History of the United States Congress

History of the United States Congress

The Continental Congresses

Although one can trace the history of the Congress of the United States to the First Continental Congress, which met in the autumn of 1774, the true antecedent of the United States Congress was the Second Continental Congress. Where as the First Continental Congress was a meeting of representatives of twelve of Great Britain's American colonies that sent a list of grievances to King George III, the Second Continental Congress evolved into the first governing body of the United States when the American Revolutionary War commenced in April 1775. The Second Continental Congress was convened on May 10, 1775 with 12 colonies in attendance. A year later, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared the thirteen colonies free and independent states, referring to them as the "United States of America." The Second Continental Congress was the national government until March 1, 1781, supervised the war and diplomacy, and adopted the Articles of Confederation before the States ratified it in 1781. One common term for patriot was "Congress Man"--a supporter of Congress against the King. The Congress of the Confederation governed the United States for eight years (March 1, 1781 to March 4, 1789). There was no chief executive or president before 1789, so Congress governed the United States.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation was written in 1776, and came in to effect in 1781. This established a weak central government, with only a unicameral body, in which each state was equally represented and each had a veto over most actions. There was no executive or judicial branch. This congress was given authority over foreign affairs and military matters, but not to collect taxes, regulate interstate commerce, or enforce laws.English (2003), p. 5-6] A key underlying principle was that states remained sovereign, thus were free to ignore any legislation passed by Congress. [Collier (1986), p. 5] This system of government did not work well, with economic troubles in the states and dispute among the states.

In May 1787, a Convention met in the Philadelphia State House to resolve problems with the Articles of Confederation. Instead, the Articles were scrapped entirely and a new Constitution was drafted. All states agreed to send delegates, except Rhode Island. One of the most divisive issues facing the Convention was the way which structure of Congress would be defined. Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan argued for a bicameral Congress; the lower house would be elected directly by the people whereas the upper house would be elected by the lower house. The plan attracted support of delegates from large states as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, however, favored the New Jersey Plan, which had a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states. Eventually, a "compromise", known as the Connecticut Compromise or the Great Compromise was settled; one house of Congress would provide proportional representation, whereas the other would provide equal representation. To preserve further the authority of the states, the compromise proposed that state legislatures, rather than the people, would elect senator.


The Constitution gave more powers to the federal government, such as regulating interstate commerce, managing foreign affairs and the military, and establishing a national currency. These were seen as essential for the success of the new nation, but the states retained sovereignty over other affairs. [English (2003), p. 7] To protect against abuse of power at the federal level, the Constitution mandated separation of powers, with responsibilities divided among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Furthermore, the legislative body would be bicameral, so there would be checks and balances. [English (2003), p. 8] The Constitution was ratified by the end of 1788, and its full implementation was set for March 4, 1789.


The Constitution remained the main issue for Americans until the 1792 elections, consisting of a battle between the U.S. Federalist Party (Pro-Administration Party), which supported the Constitution and the Anti-Federalist Party (Anti-Administration Party), which opposed the Constitution. After the first Congressional and Presidential elections took place in 1789, the Federalists had control over US Congress. Between 1792 and 1800 the struggle over Congress came between Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party- which was popular through the successful First Bank of the United States, until 1792- and Thomas Jefferson's Democratic Republican Party. Jefferson's party managed to finally gain control over the US House of Representatives after the 1792 elections, thanks in part to one of the top Federalists, James Madison, uniting with Anti-Federalist Thomas Jefferson to form the Democratic Republican Party, as Madison became an opposer to Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton's First Bank of the United States. In 1794, however, the Democratic Republican Party lost control of the United States Senate, thanks in part to party's opposition to Jay's Treaty. In 1796, the Democratic Republican Party would also lose control of the United States House of Representatives, due to the party's support of the unpopular French Revolution [http://www.multied.com/elections/1796.html] , though the Democratic Republican Party still could obtain second place victories in these elections- which made Jefferson the US Vice President- as well; Washington, however, was supported by almost every American, and even though he ran under the Federalist ticket, he still was not an official Federalist and was easily re-elected US President unanimously in 1792 as well, and John Adams- an actual Federalist who was also elected United States President in 1796- was elected Vice President (President of the Senate) on the Federalist ticket with Washington as well.

