What is the length of a term in the U.S. Senate?


A United States senator, upon election, serves a term of six years. Each state is represented by two senators, as determined by delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution designated the term length in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention as a compromise among those seeking strong and independent representation and those on edge about aristocratic and tyrannical dangers, according to the U.S. Senate website. The possibility of having three senators was briefly debated, but the delegates compromised by dictating two senators for each state and proportional representation based on population size in the House of Representatives.

State constitutions individually set much shorter terms, all but five giving state senators one-year terms. Maryland set the longest term for its state senators at five years, a move that was praised by the framers of the Constitution for emulating the national standard.

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