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1906 United States House of Representatives elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1906 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1904 November 6, 1906[Note 1] 1908 →

All 391[Note 2] seats to the United States House of Representatives
196 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
John Sharp Williams.jpg
Leader Joseph Cannon John Sharp Williams
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Illinois 18th Mississippi 8th
Last election 251 seats 135 seats
Seats won 224[1][2][Note 3] 167[1][2]
Seat change Decrease 27 Increase 32

Speaker before election

Joseph Cannon

Elected Speaker

Joseph Cannon

Elections to the United States House of Representatives in 1906 were held for members of the 60th Congress, in the middle of President Theodore Roosevelt's second term.

As in many midterm elections, the President's Republican Party lost seats to the opposition Democratic Party, but retained a large overall majority. Dissatisfaction with working conditions and resentment toward union busting among industrial laborers in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest caused these groups to turn out to the polls in large numbers in support of the Democratic Party. However, gains in these regions were not enough to remove the Republican majority or the firm support that the party held among the middle class.

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It’s always interesting to delve a little bit in the democratic history of a country. Now, in autocratic Russia it was very short-lived. Following the Russian-revolution of 1905 a “constitution” and “parliament” were established… and yes, those quotation marks definitely belong there. The quote of parliament’s chairman seems fitting, as he once exclaimed: Thank God we still do not have a parliament. -intro- Tsar Nicholas gives in It was the summer of 1905 and the Russian revolution following the Bloody Sunday massacre was in full swing. During this time leadership among the unorganized strikers emerged and so-called soviets, worker’s councils were established. Tsar Nicholas thought about resorting to a violent crackdown, as he had often done before. Several ministers, among them Sergey Witte, the minister of finance, managed to convince the Tsar to refrain from doing so. Nicholas wrote in his diary about these events, lamenting that it made him physically ill that he couldn’t act decisively, but had to listen to his ministers. He remarked they acted as if they were headless chickens, and considering the situation he probably was right. Nicholas realized he had two options: a full-fledged military crackdown, or granting civil rights and a parliament, a duma. The latter option meant a constitution had to be written. On the thirtieth of October nineteen-o-five Tsar Nicholas signed a document that became known as the October manifesto. It transformed Russia into a constitutional monarchy… in theory. The manifesto promised civil rights, a national legislative assembly, universal manhood suffrage and freedom of speech, assembly and association. Rather progressive for a country that seemed stuck in its old autocratic ways, and this document went further than what the Tsar had promised after the Bloody Sunday debacle. The manifesto, furthermore, declared that no law could be issued without the Duma’s approval, and as such, one of the main demands of the population was met. The politicians of the middle-class got what they wanted: the revolution had been a success. … At least, that’s what most Russians that celebrated the manifesto thought. And perhaps it could have been that way, if it had not been for the stubborn Tsar and his advisers that had not yet learned their lessons from that year. The Tsar and his advisors had not yet realized the necessity of true reforms, and the fact they had to be honest about what they promised. Sergey Witte had been the Tsars main advisor throughout this entire crisis, and he persuaded the Tsar to accept the manifesto, but Witte simply considered it a means to protect the monarchy and autocratic government, not so much the spread of enlightenment ideals. He was noted as saying: “I have a constitution in my head, but when it concerns my heart, I spit on it.” The manifesto immediately achieved goal it was meant to achieve. The revolution lost all its leverage and the authority of the soviets evaporated. The strikers returned to their work and, while leaders of the strikes kept preaching violent revolution in order to establish a democratic (or not-so democratic in case of the Bolsheviks) republic, these calls to action didn’t have much effect. In the middle of November the Saint Petersburg soviet called for a new strike, but it barely met any response and Sergey Witte ordered the arrest of its leaders, Leon Trotsky and Alexander Parvus. The leadership of the uprising transferred to the Moscow Soviet for a short time, but they misjudged the situation when they urged for an armed uprising, on the twenty-third of December, which was subsequently suppressed by Tsarist troops. That was the official end of the revolution of nineteen-o-five. The Democratic Experiment Between nineteen-o-six and nineteen-seventeen, Russia had its first, and only, democratic experiment until after the fall of the Soviet Union, over 7 decades later. It wasn’t a widespread, large scale experiment, though. The First State Duma elections dominated the first couple of months of nineteen-o-six. All men above the age of twenty-five could cast their vote, and there were 478 seats to be divided, but only landlords of whom the lands exceeded one-hundred-and-sixty hectares, could vote directly. The other categories of electorate, peasants and inhabitants of cities for example, could only elect through an electoral college. The result was that a relatively small class of landlords owned thirty-one percent of the vote, while peasants had forty-two percent and the population of cities had twenty-seven percent. A complete disproportionate way to divide the votes. In March the general elections took place. These were boycotted by revolutionary parties on the far left: the Bolsheviks among others, and the right-wing Union of Russian Peoples. The liberals, on the other hand, held an intensive campaign, lead by the Constitutional Democratic Party, the so-called Kadets, under Pavel Milyukov. These received the most seats, namely one-hundred-and-seventy-nine. The Trudoviks under Alexey Aladyin received ninety-seven seats, the Progressive party under Ivan Yefremov received sixty, Alexander Guchkov with his Octobrists received sixteen and the Social Democrats, the Mensheviks, under Julius Martov received eighteen seats. Before the Duma could even assemble, however, the Tsar undermined its authority… Classic. On the sixth of May Nicholas issued a major revision of the Constitution, stating that “The Tsar of the Russians possessed the essence of the supreme sovereign power and obedience to his commands was mandated by God.” This was the answer of Tsar Nicholas to the people that had wondered how much freedom he would grant the new Duma. In order to prevent the Duma from containing his own power, he created a State Council of which half its members were appointed by the Tsar himself, including its chairman. Nicholas decided he had the right to declare war, to appoint the head of the Orthodox Church and to dissolve the Duma whenever he found it necessary to do so. The ministers were accountable just to the Tsar, and they couldn’t be fired, not even by a vote of no confidence by the Duma. So in