Constitution of the Republic of Texas
The Constitution of the Republic of Texas was written in 1836 between the fall of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio and Sam Houston's stunning victory at San Jacinto. The constitution was written quickly and while on the run from Santa Anna. It was written by George Childress along with Sam Houston.
Comparison to the United States Constitution
The Constitution generally followed the U.S. Constitution. Many clauses are word-for-word duplicates of clauses in the American constitution, and many others are paraphrased.
The Texas Government was composed of a House of Representatives, a Senate, and a President. Representatives and Senators served terms of one and three years, respectively. However a three-year term limit was placed on the president, he was elected by popular vote instead of by an electoral college, and he was not allowed to run for direct re-election (indirect was allowed). In an effort to reduce religious influences, the constitution prohibited clergy from holding office.
Slavery was legalized and the head of each household was given a sizable land grant. The constitution also denied citizenship to African-Americans and Native Americans. Furthermore, it made it illegal for slaveowners to emancipate their own slaves without the consent of Congress.
- Rupert N. Richardson, Adrian Anderson, and Ernest Wallace, Texas: The Lone Star State (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993), p. 110.
- Constitution of the Republic, 1836 from Gammel's Laws of Texas, Vol. I. hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
- Text of the Constitution.
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