Women in Congress

Topics: United States, President of the United States, Washington, D.C. Pages: 4 (1276 words) Published: March 25, 2011
American Government
Research Paper
Why do you think so few women and racial minorities have been elected to Congress? That is a question that can come with many different answers. In my opinion, I believe that there is a different reason between women and minorities for their lack of success in Congress. Both reasons involve the past, but in different ways.

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 435 members in the House of the Representatives. The Senate has 100 members. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election.

The main reason why women and minorities are not popular in Congress is because of descriptive representation. Descriptive representation is a belief that constituents are represented effectively by legislators who are similar to them (Challenge of Democracy). The characters that qualify are race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. That is the main factor why there are so few women and minorities in Congress. Due to the past, the demographic characteristic is a white male.

As far as African American activity in government goes, a lot of progress has been made. In the past slavery kept blacks from being involved at all. They slowly made progress when they were counted as 3/5th of a person. Then they moved on to being free persons, and from then the African Americans moved on. There were many influential blacks to America. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks were two very important people. They changed America for the better and helped African Americans advance in life.

African Americans began serving in Congress during the Reconstruction Era after slaves were freed and granted citizen rights. Free black men gained political representation in the South. White Democrats took back political power and tried to return white supremacy. Legislatures lowered voting...

Cited: • "Historical Essays." Women in Congress - Home. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. .
• Hodge, Scott, and Andrew Cowin. "Congress Vs. Minorities: The New Davis-Bacon Rules | The Heritage Foundation." Conservative Policy Research and Analysis | The Heritage Foundation. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. .
• Janda, Kenneth, Jeffrey M. Berry, and Jerry Goldman. The Challenge of Democracy: Government in a Global World. 10th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2008. Print.
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