reality there was no democracy and the Duma couldn’t change the course of Russia, but couldn’t it really? The Duma in itself resembled the containment of the Tsars autocratic power, and that was something new when it came to the politics of the Russian Empire. The First Duma The first Duma officially opened on the tenth of May, with the Tsar and his court attending in the Winter Palace. The council he saw before him, as Witte had predicted, was a peasant-Duma, but it was a Duma that was opposed to him as well. There were one-hundred-and-ninety-one peasants of the four-hundred-ninety-seven members. The peasants were the largest group in parliament, with the constitutional democrats following closely with one-hundred-and-eighty-four seats, more than any other party. To the left of them there were over a hundred delegates ranging from social revolutionaries to social democrats, elected, regardless of their boycott. Not even fifty seats were allocated to people that were to the right of the Cadets. Between sixty and seventy delegates represented non-Russian ethnicities, and even though they had all these differences, the absolute majority of the delegates was very critical about the Tsar and his ministers. As the delegates assembled in the Tauride Palace, the permanent location of the Duma, Sergey Muromtsev was elected as President of the Duma. One of the first moves was to present an ‘address to the throne’ in which political amnesty, ministerial responsibility, abolishing the death penalty and direct representative voting rights were demanded. These demands were more than the Tsar would ever allow, and he made it clear that he wasn’t planning on allowing any of this. The Russian Prime Minister, Ivan Goremykin was sent to the Duma in order to set the delegates straight. While a law prohibiting capital punishment was passed, a motion of no confidence of the government and Prime Minister Goremykin was adopted. The Duma would only last seventy-three days before the government dismissed it. Two-hundred delegates fled to Vyborg, Finland. Much to their dismay there was no reaction from the Russian population. The first, timid steps towards a parliamentary democracy had collapsed, and exactly those that had fought for this parliamentary democracy kept silent. Stolypin in Power The dismissal of the First Duma wasn’t the end of the first constitutional experiment, however. Goremykin was replaced by Pyotr Stolypin as Russia’s prime minister. Stolypin was a man with a much stronger character, who didn’t think dismissing and ignoring the Duma was the right way to go. No, The Duma had to be transformed and used to the advantage of the monarchy. The second Duma was instituted in February nineteen-o-seven. Its composition was nearly entirely different, only thirty delegates from the First Duma remained but because the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries did not boycott this election, on the surface of it the composition of this Duma was even more hostile than the previous one. The Cadets were outnumbered by their more radical colleagues, there were more than two-hundred left-wing delegates, and only around forty on the right. Neither wanted the Duma to succeed and together they managed to paralyze its political power. Stolypin found a way to dismiss the Duma after one-hundred-and-three days, in what became known as the Coup of June. Basically, Stolypin accused fifty-five Social Democrats of planning a violent uprising and wanted their parliamentary immunity revoked, the Duma, obviously, refused and the Duma was subsequently dismissed. After the Second Duma was dismissed, Stolypin changed the electoral law in such a way that he could be certain the composition of future Duma’s was more favourable to the gentry, landowners, monarchists and nobility, all at the expensive of the less ‘loyal’ groups of the population: workers, peasants and non-ethnic Russians. The constitutional democrats, those that had one-hundred-and-eighty-four seats in the first Duma, owned merely fifty-eight in the third one, with parties on the right-wing suddenly skyrocketing to one-hundred-eighty-five seats. The dominating party was the right-wing monarchist Octobrist party under Alexander Guchkov, who became the chairman of the Duma. Now, by playing around with the electoral system in the way that Stolypin has done, he created a Duma that was -more or less- willing to do as he wanted. He didn’t have to resort to dismissing the Duma and the third Duma actually completed its full five year term, from nineteen-o-seven to June nineteen-twelve. The fourth Duma would last until February nineteen-seventeen. It survived the First World War, but would not survive the February Revolution. The last 2 Dumas were pliable, earning the nickname the “Duma of Lords and Lackeys”. Any serious resistance to the Tsar was banished. As for Pyotr Stolypin; he was assassinated in nineteen-eleven. There had been ten assassination attempts on his life and in Kiev, during a concert, Dmitry Bogrov, a Socialist Revolutionary, shot him twice. Stolypin was replaced by his Finance Minister, Count Vladimir Kokovtsov. And this Kokovtsov summarized his opinion about the Duma in one simple sentence: Thank God that we still do not have a parliament. Reflections As you can tell, the Duma has never been a parliament in the way that Western Europe, especially France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands had a parliament. The Duma has never been able to properly assert influence in Russia’s domestic, or foreign policies. Those rights were reserved for the Tsar. But it would be a gross mischaracterization to state that Russia’s parliamentary experiment was worthless. Russia was a large, under developed country and after centuries of autocratic rulers, it would have been an impossible task to transform it to a parliamentary democracy in less than a decade. Though, objectively taking notice of the transformations Russia went through during that time, it is remarkable how much progress was made in this short period, and the four Duma’s did make serious attempts at solving several problems. The mere existence of the Duma was already important as she became the centre of political life: reports about debates that were held filled newspapers, gazetas, read throughout the entire country, and public political debates were encouraged by these reports. While conservatism was dominant, even after nineteen-o-five, and Stolypin managed to control the Duma, this period was still a period of incredible political activity in Russia. And as for its delegates: they learned how to use their constrained power in the most effective possible way. They could approve and dismiss the budget, occasionally force ministers to step down and the third and fourth Duma both approved legislation regarding land-reform, attempting to improve the conditions of the peasantry. The Russian education system drastically improved during this time and, everything taken into account, there were some commendable achievements, especially if you consider how much their power had been constrained and the stubbornness of the tsar. The First World War, however, was to break out in nineteen-fourteen and three years later the revolutions of nineteen-seventeen would end Tsarist rule forever. But that’s a story for another time, thank you for watching this video and what is a person or event in Russian political history that you would like to know more about and perhaps see a video of? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and if you enjoyed this video consider subscribing to my channel. See you next time.


