Congressional Clearing House

Make sure they hear you, respond promptly, and keep their promises.
Here, we provide what's needed to relieve your frustrations.

The History of Change
U. S. House of Representatives 

         On June 11, 1929 the House of Representatives passed  The Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 .  The measure fixed the total number of representatives at 435.  This clearly conflicted with the wording and intention of the Constitution, which set representation at at least one representative for each State and one representative for each 30,000 citizens.
       The original wording, from the date the document was signed, September 17, 1791, U.S. Constitution : "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three."
      The number of citizens represented in each district had slowly risen over more than a century.










                                                                                                                                                                                                           From:   Thirty-Thousand.org

     What are the chances your elected representative will be responsive to local issues when districts are this large?  And how would he or she know, anyway?  The only way to communicate today is to tweet your Congressperson or call the office if you want to send a significant amount of information.  And no matter what, it is far more likely the only one to see any communication is a staffer.  
     The number of constituents being represented is one issue you need to consider.  The Constitutional Convention designed a bicameral legislature but today what we have is a senior and junior senate.  What steps should Americans take to make the House of Representatives responsible and accessible to them?    See Problem One

  These issues have history you have never heard or read. One of these issues is control of government by the cooperative efforts of 'the elite,' through government and corporations.
 

The Articles of Confederation 

     The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on November 15, 1777. Ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781 because states wanted a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments.
     Two years after the Articles were ratified the American Revolution ended with the  Treaty of Paris of 1783 , signed, September 3, 1783.
     Hostilities had ended with the Battle of Yorktown, when on October 19, 1781 British General Cornwallis decided his position was becoming untenable. He surrendered his entire army of over 7,000 men on the same day that the British fleet at New York sailed for his relief.  King George the III and Parliment did not give up until a chain of losses in the West India islands.   
     The colonies faced tremendous odds in declaraing for Independence.  Chief among these, was the lack of production within the colonies of essential munitions.  A successful outcome to the war required a continuing flow of foreign supplies while Britain carried out an active naval campaign to make this impossible.  
     The fleet of ships which carried out the needed action to ensure supplies of munitions and other necessities continued were paid for by investment in Privateers.  The Continental Congress issued Letters of Marque and Reprisal authorizing these investments, most by the captains who commanded them.  
     Without Privateers, who took the risks of death and imprisonment, as conditions of their venture, America would not have lasted long enough to win the Revolution.  Privateering was profitable but not without hazards.  These included, along with death, loss of their ship, and imprisonment, being ordered by the Admiralty Court to return the prize if it was determined this was not a ship covered by their letter or Margue and Reprisal.  
​       Privateers accepted complete accountability for their actions and paid part of their Prizes for the privilege.    
      
The Privateers






     Parliament on February 27, 1782, voted to cease all offensive operations in America and seek peace. Threatened with votes of no confidence, on March 20 Lord North resigned and his Tory government was replaced by the Whigs.
   The economic impact of debt hit ordinary Americans.  State governments struggled to pay off debts from the war.  In so doing, they ensured the losses fell on ordinary people, not on themselves and their associates
   Actions taken in Massachusetts by the state government outraged town citizens and returning veterans alike as the potential for profits and desire to use government to change the outcome of the economic reality they had created came into their control.   
   
  A dispassionate examination of their actions provides insights which should not be overlooked and remain relevant today. 
   The first of these events was the passage, over protests and resistance, of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 installed a bicameral legislature over objections from towns in the West, who were excluded from voting because travel from the West was impossible at the time set.  No member from the West had been included in the committee which wrote the draft for the Commonwealth’s constitution.  The vote was held during a winter so severe Boston Harbor had frozen over.  No travel was possible.
    The resulting legislature passed laws which raised taxes 600%, exacting from the middle class the funds needed to pay for the debts the state had accrued during the war.  Veterans issued notes. which could not be cashed for their full value, were not allowed to pay their taxes, owed to the state, with their notes.  As a result, many lost their homes and were jailed as debtors.  
    This Constitution created the conditions which resulted in the Shays Rebellion six years later.
   The events of 1786 remain shrouded in disinformation, exactly as we still experience today from the same elite as well as the Main Stream Media. 

Shays' Rebellion  


    In 1786 thousands of former Revolutionary soldiers, many decorated for their service, took up arms in response to the confiscatory actions of the government most of them had risked their lives to create.
    Beginning in Massachusetts, former soldiers and citizens began closing the courts because of the injustices being visited on them and their fellow citizens by the established elite who ignored the right of ordinary citizens to participate in the governing of Massachusetts. 
   The belief all people would have equal voices was the pivotal reason participation in the Revolution had been nearly universal.  Elite families participated in the Revolution but were far fewer in numbers.  The war could not have been won without the people.
   The elite was made up of wealthy individuals and speculators who profited by a practice, which by design, impacted only those with more limited financial means. Notes for Consolidating State Debt were issued to former soldiers to be honored in the future during the war.  These were accepted in good faith by these same men. 
   After the close of the war  soldiers who received Notes could not even use them to pay their taxes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which had issued them.
    The bicameral General Court for Massachusetts was then writing laws which made it impossible for some of these men, now farming and struggling to feed their families, to keep their property. Bicameral legislatures weighed to the benefit of the elite, in this case, speculators.   
     Facing the loss of property and bankruptcy, veterans were forced to sell these notes at a tenth their face value. Those purchasing them were friends and relations of the elite ensuring these notes could not be otherwise used. 
     It was wrong – and the ordinary people of Massachusetts objected, asking these wrongs be amended in many pleas over a period of years.  But these civil attempts to obtain justice were ignored.  The needed changes to the Massachusetts Constitution, voted into law in 1780, were not made.
     The assembly for the vote was held in Boston, far from the homes of most ordinary citizens.  The Assembly was scheduled for winter.  That winter had been so severe few towns in the West could make their way through the snow to vote.
    The word, “Regulator,” then referred to an ordinary citizen who joined with others to correct the wrongful actions of their government.  Action by Regulators had taken place before the Revolution.  Now, they had the authorization of America’s founding mission statement to support them.
     Quoting the Declaration of Independence, men took up arms and closed the courts, which they had done prior to the Revolution for the same reasons. A minority of these men were struggling farmers, most of were veterans and respected members of their communities.  Many were more well-to-do.
    Calling themselves Regulators, meaning they, the people were empowered and required to regulate their government, were numbered in the thousands.  They were opposed by the elite who were profiting from the sale of the notes owed to ordinary people by this same government who had intentionally made it impossible for their voices to be heard and their votes counted. 
       The elite asserted the need of government to remain in their hands, acting to make this fact.  In effect, a disinformation campaign was carried out.  The facts recently surfaced through the diligent research of 
       Shays' Rebellion was recharacterized by the same elite.  Participants were described as debtors and denigrated.  But town leaders and decorated veterans made up the bulk of their numbers.  
      These false statements were used to persuade figures such as George Washington of the need for a strong central government to protect them from the 'mob.'
         This expression of sentiments led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.  In so doing it ignored the right of states to exercise a veto.  The Articles of Confederation needed a unanimous vote of all states to act, but this requirement was ignored.