POS 6933
American Legislative Development
Professor Lawrence C. Dodd
University of Florida, Spring, 2007


Week One: Introductory Snapshots: Congress Across Time: January 16

Week Two: Studying Congress Across Time: Patterns and Perspectives: 1/23:

Week Three: The Origins of Congress: Seeing the Broad Contours

Week Four: The Origins of the Congress: Elaborating the Historical Story
 
Week Five: The Early Evolution of Congress

Week Six: Congress, Territorial Expansion and the Slavery Issue

Week Seven: Civil War, Reconstruction and the New Congressional Regime

Week Eight: Industrialization, Progressive Reform and Congressional Upheaval

  Spring Break: No Class

Week Nine: Creating the 20th Century Congress: 1910-1932

Week Ten: Congress and the Creation of the Modern State: 1932-1970

Week Eleven: Congressional Reform and Institutional Change: 1970-1986

Week Twelve: Party System Transformation and Revolution: 1987-2006

Week Thirteen: Studying Congress Across Time: Models, Mechanisms,
    Theories and Examples

Week Fourteen: Conclusion
 
All required books are available at Goerings. Readings are also on reserve in the Library.

I. Required Books:

Eric Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Harvard
Julian Zelizer, The American Congress
Sarah Binder, Minority Rights/Majority Rule, Cambridge
T. H. Anderson, Creating the Constitution, Penn State Press
Calvin Jillson, Constitution Making: Conflict and Consensus in the Federal Convention of 1787, Agathon Press
Daniel Wirls and Stephen Wirls, The Invention of the U. S. Senate, Johns Hopkins
James Sterling Young, The Washington Community, Columbia
Elaine Swift, The Making of an American Senate, Michigan
Laura Jensen, Patriots, Settlers, and the Origins of American Social Policy, Cambridge
Michael Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s, Norton
William Lee Miller, Arguing About Slavery, Vintage
Richard Bensel, Yankee Leviathan
Poole and Rosenthal, Congress:A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting, Oxford
Sarah Binder and Steven S. Smith, Politics or Principle? Brookings
Robert Harrison, Congress, Progressive Reform and the New American State, Cambridge
James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal, Kentucky
David Rothman, Politics and Power, Harvard/Atheneum
Julian Zelizer, On Capitol Hill, Cambridge
Sundquist, The Decline and Resurgence of Congress


II. Reserve Books:

Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer, Congress Reconsidered, 8th edition
James MacGregor Burns, Congress on Trial
James MacGregor Burns, The Deadlock of Democracy
Charles Stewart III, Analyzing Congress
Scott James, Presidents, Parties and the State
Bensel, Sectionalism and American Political Development
The Congressman’s Civil War
Archibald S. Foord, His Majesty’s Opposition 1714-1830?
Roger Davidson, et. al., Masters of the House
David Mayhew, America’s Congress, Yale
David W. Brady and Mathew McCubbins, Party, Process and Political Change in Congress, Stanford
David Brady, Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making, Stanford
Brady and Volden, Revolving Gridlock, Westview
Ronald Peters, The American Speakership, Johns Hopkins
Sundquist, The Decline and Resurgence of Congress
Kenneth Finegold and Theda Skocpol, State and Party in America’s New Deal, 1-5, 9


The goal of the class is to ground students in a solid grasp of the historical development of Congress, to highlight various explanations of its developmental patterns, and to aid students in pursuing personal research or dissertation work on congressional development – whether historical or contemporary.

“American Legislative Development” is a ‘sister course’ to Dodd’s seminar on “Congressional Politics.” In contrast to the historical focus of “ALD,” “Congressional Politics” focuses largely on the electoral politics, career behavior, organizational structuring, policy processes and behavioral patterns that characterize the modern postwar Congress – with particular focus on contrasting politics across the Textbook, Reform and Post-Reform Congresses.

American Legislative Development helps students understand the historical roots and continuing institutional struggles of the contemporary Congress; Congressional Politics explores the multiple outcomes – across elections, rules, organizational structure, policy process, etc. – of those historic institutional struggles and developmental processes. Both courses draw for their theoretical foundations on Dodd’s seminar on “Empirical Theories of Politics. This is the first time Dodd has offered ALD and so he strongly encourages critical feedback designed to improve the course.

With respect to class requirements, students will be expected to complete class reading assignments, to prepare weekly email assignments, to participate fully in class discussion, to prepare a term paper (in consultation with Professor Dodd), and to write a take-home final exam. These requirements will be discussed more fully in the first class meeting.
 
Week One: Introductory Snapshots: Congress Across Time – January 16

The reading assignments for this week are all found in Julian E. Zelizer, editor, The American Congress: The Building of Democracy. Copies of the book are available at Goerings Bookstore. It is also be available on library reserve.

Aside from completing the reading, each student should prepare the two email assignments listed at the end. Those emails should be sent to Professor Dodd and all
class members by 5pm on Monday, January 15, prior to the Tuesday class.

All essays listed below are required reading for this week, unless indicated otherwise. You will also revisit these essays later in the semester when we look in-depth at the various historical eras. The purpose in reading them at this point is to gain an early overview of major developmental challenges and changes that have characterized the Congress prior to immersing yourself in the politics of specific historical periods. We will continue with this overview in Week 2 and then in Week Three turn to the Origins of the Congress, as seen particularly in the Constitutional Convention.

While the readings for this week covers only 300 pages, they involve a great deal of information across seven different sections that cover a wide range of congressional history. For best comprehension, I recommend reading only one or two sections a day across five to seven days.

1.    Why Study Congress and Its Developmental Patterns?

Paul Milazzo, “The Environment,” in The American Congress, Ch. 34.

2.    The Origins of the Congress

“Introduction,” The American Congress
“The Formative Era” (pages 1-5), The American Congress
Jack Rakove, “From the Old Congress to the New,” Ch 1.
Joan Barrie Freeman, “Opening Congress,” Ch 2.

3.    Early Evolution

John Larson, “Congress, Internal Improvement, and the Problem of Governance,” Ch 7.
“The Partisan Era,” (pages 132-138).
Joel Silbey, “Congress in a Partisan Era,” Ch 8.

4.    Slavery, The Civil War and Reconstruction

Michael Holt, “The Slavery Issue,” Ch 11.
Mark Neely, Jr., “The Civil War,” Ch 12.
Brooks Simpson, “Reconstruction,” Ch 13.

