership. The party had yet to decide whether it would caucus immediately to select a new leader or if it would wait until the start of the 77th Congress (1941–1943). Rayburn selected Warren to fill the temporary vacancy; Warren, already scheduled to retire from the House to accept a White House appointment, proved to be an ideal interim appointee. The Democratic Caucus met nearly a week later on September 25 and elected John McCormack of Massachusetts Majority Leader over Representative Clifton A. Woodrum of Virginia, 141 to 67. McCormack briefly stated he considered it "a trust to be exercised in the best interests of the Democratic Party and the country.” McCormack served as Majority Leader for nearly two decades, except for two Congresses when party control of the House switched: 80th Congress (1947–1949) and 83rd Congress (1953–1955). In the 87th Congress (1961–1963), following the death of Speaker Rayburn, McCormack became the 45th Speaker of the House.
history.house.govThe Capitol at Washington | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesThis hand-colored wood engraving was cut from an unknown book and dates from 1842. It closely resembles one of William Bartlett’s illustrations of the Capitol from the book entitled American Scenery (1840). The grand staircase leads the viewer’s eye to the wood and copper dome designed by Charles Bulfinch, which was one of the remarkable features of the Capitol at the time.
history.house.govConnecticut Ratifies Bill of Rights | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesIn 1939, Connecticut was one of three states to symbolically ratify the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Connecticut’s resolution celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Constitution. The original ratifications of the Bill of Rights were created by states between 1787 and 1792, and are located in the General Records of the United States Government. Because Sara B. Crawford, Connecticut’s secretary of state, sent this copy of the state’s ratification to Speaker William Bankhead, this document is a House record.
history.house.govEdition for Educators—Hispanic Americans in Congress in their Own Words | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesSince 1822, more than 100 Hispanic Americans have served in the House of Representatives. Some, like Romualdo Pacheco of California and Henry González of Texas left an enduring mark on the institution through historic firsts and ground breaking legislation. The history of Hispanic Members who served in Congress is one shaped by changes in American society and in the House. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we invite you to learn more about these Members in their own words.“Sir, I claim to be the representative of a people who have peculiar demands upon your justice and magnanimity. They are in their origins, alien to your institutions, your laws, your customs, your glorious history, and even strangers to your language.… I am, and have ever been, one of that very people.”Translated from Spanish—José Gallegos, the first Hispanic Delegate from the New Mexico Territory, speaking about his nuevomexicano constituents“I appeal to the generosity and liberality of this House to allow sufficient money to build up these buildings for my people, who, though they came into this Union not willingly, but by the fortunes of war, and who are a people of foreign extraction, are and have been as loyal as any people in the world.”—José Chaves of the New Mexico Territory, calling for relief aid in the wake of Confederate occupation“Give us now the field of experiment which we ask of you, that we may show that it is easy for us to constitute a stable republican government with all possible guarantees for all possible interests.”—Luis Muñoz Rivera, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico, speaking on the House Floor during debate on the Jones Act of 1916“We in Guam have embarked on a voyage of political self-determination—a desire on our part for greater local autonomy and an equal place in the American political family.”—Ben Blaz of Guam, leading the charge for commonwealth status for the territory“If I’m remembered for anything, I’d rather be remembered for constituent service than national legislation.”—Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico, who gained a reputation for his attention to constituent issues“What I fear is creation of an isolated position, for a minority must develop a means to enlist majority support. Our task is to overcome political isolation, and it is a delicate path that makes the difference between attracting a friend and becoming isolated and alone. If we cry in an empty room, we may expect to hear only our own echoes.”—Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas, on Hispanic American political participation“Politics in a democracy is a competition over ideas, and it is inevitable there will be winners and losers. Any freely elected politician who says he doesn’t crave power to get the laws and programs he thinks best for his city, state, or nation is either dissembling or belongs in a different business.”—Bill Richardson of New Mexico, on the power that comes with public serviceFeatured ExhibitionHispanic Americans in Congress, 1822–2012 For more of these Members' stories, you can turn to our essays on two centuries of Hispanic Americans in Congress. The exhibition also features full profiles of departed Members, historical data, and objects from the House Collection.This is part of a series of blog posts for educators highlighting the resources available on History, Art & Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives. For lesson plans, fact sheets, glossaries, and other materials for the classroom, see the website's Education section.Follow @USHouseHistory
historyextra.comA beginner's guide to art historyMuseum researchers tell us that the average visitor spends just 17 to 27 seconds in front of an artwork – yet such a short window of time won't reveal much about the history of the artwork. So, what should you be looking for when you stand in front of a work of art? Here, Dr Laura-Jane Foley shares her top tips on visual analysis and explains why you – the viewer – are just as important as the person who created it…1
history.house.govProportional Representation | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…”— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2, clause 3“Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.”— U.S. Constitution, Amendment XIV, section 2The Constitution provides for proportional representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the seats in the House are apportioned based on state population according to the constitutionally mandated Census. Representation based on population in the House was one of the most important components of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787.OriginsThe American Revolution was, in part, a contest about the very definition of representation. In England, the House of Commons represented every British subject regardless of whether the subject could actually vote for its membership. In this sense, most people living in areas under British rule—including North America—were only “virtually represented” in Parliament. American colonists, who were used to controlling their local affairs in the directly-elected colonial legislatures, lacked a voice in Parliament and resented the British policies imposed on them. Thus, they rallied behind the now familiar motto: “No taxation without representation!” After the war, the founders struggled to design a system of government to better represent the inhabitants of the new country than did the British model which once governed them. The Articles of