| term_length = 6 years
| voting_system1 = First-past-the-post
| last_election1 = November 4, 2014
| next_election1 = November 8, 2016
| session_room = 111th US Senate class photo.jpg
| meeting_place =
| website =
The United States Senate is a legislative chamber in the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the U.S. House of Representatives makes up the U.S. Congress.
First convened in 1789, the composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each state is represented by two senators, regardless of population, who serve staggered six-year terms. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building.
The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting to or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers,〔(Senate Confirmation Process: A Brief Overview )〕 as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. The Senate is widely considered to be both a more deliberative〔()〕 and more prestigious〔()〕 body than the House of Representatives, due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The Senate is sometimes called the "world's greatest deliberative body," sometimes pejoratively.
(詳細はHouse of Commons did in the United Kingdom. This idea of having one chamber represent people equally, while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was also a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, and with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents. The other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not intended to represent the people of the United States equally. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation.
The Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate. The name is derived from the ''senatus'', Latin for ''council of elders'' (from ''senex'' meaning ''old man'' in Latin).〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: ''senate'' )〕
James Madison made the following comment about the Senate:
The Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent. The District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two shadow senators, but they are officials of the D.C. city government and not members of the U.S. Senate.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Non-voting members of Congress )〕 The United States has had 50 states since 1959,〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Hawaii becomes 50th state )〕 thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=U.S. Constitution: ''article 1, Section 1'' )〕
The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential Electors, regardless of population. In 1787, Virginia had roughly 10 times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has roughly 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are effectively two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are approximately proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation.
Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures.〔Article I, Section 3: "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote."〕 However, problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, and even bribery and intimidation gradually led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators.
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