All the citizens were expected to attend the annual town-meeting, and such male inhabitants as were not citizens were privileged to attend and to propose and discuss measures, although they had no right to vote.
Interested cliques could control the business of the town-meeting in ordinary times, and boisterousness marred its democractic excellence in exciting times.
A school committee consisting of any number of members divisible by three is chosen, one-third each year, at the annual town-meeting or at a special meeting which is held in the same month.
In Massachusetts, as in New England generally, the word " town " is used, officially and colloquially, to designate a township, and during the colonial era the New England town-meeting was a notable school for education in self-government.
Thus for nearly two centuries it preserved intact its old " town " government, disposing of all its affairs in the " town-meeting " of its citizens.