The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 217
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Jose Bernardo Gutidrrez de Lara
main much as it had under Spanish rule. The governor would continue
to appoint a military officer to oversee each of these settlements."
The new constiution of Texas made only one reference to inhabitants
as citizens (ciudadanos). The superior court was to name five men, from
among "the most discreet and intelligent citizens," to help decide crimi-
nal cases. This quite limited reference to citizenship is striking, especially
since the idea of citizenship was central to the liberal Spanish constitution
of 1812 as well as to the Mexican insurgency. Gutierrez himself had pre-
viously called upon the "ciudadanos" of Bexar to rise "en masse" for "Our
Independence." Unfortunately, we know little about the process by which
the Texas constitution of 1813 was drafted. It is quite likely that Gutierrez
negotiated the document's specific provisions with the junta, which sanc-
tioned his exercise of power within certain bounds.58
The Texas constitution gave supreme authority to the governor over
the army, foreign relations, and the execution of laws. The junta mean-
while gained a significant role-at least on paper-over military, judicial,
and political affairs. For example, the junta had the authority to choose
the governor-initially a rather symbolic act since Gutierrez had already
assumed the status of "Protector" (Amparador) of the state of Texas. More
important, the governor could undertake no military campaign without
the junta's assent. The council had the right, moreover, to dismiss its
nominees for office, including the governor. This provision was a signifi-
cant constitutional change from the old colonial order, in which gover-
nors of Texas served at the Crown's pleasure. Gutierrez himself conceived
of the junta as embodying the concept of "national representation,"
thereby bringing the people of Texas into the Mexican Republic.'
As Gutierrez was forming a government, he received a startling report
claiming that Jos6 Alvarez de Toledo was plotting to displace him as the
head of the Republican Army, and then to betray the "Mexican Patriots"
to the Spanish. This intelligence, which Gutierrez received by April 1 1,
" For an analysis and English translation of the constitution, see Kathryn Garrett, "The First
Constitution of Texas, April 17, 1813," SHQ, 40 (Apr, 1937), 290-308. William Shaler forwarded
a Spanish language copy of the constitution to the State Department following his letter to Mon-
roe of May 14, 1813 See Special Agents MSS. I have not found evidence of whether a new cabildo
was actually organized under Gutierrez. For an analysis of local government, see Elizabeth May
Morey, "Attitude of the Citizens of San Fernando Toward Independence Movements in New
Spain, 1811-1813," (M.A thesis, University of Texas, 1930).
"8 For Gutidrrez's use of "ciudadanos," see his proclamation to Bexar of Sept. 1, 1812, Bexar
Archives, 52: 361. See alsoJaime E. Rodriguez O., The Independence of Spansh America (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1998), 86-92. Though the Texas constitution provided some safe-
guards for civil liberty, it limited the rights of those individuals accused of crimes against the Re-
pubhc during war. See Garrett, "First Constitution of Texas," 30o6-307.
9 Garrett, "First Constitution of Texas," 30o6-307; Almariz, Tragic Cavaler, 13-14. The title of
"Protector" and the concept of "national representation" are found in the Texas declaration of in-
dependence [Apr. 6, 1813], in Operaciones, Arredondo, IV, 2o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/269/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.