The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 165
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Spanish Source of the Mexican Constitution. 165
division. 'The Spanish document gives in full the method of holding
elections, this was not made part of the Mexican constitution, but
became a separate law, following the details closely in prescribing
the system of substitutes -and the meeting of primary -assemblies,
'which elected electors, who again elected other electors, 'who in their
turn chose the provincial or the state deputies to the Congress. Elec-
tions in both cases were held on Sunday and religious processions,
services, exhortations and to deums were prescribed. In Mexico as
in Spain in electing deputies substitutes also were chosen, at the
ratio of one substitute for every three deputies. In Spain the king,
in Mexico the President, opened Congress with a speech, to which in
both the presiding officer was to reply "in general terms." In com-
paring the powers of the two legislatures we note equal emphasis on
national higher education, freedom of the press, and individual
responsibility of the members of the cabinet to the 'congress. In
general the powers ,of the Mexican congress may be traced in those
.of the Spanish cortes and of the king, besides several evidently taken
from the United States, and others local in origin. Legislation in
Mexico might be initiated by Congress, the President, or by the state
legislatures, in Spain by the cortes .and by the king. In the Mexican
as in the Spanish constitution an absolute majority was required to
pass bills, which in Mexico might be vetoed as in the American sys-
tem, the royal veto of course being inappropriate in a Republic.
There 'were in both property qualifications for members of the
legislative bodies, but in Mexico this applied, only to naturalized for-
eigners who in Spain were debarred from membership in the Cortes.
In both a candidate might stand in the district of his residence as
well as that 'of his birth; the former .district must be preferred in
case of plural elections. In both practically the same classes of per-
sons were debarred from becoming candidates.
During the recesses of the legislative bodies permanent commit-
tees, elected from the membership of the Cortes and of the Congress,
sat with delegated powers to watch over the observance of the consti-
tution and the laws (and incidentally to watch the executive). This
important body of course is lacking from the American .system,
though a similar body had existed under the Articles of Confeder-
In vesting the executive power in a President rather than in a
monarch 'a mingling of American and Spanish ideas may be expected.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/175/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.