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The Invention of the United States Senate / Edition 1

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Overview

The invention of the United States Senate was the most complicated and confounding achievement of the Constitutional Convention. Although much has been written on various aspects of Senate history, this is the first book to examine and link the three central components of the Senate's creation: the theoretical models and institutional precedents leading up to the Constitutional Convention; the work of the Constitutional Convention on both the composition and powers of the Senate; and the initial institutionalization of the Senate from ratification through the early years of Congress. The authors show how theoretical principles of a properly constructed Senate interacted with political interests and power politics in the multidimensional struggle to construct the Senate, before, during, and after the convention.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Political Science Quarterly - Sarah A. Binder

A masterful treatment of the origins and early evolution of the U.S. Senate... Extremely well-written and informed... Raises the bar substantially for future studies of congressional development.

Perspectives on Politics - Fred R. Harris

Highly scholarly but also highly engaging work.

American Historical Review - Charles A. Kromkowski

No previous work offers an account that ties the theoretical and practical origins of the Senate with its early institutional development. Wirls and Wirls prove to be able guides and their journey worthy of our efforts.

Choice

Two learned political scientists explore the foundations and early development of the US Senate.

Perspectives on Political Science
This exemplary new book by Daniel and Stephen Wirls brings theory and history together in a lucid and timely analysis of this pivotal institution's formation and early development in a way suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

— Robert J. Sptizer Jr.

Choice

Two learned political scientists explore the foundations and early development of the US Senate.

Political Science Quarterly
A masterful treatment of the origins and early evolution of the U.S. Senate... Extremely well-written and informed... Raises the bar substantially for future studies of congressional development.

— Sarah A. Binder

Perspectives on Politics
Highly scholarly but also highly engaging work.

— Fred R. Harris

American Historical Review
No previous work offers an account that ties the theoretical and practical origins of the Senate with its early institutional development. Wirls and Wirls prove to be able guides and their journey worthy of our efforts.

— Charles A. Kromkowski

Perspectives on Political Science - Robert J. Sptizer Jr.

This exemplary new book by Daniel and Stephen Wirls brings theory and history together in a lucid and timely analysis of this pivotal institution's formation and early development in a way suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

Calvin Jillson
No other book that I know of focuses so intently on the origins of the Senate. None, certainly, covers the ground so well. The scholarship is through, up-to-date, and sound.
Southern Methodist University
Ross K. Baker
Daniel and Stephen Wirls have presented a rich and provocative study of the origins of America's most fascinating but least-understood institution. Like skilled molecular biologists, they have cracked the genetic code of the United States Senate and the many strands that went into its creation. The book is an intellectual triumph and a delight to read.
Rutgers University
Elizabeth Sanders
Invention of the United States Senate is a tour de force. It is a meticulous, primary source based analysis of the interplay of political theory, lived experience, and state and class interests on decisions about the composition and powers of the U.S. Senate. It also analyzes the way 'ordinary' politics in the first few Congresses cemented some tendencies and caused the abandonment of others. This book will be a very important addition to the literature of American political development and Congress. Historians and contemporary scholars of Congress will find it invaluable for graduate and advanced undergraduate classes.
Cornell University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801874390
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Interpreting American Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Wirls is a professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of Buildup: The Politics of Defense in the Reagan Era. Stephen Wirls is an associate professor of political science at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 The Republican Institution 1
2 Sources and Models: Mixed, Republican, and Liberal 11
3 American Senates in Theory and Practice, 1776-1787 39
4 The Constitutional Convention: The Senate and Representation 71
5 Completing the Compromised Senate: Composition and Powers 104
6 Unfounded Hopes and Fears: The Senate during Ratification 135
7 Reality: The Early Senate 163
8 From Invention to Evolution: The Irony of the Senate 205
Notes 221
References 251
Index 265
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