5.    Industrialization and Congressional Transformation

Richard Bensel, “Industrialization,” Ch 18.
“The Committee Era,” (pages 312-318).
Eric Rauchway, “The Transformation of the Congressional Experience,” Ch 19.
Elizabeth Sanders, “Economic Regulation in the Progressive Era,” Ch 20.

I also recommend that you read at least one of the following essays, time
and interest permitting, though we will read them all later:

        Ch 21: Redesigning Congress: The 17th and 20th Amendments
        Ch 22: Women’s Activism
        Ch 23: The Transformation of American Immigration Policy

6.    The New Deal, WWII, and the Second Reconstruction

Patrick Maney, “The Forgotten New Deal Congress,” Ch 26.
Alonzo Hamby, “World War II: Conservatism/Constituency Politics,” Ch 27.
Timothy Thurber, “The Second Reconstruction,” Ch 30.

Time and interest permitting, I also strongly recommend reading at least
one of the following, though we will read them all later:

Ch 28: The Cold War
Ch 29: McCarthyism in Congress
Ch 32: The Great Society
Ch 33: Vietnam

7.    Reform and Revolution

“The Contemporary Era, 1970-Today,” (pages 618-624)
Barbara Sinclair, “Congressional Reform,” Ch 35
Donald Critchlow, “When Republicans Become Revolutionaries,” Ch 703.

Email Assignments: Write one to two pages on each of the following questions and email them to Professor Dodd and all class members by 5pm on January 15:

1.    What surprises/reassures/concerns you about Congress after completing this survey overview? Why?

2. What special research interests do you have as a scholar and how might the study of Congress be relevant to or inform these interests? Is there any particular research topic or topics that you wish to explore in this class? If so, how might you do so, based on what you know at this point?
 

Week Two: Studying Congress Across Time: Patterns and Perspectives

I.    General Issues of Time, Development and Institutional Analysis

Paul Pierson, Politics in Time, Chapter 1
Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek, The Search for American Political Development, Chapters 4, 5
Madison, Federalist #10
Joseph Cooper and David Brady, “Toward a Diachronic Analysis of Congress," APSR 75 (1981): 988-1006.
Charles Stewart III, Analyzing Congress, Ch 1-3
Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, Congress: A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting, Chs 1-4
       
2. Patterns of Congressional Change Across Time
       
James MacGregor Burns, The Deadlock of Democracy, Chs 1-4
Polsby, “Institutionalization of the U. S. House of Representatives,” American Political Science Review 62 (1968): 144-168
Sarah Binder and Steven Smith, Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States Senate, Chapters 1-4
David Canon and Charles Stewart III, “The Evolution of the Committee System in Congress, Congress Reconsidered, 7th edition (2001) (CR VII).
Steven Smith and Gerald Gamm, “The Dynamics of Party Government In Congress,” CR VIII (2005).
Joseph Cooper and David Brady, “Institutional Context and Leadership Style,” APSR 85 (1981) 411-425.
Ron Peters, The American Speakership, “Prologue”
Samuel Huntington, “Congressional Responses to the 20th Century,” In Congress and America’s Future, Ed. by David Truman, 1965.
Cooper, “From Congressional to Presidential Preeminence: Power and Politics in the Late 19th-Century and Today,” In CR VIII, Ch 16.
       
3. Perspectives on Congressional Change

        Brady, Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making, Ch 1
        David Mayhew, Congress: The Electoral Connection, Part I
        Dodd, “ReEnvisioning Congress,” CR VIII.
        Bensel, Sectionalism and American Political Development, Ch 1-2.
        Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Ch 1

Email Assignments for Week Two: Each student is to prepare two emails.

First email: “What do you see as the three most defining moments of institutional development in the United States Congress, in terms of shaping the broad contours of the institution as we know it today (as contrasted with the disorganization and openness of the first Congress), and why do you say this?” (This can be a set of provocative stream of conscious comments)

Second email:
1.    Summarize the broad introductory argument of Paul Pierson in Politics in Time, as seen in Chapter 1, and discuss its relevance to the study of American Legislative Development____Dustin____
2.    Summarize the broad argument about the defining nature of institutional development in Orren and Skowronek, The Search for American Political Development, Chs 4,5, and discuss its relevance to the study of American Legislative Development. ____Rob____
3.    Summarize the broad argument about the contribution of analytic modeling to the study of Congress and discuss its relevance to the analysis of American Legislative Development, as seen in Stewart’s first three chapters of Analyzing Congress.___Jordon___
4.    Explain how Poole and Rosenthal propose to analyze roll call votes across time and the relevance of their strategy to the study of American Legislative Development.___Matt___
5.    What is Burns’ overall argument in The Deadlock of Democracy, as seen in the first four chapters, what is its relevance to the study of American Legislative Development, and how does it inform our understanding of congressional/presidential relations.____Jackie___
6.    What is the argument of Binder and Smith, with respect to the filibuster and the development of the Senate, as seen in chapters 1-4?___Dan___
7.    What is David Mayhew’s argument in Part I of Congress: The Electoral Connection, and how is it relevant to the study of American Legislative Development?___Sara____
8.    What is Dodd’s argument in “ReEnvisioning Congress” and what is its relevance to the study of American Legislative Development?___Rose___
9.    What is Schickler’s argument in Disjointed Pluralism, as seen in Chapter 1, and how is it relevant to the study of ALD?___Josh___
       
       
Week Three: The Origins of the Congress: Seeing the Broad Contours

Recommended: Archibald S. Foord, His Majesty’s Opposition 1714-1830: Chapter One: Introduction, and Epilogue

Charles Tilly, “Parliamentarization of Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834,” in Tilly, Roads from the Past to the Future.

Note:  The Foord and Tilly assignments are optional, except for Josh, and students
can rely on the email report for them. They are strongly recommended as long-
term assignments. Josh should be able to find both in the library or by electronic
access. All students should read all other assignments below.

Daniel and Stephen Wirls, Inventing the United States Senate, Chs 1-5

Pev Squire, 2005. “The Evolution of American Colonial Assemblies as Legislative Organizations,” Congress and the Presidency 32: 109-31.

Jillson and Wilson, 1987, “A Social Choice Model of Politics: Insights into the Demise of the U.S. Continental Congress,” LSQ 12: 5-32; and Wilson and Jillson, 1989, “Leadership Patterns in the Continental Congress: 1774-1789,” LSQ 14: 5-37.

Calvin Jillson, Constitution Making: Conflict and Consensus in the Federal Convention of 1787, Agathon Press

I recommend that you read the reading in the order listed above.