Election summaries

Five new seats were added for the State of Oklahoma, admitted on November 16, 1907.

223 1 167
Republican IR Democratic
State Type Total
Republican Democratic
Seats Change Seats Change
Alabama District 9 0 Steady 9 Steady
Arkansas District 7 0 Steady 7 Steady
California District 8 8 Steady 0 Steady
Colorado District
3 3 Steady 0 Steady
Connecticut District
5 5 Steady 0 Steady
Delaware At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Florida District 3 0 Steady 3 Steady
Georgia District 11 0 Steady 11 Steady
Idaho At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Illinois District 25 20 Decrease 4 5 Increase 4
Indiana District 13 9 Decrease 2 4 Increase 2
Iowa District 11 10 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1
Kansas District[Note 4] 8 8 Steady 0 Steady
Kentucky District 11 4 Increase 2 7 Decrease 2
Louisiana District 7 0 Steady 7 Steady
Maine[Note 5] District 4 4 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District 6 3 Steady 3 Steady
Massachusetts District 14 11 Steady 3 Steady
Michigan District 12 12 Steady 0 Steady
Minnesota District 9 8 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1
Mississippi District 8 0 Steady 8 Steady
Missouri District 16 4 Decrease 5 12 Increase 5
Montana At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Nebraska District 6 5 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1
Nevada At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady
New Hampshire District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
New Jersey District 10 6 Decrease 3 4 Increase 3
New York District 37 26[Note 3] Steady 11 Steady
North Carolina District 10 0 Decrease 1 10 Increase 1
North Dakota District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Ohio District 21 16 Decrease 4 5 Increase 4
Oklahoma[Note 6] District 5 1 Increase 1 4 Increase 4
Oregon[Note 5] District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District 32 25 Decrease 6 7 Increase 6
Rhode Island District 2 1 Steady 1 Steady
South Carolina District 7 0 Steady 7 Steady
South Dakota At-large 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee District 10 2 Steady 8 Steady
Texas District 16 0 Steady 16 Steady
Utah At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont[Note 5] District 2 2 Steady 0 Steady
Virginia District 10 1 Steady 9 Steady
Washington At-large 3 3 Steady 0 Steady
West Virginia District 5 5 Steady 0 Steady
Wisconsin District 11 9 Decrease 1 2 Increase 1
Wyoming At-large 1 1 Steady 0 Steady
Total[Note 2] 391 224[Note 3]
Decrease 26 167
Increase 31
House seats
  House seats by party holding plurality in state     80.1-100% Democratic    80.1-100% Republican     60.1-80% Democratic    60.1-80% Republican     Up to 60% Democratic    Up to 60% Republican
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80.1-100% Democratic
  80.1-100% Republican
  60.1-80% Democratic
  60.1-80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Republican
  Net gain in party representation     6+ Democratic gain    6+ Republican gain     3-5 Democratic gain    3-5 Republican gain     1-2 Democratic gain    1-2 Republican gain     no net change
Net gain in party representation
  6+ Democratic gain
  6+ Republican gain
  3-5 Democratic gain
  3-5 Republican gain
  1-2 Democratic gain
  1-2 Republican gain
  no net change

