Sunday, March 7, 2010
Representatives Decided by Population
The sixteenth provision of the United States Constitution is found in Article I.2.3: "The number of Representatives from each state will be apportioned according to population." This provision means that every citizen has the Right to be represented in Congress at the same ratio as every other citizen in the country. This provision caused a lot of problems at the Constitutional Convention. The smaller states thought that each state should have one vote. The larger states thought they should have more votes because they had more people. The problem was solved when the Founders decided that all states would be represented equally in the Senate but apportioned their representation in the House according to population. Senators were originally elected by state legislatures, and Representatives elected by a popular vote. Thus, the citizens of each state would be represented both as individuals and as a group. If possible, parents could divide the members of the family into two groups - males and females might work for demonstration purposes. Then "elect" representatives and discuss the number of people each representative actually represents and the lack of equal representation.