Email assignments:
1.    In what ways was a logic of oppositional politics (Foord) and popular contestation (Tilly) emerging in Britain in the era leading up to and surrounding the American revolutionary era? And what implications would such a logic have for the Americans as they contemplated their own circumstances?___Josh___
2.    In what ways did classical ideas about republicanism, constitutionalism and liberalism shape the ideas available to the founders about legislatures, particularly the role of a lower and upper house within a legislative branch (Wirls and Wirls, Chs2).___Dustin_
3.    In what ways did the colonial experience with legislatures shape the ideas available to the founders about bicameralism, the creation and role of a senate, the the responsibilities of a lower house? (Wirls and Wirls, Ch 4).___Rose___
4.    What were the stakes at the Constitutional Convention in the debate over the representational structure of the Senate and how did the outcome of that debate shape the role, powers and behavior of the Senate?___Dan___
5.    Amidst the classical debates over the role of a senate, and the crafting of a Senate within the U.S. Constitutional system, what was the classical logic in favor of (or opposed to) the creation of a lower house, how did that logic evolve over time, and in what ways did these debates influence the roles, powers and structuring of the U.S. House of Representatives within the new constitutional order of 1787?___Matt____
6.    What role did legislative assemblies play in the colonial period and how did that role evolve (Squires)? ___Sara____
7.     What do Jillson and Wilson see as the difficulties attending leadership and decision-making in the Continental Congress and what implications did such difficulties have for the power and structuring of a legislature as the founders considered a new constitutional order?___Rob___
8.    What is Jillson’s central argument in Constitution Making and how (and in what ways) does he support this argument through empirical research?___Jordan___
9.    As seen in Jillson, how did the debates of the founders reconceptualize the role of the Executive in the emerging constitutional order and what were the implications of this emerging role for the role and power of Congress?___Jackie.


Week Four: The Origins of the Congress: Elaborating the Historical Story

1. The purpose of this week’s reading is to try to get behind the broad contours of constitution-making and understand (a) the ideas and experiences that gave rise to the new constitutional order, (2) the ways in which experiences with legislatures and their operation were at the heart of the creation of the new order, and (3) what was lost as well as what was gained in the effort to create the new order and establish the role of Congress within it through the Constitution’s implementation.

The reading will illustrate that the political/intellectual life of the nation was much more vibrant prior to the Founding than most political scientists realize, especially with respect to legislatures. It will also help clarify how it is that the American Revolution was in fact a revolution, and the ways in which it helps inform our understanding of the role of ideas in politics and political change.

2. In the reading for this week, all students are expected to read the Preface and Chapters 1 and 15 of Wood, The Creation of the American Republic. A copy is on reserve in the Library, though some students may wish to order it through Amazon.com. Selected students are being asked to read closely different parts of the book and to report the central arguments of their assigned parts, so that these email assignments will inform the entire class about the overall argument of Wood’s book.

All students should read Anderson, Creating the Constitution.

3. Reading:

Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, Preface and Chapters 1, 15: all
   
Selected assignments:

Wood, Creation, Part I: The Ideology of the Revolution: Josh
Wood, Creation, Part II: The Constitution of the States: Rob
Wood, Creation, Part III: The People Against the States: Sara
Wood, Creation, Part IV, The Critical Period: Jordon
Wood, Creation, Part V, The Federal Constitution: Dan
Wood, Creation, Part VI, The Revolutionary Achievement: Jackie

T. H. Anderson, Creating the Constitution, Penn State Press

Additional Email assignments:

T.H. Anderson argues, in Creating the Constitution, that aside from the nationalists and states-rights factions, the Constitutional Convention included an emergent state-Federalist faction that helped greatly to shape the Constitution and move it towards a compound republic. Such a design was intended to foster cooperative and constrained decision-making among government actors that pointed towards collective interests and near-consensual outcomes rather than polarized interests and zero-sum politics.

He concludes that this design, while flawed, held out the opportunity for a mutually-respectful and civil politics. That opportunity was squandered when the Federalists, under the influence of a Court Whig ideology, used their dominant control of the First Congress to impose interpretations of the constitutional order that distorted and up-ended the logic of a compound republic. The Federalists thereby set in motion a high-stakes and highly competitive game of American politics centered around a polarization of perceived policy interests and a zero-sum politics characterized by narrow majoritarian dominance, popular disenchantment and deep-structured policy stalemates.

The deliberative, near-consensual and broadly cooperative decision-making experienced at the Constitutional Convention, and that the Founders hoped to pass on to future generations by their constitutional design, was thereby deprived to future generations, according to Anderson. Instead, their progeny came to be governed by a perversion of the constitutional order that the Founders thought they had put in place.

Question: As delineated by Anderson, (a) how and why was the new constitutional order supposed to generate a deliberative, collective and near-consensual politics, (b) how/why did the Federalists in the First Congress derail such politics, and how/why has the nation been unable to get such a politics back on track? What is your overall assessment of Anderson’s argument? Do you believe that our politics might have been less polarized and divisive had Congress implement the new constitution in a way more attentive to the logic of a compound republic? Are arguments in behalf of a compound republic relevant today? Could Congress undo the damage Anderson believes was done by the First (Convention) Congress, and would that effort be advisable?____Dustin/Rose/Matt____
 

Week Five: The Early Evolution of Congress

I. Required Reading:

Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution: Part III: Democracy
James Sterling Young, The Washington Community, 1800-1828
Sarah Binder, Minority Rights/Majority Rule, Chs. One through Four
Ronald Peters, The American Speakership, Chs. Pages 1-44.
Elaine Swift, The Making of an American Senate, 1789-1841
Wirls and Wirls, Inventing the Senate, Chs Six, Seven, Eight
Laura Jensen, Patriots, Settlers, and the Origins of American Social Policy, Chs1-4.
Zelizer, The American Congress: Chs 1-7. Read ones you haven’t read; review others.