Nineteenth century

The early nineteenth century was marked by frequent clashes between the House of Representatives and the Senate. After victory in the 1800 US elections, Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party dominated both the US Senate and US House of Representatives, as well as the presidential elections; this was because states rights became a popular issue after the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions outlawed the Federalists Alien and Sedition Acts [http://www.multied.com/elections/1800.html] . Henry Clay of Kentucky was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and dominant leader over Congress, during the 1810s.

A careful numerical balance between the free North and the slave holding South existed in the Senate, as the numbers of free and slave states was kept equal by a series of compromises, such as the Missouri Compromise of 1820. That broke down in 1850 when California was admitted as a free state, but the Compromise of 1850 postponed a showdown. Meanwhile the North was growing faster and dominated the House of Representatives, despite the rule that counted 3/5 of non-voting slaves in the population base of the South.

The victory of John Quincy Adams in 1824 was challenged by Andrew Jackson, who argued a corrupt bargain between Clay and Adams had cheated Jackson; Jackson lead both electoral votes and popular votes, but had no majority in the electoral college, and Clay, who strongly opposed Jackson for his "total war" policy- which happened at the Battle of New Orleans-, he used while he (Jackson) served as a US General, and gave his votes in the House of Representatives to the candidate who was closest to Jackson, in both electoral votes and popular votes, John Quincy Adams. Jackson and his (as yet unnamed) followers easily dominated the 1826 Congressional Election and took complete control of the 20th United States Congress. As the Second Party System emerged, the Whigs and Jacksonians (called "Democrats" by 1834) battled for control of Congress. In the 1832 Senate elections, the National Republican party, which was the main party that opposed Andrew Jackson, gained control of the US Senate after President Jackson broke with his Vice-President John Calhoun, and gained Senate seats in parts of the Southern US, and maintained control over Senate until 1835, when Jackson's popular bank policies could help the Democrats regain control of Congress again in the 1834 Congressional elections; this break between Jackson and Calhoun was over whether or not South Carolina could avoid the Tariff of 1828, which Calhoun strongly opposed, and resulted in Calhoun's new Nullifier Party eventually uniting with Henry Clay's National Republican Party, and other opponents of Andrew Jackson, to form the US Whig Party in 1834. The Whigs swept into power in 1840, thanks in later part to the fact that President Martin Van Buren became unpopular after he continued to fail at bringing the US out of the depression started by the Panic of 1837; [http://www.multied.com/elections/1840.html] Van Buren would even lose in his home state of New York [http://www.multied.com/elections/1840.html] . Following the death of President William Henry Harrison in 1841, John Tyler became president and soon broke bitterly with Clay, and the Whigs in Congress, after he continuously vetoed Clay and the Whig Party's bills for a national banking act in 1841. As a result, Tyler's supporters helped give the Democrats control of the United States House of Representatives in the 1842 Congressional elections

Democrats regained control of Congress in the 1844 elections, as well, thanks to the huge support of the annexation of Texas [http://www.multied.com/elections/1844.html] , as the 29th United States Congress, but the Whigs were back in control of both houses in 1846, thanks in part to the opposition of the Mexican-American War. The Democrats were able to regain control of Congress in 1848, thanks in part to the US successfully winning the Mexican-American War. The Democrats now had complete control over the 31st United States Congress, despite the break between the anti-slavery (Free Soil Party) and pro slavery Democrats; because of this break, the Democrats would not maintain the US Presidency, and Whig Party member Zachary Taylor was elected the 12th President of the United States in the 1848 US Presidential Election. [http://www.multied.com/elections/1848.html] In 1852, the divide between the pro-slavery southern Wings(who threw their support to Democrat candidate Franklin Pierce and broke with Henry Clay over the Compromise of 1850) and the anti-slavery Northern(who stood behind Clay's compromise and supported the party's nominee Winfield Scott) would also help give the Democrats not only control both houses of Congress, but also the US Presidency as well. [http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/fp14.html] In the 1854 elections, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, sponsored by Senator Stephen Douglas, was put against vehement opposition. The opposition to this act led to the formation of the new Republican party. In early 1856, the Know Nothing Party assembled nativists and former Whigs but the Democrats regained control over Congress. During this time the Know Nothing Party and Republican Party united and together, elected Know Nothing Congressman Nathaniel Prentice Banks, as to serve as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the remaining years of the 34th United States Congress.

