On April 8, 1913, the 17th amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This amendment called for the direct election of Senators. Prior to the passage of the amendment, Senators were chosen by the state legislatures. While the House of Representatives was to represent the people's interests, the Senate was supposed to represent the states. However, over time the selection of Senators became more and more contentious within states divided by opposing beliefs in the mid to late 1800s. There were many cases of deadlocked decisions resulting in delays for selecting state senators or even periods of time when states had no senators representing them at all.
The move for the 17th amendment to pass really became strong with the advent of the muckrakers and William Randolph Hearst's reporters doggedly reporting on cases of bribery and corruption amongst senators. The final amendment was proposed on May 13 1912 and took 330 days to be fully ratified. Only Utah rejected the amendment.