• This rationale, which justified the mixed constitution of Great Britain, might have made some sense in 1776, but by 1787 most American thinkers had come to believe that all parts of their balanced governments represented in one way or another the sovereign people. They had left the Aristotelian idea of mixed estates - monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy - way behind. [John] Adams had not, and his stubbornness on this point caused him no end of trouble.