2. The History of Apportionment in America
The history of the way that the House of Representatives in the United States has been apportioned is fascinating. It involves many colorful and powerful figures in United States history. The United States is very unusual in having a legislative branch with two independent parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This somewhat unique situation came about because the people responsible for creating the United States needed a way to compromise concerning their views about the new country they were forming. On the one hand, there were people from relatively unpopulated states where there were many landowners and there were people from relatively highly populated states with large urban populations. By having one legislative branch in which each former colony would have equal numbers of representatives (two senators for each state) and one legislative branch based on population, a compromise was reached. However, from the very start, people from different states were anxious to protect their own interests in the House of Representatives. The more seats one had, the safer it would be for one's point of view. It is useful to remember that during the early days of the United States no one foresaw the effect of having two dominant political parties at nearly all times of the country's history. The Constitution, in fact, makes no mention of political parties.
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