Through the 35th United States Congress, the Democrats regain control of both houses in Congress; this thanks in part to the division of the Know-Nothing Party and the Republican Party during the 1856 Us Presidential election. [http://www.multied.com/elections/1856.html] . The Know Nothings soon collapsed, and in the North were absorbed by the Republicans, who dominated most states and took control of the US House of Representatives in the 1858 elections, as abolitionist Know Nothings joined the Republican Party after the controversial Dred Scott ruling occurred in 1857. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln led the Republicans to a victory based entirely in the anti-slavery North, and the Republican Party now took full control of Congress.

Congress played a major role in the American Civil War, as the Republicans were in control of both chambers; after the war ended in 1865, Reconstruction was controlled by President Andrew Johnson, who broke with the Radical Republicans (led by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens and Senator Charles Sumner.) After the elections of 1866 the Radicals came to power, impeached (but did not convict) President Johnson, and controlled Reconstruction policy. The Radical hold was broken by the Democratic landslide in the election of 1874, and Democrats regained control of the US House of Representatives, this was thanks in part to the Long Depression started by the Panic of 1873. The Democrats would continue to dominate the US House of Representatives, and even gained control of the US Senate in the 1878 US Senate election as the depression worsened.

The Gilded Age (1877-1901) was marked by Republican dominance of Congress—and the Presidency— except in the early years, and some of the mid-years of the Gilded Age-, despite the Democratic lock on the Solid South. The Republican Party, however, would regain control over the US House of Representatives in the 1880 election, as support for the Republican Party's tariff spread among the general public; [http://www.multied.com/elections/1880.html] the Panic of 1873 had also ended for the US in 1879, with the start of the vast immigration into the US that lasted until 1930. State legislatures continued to elect senators, which meant that the most powerful politicians in the state vied for control of the legislature in order to win election to the Senate. The Democrats, however, retained control of the United States Senate in the 1880 US Senate election, as Virginia's Readjuster Party member William Mahone and Illinois' Independent Party member David Davis were both election to the US Senate. Both men chose to caucus with the Democrats, thus giving the Democrat Party a 39-37 control of the Senate during the 47th United States Congress.

With support for the Republican Party now had for rebounding the United States economy with the tariff of the party's US President James Garfield(who was assassinated in late 1881), the Republicans would see themselves take back control over the US Senate in the 1882 US Senate elections. While the Republican Party was now in control of both houses of Congress once again, it wouldn't last for long at all. President Arthur became unpopular within after turning on Roscoe Conkling and the Stalwartsand supported civil reform. In some cases, Senate elections were tainted by corruption and bribery. In other instances, gridlock between the two houses of state legislatures prevented the election of a senator. (In one acute case, deadlock prevented the Delaware legislature from sending a senator to Washington for four years.) These issues were resolved by the Seventeenth Amendment (ratified in 1913), which provided for the direct popular election of senators. With former Speaker of the House of Representatives James Blaine(who served as the Republican Party's nominee during the 1884 US Presidential election) tainted by the Mulligan Letters, the Republicans would lose control of the US House of Representatives, as well as the Presidency, in 1884. [http://www.multied.com/elections/1884.html]

In 1888, New York's support for the Republican Party's tariff policies helped Republicans retake control over the US House of Representatives once again, through the state of New York. The Democrats were able to regain control over the US House of Representatives after the Republican Party lost support after President Benjamin Harrison continued to spend money from the US Treasury to try and help American businesses that were suffering from the high US tariffs, in the 1890 elections, as well as also regaining the Presidency and US Senate in 1892, as opposition to President Harrison's tariffs grew [http://www.multied.com/elections/1892.html] . The Republicans however would regain control over Congress in the 1894 Congressional election; after President Cleveland and the Democrats continued to fail at bringing the US out of the depression started by the Panic of 1893; William McKinley also being elected US President in 1896 brought the US out of the depression started by the Panic of 1893, through his support of both big businesses [http://www.multied.com/elections/1896.html] and high tariffs, and officially began the Progressive Era.

