The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899

Development of the Texas Judicial System. 29

SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE JUDICIAL
SYSTEM OF TEXAS. I.
JOHN C. TOWNES.
[These articles embody the substance of several lectures given in the
Pleading and Practice Course in the Law Department of the Univer-
sity of Texas. They have been condensed and arranged for publica-
tion at the request of parties interested in the subject and in THE
QUARTERLY. To the lawyer and the student of governmental institu-
tions the collection and citation of authorities, it is hoped, will be val-
uable. If they shall stimulate in any degree a desire to study Texas
institutions in the light of her own history, the purpose of their publi-
cation will have been attained.-J. C. T.]
(All rights reserved.)
The jurisprudence of Texas is in many respects different from
that of any other country. It is a resultant of the combined forces
of the Civil and Common law. For centuries these two great sys-
tems of jurisprudence have controlled the governments of South-
ern and Western Europe, the Civil law having its sway over the
Latin, and the C-ommon law, over the Anglo-Saxon and kindred
peoples. In connection with them in their several jurisdictions
has grown up the splendid civilization of Europe. As these several
European nations established their colonies in the New World each
colony brought with it the traditions, habits, and character of its
parent state; -and these influences of the Old World determined, to a
large extent, the character of the several social and governmental
institutions of the New.
England was a -Common law country, and in all her colonies,
that system 'was the base of colonial jurisprudence. Spain held
most rigidly to the ancient Roman or Civil law 'and that system
was the base of the jurisprudence of all her A'merican dependencies.
Neither system could be transplanted intact. The natural and
social conditions in the two hemispheres were too different, and
each code of laws received characteristic modifications, first by
those in authority in Europe, and subsequently by the colonists
and their descendants. The respective characteristics of the

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/. Accessed September 21, 2014.