*Party division totals are based on election day results.
The aftershocks of the war with Mexico rocked the 31st Congress (1849–1851). Mexico’s massive land cession to the United States precipitated a major sectional crisis over slavery in the new territory. Sectionalism in the House prevented the election of a Speaker for three weeks at the opening of the Congress. This relegated the House to a secondary role during the crisis. The focus instead turned to the Senate which initiated a complicated package of nine bills—known as the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise made an arduous, tangled journey to congressional passage in the fall of 1850.
To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section
1Elected April 17, 1850.
2Died April 13, 1850.
3Elected January 15, 1850.