The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 25
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The Sources of the Mexican Acta Constitutiva
character of the executive, as in the federal government, was
not defined; it was merely stated that the exercise of this power
should be for definite periods established by the states.22 The
constitutions of the states were to conform entirely to the federal
constitution and to the federal laws.23
In the denial to the states of any control over foreign com-
merce, over the making of treaties with foreign countries, and
over the maintenance of military and naval forces, there is an
almost verbatim statement of the provisions of Section 10 of
Article I of the constitution of the United States.24 The only
marked evidence of Spanish precedent in this connection is the
requirement that states should annually transmit to the federal
government a statement regarding their finances and regarding
the condition of industries within their boundaries.25
Coupled with the assumption that Mexico, was a wholesale bor-
rower from the United States there has gone another belief that
it was greatly influenced by the political changes within France,
and, nearer home, by those within Colombia. Such an assump-
tion does not duly consider the fact that, during the opening
years of the nineteenth century, Mexico did not have the same
intimate intercourse with Europe that the South American coun-
tries did. An examination of the debates of the constituent as-
sembly reveal surprisingly few references to French political
changes or to French political philosophy.
The Colombian constitution, adopted at Rosario de Cucuta in
1821, evidences clearly the influence of French political changes.
Narino had suffered imprisonment for his translation and publi-
cation of the "Rights of Man" in Colombia. Arosemena has
pointed out that these "were the sparklings of the French revo-
lution which arose in America in spite of the vigilance of the
'peninsulars' and prepared it for the shock of 1810."26 Further-
more, the Colombian minister at this time occupied a particu-
larly in luential position at Mexico City, since Colombia had been
"Acta Constitutiva, Art. 22.
2albid., Art. 24.
4lbid., Arts. 27, 28, 29.
"6Ibid., Art. 32.
2"Arosemena, Justo, Estudios constitucionales sobre los gobiernos de la
America latina, I, 28.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/31/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.