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Electing the Senate – Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Electing the Senate: Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment

Wendy J. Schiller and Charles Stewart III


From 1789 to 1913, U.S. senators were not directly elected by the people—instead the Constitution mandated that they be chosen by state legislators. This radically changed in 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving the public a direct vote. This book investigates the electoral connections among constituents, state legislators, political parties, and U.S. senators during the age of indirect elections. The book finds that even though parties controlled the partisan affiliation of the winning candidate for Senate, they had much less control over the universe ... More

Keywords: U.S. senator, U.S. Constitution, Seventeenth Amendment, public vote, indirect election, Senate elections, state legislator, political corruption, partisanship

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780691163161
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163161.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Wendy J. Schiller, author
Brown University

Charles Stewart III, author
Massachusetts Institute of Technology