Chapter 15 apportionment
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Chapter 15: Apportionment. Part 4: Apportionment History. History of Apportionment. 1787 – The United States Constitution is written. The following is written in Article 1, Section 2:

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Chapter 15: Apportionment

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Chapter 15 apportionment

Chapter 15: Apportionment

Part 4: Apportionment History


History of apportionment

History of Apportionment

  • 1787 – The United States Constitution is written. The following is written in Article 1, Section 2:

    Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers … The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall direct by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one representative.

  • 1790 – Hamilton’s method is vetoed by President Washington and Jefferson’s method is adopted. Jefferson’s method is used until 1842 in spite of several attempts to adopt other methods.


History of apportionment1

History of Apportionment

  • 1832 - The size of the House of Representatives has grown from 105 in the year 1790 to 240 seats in 1832.

  • 1832 – Jefferson’s method violates the quota rule: New York, with a standard quota of 38.59 actually ends up getting 40 seats by Jefferson’s method. Adam’s method is proposed.

  • 1842 – Webster’s Method is adopted by Congress and the number of seats is set at 223. This is the only time the number of seats ever decreased.

  • 1852 – A proposal is made to re-adopt Hamilton’s method. The number of seats is increased to 234 which is a number in which both Webster’s and Hamilton’s methods agree.


History of apportionment2

History of Apportionment

  • 1872 – For political reasons, legislators apportion seats illegally, giving seats to Florida and New Hampshire that by Hamilton’s method should have gone to New York and Illinois. This was a violation of the Constitution because the apportionments are supposed to be based on populations of the states.

  • 1876 – Rutherford B. Hayes becomes U.S. President based on the Electoral College in spite of losing the popular vote. And in fact, because the Electoral College vote is based on the illegal apportionment of 1872, if the apportionment had been done legally, the Electoral College vote would have favored the other candidate – Samuel Tilden.

  • 1880 – The Alabama Paradox is discovered as a flaw in Hamilton’s method.


History of apportionment3

History of Apportionment

  • 1882 – The number of seats in the House increases to 325 which was a number in which both Hamilton’s and Webster’s methods agree.

  • 1900 – the Population Paradox is discovered when it is found that while Virginia was growing much faster than Maine--about 60% faster-- Virginia actually lost a seat in the House while Maine gained a seat.

  • 1901 – For political reasons Hamilton’s method is discarded and Webster’s method is used for a House size of 386.

  • 1907 – Oklahoma joins the Union and the New State’s Paradox is discovered.


History of apportionment4

History of Apportionment

  • 1911 – Webster’s Method is used for 433 seats.

  • 1921 – After the 1920 census, there is continuing disagreement over which apportionment method to use. Some legislator’s prefer Webster’s Method and others prefer the Huntington-Hill Method.

  • 1921 - All reapportionment bills after the 1920 census are defeated and no apportionment is done until 1931, a violation of the Constitution.

  • 1931 – Webster’s method and the Huntington-Hill methods give the same result with a House size of 435 seats.

  • 1941 – Democrats gain political advantage by using the Huntington-Hill Method – it is adopted with a House size of 435 seats. This has remained the method used.


History of apportionment5

History of Apportionment

  • 1980 – Mathematicians named Michael Balinski and Peyton Young prove a theorem stating that any apportionment method will produce paradoxes or violate the quota rule. Essentially, this means it is impossible to create a “perfect” method of apportionment.

  • 1990 - The U.S. Census Bureau, for only the second time since 1900, allocated Defense Department overseas employees for apportionment purposes. This resulted in Massachusetts losing a seat to Washington. Massachusetts filed suit.

  • 1992 – Montana loses a seat to Washington based on the 1990 census. Montana files suit challenging the constitutionality of the Huntington-Hill method but loses.

  • 2003 – 108th Congress convenes with a new apportionment based on the 2000 census.


History of apportionment 2000 census

History of Apportionment: 2000 Census

  • As a result of the apportionment based on Census 2000, 12 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives shifted among 18 states.

  • Eight states have more representatives in the 108th Congress, which convened in January 2003, and ten states have fewer representatives.

  • Of the eight states gaining seats, four — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas — each gain two seats. The other four — California, Colorado, Nevada, and North Carolina — will each gain one seat.

  • Of the ten states who lost seats, two — New York and Pennsylvania — each lose two seats. The other eight — Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin — each lose one seat.


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