Texas Constitution

A couple centuries ago, to be specific 1827 was the year of the very first Texas Constitution. The first Texas constitution was called, The Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas. The population of what is now Texas was about four-thousand. Before declaring its independence from Mexico, Texas operated under the Mexican Constitution where there were two houses of congress. The lower house was composed of deputies serving two year terms. In the upper house, senators served four year terms and were selected by state legislatures. Texas’s break with Mexico was in large part a constitutional crisis that culminated in separation. Political conventions were held because the Texas citizens weren’t happy with the placement they had under the Mexican system. The fact that none of the demands of the citizens were granted by the Mexican government, calls for separate statehood for Texas emerged. The 1836 convention drafted a constitution for this newly proposed state modeled. The state has produced six constitution since the 1827.

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The sixth and final constitution was ratified in 1876. Ever since the constitution of Texas has been modified almost 500 times since it was initially adopted. It has created thousands of conflicts from the result of so many amendments. Anything anyone would say gets approved and added to it. Reasons being because most of the state senators and legislatures believe that, the constitution does not provide an adequate foundation system for governing a growing urban state, now in the twenty first century. But they make certain changes that benefits their social groups, or else these legislatures wouldn’t be changing it so much. John E. Paynter was right. The Texas constitution was awfully written and it’s a great example of how not to write one, along with the Alabama constitution. I believe John said this because the constitution is so disorganized and not well structured and there are over 500 modifications to prove that it’s been awfully written. It seemed as if it was written overnight. It is harshly too long and confusing. It wasn’t written in a way that it would permanently stick throughout the future for say like the U.S Constitution. The Constitution of Texas in my point of view should be rewritten with new type of language form that it would be précised to the point so it is clear to understand.

Reasons being: The Texas constitution is almost a hundred thousand words long with over 500 modifications, it is way too long and disorganized, making it difficult to adequately understand. Resulting from many addition of so many amendments, the constitution is now one of the longest and most confusing constitutions out of all 50 states in the United States. Another even more alarming problem the Texas Constitution has, is the fragmented executive branch. The governor doesn’t have control over other states authorities, instead, he shares authority with them. The governor’s powers are limited. Another problem it has is the high level of detail. The high levels of details are accompanied by confusing organizations. Coverage of individual subject areas can be excruciating to read. For example areas like local governments are found in several different parts of the constitution. In those parts the constitution has some gaps where whole sections have been repealed. This means an entire articles have been repealed leaving only the title but no text. That’s a great example of why John E Paynter stated that “you don’t ever write a constitution like Texas’s.” I believe the reasons why this constitution has been such a failed was because the framers didn’t invest enough time and didn’t think threw before writing this constitution.

They refused to hire to a stenographer, some may say it was because they didn’t want to spend public money. The language used in the 1870s can seem very unclear. But there’s no doubt this document could of used some professional editing and transcription. In conclusion these are only a few burdens caused by this outdated Constitution of Texas. Texans would need a lot of courage to try and fix these problems, however, major constitutional revision won’t happen without the demand of the citizens. It is very unlikely we would ever see a state leader take on a challenge this big and difficult without the incentive of voter support. So we must as citizens take the initiated to fix the problem now so we can prevent future modifications.

Anthony Champagne, Edward J. Harpham. “Governing Texas- An introduction to Texas Politics” Pg 69-90

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