The historical factors behind the origins of bicameralism in the United States
McCarthy, Matthew James
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Though Americans have tended to be untheoretical or undogmatic in their politics, they have persistently believed that a two-house legislature is superior to one having a single chamber. John Adams long ago expressed the attitude which has become traditional when he wrote: "A single assembly is liable to all the vices, follies, and frailities of an individual, subject to fits of humor, starts of passion, flights of enthusiasm, partialities, or prejudices, and consequently productive of hasty results and absurd judgements." The purpose of this paper is to present as clearly as possible the historical background for the adoption of two houses, a subject so extenuous that few have hazarded it. The procedure to be followed is to discuss the various circumstances state by state which brought about bicameralism leaving out those states whose experiences paralleled each other or whose records were too scanty to provide an adequate analysis. These commonwealths include Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vermont plus an account of bicameralism and the Constitutional Convention of 1787. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.
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