II. Strongly Recommended:

Elaine Swift, “The Electoral Connection Meets the Past: Lessons from Congressional History, 1789-1899.” Political Science Quarterly, 1988, 102, p. 625+.
Joseph Cooper, “The Origins of the Standing Committees and the Development of the Modern House," Rice University Studies, Vol 56 (Summer, 1970).
Elaine Swift, “The Start of Something New: Clay, Stevenson, Polk, and the Development of the Speakership, 1789-1869,” in Roger Davidson, et.al., Masters of the House.
John F. Hoadly, “The Emergence of Political Parties in Congress: 1789-1803.” American Political Science Review, 74 (1980): 757+
Allan G. Bogue and Mark P. Marlaire, “Of Mess and Men: The Boardinghouse and Congressional Voting, 1821-1842,” AJPS 19 (1975): 207+.
Gerald Gamm and Kenneth Shepsle, “The Emergence of Legislative Institutions: Standing Committees in the House and Senate, 1810-1825.” LSQ: 14 (1989): 39+
Jeffery Jenkins and Charles Stewart, Jr., “Order from Chaos: The Transformation of the Committee System in the House, 1816-22," in Brady and McCubbins, Party Process and Political Change in Congress, Chapter 8.


Email Questions:
1.    According to Gordon Wood, in The Radicalism of the American Revolution, the aftermath of Revolution and Constitution-making was a radical transformation beyond the imagination and expectations (and desires) of the revolutionary and founding generations. What was the nature of this radical transformation and what were its implications for the social ethos, politics and policy concerns that would come to dominate Congress?____Rob_____
2.    As seen in Chapters Two through Five of The American Congress, what were the broad concerns, characteristics, political cleavages and policy orientations of Congress in its first decade of existence, prior to the move to the District of Columbia____Rose____
3.    As seen in The Washington Community, what were the broad concerns, characteristics, political cleavages and policy orientations of Congress in its first decades in the District of Columbia, and in what ways do the arguments in “Of Mess and Men” quality and amplify Young’s arguments?____Jackie_____
4.    As seen in The Washington Community, what was the connection between national legislators and their local constituents, how did this shape the early development of Congress, and how does Swift’s essay on ‘the electoral connection meets the past’ qualify and amplify Young’s arguments about the legislator/constituency connection?____Sara______
5.    Based on your reading of the Cooper volume and the Gamm/Shepsle article, in what ways did Jeffersonian ideas shape the emergence of a committee system in Congress, what other factors may have influence its emergence, and what are the implications of contemporary challenges to committee government (i.e., conditional party government) to the historic role of Congress in our political system?__Jordan___
6.    Why do majorities tend to rule the House while minorities often call the shots in the Senate, according to Binder, and how did events during the early Congresses illustrate, qualify, and foster this contrast in governing patterns in the two
houses?___Josh____
7.    Based on the work of Peters and the essay by Swift, what were the early expectations of the Speakership and how did it evolve in the early decades of
Congressional experience? What foundations did this lay for subsequent development of the Speakership and the operation of the House?___Matt______
8.    What does Elaine Swift mean by reconstitutive change, how did Senate engage in reconstitutive change in the early decades of congressional experience, and with what long-terms consequences and implications? How does she complete/amplify/qualify Wirls and Wirls (and they her)?____Dan_____
9.    Most of us think of entitlements as something that ‘liberal Democrats’ created in the New Deal, perhaps to initiate ‘creeping socialism’ on American shores; a few of us – having read Skocpol – even might acknowledge some latter 19th century experience with entitlements; but who thinks of the Founders as entitlement-junkies, foreshadowing Republican and Democratic corruption of American society a good eighty years or so earlier? And despite the fact that we all know that policies make politics, who among us is truly prepared to understand that the evolution of our politics and institutions, from the beginning, was shaped by entitlement policies? The answer is Laura Jensen.
Detail Jensen’s argument about the presence of entitlements in the first century of our national experience, the critical and unique role Congress and legislatures played in American-style state-building (as seen through entitlements), and the broad implications her story has for our understanding of the evolution of Congress and the American state. Can you think of other policy areas that we consider distinct to contemporary politics that might have unseen roots in the early years of national history?____Dustin______
 
Week Six: Congress, Territorial Expansion, and the Slavery Issue

I. Required Reading

William Lee Miller, Arguing About Slavery:  Everyone should read Part I and Part XIII. Everyone is encouraged to read the remainder of the
book, or as much as possible. However, there will be reports on specific sections of the book to guide your class preparation.

Michael E. Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chs 8-11: Read and/or Review
Jensen, Patriots, Settlers, and the Origins of American Social Policy,  Chs 5, 6
David Brady, Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making, Chs 1,2
Peters, The American Speakership, pp. 44-51

II.    Strongly Recommended:

Brian Humes, Elaine Swift, Richard Valelly, Kenneth Finegold, and Evelyn Fink, “Representation of the Antebellum South in the House of Representatives: Measuring the Impact of the Three-Fifths Clause,” In Brady and McCubbins, eds. Party, Process, and Political Change in Congress

Sean Theriault and Barry Weingast, “Agenda Manipulation, Strategic Voting, And Legislative Details in the Compromise of 1850,” in Brady and McCubbins, eds. Party, Process, and Political Change in Congress.

Timothy Nikkon, et. al., “The Institutional Origins of the Republican Party: Spatial Voting and the House Speakership Election of 1855-56.” Legislative Studies Quarterly. 25: 101-130.

Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal, “Congress and the Territorial Expansion of the United States,” in Brady and McCubbins, eds. Party, Process, and Political Change in Congress

Email Assignments:
a.    Please summarize the following portions of Arguing About Slavery and indicate ways in which the arguments in your part might be subjected to social science testing or analysis:
i.    Parts II, III: Rose
ii.    Parts IV, V: VI: Dan
iii.    Parts VII, VIII: Jackie
iv.    Parts IX, X: Rob
v.    Parts XI, XII: Sara

b.    Please summarize the argument in Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s, Assess how persuasive it is, discuss its implications for our understanding of the contribution of party competition to democracy, and discuss how the arguments might be tested through social science research.___Josh___
c.    Describe the research and findings of Theriault and Weingast, assess the contribution of the idea of agenda manipulation to the research, and discuss the contributions of the article to our understanding of the Compromise of 1850 and its contribution to Congressional and American Political Development.___Dustin___
d.    Summarize the argument of Brady in Chapter One of Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the argument as it relates to the “Civil War Realignment”, as seen in Chapter Two (particularly as relates to theory, method, and empirical patterns). Finally, discuss the contribution of the argument in Chapter Two to our understanding of Congressional and American Political Development____Matt___
e.    Discuss the impact of the 3/5ths clause in the Constitution on the representation of the South in the House of Representatives. What are their findings and how persuasive do you find the findings to be in terms of methods and theory? And what are the implications of the findings for our understanding to Congressional and American Political Development?___Jordan___

