1913 - The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing direct election of United States Senators, is declared ratified.
Amendment XVII (the Seventeenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution proposed on May 13, 1912 and ratified on April 8, 1913 and first in effect for the election of 1914, amends Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution to provide for the direct election of Senators by the people of a state rather than their election or appointment by a state legislature. It was passed and ratified during the Progressive Era. It states:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.