The First Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836)

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The first constitution of Texas adopted on March 1, 1836 opens with these words, “We, the people of Texas, in order to form a Government, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and general welfare; and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves, and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution”. (“Constitution of Republic of Texas” pp. 9-25.) Created in 1836, the first Constitution of the Republic of Texas was born. Fearful of attack by Mexican troops, fifty nine delegates, borrowing from other State Constitutions and the United States Constitution, met at the Washington-on-the-Brazos to write the first Constitution for Texas as an independent unitary body of Government. (Haag…show more content…
(Haag and Keith p. 37) Adapted from Spanish-Mexican law, tax exemptions, protection of homesteads, and community property rights, were some of the most important provisions put into the 1836 constitution that Texas adopted upon its separation from Mexico. (Ericson, Joe E.) Evolving from the English criminal court system, the provisions calling for the application of judiciary law were widely used and preferred by most white American settlers when trying criminal court cases. (Ericson, Joe E.) Provisions adopted from other Southern States were a direct reflection of where most of the fifty nine delegates who drafted the first Texas Constitution came from. (Ericson, Joe E.) Priests were not allowed to hold a public office, there was the abolishment of imprisonment for debt, and short office terms of representatives and judges were all provisions that reflected the uncommon practices of a Southern Jacksonian view point. (Ericson, Joe E.)
One main provision and the longest provision under the general provisions of the 1836 Texas Constitution that took precedence over all other laws and provisions were related to land. Centered around the protection of the rights of the people who had come to Texas because of the attraction of Texas lands, Section ten under General Provisions of the first constitution states, “All citizens now living in Texas, who have not received their portion of land, in like manner as

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