The Main Idea : The Texas State Constitution defines and limits the powers of the
government. It is a long and complex document that has gone through many changes.
Today Texans live under two different Constitutions. One is the Constitution of the United States. The other is the State Constitution. Texas has had seven (7) constitutions in its history. The one used today was passed in 1876. It has 17 articles, or major parts. The chart below describes each.
The State Government has three parts, or branches. The Legislative Branch makes the laws. The Executive carries out the laws. The Judicial interprets what laws mean and punishes people who break the Law.
Dividing the Government into different parts, each with its own powers, is based on the idea called the separation of powers. Another idea in the Constitution is the system of checks and balances. This means that each part of the Government has some power to block the actions of another branch. These two steps stop any part of the Government from having too much power.
The Texas constitution can be changed. Over the years, Texans have made more than 400 changes.
Timeline: 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas
1845 1st Texas State Constitution ( Texas becomes the ____ State )
1954 Brown v. Board of Education ends segregation in public schools
federalism - the National and Local Government share power separation of powers - the division of the functions of government among branches check and balances - allows each branch of Gov’t to block the actions of the others
( this insures no one branch becomes more powerful than the other ) Constitution - a law set forth by a governmental authority veto - the Governor stops a bill from becoming a law Constitutions in Texas History
Functions of a Constitution
It makes a Government legitimate or legal
List duties of major officials
Limits the power of Government
Constitution of 1824 - Mexico’s Constitution of freedom from Spain that governed the Republic of Mexico
Constitution of Coahuila (Co∙we∙la) Y Tejas 1827 - Coahuila and Texas become one state, Promised the rights of liberty, property, and equality
Constitution of The Republic of Texas 1836 - Texas becomes an independent country, Split government into 3 branches; legislative, executive, and judicial
Constitution of 1845- Texas joins the U.S. as the 28th state, 1st state government
Constitution of 1861 - Texas joins the Confederate States of America