 
Week Seven: Civil War, Reconstruction and the New Congressional Regime

I. Required Reading

Richard Bensel, Yankee Leviathan: The Origins of Central State Authority In America, 1859-1877: everyone read all
Ronald Peters, The American Speakership, Chapter Two
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chapters 12-15

II. Highly Recommended Reading

Allen Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, Chs. 7,8,9
Scott C. James and Brian L. Lawson, “The Political Economy of Voting Rights Enforcement in America’s Gilded Age: Electoral College Competition, Partisan Commitment, and the Federal Election Law.” APSR 93 (1) (March 1999): 115-31.
Charles H. Stewart III and Barry R. Weingast, 1992. “Stacking the Senate, Changing the Nation: Republican Rotten Boroughs, Statehood Politics, and American Political Development.” Studies in American Political Development 6: 223-71.
C. Vann Woodward, Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction
Charles H. Stewart, Budget Reform Politics: The Design of the Appropriations Process in the House of Representatives, 1865-1921

Email Assignments:
a.    Summarize the major arguments made by Bensel in your assigned chapter(s) and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American political development during the Civil War/Reconstruction period.
Chapter Two: Matt
Chapter Three: Dustin
Chapters Four-Five: Jordan
b.    Summarize the arguments made by Guelzo in Chapters 7,8 and 9, with respect to how Congress influenced the conduct of the Civil War, the 13th Amendment, and the restructuring of the national policy agenda, and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American political development in this era.___Jackie___
c.    Summarize the major arguments made by Stewart in Budget Reform Politics, with respect to the Civil War and the appropriations process, and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American political development in this era.___Rob___
d.    Summarize the major arguments made by Stewart and Weingast in “Stacking the Senate” and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American political development during the Reconstruction and thereafter (as influenced by the events discussed by Stewart/Weingast).___Dan___
e.    Summarize the major arguments made by Woodward with respect to the Compromise of 1877 and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American political development during the Reconstruction period.___Rose___
f.    Summarize the major arguments made by James and Lawson and discuss their relevance to understanding both congressional development and the role Congress played in American congressional development, as seen in the aftermath of the Compromise of 1877.___Josh___
g.    Summarize the major arguments made by Dailey in her discussion of “White Supremacy” in Zelizer, The American Congress, and discuss the ways in which the emergence of white supremacists in the Civil War/Reconstruction period affected congressional development and American political development over the coming decades.___Sara___

 
Week Eight: Post-Reconstruction America: Congressional Government and Partisan Politics

I. Required Reading:

Polsby, “Institutionalization of the U. S. House of Representatives,” APSR 62 (1968): 144-168: Read or Review.
Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government: all
Dodd, “Woodrow Wilson’s Congressional Government and the Modern Congress.” In Congress and the Presidency. Autumn, 1987.
Joseph Cooper, “From Congressional to Presidential Preeminence,” In Congress Reconsidered, First Part: pp. 364-76.
David Brady, Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making, Chs 1, 3, 5.
Sarah Binder, Minority Rights/Majority Rule, Chs. 5.
Ronald Peters, Jr., The American Speakership, Ch 2.
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chs 16-18

II. Recommended Reading

David J. Rothman, Politics and Power: all
Randall, Strahan, “Thomas Brackett Reed and the Rise of Party Government,” In Davidson, Hammond and Smock, Masters of the House.
Randall Strahan, “Leadership and Institutional Change in the Nineteenth-CenturyHouse,” in Brady and McCubbins, Party, Process and Political Change in Congress.
Scott James, Presidents, Parties and the State, Chs 1, 2, 5.
Valeria Heitshusen and Garry Young, “Macropolitics and Changes in the U.S. Code: Testing Competing Theories of Policy Production,1874-1946,” in
Adler and Lapinski, The Macropolitics of Congress, Ch. 5.
Richard Bensel, Sectionalism and American Political Development, 1880-1980, Chs. 1, 2, 3.

Email Assignments:
1.    What does Polsby mean by “Institutionalization” and in what ways was the House of Representatives becoming more or less institutionalized in the late 19th century, as opposed to early 19th century?__Rob___
2.    From Woodrow Wilson’s perspective in Congressional Government (and as
Wilson is portrayed by Dodd), what were the major characteristics of the Congress by the 1880s?__Dustin, Sara_____
3.    As seen in Part One of “Congressional to Presidential Preimminence,” how
does Cooper characterize the major characteristics of the late 19th century Congress, and what are their implications of these characterizations for understanding how powerful Congress was in this era?____Rose____
4.    How and why did party leadership and party power change across the nineteenth century in the House, and what were its characteristics by the end of the century, as seen in Strahan, Peters and Binder?__Matt___
5.    How and why did party leadership change in the late 19th century in the Senate, as seen in Politics and Power?___Dan___
6.    What is Scott James central argument in Presidents, Parties and the State, and does this argument help us understand policy making and institutional change in the late 19th century?__Josh__
7.    Describe Heitshusen and Young’s effort to extend contemporary explanations of landmark legislation back into the late nineteenth century, discuss the methods they use in doing so, and assess how their work might inform a study of the evolution of congressional policy making across time.____Jordan___
8.    What is Bensel’s central argument in Sectionalism and American Political Development and how does this argument help us understand the character and evolution of the congressional policy agenda in the late 19th century?__Jackie___


Week Nine: The Progressive Era and a New Congressional Politics

I. Required Reading

Nelson Polsby, Miriam Gallaher, and Barry Spencer Rundquist, “The Growth of the Seniority System in the U.S. House of Representatives,” APSR 63 (September 1969):787-807.
Robert Harrison, Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State, Chs 1, 2, 6-9     Jordan and Matt
Kenneth Hechler, Insurgency, Chs 1-5, 13    
Sarah Binder, Minority Rights/Majority Rule, Read Chs 6-10; Review Earlier Chapters    Josh
Sarah Binder and Steven Smith, Politics or Principle?    Dan
Ron Peters, The American Speakership, pp. 75-91 and Chapter 3
Eric Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Review Ch 1; Read Chs 2, 3     Dustin
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chapters 19-25

II. Recommended Reading:
 
Theda Skocpol, “The Origins of Social Politics in the United States,” in Dodd and Jillson, The Dynamics of American Politics, Ch 8.

