Prior to the 1913 passage of the 17th amendment, Senators were elected by state legislatures. The reason for this was simple. State legislatures have more of an incentive to protect a federal system of separation of powers than do the people. Citizens of one state would be more likely to allow the federal government to expand its control over the states than the state governments themselves. The 17th Amendment was passed because of a procedural problem in the original concept and not because of a need to alter the balance of power. The procedural problem consisted of frequent deadlocks when the state legislatures were trying to select a senator. When deadlocked, a state would go without representation in the Senate. This happened to New York in the first Congress, going without a senator for 3 months. The 17th amendment, calling for popular election of senators, fixed the procedural problems, but also inappropriately and unintentionally altered the balance of power. Instead, the 17th Amendment should have fixed the procedural problems and left the balance of power between the states and the federal government intact. The result has been ever more massive expansion of federal power and a deterioration of individual liberty and state sovereignty. More wars are fought, more debt is accumulated, and power is centralized. Marijuana criminalization, many of these wars, the massive welfare state, and other unconstitutional actions may never have occurred with the ability of the states to check the central government. Thoughts?