Vermont is governed under a constitution adopted in 1793. The state legislature, called the general assembly, consists of a senate with 30 members and a house of representatives with 150 members, all elected to two-year terms. The governor is elected for a two-year term. In 2003, Jim Douglas, a Republican, succeeded Democrat Howard Dean, who retired after serving since 1991. Douglas was reelected in 2004, 2006, and 2008. In 2011, Democrat Peter Shumlin was elected to the post; he was reelected in 2012. Vermont sends two senators and one representative to the U.S. Congress and has three electoral votes.
The state's traditional devotion to the Republican party was evidenced in the presidential elections of 1912 and 1936, when Vermont was one of only two states in the union that voted Republican. This has changed, however, as the state's liberalism in cultural and environmental matters has turned it away from the Republican party. Since 1991, the socialist former mayor of Burlington, Bernard Sanders (who runs as an independent), has represented Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Among Vermont's institutions of higher education are Bennington College, at Bennington; Middlebury College, at Middlebury; Marlboro College, at Marlboro; Norwich Univ., at Northfield; the School for International Training, at Brattleboro; and the Univ. of Vermont, at Burlington.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.