Texas Constitution Research Paper

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“Humbly invoking the blessing of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas do ordain and establish this Constitution”—those are the opening words of the great Texas Constitution with which Texans authorize the state government to govern them. In history, whenever it becomes necessary and proper for a central power, either at the local or national level, to be ordained to govern a mass population a constitution is regarded as an emphatic “pre-requisite to statehood” (Tushnet, 1) . For centuries constitutions have been drafted by nations all over the world functioning as a social contract between the government and the governed and as a supreme law by which everyone within the nation’s borders would have to answer to. Constitutions not only …show more content…

This section is what establishes its premise and formally grants legitimacy of the Texas government. Then the very first Article contains the lengthy Texas Bill of Rights which enumerates the rights of Texas citizens. The document, then goes explicitly into describing the powers of the state government and its institutions with paramount details. To the framers of the constitution power distinction was elemental in securing the welfare of the people and safeguarding against a corrupt government, which was prevalent under the Constitution of 1869 (Ericson, Wallace). The problem which arises from such superfluous language in the Texas constitution is discerning the limitations which are, often times with constitutions, implied simply by looking at the outlined powers of the governing entity and the stated citizen rights and are therefore open for judicial interpretation. A constitution is supposed to legitimize a government, grant powers to governing branches with a system of checks and balances, outline citizen rights, and through the two latter functions distinguish the limitations of the government. The Texas Constitution literally states what each branch and its institutions can do and does not include anything in relation to a “necessary and proper clause” like that in the U.S Constitution to serve as a …show more content…

Following the first few years after adoption few amendments to the Texas Constitution were proposed and even fewer were adopted, but by the late 20th century the number of amendments had skyrocketed exceeding 200 amendments to the original 1876 document. Thus far in total the Texas Constitution has been amended a little over 474 times out of over 600 proposed amendments (Ericson, Wallace). Again, it is important to note that the reason behind this multitude of amendments is owing to the fact that when the original document was drafted the aim of the document was to restrict the state government to an extreme extent so as to insure that it operated with the public will in mind and to guard against possible corruption and power abuse that was prevalent under the previous Republican orchestrated constitution of 1869 (“Texas Politics-The Constitution”). The framers of the Texas Constitution of 1876, out of fear, placed many restrictions on state and local government activities from aspects such as governmental office terms and salaries, to spending activities, public school regulations, etc. In the long run however this proved to be a hindrance to the growing and rapidly urbanizing state and given that no provision was made in the constitution regarding another constitutional

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