The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 31
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Development of the Texas Judicial System. 31
This development may be conveniently, though somewhat arbi-
trarily, divided into two periods-the first extending from the es-
tablishment of the Mexican Republic, in 1824, to the annexation
of Texas to the United States, in 1845; the second extending from
annexation to the present time. The first of these periods we may
designate as the formative, and the second as the modifying.
A court may be broadly, though somewhat technically, defined
as an agency created by the sovereign to determine rights and
apply the sanctions of the law to individual conduct. The aggre-
gate of such agencies, with their co-ordinated powers, existing in
any government, constitutes the judicial system of that govern-
ment. The character of this system depends upon the kind and
number of these agencies; and these, in turn, depend largely,
though not 'entirely, upon four considerations: first, the concep-
tion held by the sovereign of the purposes to be accomplished by
these agencies and the power necessary to be conferred upon them;
second, the basis of the distribution of this power among the sev-
eral agencies; third, the number and kind of officers who are to rep-
resent or constitute.such agencies; and, fourth, the methods of pro-
cedure in such agencies. Other elements enter in but these are the
most potent. It would be tedious 'to attempt to trace the changes
in these several regards in the development of our system and no
effort will be made to do so. Still it 'will be well to bear these
thoughts in mind as we consider the subject.
At the beginning of this century, Texas was an undeveloped
Spanish province, inhabited almost exclusively by Indians 'and Mex-
icans. Soon thereafter, a few emigrants from the United States set-
tled within her borders. At first, they were without influence, but as
time passed and their numbers increased, they grew in importance
and strength until, in 1836, they were powerful enough to suc-
cessfully resist the military despotism of Santa Anna and establish
an independent nation. For approximately ten years this national
existence was maintained, .and then the Republic of Texas volunta-
rily became one of the United States of America.
During this period, the history of Texas is one of intense inter-
est and great suggestiveness. Probably the life of no other people
shows such rapid advancement, or, in the same length of time,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/35/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.