Book Summary

Part I: Summary

Chapter 11 describes how the failure of the articles of the confederation led to the creation of the US constitution in 1871. Besides, the chapter outlines the outcomes of the constitutional convention that led to the establishment of a bicameral parliament through a compromise. A state produced two members to the Senate representatives corresponding to the population of each state were sent to the House of Representatives. The chapter also provides a historical account of how membership in the House of Representatives continued to grow over the years until it reached a cap of 435 members in 1910; which was later agreed upon as the permanent cap in 1929. Moreover, the chapter states that the bicameral system formed during the constitutional convention is intact to date and is responsible for the formulation and amendment of legislation.

Part II: Definition of terms

The two terms I identified in the reading are “Bicameral” and “Bills” Bicameral means a legislature with two chambers while Bills-proposed items of legislation.

Part III: Term Analysis

The most appealing term in the chapter is gerrymandering, which involves manipulating legislative boundaries to favor a specific candidate. I chose the word because apart from being new to me, it introduced me to anew concept that is a political game played by incumbents and the majority to disadvantage the minority in elections.  I feel that it is unjust and unfair for a dominating party to take advantage of the legislative boundary that it dominates to block or disadvantage its competitors. I am surprised that gerrymandering is legal in the US even though it sounds unethical, and that both the Republican and Democrats use it. I reside in North Carolina where re-election is expected between a Republican candidate male candidate and a female democrat. This means that candidate. The district of North Carolina is gerrymandered to favor republicans and even if I decide to vote the democrat candidate my vote will nothave much impact on the outcome of the election.

References

The Institutional Design of Congress

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