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Maryland

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Maryland

A convention elected for the purpose of framing a new government adopted a declaration of rights and a constitution on November 9,1776. The declarations of rights contained provisions similar to those of the Virginia and Pennsylvania declarations, as well as a prohibition against bills of attainder. The constitution established a bicameral legislature, with the house of delegates elected annually by voters with 50 acres freehold or £30 property and the senate indirectly elected by an electoral college. Delegates were required to own £500 property and senators £1,000; all officeholders were required to be Christians. Money bills could be accepted or rejected by the senate but not altered by them. The governor and a five-member council were elected by a joint ballot of the legislature. There was no executive veto, but the governor and council did appoint judges, who served for good behavior, as well as other state officials. Changes to the constitution could be made by a majority of the legislature voting in two consecutive sessions.