Lv 7
Frank asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 6 years ago

Has there ever been fighting in Congress?

Physical fighting that is... in the united states congress?

If not, how about Italy? Japan? France? ETC?

Fist fighting, kicking, etc.

10 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, here are some examples of Legislative fighting in both Federal Congress as well as State Congress:

    February 15, 1798: Federalist Congressman Roger Griswold of Connecticut attacked Vermont Representative Matthew Lyon with a hickory walking stick in the chambers of the United States House of Representatives.

    May 22, 1856: Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina famously assaulted Charles Sumner of Massachusetts

    February 5, 1858: Congressman Laurence Keitt of South Carolina was involved in another incident of legislative violence less than two years later, starting a massive brawl on the House floor during a tense late-night debate. Keitt became offended when Pennsylvania Congressman (and later Speaker of the House) Galusha A. Grow stepped over to the Democrat side of the House chamber while delivering an anti-slavery speech. Keitt dismissively interrupted Grow's speech to demand he sit down, calling him a "black Republican puppy". Grow indignantly responded by telling Keitt that “No slave-driver shall crack his whip over me.” Keitt became enraged and went for Grow's throat, shouting that he would "choke him for that". A large brawl involving approximately 50 representatives erupted on the House floor, ending only when a missed punch from Rep. Cadwallader Washburn of Wisconsin upended the hairpiece of Rep. William Barksdale of Mississippi. The embarrassed Barksdale accidentally replaced the wig backwards, causing both sides to erupt in spontaneous laughter. Keitt would later die of wounds following the Battle of Cold Harbor while fighting for the Confederacy.

    February 24, 1887: The Indiana General Assembly experienced a massive brawl between Democrats and Republicans in the Indiana Senate and Indiana House of Representatives. The event began as an attempt by Democratic Governor Isaac P. Gray to be elected to the United States Senate and his own party’s attempt to thwart him.

    February 20, 1902: During a debate on a bill dealing with the Philippine Islands, Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina accused Senator John L. McLaurin of South Carolina of "treachery" for siding with the Republicans in support of Philippine Annexation, and alleged that McLaurin had been granted control of government patronage in South Carolina. Upon receiving word of this statement, McLaurin entered the Senate Chamber and denounced Tillman, upon which Tillman attacked him. During the fight, other senators were hit by the punches.

    June 7, 2007: During the final day of the 2007 regular session of the Alabama State Senate Republican Sen. Charles Bishop of Jasper punched Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe in the head before the two were pulled apart

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    June 15, 2011: During a vote of California budget state Assemblymen Warren Furutani and Don Wagner broke out in a fight over a comment Wagner made that Furutani deemed offensive.

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    As far as other countries you've listed goes, I couldn't find any records of Japan or France. But here are some other famous debacles, I'll save Italy for the last one (you probably have heard of it):

    U.K., 1972: During a dispute over the conduct of British soldiers on Bloody Sunday, Independent Socialist MP Bernadette Devlin punched the Conservative Party Home Secretary Reginald Maudling. Her aggression was in response to the comments made by Maudling, who was maintaining that the British Army had fired at Bloody Sunday protesters in self-defence, contrary to the testimonies of civilian eye-witnesses (including Devlin herself). She argued that she was being denied the right to speak. Her actions resulted in her being banned from the House of Commons for six months.

    Ukraine, 2012: Violent scuffles broke out in the Ukrainian parliament on 24 May 2012 during a debate over a bill which would allow the official use of Russian language in certain parts of the country.

    Taiwan, 2012: Two dozen members overwhelmed the Speaker's podium, which became a free-for-all between the ruling (DPP) and opposition (KMT) parties with punches and sprayed water, requiring at least one hospitalization. The fight was over an alleged delay of the annual budget.

    South Korea, 2009: A brawl broke out as The National Assembly passed three bills that is set to reform the media industry. Opposition MPs blocked the Speaker from entering the room to pass the bills while both sides clashed. The bills were eventually passed by the Deputy Speaker.

    Nigeria, 2010: A fight broke out in the National Assembly of Nigeria after a group of members were suspended for accusing the speaker of corruption

    Mexico, 2006: Hours before the scheduled Oath of Office ceremony for Felipe Calderón in the Legislative Palace, the legislature erupted in a brawl. It was the latest installment of the string of fistfights that rattled the Mexican legislature. The incident was broadcast on live television. In spite of such events the ceremony took place. Calderón entered the Congress chamber through a back door directly onto the podium, and in a quick ceremony took the Oath of Office amid jeers. Then, after singing the national anthem which silenced the opposition for a while, he took a quick exit rather than deliver his inaugural address to Congress (the traditional follow-up to the oath taking).

    India, 1989: Riots broke out in the state legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu over a vote.

    India, 1997: Riots broke out in the state legislative assembly in Uttar Pradesh with MLAs using microphones, chairs as weapons.

    And, of course, the most famous Legislative Fight in the history of the world:

    Rome, Italy: Roman general and dictator Julius Caesar was famously assassinated by a group of senators on the Ides of March, 44 BC during a meeting of the Roman Senate. The senators, led by Cassius and Brutus and calling themselves Liberatores, had conspired in secret to kill Caesar and considered various ways to do so. Ultimately, they decided to kill him during a meeting of the senate, since only senators would be allowed in the meeting and Caesar would be alone. The senators drafted a fake petition requesting that Caesar hand over power to senate; Caesar called a meeting of the senate to read it. When Caesar met the senators at the Theatre of Pompey, they stabbed him repeatedly with daggers concealed under their togas, killing him. Caesar's assassination lead to a civil war for control of the republic, ending ultimately with the rise of Caesar Augustus and the founding of the Roman Empire.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Yes. Don't recall exactly but prior to the civil war a southern rep nearly beat a northern to death with a cane. Not sure the exact dispute and they might have been Senators. How ever it did take place on the floor of whichever chamber. You should look up Taiwan. It use to happen often there.

  • Sum
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    I remember a story of a Southrn representative before the Civil War who went after another member of Congress with his cane. THOSE were the times when this country was divided. It's kind of amazing that we survived!

  • Beery
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Yes. It happened on at least two occasions before the US Civil War.

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  • 6 years ago

    Well, what would you call the duel between James Madison and Aaron Burr?

  • 6 years ago

    Yes. More than once.

  • 6 years ago

    not in American congress..but it happens often in the Indian parliment..and I believe in other countries as, Americans are a bit more happens often in parliments of south american congress as well..

  • Peace
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Mostly Asian countries.

  • 6 years ago

    yes over their pensions and bonus checks dr

  • jimmy
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    yes, there was even a duel with pistols!

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