Close Encounters of the Congress Kind: Times When The House was Closely Divided Between the Parties

The average difference between the two major parties in the House of Representatives at any time in American history is sixty. That being said, there are a few times where one, two or nine seats separated the two major parties in Congress. Sometimes it was Democrats and Republicans. Sometimes it was Whigs and Democrats. You want to be speaker, you scramble. You make a deal with a Socialist, or a Know-Nothing. You find a guy who nobody hates and make him Speaker, hoping that person will listen to. Or you hold out for as long as you can ballot after ballot until people get tired. The record is the 65th Congress in 1917, where one seat separated the two. With a close house arriving in 2023, We look at American history for these times.