The Book of the Is (2013)
The previous charge might raise some eyebrows as it looks a lot like what has happened. We can look at why Madison said this wouldn’t happen, as discussed in Federalist 58, and maybe we can see why one for every thirty Thousand is a fair and agreed upon number.
In Federalist 58, Madison again places the charge to be defended in the title: “Objection That The Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Considered.” Madison and the others saw the problem clearly and even anticipated what we now face. Here is also where we see an assumption made by the Constitutional Convention breakdown: the founders thought the large states would defend this principle.
Perhaps it just hasn’t happened yet, as it probably will be the large states that will demand House augmentation. Madison: “There is a peculiarity in the federal Constitution which insures a watchful attention in a majority both of the people and of their representatives to a constitutional augmentation of the latter.”
I see how Madison is still going to be correct; he and the others thought augmentation would take place because the general population in the larger states would demand it. If states like California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, if they demanded constitutional representation, they would achieve it.
This “peculiarity” hasn’t materialized only because the large states haven’t demanded it. Madison wrote that from the interest of the large states: “it may with certainty be inferred that the larger States will be strenuous advocates for increasing the number and weight of that part of the legislature in which their influence predominates.” Madison argued that if there were problems, the general population could step in by building a coalition of the constitutionally willing:
Should the representatives or people, therefore, of the smaller States oppose at any time a reasonable addition of members, a coalition of a very few States will be sufficient to overrule the opposition; a coalition which, notwithstanding the rivalship and local prejudices which might prevent it on ordinary occasions, would not fail to take place, when not merely prompted by common interest, but justified by equity and the principles of the Constitution.