Election dates

In 1906, three states, with 8 seats among them, held elections early:

Oklahoma was admitted in 1907 and held its first congressional elections on September 17, 1907.

Complete returns

Party abbreviations


District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
California 1 James Gillett Republican 1902 Ran for governor
Republican hold
William F. Englebright (R) 54.1%
F. W. Taft (D) 39.9%
J. C. Weybright (S) 5%
R. L. Webb (Pro) 1.1%
California 2 Duncan E. McKinlay Republican 1904 Re-elected Duncan E. McKinlay (R) 51.8%
W. A. Beard (D) 44.8%
A. J. Gaylord (S) 3.4%
California 3 Joseph R. Knowland Republican 1904 Re-elected Joseph R. Knowland (R) 60%
Hugh W. Brunk (D) 21.5%
Charles C. Boynton (IL) 10.1%
William McDevitt (S) 7%
T. H. Montgomery (Pro) 1.3%
California 4 Julius Kahn Republican 1898 Re-elected Julius Kahn (R) 62.4%
David S. Hirshberg (D) 33.2%
Oliver Everett (S) 4.4%
California 5 Everis A. Hayes Republican 1904 Re-elected Everis A. Hayes (R) 52.6%
Hiram G. Davis (D) 41.9%
Joseph Lawrence (S) 5.5%
California 6 James C. Needham Republican 1898 Re-elected James C. Needham (R) 55.6%
Harry A. Greene (D) 37.8%
Richard Kirk (S) 3.8%
Herman E. Burbank (Pro) 2.8%
California 7 James McLachlan Republican 1900 Re-elected James McLachlan (R) 56.8%
Robert G. Laucks (D) 28.4%
Charles Ribble (S) 9.3%
Levi D. Johnson (Pro) 5.6%
California 8 Sylvester C. Smith Republican 1904 Re-elected Sylvester C. Smith (R) 55.6%
Charles A. Barlow (D) 34.5%
Noble A. Richardson (S) 9.9%


District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
Florida 1 Stephen M. Sparkman Democratic 1894 Re-elected Stephen M. Sparkman (D) 86.5%
C. C. Allen (S) 13.5%
Florida 2 Frank Clark Democratic 1904 Re-elected Frank Clark (D) 88.2%
J. F. McClelland (R) 11.8%
Florida 3 William B. Lamar Democratic 1902 Re-elected William B. Lamar (D) 93.4%
T. B. Meeker (S) 6.6%

South Carolina

District Incumbent Party First
Result Candidates
South Carolina 1 George Swinton Legaré Democratic 1902 Re-elected George Swinton Legaré (D) 99.3%
Aaron P. Prioleau (R) 0.7%
South Carolina 2 James O'H. Patterson Democratic 1904 Re-elected James O'H. Patterson (D) 95.3%
Isaac Myers (R) 4.7%
South Carolina 3 Wyatt Aiken Democratic 1902 Re-elected Wyatt Aiken (D) 100%
South Carolina 4 Joseph T. Johnson Democratic 1900 Re-elected Joseph T. Johnson (D) 98.7%
David C. Gist (R) 0.9%
Others 0.4%
South Carolina 5 David E. Finley Democratic 1898 Re-elected David E. Finley (D) 100%
South Carolina 6 J. Edwin Ellerbe Democratic 1904 Re-elected J. Edwin Ellerbe (D) 100%
South Carolina 7 Asbury F. Lever Democratic 1901 (special) Re-elected Asbury F. Lever (D) 97.6%
Aaron D. Dantzler (R) 2.4%

See also


  1. ^ Three states held early elections between June 4 and September 10.
  2. ^ a b Including late elections
  3. ^ a b c Includes 1 Independent Republican, Peter A. Porter, elected to NY-34.
  4. ^ At-large district eliminated in redistricting.
  5. ^ a b c Elections held early.
  6. ^ New state.


  1. ^ a b "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives* 1789–Present". Office of the Historian, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Martis, pp. 160–161.


External links

This page was last edited on 14 November 2019, at 00:09
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