Twentieth and twenty-first centuries

The Progressive Era (1896-1932) witnessed the rise of strong party leadership in both houses of Congress. In the House of Representatives, the office of Speaker became extremely powerful under Thomas Reed in 1890, reaching its zenith under the Republican Joseph Gurney Cannon. The Senate was controlled by a half dozen men, including Republicans Nelson Aldrich and Mark Hanna. A revolt against Speaker Cannon in 1910, led by George Norris, strengthened the seniority system and made long-serving Congressmen more independent of party. Committee chairmen remained particularly strong in both houses until the reforms of the 1970s. After the 1894 US Congressional elections, the Republican Party was able to maintain dominance over Congress until the 1910 election gave the Democrats control over the US House of Representatives once again, after people began to turn against President Taft and the conservative (traditional) Republicans for their support for the monopoly US oil company Standard Oil.

The break between the conservative and progressive Republicans in the 1912 US Presidential Election also helped the Democrats regain the Presidency and complete control over Congress [http://www.multied.com/elections/1912.html] ; even after the Republican Party reunited in the 1914 Congressional elections, the Republican Party could not regain control of Congress, thanks in part to the New Freedom policies of President Wilson. However, President Wilson's failure to protect the neutral rights of the American people helped the Republicans regain control over the US House of Representatives [http://www.multied.com/elections/1916.html] ; while Wilson's rights violations, which became very recognized after he reportedly supported the controversial film The Birth of a Nation, cost the Democrats the House of Representatives in 1916, Wilson still was able to maintain his Presidency after he won in the state of California for his opposition to the US entering the Great War. By the 1918 Congressional elections, many American men were overseas fighting in the Great War (later known as World War I), and with the American voting public wanting the war- which the US entered under Democratic US President Woodrow Wilson- to end, the Republicans easily managed to regain control of the US Senate in this election, as well as control of the US Congress, as the Democratic Party's popularity decreased because of President Wilson's war efforts.

The large support against President Wilson's support for US membership into the League of Nations would also help Republicans maintain a majority control of both Congressional house and also win the 1920 US Presidential Election as well [http://www.multied.com/elections/1920.html] . The Republicans retained control of Congress until 1931, after 19 Republicans in the US House of Representatives died and Democrats took their places in the special elections- after Republican President Herbert Hoover had continuously failed to get the US out of the Great Depression. In the 1932 US Senate elections, the Democrats easily regained control over the US Senate once again; this 1932 election also saw Franklin Roosevelt get elected US President as well, and Roosevelt could now begin his historic New Deal policies through the Democrat-dominated US Congress, and could bring the US out of the Great Depression for four years.

During the long administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 to 1945), the Democratic Party controlled both houses of Congress, in some elections winning over two-thirds of the seats in each house. Both the Republicans and the Democrats were in control at various points during the next decade; this success of the Democrats continued despite the popular formation of the pro-Republican Party Conservative Coalition forming in 1937-which was a coalition of Northern Republicans and Southern Democrats, both of which consisted of conservatives- as a result of the US re-entering the Great Depression after huge unemployment rates- caused by the end of the Government-funded New Deal- caused US production rates to fail in the US until 1938, when Roosevelt was able to limit US spending to only $5 billion. In the 1946 US Congressional election, the Republicans regained control of both the US Senate and US House of Representatives, as a result of President Truman failing to handle the vast post-war labor strikes. The Democrats were able to retake control of Congress in 1948, thanks in part to the huge popularity Democratic US President Harry Truman had for his support of a Civil Rights legislation [http://www.multied.com/elections/1948.html] . In 1952, the Republicans were able to retake control of the US Congress and the US Presidency, thanks in part to the support Republican Presidential Candidate Dwight Eisenhower had over being willing to end the stalemated Korean War [http://www.multied.com/elections/1952.html] . In 1954, the Democrats regained control of Congress, as a result of the high rate of unemployment that had now spread throughout the United States. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,820382,00.html] Two year later however, President Eisenhower would again score another huge victory in the 1956 US Presidential Election,thanks in part to the support he received from a large number of Americans for condemning the Suez Canal seizure (which, in turn, prevention tensions with the Soviet Union escalate further), and supporting both the Hungarian Revolution and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling. Despite this huge victory, Eisenhower could not give the Republican Party control of Congress again.

