Constitutions Are More Than Fancy Looking Words On An Old Sheet Of Paper

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Constitutions are more than fancy-looking words on an old sheet of paper; they are the foundation of all successful nations. The job of a constitution is to legitimize, organize, provide power to, and limit the power of government (Newell et al. 40-42). The United States itself and all of its states have constitutions, including Texas, that aim to meet those needs. The Texas Constitution, written in 1876, is the second longest state constitution in the nation (Texas GOVT 2306- Week 3 Texas Constitution). The first section of the wordy Constitution is the preamble, followed by sixteen articles divided into subsections. The material in the document can be broadly described as “details of policy and governmental organization” (Newell et al.…show more content…
Constitution. The term Jacksonian democracy refers to allowing common men to participate in government. Jacksonian democracy had a large impact on the Texas Constitution because people who moved to Texas were not aristocratic, and, therefore, mostly common men (“Texas 1821-1836”). These people wanted a fair say in their government and received that when they directly voted directly for the Texas Constitution of 1876 (Newell et al. 45). The fact that citizens directly chose it shows that the Texas Constitution was influenced by Jacksonian democracy. The influence of those ideals can also be observed in Article V — the judicial article. The Texas Constitution states “Justices shall be elected,” which shows how important it was to Texans to keep the government accountable to the people (Ituah). This empowerment of common men was influenced by Jacksonian democracy. Reconstruction also had a great impact on the Texas Constitution. During Reconstruction, mandatory changes were made to the constitution to comply to Union standards. These changes included abolishing slavery and declaring secession illegal. Many of these changes lived on into the current Texas Constitution (Newell et al. 44). Reconstruction also caused Texans to resent strong governments and to crave the power they lost during Reconstruction. This hatred of strong government caused the creation of the plural executive branch (Newell et al. 45). Texans were afraid that too much power would be given
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