The first amendment... dude, wait what?

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I happened to look at a transcript of the original manuscript of the Bill of Rights today and noticed something I somehow didn't learn or forgot in American History: there were originally 12 amendments, with the familiar 10 being numbered 3-12.[This used to read 2-12. Thanks to Danny McPherson for the correction.]. The first two are (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Article I - After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article II - No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

The first of these was never ratified, and the second was only ratified in 1992.

While we're on the topic, it's worth checking out this old Doonesbury cartoon:

These days I think this might read "All power should rest with the unitary executive."

4 Comments

We'd be having 6,000 representatives today if that Article were to be ratified...

6,000 representatives would make it a lot more expensive to buy a majority...

I did the math a few years ago comparing the relative representation of Britain to the US and came to the conclusion that we would need ~10000 representatives to be as federally represented as the British are. 6000 would be a nice compromise.

But the problem isn't that we're not "as federally
represented as the British." It's that the Congress
views every single aspect of daily life as falling
under it's purview and worthy of regulation.

Having 6,000 representatives would only compound
that problem.

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