After the 1954 Congressional elections, the Democratic Party now dominated both houses of Congress until 1994, except when Republicans held a majority of seats in the Senate, after the party dominated the 1980 US Presidential and US Senate elections, due to the fact that the Democratic US President Jimmy Carter became more and more unpopular as he failed to rescue the Iranian US hostages- being held during the Iranian Hostage Crisis-, and failed to curb high US unemployment and inflation rates that soared further after Iran's oil became isolated following the 1979 Iranian Revolution as well. [http://www.multied.com/elections/1980.html] . The Democratic Party was able to break the Conservative Coalition, after President Johnson was able to gain a great amount of support through his Great Society policies, but the coalition rebounded in 1966, as the Democratic Party began to lose support after President Johnson began to escalate the number of troops involved in the Vietnam War, and could continue to help the Republican Party gain more Congressional seats between 1966 and 1970- when the Republican Party and Richard Nixon started an anti-war platform, until the 1970 US invasion of Cambodia occurred, and the Republican Party became more unpopular after the Kent State Shootings occurred during a protest to this invasion- and 1972 and 1974- when the once-again anti-war Republican Party regained popularity after Republican President Nixon passed the SALT I agreement and re-opened US-China relations-, until the Watergate Scandal helped bring President Nixon and the Republican Party down further between 1974 and 1980.

The Republicans six year control over the Senate ended in 1986, after the Iran-Contra Affair damaged the popularity of President Reagan and his administration. The Republicans finally returned to a majority position, in both houses of Congress, in the election of 1994, thanks in part to: 1) Presdinet Clinton's temporary failure to establish universal health care; and 2) Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, which was promoted heavily by the entire Republican Party. By the 1996 US Presidential Election, Clinton's economic programs prevailed and the President was elected to a second term in a landslide victory. Despite Clinton's huge victory, however, the Democrats were still not able to regain control of either the US House of Representatives or Senate.

For most part between 1995 and 2007, the Republicans controlled both houses. In the wake of the unpopularity of President Clinton's impeachment trial the 107th Congress (2001-2003) saw the Democrats and Republicans split control of the US Senate 50-50, ending effectively tied; though Republican Vice-President Dick Cheney did have the tie breaking vote in the Senate during the first four months of 2001 as well. In May 2001, Republican US Senator from the state of Vermont, Jim Jeffords, ended his affiliation with the Republican Party and became an Independent. After departing from the Republican Party, Jeffords agreed to caucus with the Democrats and control of the Senate switched back to the Democrats once again.

The 108th Congress (2003-2005) saw the Senate return to a GOP majority of 51-49, as Republican President George W Bush had gained some popularity for his fight against Al Qaeda terrorists. In 2006, opposition to Bush's continuation of the Iraq War had grown to new heights. As a result, the 110th Congress saw the Democrats regain majority control of both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. In 2007, Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed read the first Hindu prayer in United States Senate.

ee also

* History of the United States
* History of the United States Senate
* History of the United States House of Representatives [http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present] http://clerk.house.gov/art_history/house_history/partyDiv.html




*"American National Biography" (1999) 20 volumes; contains scholarly biographies of all politicians no longer alive.
* Lewis L. Gould. "The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate" (2006)
* Hunt, Richard. (1998). "Using the Records of Congress in the Classroom," "OAH Magazine of History", 12 (Summer): 34–37.
* MacNeil, Neil. "Forge of Democracy: The House of Representatives" (1963)
* Robert V. Remini. "The House: The History of the House of Representatives" (2006)
* Ritchie, Donald A. (1997). "What Makes a Successful Congressional Investigation." "OAH Magazine of History", 11 (Spring): 6–8.
* Raymond W Smock and Susan W Hammond, eds. "Masters of the House: Congressional Leadership Over Two Centuries" (1998) short biographies of key leaders
* Julian E. Zelizer. ed. "The American Congress: The Building of Democracy" (2004) comprehensive history by 40 scholars

