Tennessee has had three constitutions, drafted in 1796, 1834, and the present one in 1870. Its executive branch is headed by a governor, elected for a four-year term. The state's legislature has a senate with 33 members and a house with 99. The state elects 2 senators and 9 representatives to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes.
Democrats dominated Tennessee politics from the Civil War onward, but their power has declined in recent years. Republican Don Sundquist, elected governor in 1994, was reelected in 1998. In 2002 a Democrat, Phil Bredesen, was elected to the office; he was reelected in 2006. Republican Bill Haslam was elected governor in 2010.
Among the state's many institutions of higher learning are the Univ. of Tennessee, chiefly at Knoxville; East Tennessee State Univ., at Johnson City; Fisk Univ. and Vanderbilt Univ., at Nashville; Tennessee Technological Univ., at Cookeville; Univ. of Memphis, at Memphis; and the Univ. of the South, at Sewanee.