How'd the California guy get to Washington?
January 10, 2008 6:41 AM Subscribe
American history question: before modern transportation, how much time did congressmen spend in Washington and how much in their home states? Especially those from, say, California. And how long did the journey take?
posted by creasy boy to Law & Government (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm reading the Federalist Papers, where Madison argues that "the natural limit of a republic is that distance from the center, which will barely allow the representatives of the people to meet as often as may be necessary for the administration of public affairs". Of course he thinks that the thirteen states are not too large for this. However, it occurs to me:
--back then, the trip from Maine to DC must've been a son of a bitch;
--the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. California was made a state in 1850. For those 19 years, did the California representatives ever have time to go back home?