Email Assignments:
1.    What is the argument of Polsy, Gallaher and Rundquist regarding the growth of seniority in the U. S. House of Representatives, particularly as relates to the Progressive Era, and what are the implications of such growth for the evolution of the Congress?____Sara____
2.    Describe the broad outlines of the insurgency against party government, as detailed in Hechler’s Insurgency, Chs 1-5, 13,  and discuss the implications for the evolution of the Congress, particularly as seen in Binder’s discussion of Minority Rights/Majority Rule. ___Josh____
3.    Summarize the arguments of Harrison in the entirety of Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State and discuss their implications for the evolution of both the American State and the institutional structure of the U.S. Congress____Matt____
4.    Summarize the arguments of Harrison in the entirety of Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State and discuss their implications for our understanding of how the policy agenda evolves in Congress.___Jordan____
5.    Describe the character of ‘women’s politics’ of the Progressive Era, as seen in Skocpol and in Zelizer, Ch. 21, and the ways in which women’s politics contributed to the evolution of the American state and the Congress.___Rose___
6.    Summarize the arguments of Binder and Smith in Politics or Principle? and discuss their implications for our understanding of the evolution of the U.S. Senate during the 20th/21st centuries.____Dan____
7.    Describe the character of American immigration policy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as seen in Chs 15 and 23 of the Zelizer volume, and discuss the implications of immigration policy for how we understand and study the Congress.___Rob___
8.    Summarize the arguments of Eric Schickler in the first three chapters of Disjointed Pluralism and discuss their implications for the evolution of the modern Congress.___Dustin___.
9.    Summarize the broad ways in which the Progressive Era transformed the U. S. Congress, as seen particularly in Chs 19-21 in Zelizer, and discuss their implications for our understanding of the evolution of Congress.____Jackie___
 

Week Ten: Congress and the Creation of the Modern State

I. Required Reading

Kenneth Finegold and Theda Skocpol, State and Party in America’s New Deal, 1-5, 9
James MacGregor Burns, Congress on Trial, 1st edition: 1949: all
Dodd and Schott, Congress and the Administrative State, Chs. 1,2,3
Elizer, On Capitol Hill, Chs. 1-5
Huntington, “Congressional Responses to the 20th Century,” 1965
Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Ch 1, 4
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chs. 26, 27, 28 30, 31, 32
Brady, Critical Elections and Congressional Policy Making, Chs 4-7

II. Recommended Reading

Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal   
Manley, “The Conservative Coalition in Congress,” CR I.   
Brady and Bullock, “Coalition Politics in the House of Representatives,” in CR II.
Cooper and Brady, “Institutional Context and Leadership Style,” APSR 85 (1981) 411-425.
Peters, The American Speakership, Ch. 3

Email Assignments:
1. How does understanding state structure and capacity, as seen in Feingold and Skocpol, help us understand why policy agendas evolve as they do, particularly once one takes into account the existence and character of congressional parties and the importance of political learning (Ch 9) for policy evolution? In particular, how does this argument explain labor and agricultural policy outcomes in the New Deal? And then how do war-time shifts in demands on state capacity/the character of congressional parties help generate reversals in existing policy commitments and/or give ‘cover’ for new domestic commitments, with  World War II (Ch 27 in Elizar) illustrating the former and the Civil War (Guelzo, Ch 7), illustrating the later __ Jordon___
2. Why did committee government arise in the mid-20th century, according to Dodd and Schott, and what were its major characteristics and liabilities (Ch 2,3)? ___Jackie___
3. In what ways did committee government tend to generate and institutionalize ‘subsystem politics’ in national policy-making (Chap 3), and what role did this tendency play in the creation and character of the modern American state (Ch 7)? ___Rob___
4. What were the major dilemmas of committee government and congressional politics in mid-century, according to Huntington, and what were his recommendations for Congress in light of these dilemmas?  ___Rose___
5. What was the conservative coalition, how did it arise, what was its significance, as seen in the work of James Patterson, Chapter 4 by Schickler, and the essay by Brady and Bullock?___Josh___
6. What role does David Brady see realignments playing in congressional policy-making, how does the New Deal illustrate this, and what mechanisms allow this influence to operate in somewhat similar ways across distinctly difference historical eras? ___Dustin_
7. In what ways do the successes of the New Deal and Great Society (as seen in The American Congress, Chs 26 and 30/32) counterbalance the criticisms of committee government, in what ways do they reinforce those criticisms, and in what ways might their successes be the ‘exceptions that prove the rule?’ ___Matt___
8. In what ways was the Congress complicit in the American war in Vietnam, in what ways was Congress forceful in overseeing and constraining the war, what special roles did the Senate play in this process (as compared to the House), and what implications are we to draw from the Senate actions about the effectiveness of the Senate in playing distinctive roles from the standpoint of republican and constitutional theory of the founding era?___Dan___
9. In what ways do the reforms of Congress during the 1970s owe to critical developments in the years and decades prior to the 1970s, as described by Julian Elizar in On Capitol Hill, Chs 1-5, and to what extent does he argue that these processes were or were not inevitable?___Sara___
 
Week Eleven: Congressional Reform and Institutional Change: the 1970s and their Aftermath

I. Required Reading

Dodd and Schott, Congress and the Administrative State, Chs 4,5,6,7
Sundquist, The Decline and Resurgence of Congress
Elizar, On Capitol Hill, Chapters 6-10
Dodd, “Congress and the Quest for Power,” 1977, in CR I.
Dodd, “Congress, the Constitution, and the Crisis of Legitimation,” 1981, in CR II.
Zelizer, The American Congress, Chs 31, 35-39

II. Recommended Reading:

Wright, “The Caucus Reelection Requirement and the Transformation of House Committee Chairs, 1959-94.” LSQ 25 (August 2000): 469-94.
Currinder, “Leadership PAC Contribution Strategies and House Member Ambitions,” LSQ, 2003: 28: 551-77.
Alford and Brady, “Personal and Partisan Advantage in U.S. Congressional Elections, 1846-1986,” in CR IV.
Jacobson, “Parties and PACs in Congressional Elections,” in CR IV.
Dodd and Oppenheimer, “Consolidating Power in the House: The Rise of a New Oligarchy,” in CR IV.
Collie and Cooper, “Multiple Referral and the “New” Committee System in the House of Representatives,” in CR IV
Sinclair, “House Majority Party Leadership in the Late 1980s,” in CR IV
Davidson, “The Senate: If Everybody Leads, Who Follows?” in CR IV.
Hammond, “Congressional Caucuses in the Policy Process,” in CR IV.
Dodd and Oppenheimer, “The New Congress: Fluidity and Oscillation,” 1989, in CR IV.
Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Ch 1, 5
Polsby, How Congress Evolves              
Jones, Baumgartner and True, “Policy Punctuations: U.S. Budget Authority, 1947-95.” JOP: (1999) 60, 1-30. Also see Jones/Baumgartner, The Politics of Attention.   