Confederation created the first national congress to represent the interests of the states: each state would appoint between two and seven delegates to the congress, and each state delegation would have one vote.Constitutional FramingThe Constitutional Convention addressed multiple concerns in the process of designing the new Congress. The first was the relationship of the least populous states to the most populous. The battle between big and small states colored most of the Convention and nearly ended hopes of creating a national government. Pennsylvania Delegate Benjamin Franklin summed up the disagreement: “If a proportional representation takes place, the small States contend that their liberties will be in danger. If an equality of votes is to be put in its place, the large States say their money will be in danger. When a broad table is to be made, and the edges of planks do not fit the artist takes a little from both, and makes a good joint.” The “good joint” that emerged from weeks of stalemate was called the “Great Compromise” and created a bicameral legislature with a House, where membership was determined by state population, and a Senate, where each state had two seats regardless of population. The compromise enabled the Convention, teetering on the brink of dissolution, to continue.The Convention determined that a Census of the population conducted every 10 years would enable the House to adjust the distribution of its Membership on a regular basis. The method, however, proved controversial. Southern delegates argued that their slaves counted in the population, yielding them more Representatives. Northern delegates countered that slaves were property and should not be counted at all. The result was the notorious “Three-Fifths Compromise,” where slaves were counted as three-fifths of a free person. Having originated in tax policy, this rule was defended during the Convention as a necessary compromise given the “peculiar” state of slaves as both property and “moral” individuals subject to criminal law. Virginia’s James Madison wrote in Federalist 54 that the reasoning appeared “to be a little strained in some points” but “fully reconciles me to the scale of representation, which the Convention have established.”Representation was also linked to taxation. Before federal income taxes or tariffs, the states contributed to the national government with local taxes, often flat poll taxes on each citizen. Since constitutional framers had to provide for the funding of the new government, they debated the proper relationship between representation and taxation. Several delegates argued that geographic size or useable farmland were better measures of state wealth than mere population. Delegates, however, settled on proportional contributions based on population and, by extension, the number of Members in the House of Representatives. Large states, with more human capital, should contribute more revenue to the national government and also have more seats in the legislature as a result. This fulfilled the promise of the American Revolution: taxation with representation.14th AmendmentThe 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified after the Civil War, began to remedy the “original sin” of the Constitution, and ordered the Census to fully count every individual regardless of skin color. While it was a step in the right direction, it did little to ease the country’s racial tensions. Moreover, instead of directly providing for the enfranchisement of African Americans, the amendment stipulated that only males over the age of 21 could not be discriminated against when voting unless they had participated in rebellion against the Union or “other crime.” Women were not enfranchised until 1920, when the 19th Amendment stipulated that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged . . . on account of sex.” In 1971, the 26th Amendment enfranchised those 18 years of age and older. The latter amendments, however, did not alter congressional apportionment. Current PracticeCongress has capped the number of Representatives at 435 since the Apportionment Act of 1911 except for a temporary increase to 437 during the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states in 1959. As a result, over the last century, congressional districts have more than tripled in size—from an average of roughly 212,000 inhabitants after the 1910 Census to about 710,000 inhabitants following the 2010 Census. Each state’s congressional delegation changes as a result of population shifts, with states either gaining or losing seats based on population. While the number of House Members for each state is determined according to a statistical formula in federal law, each state is then responsible for designing the shape of its districts so long as it accords with various provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which seeks to protect racial minorities’ voting and representation rights. For Further ReadingU.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. “About Congressional Apportionment.” http://www.census.gov/population/apportionment/about/.Eagles, Charles W. Democracy Delayed: Congressional Reapportionment and Urban–Rural Conflict in the 1920s. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010.Farrand, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1937).Madison, James, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay. The Federalist Papers. (New York: Penguin Books, 1987).Reid, John Phillip. The Concept of Representation in the Age of the American Revolution. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).Rossiter, Clinton. 1787: The Grand Convention. (New York: Macmillan, 1966)(. Tate, Katherine. Black Faces in the Mirror: African Americans and Their Representatives in the U.S. Congress. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003).
history.house.govHispanic Americans in Party Leadership Positions, 1987–Present | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesWhile elections for Democratic Caucus leadership positions take place in the final months of a preceding Congress, this chart does not include service that predates the beginning of a new Congress. For example, Robert Menendez was elected Vice Chair for the 106th Congress (1999–2001) in the fall of 1998.
history.house.govThe Resolution to Permit Live Radio Broadcasts of House Proceedings | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Representative John Coffee of Washington introduced H.J. Res. 311, which called for live radio broadcasts of House proceedings. Coffee's measure followed on the heels of a nearly identical bill introduced by Senator Claude Pepper of Florida. Both resolutions suggested that because of “mounting public interest throughout the country” in legislation pending before Congress—social measures and postwar foreign and economic policies—that the institution was obligated to make its deliberations widely accessible to the public. Some observers worried that broadcasting events on the floor would change the culture of the House, and pundits noted that the arcane proceedings would quickly bore the American people. Coffee insisted, however, “that the people are entitled to know what is going on in Congress, without editorial deletion and without expurgation at the hands of radio or other commentators. Why should not the people judge for themselves?” The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress held hearings on the subject. But provisions for permanent broadcasting of all House Floor debates were not included in the sweeping reform package produced by the committee and passed by the House as the Legislative Reform Act of 1946. Live radio and television broadcasts of House Floor proceedings remained unavailable until the late 1970s.