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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-08-02-0161-0002
40. In one of its most far-reaching decisions, the convention replaced this paragraph, which gave the governor an absolute veto, with two new ones called Art. II, providing for an override of a veto by a two-thirds vote of each branch of the legislature. All his life JA continued to believe that this revision was a serious error, even though the framers of the U.S. Constitution adopted the idea. He believed the chief executive should hold the balance between the two chambers, one ideally representing numbers, the other, property. JA was probably not surprised by the convention's action, however, for he had predicted several years before that Massachusetts would not accept an unqualified executive veto ( JA to Roger Sherman, 20 July 1789, JA, Works , 6:432; JA to Elbridge Gerry, 4 Nov. 1779 [below]; JA to James Warren, 12 May 1776, vol. 4:182).