Google full text of our books:


Electing the Senate:
Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment
Wendy J. Schiller & Charles Stewart III

Paperback | 2014 | $29.95 | ($17.97) / £19.95 | (£11.97) | ISBN: 9780691163178
Hardcover | 2014 | $95.00 | ($57.00) / £65.00 | (£39.00) | ISBN: 9780691163161
256 pp. | 6 x 9 | 13 line illus. 21 tables. 4 maps.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400852680 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Introduction[PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

Authors' web page for supplemental materials

From 1789 to 1913, U.S. senators were not directly elected by the people—instead the Constitution mandated that they be chosen by state legislators. This radically changed in 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving the public a direct vote. Electing the Senate investigates the electoral connections among constituents, state legislators, political parties, and U.S. senators during the age of indirect elections. Wendy Schiller and Charles Stewart find that even though parties controlled the partisan affiliation of the winning candidate for Senate, they had much less control over the universe of candidates who competed for votes in Senate elections and the parties did not always succeed in resolving internal conflict among their rank and file. Party politics, money, and personal ambition dominated the election process, in a system originally designed to insulate the Senate from public pressure.

Electing the Senate uses an original data set of all the roll call votes cast by state legislators for U.S. senators from 1871 to 1913 and all state legislators who served during this time. Newspaper and biographical accounts uncover vivid stories of the political maneuvering, corruption, and partisanship—played out by elite political actors, from elected officials, to party machine bosses, to wealthy business owners—that dominated the indirect Senate elections process. Electing the Senate raises important questions about the effectiveness of Constitutional reforms, such as the Seventeenth Amendment, that promised to produce a more responsive and accountable government.

Wendy J. Schiller is associate professor of political science and public policy at Brown University. Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


"Schiller and Stewart develop a database of breathtaking proportions to provide insight into the politics of indirect election of senators, and the consequences of direct and indirect election on electoral responsiveness. Rather than a dusty account of a long-forgotten reform, this book has implications for understanding the modern Senate."--Choice


"With the Seventeenth Amendment back in the news, Schiller and Stewart reexamine how state legislatures elected U.S. senators, to determine whether indirect elections were as unsavory and ineffective as charged, and whether popular elections have worked as well as reformers predicted. Their findings may surprise those on both sides of the ongoing debate."--Donald A. Ritchie, author of The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction

"This eye-opening book examines some of the most important questions in the development of representative government in the United States. It explores the often disastrous consequences of the original Constitutional scheme, the ways in which party politics and corruption can overtake deliberative processes, the unfulfilled promises of reformers, and the institutional conditions that foster government responsiveness and accountability. Everyone interested in American politics must read this book."--Steven S. Smith, Washington University in St. Louis

"This is a fine book by two of the most accomplished and able scholars studying the U.S. Congress. Their findings will undoubtedly become the definitive work on how the indirect election of U.S. senators by individual state legislatures influenced the upper chamber of Congress and American politics."--Richard Bensel, Cornell University

More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations vii
List of Tables ix
Preface xi
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 2 A Theory of Indirect Election 20
Chapter 3 Candidate Emergence, Political Ambition, and Seat Value 51
Chapter 4 Party as Gatekeeper: Canvass, Convention, and Caucus as Nomination Mechanisms 82
Chapter 5 Political Dynamics and Senate Representation 121
Chapter 6 Senate Electoral Responsiveness under Indirect and Direct Election 157
Chapter 7 Myth and Reality of the Seventeenth Amendment 199
References 219
Index 227

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Wendy J. Schiller:


Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Intel Education Study eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback $29.95 | ($17.97) ISBN: 9780691163178

    Add to shopping cart

     Hardcover $95.00 | ($57.00) ISBN: 9780691163161

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Hardcover £65.00 | (£39.00) ISBN: 9780691163161

    Add to shopping cart

     Paperback £19.95 | (£11.97) ISBN: 9780691163178

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 11/21/2015

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    fall saleHoliday Sale
    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Science And International Relations
    American History
    More Choices