The story necessarily begins with the states. After the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the thirteen formerly British colonies became the first states. The leaders of the new states wanted to avoid anything like the British tyranny they had just defeated. In trying to avoid that abuse, they had reshaped their new state governments in ways that gave the most power to the people through their elected legislators. State executive offices were intentionally made weak by assigning executive powers to multiple leaders or committees.1
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- There were exceptions, such as New York.
Image: Reading the Declaration of Independence, by E. Abbey, Harper’s Weekly