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The Texas Constitution has been through many changes. Because, throughout its history, has learned from its mistakes. One significant constitutional change has been the Post-Civil War Constitution of 1866. This, yet being another document, signifies that Texas would rejoin into the Union, abolish slavery, and declared secession illegal. Although those were the most important changes to the newly made constitution, there were other modifications to the document made by the delegates.
This included that power of the legislative branch stay the same, but they increased the pay to now eight dollars a day. Also, changes to the governor’s term changed to four years but couldn’t serve more than eight years in any of a twelve year period. The governor was also allowed to veto on appropriate bills. The number of supreme state judges changed from three to five judges and they could serve up to ten years. There is also a change in how the district judges were elected and that is by popular vote for an eight year term. Lastly, the constitutional amendment was also changed to have three-fourths of both the legislative houses and the approval of the government to make future proposal revisions.
The Reconstruction Constitution of 1869 stayed that the Constitution of 1866 was invalid after Republicans could overpower the U.S congress and took the action to station military governments on one-time confederate states. This constitution also stated new requirements to states reentering the union. These states had to come up with new constitutions that fit well with the Reconstruction Acts. But, this constitution convention of 1869 soon disappeared because there were too many differences and Texas failed in making a final draft of the constitution, so the military gathered obtainable materials and finalized the Constitution of 1869. The new document stated that the U.S Constitution was the supreme law of any land, slavery was abolished, and the law was equal to every person.
The term of the senators were exceeded to six years and legislative sessions would be held every year. Dealing with the executive branch, the governor chose who the attorney general and Secretary of State; The rest were voted by popular vote. The Supreme Court justices reduced to a number of three and their terms shortened to nine years. The judicial judges would now be appointive. Also, the constitution added a compulsory school attendance law and stated that the state of Texas were to supervise education. Since African Americans were now considered free, the Radical Republicans they got public support so they able to vote, and the fourteenth amendment made it clear they were guaranteed equality before the law.
Lastly, when Democrats regained control of state government in 1873 with the help of Radical Republican Governor Edmund J. Davis, the first goal of Democrats was to plan a new constitution, The Texas Constitution of 1876. Because there was a lot of tension at the Constitutional convention because of the “granges” they all proceeded to abandon the style of the constitution of 1845 and decided to make a lengthy, detailed document. This constitution limited the power of each branch of Texas government. The legislative sessions that were going to be held each year were going to be limited to 140 days. Salaries were decreased and now they were going to manage the budget more efficiently. The revisions also restricted the governor’s appointment powers.
The judicial branch power was also limited by dividing it into two sections, the civil cases and the criminal cases. And last changes included were that all judges now were voted by popular vote with short terms.
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