Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson - Part 1 Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Robert Caro
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Part 1 Chapter 3 Summary

Institutional inertia intensified after the end of World War II and the root cause was the phenomenon of seniority, instituted only 1845. How long a senator had served in the Senate automatically determined his right to join the committees that did all the important work, including writing, debating, amending bills and determining which bills would ultimately come to a vote by the full Senate. Whether qualified or not, a senator could claim membership on any committee and be given it if no one with more years of service wanted it. The senator of the majority party with the most seniority in a committee was its chairman and controlled every aspect of its activities. The committee became his lifelong fiefdom. The Senate's effectiveness and prestige declined as this pattern solidified.

By the time LBJ reached the Senate, seniority determined where a senator sat...

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This section contains 1,249 words
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Buy the Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson Study Guide
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