Email Questions:

1. It is traditional to refer to the contemporary Congress as the ‘post-reform’ Congress. But most scholars today have little sense of  what the reforms were that initiated this ‘new’ Congress, what their varied characteristics were, and what their immediate effect on congressional policy-making was assumed to be. Address these issues primarily as they were seen at the time, as assessed in Congress and the Administrative State, Ch. 4 and 5, and secondarily in Zelizer, the American Congress, Chs. 35.____Josh____
2. To what extent, and in what ways, were reforms of the 1970s focused on restraining presidential power, particularly as seen in Zelizer, Chs 36, 39?___Jackie___
3. How and why does Zelizer say the reforms occurred, according to Zelizer in On Capitol Hill, and what were the general characteristics of the post-reform period from his perspective? To what extent does Chapter 37 in the Zelizer edited volume reinforce and flesh out parts of the argument in Chapter 37?___Rose________
4. What did Dodd see as the explanation of the reforms of the 1970s (“Congress and the Quest for Power) and as the longer-term implications (“Congress, the Constitution and the Crisis of Legitimation”), writing in the mid to late 1970s/early 80s?____Matt____
5. What were Dodd and Oppenheimer seeing as the unexpected consequences of and mid-predictions surrounding the the 1970s reforms, writing in the late 1980s, as seen in Chapters 2 and 18 in the fourth edition of Congress Reconsidered?___Dan__
6. How does Schickler explain the reforms and their aftermath, writing 30 years later?____Rob____
7. How does Polsby explain the  reform period and its aftermath, in How Congress Evolves, writing thirty years later?___Dustin____
8. Looking back, to what extent were the reforms of the 1970s, and then the shaping of their effect in the post-reform era, influenced by the ‘second reconstruction’ and the ‘Warren Court’?___Sara___
9. How do Jones and Baumgartner explain the changing budget outputs of the postwar era and to what extent did the reforms of the 1970s generate observable change in the patterns they describe? More generally, how has the budget process shaped policymaking and political debate since 1974, as seen in The American Congress, Ch 38?____Jordan____

 
Week Twelve: Party System Transformation and Revolution: 1987-2004

I. Required Reading:

Rohde, Parties and Leaders in the PostReform Congress, Chs. 1, 4, 6
Dodd and Oppenheimer, “Maintaining Order in the House: The Struggle for Institutional Equilibrium,” 1993, CR V
Jacobson, “The Misallocation of Resources in House Campaigns,” CR V.
Dodd and Oppenheimer, “Revolution in the House: Testing the Limits of Party Government,” 1997, CR VI
Zelizer, On Capitol Hill, Chs 11-13
Zelizer, The American Congress, Ch 40
Schickler, Disjointed Pluralism, Ch 1, 5, 6, Epilogue
   
II. Recommended Reading:

Jones and Baumgartner, The Politics of Attention
   
Email Assignments
1.    Detail Rohde’s argument in Parties and Leaders, particularly what he means by conditional party government, how and why it appeared to emerge in the 1980s, and what its longer-term prospects looked like in the early in the early 1990s, as seen in the essay In CR V on ‘order in the House’ and what opportunities did they create for the Republicans in 1994.____Rose___
2.    What were the characteristics of congressional election campaigns in the early 1990s, as seen in the Jacobson essay on ‘misallocation of resources’ in CR V, and what opportunities did those characteristics create for electoral upheaval in 1994?___Jackie___
3.    Where did Dodd see the Congress of the early 1990s, in terms of its positioning in the broad developmental patterns that he argues characterize the Congress from the nineteenth through the 20th centuries (detailed in “Congress and the Politics of Renewal.”___Rob____
4.    In what ways did the Republican Revolution reform and revitalize the Congress, particularly the House, as seen in “Revolution in the House” (CR VI) and Chapter 40 in The American Congress___Matt____
5.    Why did the “Revolution” occur according to Elizer in On Capitol Hill, and with what significance?___Sara___
6.    How does Schickler characterize and explain the reforms and post-reform developments in the Congress and the emergence of the Republican Revolutin in the aftermath of those developments?__Dan__
7.    Dodd argues that Congress changes in broadly cyclical ways, as seen in his “Cycles of Legislative Change” and “Theory of Congressional Cycles.” What are the broad and varied threads of his argument and in what ways does it/does it not account for congressional developments over the past half century or so?___Josh___
8.    Jones and Baumgartner argue that politicians as well as citizens struggle with issues of attention and information processing. In what ways does this struggle account for shifts in policy agendas and agenda evolution over the past half century or so?____Jordan____
 

Week Thirteen: Studying Congress Across Time

This class will open with an hour-long presentation by Marc Hendershot of his dissertation on Senate review of Presidential nominations for Federal lower court justices.

The middle section of the class will focus on discussing the final exam assignments for each student.

The class will close with an hour-long presentation by Jason Kassel of his dissertation on the role that the construction of the Capitol played in the late 18th and early 19th century development of the Congress.

Looking to the End Game:

1.    I propose that we cancel the last class and that I be available in my office during class hours to meet with you on your class papers. I will also hold my regular office hours this week and can meet you then as well.

2.    I want each student to write up three proposed questions for the final exam and send them to me by Friday of this week.

3.    I will announce the final exam questions at class on the 17th. Students will have until Monday morning, April 30th at 9am to get the final exam to me via email. I expect it to be composed of two questions and for students to have about 8 double spaced pages for each question. Students will choose one question from a general list of questions common to all, and one question from a list of questions tailored to each student.

4.    I want the final papers to me by Friday morning, May 4th at 9am, via email.

5.    For the class on April 17th, I want to start class at 1pm and run until about 4 pm: Jason Kassel will present his dissertation research from 3 pm to 4pm that day. He cannot meet any earlier because of other commitments.

6.    I will send out email assignments for the April 17th class within the next day.



April 12th email:

Dear all,
 
The email assignments for next week are as follows:
 
1. Dustin, Dan and Josh will report on different chapters from Jason Kassel's dissertation that I will email them.
 
2. Jordan will report on Marc's research for his disssertation, as seen in a Southern Political Science paper I will send him.
 
