Four Years of Congress
American Political Science Review
When the sixty-third congress was called in extraordinary session on April 7, 1913, it was the first time since 1895 that both branches of congress and the executive had been under Democratic control. For nearly two decades the policies of the nation had been shaped and directed by the Republicans. Now after many years the minority had become the majority, and a Democratic President sat in the White House. In the congressional elections of 1910, dissatisfaction with the Payne-Aldrich tariff and
... -Aldrich tariff and the growing friction between the conservative and progressive wings of the Republican party had given the Democrats a net gain of 56 seats in the house of representatives, and control of that body by a majority of 66 votes. The senate during the sixty-second congress, however, still remained Republican by a majority of 10 votes. In 1912 the three-cornered presidential contest had resulted in the election of Wilson by an unprecedented electoral vote, although he did not have a majority of the popular vote cast. The schism in the ranks of the Republican party and the drift that had set in toward the Democratic ticket had increased the Democratic representation in the lower branch of congress to 290, while the Republican representation had fallen to 145, including 18 Progressives who did not go into the Republican caucus and who could not always be counted on to vote with the minority. In the senate the Democrats had gained enough seats to give them a majority of 6, a net gain of 16 seats over their membership in the sixty-second congress.