The Full Wiki

More info on 51st United States Congress

51st United States Congress: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

51st United States Congress
USCapitol1906.jpg
United States Capitol (1906)

Duration: March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1891

President of the Senate: Levi P. Morton
President pro tempore: John J. Ingalls
Speaker of the House: Thomas B. Reed
Members: 88 Senators
332 Representatives
9 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican
House Majority: Republican

Sessions
Special: March 4, 1889 – April 2, 1889
1st: December 2, 1889 – October 1, 1890
2nd: December 1, 1890 – March 3, 1891
<50th 52nd>

The Fifty-first United States Congress, referred to by some critics as the Billion Dollar Congress, was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1891, during the first two years of the administration of U.S. President Benjamin Harrison.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

Contents

Major events

Major legislation

States admitted and territories organized

  • November 2, 1889 — North Dakota was admitted as a state.
  • November 2, 1889 — South Dakota was admitted as a state.
  • November 8, 1889 — Montana was admitted as a state.
  • November 11, 1889 — Washington was admitted as a state.
  • May 2, 1890 — Oklahoma Territory was organized.
  • July 3, 1890 — Idaho was admitted as a state.
  • July 10, 1890 — Wyoming was admitted as a state.
Benjamin Harrison and the Billion-Dollar Congress are portrayed as wasting the surplus in this cartoon from Puck.

The Congress was dominated by the Republican Party. It was responsible for a number of pieces of landmark legislation, many of which asserted the authority of the federal government.

Emboldened by their success in the elections of 1888, the Republicans enacted virtually their entire platform during their first 303-day session, including a measure that provided American Civil War veterans with generous pensions and expanded the list of eligible recipients to include noncombatants and the children of veterans. Grover Cleveland had vetoed a similar bill in 1887. It was criticized as the "Billion Dollar Congress'" for its lavish spending and, for this reason it incited drastic reversals in public support that led to Cleveland's reelection in 1892.

Other important legislation passed into law by the Congress included the McKinley tariff, authored by Representative, and future President, William McKinley; the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibited business combinations that restricted trade; and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the U.S. government to mint silver. The last two were concessions to Western farmer interests in exchange for support of the tariff and would become central tenets of the Populist Party later in the decade. They were authored by Senator John Sherman.

The Fifty-first Congress was also responsible for passing the Land Revision Act of 1891, which created the national forests. Harrison authorized America's first forest reserve in Yellowstone, Wyoming, the same year.

Other bills were discussed but failed to pass, including two significant pieces of legislation focused on ensuring African Americans the right to vote. Henry Cabot Lodge sponsored a so-called Force Bill that would have established federal supervision of Congressional elections so as to prevent the disfranchisement of southern blacks. Henry W. Blair sponsored the Blair Education Bill, which advocated the use of federal aid for education in order to frustrate southern whites employing literacy tests to prevent blacks from registering to vote.

Party summary

North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming were newly admitted to the Union and first represented as states in this Congress.

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

Senate

TOTAL members: 88

House of Representatives

TOTAL members: 332

Leadership

President of the Senate
Vice President
Levi P. Morton

Senate

House of Representatives

Members

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

Senate

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1892; Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1894; and Class 3 meant their term ended in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1890.

Alabama

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

President pro tempore John J. Ingalls
President pro tempore Charles F. Manderson

House of Representatives

Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide on the general ticket or otherwise at-large, are preceded by an "A/L," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

Alabama

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Both representatives were elected statewide on a general ticket.

Tennessee

Texas

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Non-voting members

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.

Senate
  • replacements: 3
  • deaths: 3
  • resignations: 2
  • interim appointments: 1
  • seats of newly admitted states: 12
  • Total seats with changes: 17
House of Representatives
  • replacements: 16
  • deaths: 11
  • resignations: 6
  • contested election:8
  • seats of newly admitted states: 7
  • Total seats with changes: 33

Officers

Senate
Other
House of Representatives

Notes

References

  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.  
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.  

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message