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Massachusetts

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

The governor of Massachusetts is elected for a four-year term. The legislature (the General Court) has a senate of 40 members and a house of representatives with 160 members, all of whom serve two-year terms. Massachusetts sends 9 representatives and 2 senators to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes. The state is predominantly Democratic, but from 1991 it had only Republican governors—William Weld (1991–97), Paul Cellucci (1997–2001), Jane Swift (2001–3), and Mitt Romney (2003–7)—until Democrat Deval Patrick, the first African American to be elected governor of Massachusetts, won the post in 2006. Patrick was reelected in 2010.

Massachusetts is historically the capital of American higher education. Besides Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at Cambridge, noted institutions include Amherst College, at Amherst; the Univ. of Massachusetts, at Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester; Boston College, at Chestnut Hill; Boston Univ., Simmons College, and Northeastern Univ., at Boston; Brandeis Univ., at Waltham; Clark Univ., College of the Holy Cross, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, at Worcester; Mount Holyoke College, at South Hadley; Smith College, at Northampton; Tufts Univ., at Medford; Wellesley College, at Wellesley; Wheaton College, at Norton; Williams College, at Williamstown; and the nine institutions of the Massachusetts State Colleges. The state is also renowned for its private secondary schools, such as Phillips Academy (Andover) and for research centers such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, at Falmouth.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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