Federalist and Jeffersonian Eras: 1789-1824

* "Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, 1754–1829" ed. by Paul Finkelman (2005), 1600 pp.
* Banning, Lance. "The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology" (1978)
* Ben-Atar, Doron and Barbara B. Oberg, eds. "Federalists Reconsidered" (1999)
* Brown; Stuart Gerry. "The First Republicans: Political Philosophy and Public Policy in the Party of Jefferson and Madison" Syracuse University Press. [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=11814508 (1954)] .
* Chambers, William N. ed., "The First Party System" (1972)
* Cunningham, Noble E., Jr. "Jeffersonian Republicans: The formation of Party Organization: 1789–1801" (1957)
* Elkins, Stanley and Eric McKitrick. "The Age of Federalism" (1995)
* Risjord, Norman K. "The Old Republicans: Southern Conservatism in the Age of Jefferson" (1965)
* Sharp, James Roger. "American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis" (1993)
* Wilentz, Sean. "The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln." (2005).

Jacksonian Democracy:1828-1854

* Brown, David. "Jeffersonian Ideology And The Second Party System" "Historian", Fall, 1999 v62#1 pp 17-44
* Watson, Harry L. "Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America" (1990) (ISBN 0-374-52196-4)

Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age 1854-1896=

* David Brady and Joseph Stewart, Jr. "Congressional Party Realignment and Transformations of Public Policy in Three Realignment Eras," "American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 26, No. 2 (May, 1982), pp. 333-360 [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0092-5853(198205)26%3A2%3C333%3ACPRATO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-C online at JSTOR] Looks at links among cross-cutting issues, electoral realignments, the U.S. House and public policy changes during the Civil War, 1890's and New Deal realignments. In each case the policy changes are voted through by a partisan "new" majority party. The Civil War and 1890's realignments were more polarized than was the New Deal realignment, and the extent of party structuring of issue dimensions was greater.
* Benedict, Michael Les. "The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson" (1999)
* Bryce, James. "The American Commonwealth" 2 vol 1888
* Donald, David Herbert. "Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man" (1970), leader os Radicals in Senate; Pulitzer Prize
* Josephson, Matthew. "The Politicos: 1865-1896" 1938.
* Keller, Morton. "Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America"1977.
* Morgan, H. Wayne. "From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877-1896" (1969)
* Muzzey David S. "James G. Blaine: A Political Idol Of Other Days" (1934) (ISBN 0404201881) Leaderin House & Senate
* Potter, David. "The Impending Crisis 1848–1861". (1976)
* Rhodes, James Ford. "History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Roosevelt-Taft Administration" (1920), 8 vol.
* Trefousse, Hans L. "Thaddeus Stevens: Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian" (1997), leader of Radicals in House
* Wilson, Woodrow. (1885). "Congressional Government." Houghton Mifflin.

Progressive Era and New Deal: 1900-1968

* Caro, Robert A. "The Years of Lyndon Johnson: vol 3: Master of the Senate" (2002), on late 1950s
* Fite, Gilbert. "Richard B. Russell, Jr, Senator from Georgia" (2002)
* Moore, John Robert. "The Conservative Coalition in the United States Senate, 1942-45." "Journal of Southern History" 1967 33(3): 369-376. ISSN 0022-4642 Fulltext: Jstor, uses roll calls
* James T. Patterson. "A Conservative Coalition Forms in Congress, 1933-1939," "The Journal of American History," Vol. 52, No. 4. (Mar., 1966), pp. 757-772. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0021-8723%28196603%2952%3A4%3C757%3AACCFIC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-C in JSTOR]
* Patterson, James T. "Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft" (1972)

Recent History: since 1968

* Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa, "The Almanac of American Politics 1976: The Senators, the Representatives and the Governors: Their Records and Election Results, Their States and Districts" (1975); new edition every 2 years
* Davidson, Roger H., and Walter J. Oleszek, eds. (1998). "Congress and Its Members", 6th ed. Washington DC: "Congressional Quarterly." (Legislative procedure, informal practices, and member information)
* Schickler, Eric. "Disjointed Pluralism: Institutional Innovation and the Development of the U.S. Congress" (2001)
* Shelley II, Mack C. "The Permanent Majority: The Conservative Coalition in the United States Congress" (1983)
* Rohde, David W. "Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House" (1991)
* Julian E. Zelizer. "On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000" (2004)

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