3. Matt, Rose and Rob are to address the following question:
 
In what ways can the concepts, mechanisms and arguments in Pierson's chapter assigned in this class, and as also summarized by Dustin's email, be applied to the study of congressional development, and how might this be illustrated in some concrete examples?
 
4. Jackie and Sara will report on the following question:
 
In what ways does Cooper see the electoral, institutional and administrative systems of the late 20th century as differing from these systems in the late 19th century, and how do these differences help account for the growing preeimminence of the presidency over Congress in his opinion? Do you agree?
 
See you all on Tuesday.
 
Larry
 


Final Exam: American Legislative Development, Spring 2007.

Each student is asked to write two questions, with one “General Question” coming from Part I below and one “Specific Question” tailored for each student as listed in Part II below. Your answers for each question should run approximately eight pages double-spaced. Use endnotes for any extensive citations, and also provide a bibliography. The endnotes and bibliography do not fall within the eight page limit, but cannot be used to make additional arguments.

Part I: General Question: Choose one of the following three questions:

1.    What were the major characteristics and purposes of the Congress that emerged from the Constitutional Convention, why did the founders design the kind of Congress specified in the Constitution, how did the early evolution of Congress privilege some aspects of this design over others, and what have been the long-term consequences of the design and early evolution for the broad developmental path that Congress followed in the subsequent two centuries?
2.    Compare and contrast congressional development and its policy-making roles during its first 120 years of existence with development and policy-making during the last 100 years or so. In what ways were development and policy roles similar and in what ways dissimilar across these two periods? Why? And with what broad effects on the place of Congress in American politics and governance?
3.    Outline the major principles of path dependency theory, as seen in Pierson’s Politics in Time, and discuss the ways in which the theory helps make sense out of the broad patterning of congressional development over the past 120 years or so, taking care to illustrate your arguments with specific examples of change or continuity from across congressional history. Having specified ways the theory helps make sense of congressional history in the first half of your answer, then consider what its limits are and what other perspectives help address these limits, and how such perspectives can be integrated with path dependency theory.

Dustin:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    What was the intended role of the Senate within our constitutional system, from the perspective of the founders? To what extent has the Senate played this role, deviated from it, why, and with what consequences for Congress and American political development? What do you believe was lost and what was gained in so far as the Senate did deviate from its intended role. Explain.
2.    In what ways did secession, civil war and reconstruction alter and shape congressional development and what were the immediate and long-term effects of these developmental patterns for the role and power of Congress in national politics? In what ways do congressional scholars adequately understand these longer term effects, in what ways is their understanding negligent, and how might a fuller understanding be aided through new research?


Jackie: (as a Master’s student you can take ten pages on each question)

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    Looking back at Young’s Washington Community, and considering developments since the early 19th century, how does the development of Washington, D.C. affect the development of Congress?
2.    In what ways did the Civil War and Reconstruction period alter and shape the institutional development of Congress, to what extent was sectionalism a central or the central factor shaping this process of influence, and what were the immediate and long-term consequences for these developments for the power of Congress within our constitutional system?

Jordan:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    What are positive and negative feedback, as delineated by Baumgartner and Jones, and how are they relevant to understanding congressional development, particularly with respect to nature of policy continuity and change? How might you utilize these theories in a study of policy dynamics during the postwar era, what would you see as the limits of the theories in such a study, and how might you supplement them by designing your study in a way that draws on and integrates them with other theories of congressional development and change?
2.    What does Richard Bensel mean by Yankee Leviathan, how did the emergence of the Leviathan reshape Congress and congressional policy agenda, and what were the long-term effects of the consolidation of the Leviathan on congressional development and its policy agenda in the post-Reconstruction world? What principles of development and change might we take from Bensel’s study that helps us think about institutional development and policy dynamics today?

Josh:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    In what ways have political parties played a constructive role in aiding the historical development of a Congress capable of performing its constitutional roles? In what ways have they fallen short or been destructive in their effects? Why? And with what consequences for the ability of Congress to aiding and/or hinder the nation’s ability to adjust to and adapt in the face of major  domestic and international changes and challenges it has confronted?
2.    How and why has the institutional power of Congress ebbed and flowed in response to and as a consequence of major external forces within society, the international environment, or both? Briefly, how do you see external forces today challenging and potentially altering the institutional power of Congress?

Matt:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    Describe the development of the American Speakership from the first Congress to the modern Congress, taking care in the process to explain the changes and assess the institutional consequences of its developmental patterns. In the process, be sure to address the similar and different ways in which the office of the Speaker functioned under periods of party politics and committee politics and to assess how its functioning affected critical moments in American political development.
2.    How has the House of Representatives developed as an institution over time? What were the Founder’s intentions for the House? How is the modern House different from the original intent of the Founders? What were the major institutionalizing events and periods of the House of Representatives? And what ever the major effects of the institutional development of the House on Congress and its role in American Political development?

Rob:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    When did the Southern Realignment occur, and why? How did it change Congress and with what probable consequences for the long-term operation and power of the institution?
2.    What is subsystem politics, what are its advantages and disadvantages for Congress as a powerful legislative institution, how have reform processes altered and shaped the operation of subsystem politics during the postwar era, and have these reforms served to make subsystem politics more beneficial or less beneficial to the power and functioning of the Congress?

Rose:

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    When Woodrow Wilson originally wrote Congressional Government in the late 19th century, he speculated that the growing demands of and requirements placed on Congressmen were impacting policy-making and the very structure and functioning of Congress itself. In Wilson’s words, “the evident explanation of this change in attitude towards the Constitution is that we have been made conscious by the rude shock of the war and by subsequent developments of policy, that there has been vast alteration in the conditions of government” (28). Choose two or three other events in the history of the U.S. Congress which “vastly altered the conditions of government” (according to Wilson’s standards) and explain why and how they did so, and with what effect on the constitutional role of Congress.
2.    Over the past 200+ years, the U.S. Congress has been a site for both ebbs and flows in central leadership. Have these shifts been the product of external/environmental conditions, internal/personal agendas, or both? Explain with examples.

Sara: (As a ‘senior undergraduate,’ you can take twelve pages per question)

Part II: Specific Question: Choose one of the following two questions:

1.    In what ways did the Civil War and Reconstruction period alter and shape the institutional development of Congress, and with what immediate and long-term consequences for the power of Congress within our constitutional system as the nation faced new economic, social and international challenges?
2.    Describe the major reforms in Congress during the 1970s and delineate the consequences they had for the subsequent development of Congress as a governing institution.