Texas Almanac, 1947-1948 Page: 51
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CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
The present Constitution of Texas was
x itten by a convention which convened at
Austin, Texas, Sept. 6, 1875, and adjourned
Nov. 4, 1875, and was ratified by the people
Feb. 15, 1876.
Early Texas State and National Constitutions.
First constitutional government in Texas
was under the Mexican Constitution of 1824.
On March 11, 1827, a State Constitution was
put in effect for the State of Coahuila-Texas.
Both the Mexican National Constitution and
thai of the State of Coahuila-Texas contained
many guarantees of liberties to which the
Anglo-American colonists had become accus-
tomed before leaving the United States But
there were some omissions, and, fui the-
more, there was little fulfillment of the paper
guarantees in many instances.
Constitution of Texas Republic.
Independence of Mexico was declared
March 2, 1836, and a Texas National Consti-
tution was adopted in convention March 17.
It was ratified by the people Sept 5, 1836
The first State Constitution aftei annexa-
tion was written in contention. July 4 to
Aug 7, 1845. ratified by the people on Oct
13, 1845, and approved by the Congress of the
United States and President Polk Dec 29,
Under Southern Confederacy.
When Texas seceded, the Constitution of
1845 was subjected to general amendment by
a convention which met at Austin March 2
and adjourned March 25, 1861. This Constitu-
tion of 1861 served Texas while it 1as a
member of the Confederacy After the sur-
iender of the Confederate armies, a conxen-
tion met in Austin Feb. 7, 1866, and remained
in session during March and part of April,
producing a new State Constitution which
was to some extent another revision of the
Constitution of 1845. It was ratified by the
people the following June, but did not be-
come operative because the state was placed
by the Federal Government under military
Reconstruction and Present Constitutions.
Two years later a military-dominated con-
stitutional convention was convened in Asen Austin,
June 1, 1868, and after remaining in session
until Feb. 6, 1869, adjourned without com-
pleting Its task. This convention was com-
posed of the "radical" element and carpetbag
faction. The task of completing the draft of
this Constitution was assigned to the Secre-
tary of State, and the new document was
ratified by the people (those who were per-
mitted the franchise) Nov. 30, 1869. It was
under this Constitution that Gov. E. J. Davis
served his four-year term, which terminated
in the near-war f are in Austin when Richard
Coke was elected In 1873. With the return of
the old electorate of Southern sympathizers
to political control with the election of Coke,
agitation was begun for replacement of the
"radical" Constitution of 1869, resulting in
the adoption of the present Constitution of
Texas in 1876.
Length and Character of Constitution.
The Constitution of the State of Texas is a
document of approximately 35,000 words, one
of the longest of the forty-eight State Consti-
tutions. It is approximately five times as long
as the Constitution of the United States. It
is characterized by the great amount of de-
tail contained, much of which is of the nature
of what is usually statutory law This is
attributed by historians and those in the
profession of law to the fact that the State
Constitution was adopted in 1876 at the end
of the period of great confusion and uncer-
tainty. The writers of the Constitution be-
lieved that democratic government could
be safeguarded only by diffusing authority
in such a way as to make it impossible for
any official to exert great authority, and by
prescribing minute limitations on the agen-
cies of government.
Amendments Proposed, Submitted, Adopted
There have been, consequently, numerous
amendments. From the adoption of the Con-
stitution in 1876 to Jan 1, 1947, about 1,700
resolutions proposing amendments to the
State Constitution have been introduced in
the Legislature Of this great number. 172
have receied the two-thlrds vote required
to bring about submission to the voters of
the state Of these 172 proposed amendments.
95 have been adopted, 75 have been rejected,
1 was xoted for submission but never sub-
mitted, and 1 was submitted illegally and
later withdrawn (These data on amend-
ments are from "The Development of the
Constitution of Texas by Formal Amend-
ment." by Dr. L. C. Riethmayer.)
Order of Text and Notes.
Below is the text of the Constitution of the
State of Texas as amended through the elec-
tions of Nov. 5 and Nov 7. 1946. Each sec-
tion that has been amended since adoption
of the original text of the Constitution in
1876 is followed by a parenthetical note gix-
ing the following information (1) Whether
amendment was by adding a new section or
by alteration of an older section of the same
number, (2) number of times section has
been amended, (3) substance of changes
effected by all amendments including former
amendments that have been supplanted by
later amendments, and (4) cates of adoption
of all amendments including past amend-
ments that have been supplanted.
Index to Constitution.
A summary index to the contents of the
Constitution is printed on pages immediately
following the text of the Constitution (See
Text of Constitution
Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty
God, the people of the State of Texas do
ordain and establish this Constitution
ARTICLE I.-BILL OF RIGHTS.
That the general, great and essential prin-
ciples of liberty and free government may be
recognized and established, we decla e
Sec 1. Texas Free and Independent-
Texas is a free and independent State. sub-
ject only to the Constitution of the United
States, and the maintenance of our fee in-
stitutions and the perpetuity of the Union
depend upon the preseation of the right of
local self-goernment, unimpaired to all the
Sec 2. All Political Power Is Inherent in
the People.-All political power is inhetent
in the people, and all free governments are
founded on their authority, and instituted for
their benefit The faith of the people of
Texas stands pledged to the preservation of
a republican form of government, and, sub-
ject to this limitation only, they hate at all
times the inalienable right to alter, refoi mn
or abolish their government in such manner
as they may think expedient.
Sec. 3. All Free Men Have Equal Rights.-
All free men, when they form a social com-
pact, have equal rights, and no man or set
or men, is entitled to exclusive separate
public emoluments or privileges but in con-
sideration of public services.
Sec. 4. There Shall Be No Religious Test
for Office.-No religious test shall ever be
required as a qualification to any office or
public trust in this State. nor shall anyone
be excluded from holding office on account
of his religious sentiments, provided he ac-
knowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
Sec. 5. How Oaths Shall Be Administered -
No person shall be disqualified to give evi-
dence in any of the courts of this State on
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Texas Almanac, 1947-1948, book, 1947; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117136/m1/53/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.