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G.: AMENDMENT XVII (1913) - James McClellan, Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government 
Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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AMENDMENT XVII (1913)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
The Framers of the Constitution specified in Article I, Section 3 that United States Senators should be chosen by each State legislature, two for each State, while members of the House of Representatives should be chosen by popular election from congressional districts. The main purpose of this method of indirect election of Senators was to give each State, no matter how small its population, a voice in the Congress.
In effect, each State’s two Senators thus represented the State itself, rather than the voters in particular districts; and they represented their State in the sense that each State was a sovereign political body, not simply an aggregation of voters. Senator Daniel Webster represented Massachusetts as a commonwealth with a culture of its own and interests of its own. Senator John C. Calhoun represented the proud State of South Carolina in Washington—not merely a constituency of rural voters. Sometimes it may be necessary for a public man to sacrifice himself for the people, Calhoun said on one occasion, but never to the people. Senators were delegates or symbols of their States, so to speak; and often the State legislatures, aware of senatorial dignity, chose some remarkable men as their United States Senators—at least for the first half-century of the Republic.
Senators, it was thought, would exercise a moderating influence on the popularly based House of Representatives. The Framers expected State legislatures, made up for the most part of experienced politicians, to be able to choose distinguished Senators better than could average citizens. Presumably the legislatures of the several States would tend to select senatorial candidates of superior mind, character, and education; often the Senators so chosen would also be men of some wealth—which the Framers considered all to the good. And in truth, especially in the early Republic, the Senate at Washington was a gathering of men of unusual talent and strength of character, somewhat comparable to the body of men who had been delegates to the Great Convention of 1787.
But societies change. As the franchise was enlarged in every State, the American people looked with increasing suspicion upon the indirect election of Senators. Gradually, in many States, the legislatures yielded to popular pressure, and members of those bodies pledged themselves at the time of their own election, or on some other occasion, to vote for some particular candidate for the United States Senate when the State legislature chose the next Senator. This was the process that had converted the Electors of the Electoral College into mere registrars of the popular choice for the Presidency. In theory, then, United States Senators still were chosen by legislatures. But in reality, State legislators voted for senatorial candidates quite as their constituents told them to vote. When the Senate finally capitulated in 1912, the voters in some twenty-nine States had already obtained the right to indicate their preferences for Senator in the party primaries—and State legislatures invariably followed the wishes of the voters.
Like the Sixteenth Amendment, the Seventeenth grew out of the Populist and Progressive revolt of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Generally favoring more democracy in every aspect of political life, State as well as Federal, the Populists and Progressives launched major political reform efforts, particularly in the Deep South and west of the Mississippi River, to reduce the political and economic power of America’s burgeoning class of plutocrats—men of humble origin, often, who had become wealthy almost overnight as a result of the industrial revolution and exerted a powerful influence in State governments.
In the legendary stories of Horatio Alger, they were America’s heroes, symbols of the American success story—immigrants, perhaps, who through self-sacrifice and hard work had risen to the top. To the Populists and Progressives, however, they were often the proverbial business tycoons—greedy capitalists, they charged, who engaged in monopolistic practices to maximize their wealth and used their wealth to buy votes in legislative bodies, courts of law, and governors’ mansions. The restructuring of State Constitutions throughout the country at this time—for the purpose of circumventing State legislatures through the initiative and referendum devices, and controlling the courts through the election or recall of judges—was the fruit of their labor.
Whereas the Sixteenth Amendment promised to limit the wealth and economic power of these millionaire industrialists, the Seventeenth was premised on the assumption that the direct election of Senators would limit their political influence. Many Senators were millionaires themselves, and many more, it was generally believed, were obligated to special economic interests. The wealthy might bribe State legislators but they could not bribe the entire electorate. The direct election of Senators, thought the Populists and Progressives, would cure the evils of Big Business, giant trusts, and corporate monopolies. Buttressed by the Sixteenth Amendment, the Seventeenth might then prepare the way for breaking up great concentrations of wealth and, hoped some of the more radical Populists, lead to a redistribution of wealth. But some argue that no conspicuous improvement in the talents and character of members of the Senate seems to have been the result of this Amendment.
One prominent public leader of recent decades, Eugene McCarthy—United States Senator from Minnesota for two terms—remarks in his book Frontiers of American Democracy that the Seventeenth Amendment did harm to the quality of the United States Senate. A principal reason for this is the fact that although a Representative in the House has to please only his constituents in his district, a United States Senator must campaign statewide—and wander about his State fairly frequently, if he wishes to remain in office. Much of his time is wasted in perpetual campaigning. Besides, the campaign expenditures of a senatorial candidate, both in the primary and in the regular election, usually are gigantic; this money must be found somewhere; so either a candidate’s family must be very wealthy, and have wealthy friends, or else the candidate may find it necessary to make promises to special interests, or voting blocs that he cannot fulfill or ought not to fulfill. It is noteworthy that most Senators today are very well-to-do, and many are multimillionaires. The task of courting an immense State-wide electorate may invite as much corruption as courting a small body of State legislators ever did.
However that may be, nowadays the principal distinction between members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate is that Senators hold office for six years, and Representatives for merely two. The longer term tends to give Senators greater independence of decision, at least during the earlier years of the six-year term, so enabling them to be something better than mere delegates to Washington.
The Seventeenth Amendment supersedes Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution. As a result, members of the United States Senate have ceased to speak for, represent, or be responsible to the State legislatures. That the change enlarged the influence of the voters and weakened that of federalism is abundantly clear.