Congress Timeline: From Scandals to Reforms
The United States Congress has gone through many scandals and reforms throughout its history. Here’s a timeline of some of the most significant events:
Late 1800s Priveleged Congress
In the late 1800s, Congressmen were seen as privileged individuals who used their power for personal gain, leading to scandals such as Credit Mobilier and the Whiskey Ring.
1900s-1930s Progressive Era and Civil Rights
The early 1900s saw the start of the progressive era, with Congress passing reform-minded legislation such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Federal Reserve Act. In the later part of the century, Congress focused on civil rights issues, including passing the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1970s The Watergate Scandal
One of the most infamous scandals in Congress was the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, resulting in the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the formation of more rigorous government oversight.
1980s-present Familiarization and technology upgrades
In the 1980s and beyond, Congress continued to push for reform, including term limits, lobbying regulations, and campaign finance reform. With the advent of modern technology, Congress also embraced social media as a means of increasing transparency and accountability for lawmakers.
In recent years, Congress has also addressed issues such as climate change, gun control, and healthcare reform. While there’s still work to be done, it’s important to reflect on the history of Congress and how far we’ve come.
As American political philosopher Hannah Arendt once said, “Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one’s desires, but by the removal of desire.” It’s individuals who pass and propose laws, vote, and drive public opinion that make the difference.
There’s still work to be done, but we can take solace in the fact that Congress has a history of rising above its scandals and turning towards reforms that benefit the greater good.