1875-1876 Texas Constitutional Convention

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When the delegates of the 1875-1876 Texas Constitutional Convention came together, their main priority in drawing up a new constitution was to restrict the amount of power the state government had over Texans. After Texas suffered thought the corruption that occurred under the previous governor, Edmund J. Davis, the delegates wanted to ensure that a similar situation would never happen again. The first step they took towards that goal was writing a bill of rights, which would be the first article of the constitution. This article ensured that the people’s rights would be protected from the government such as “guaranteed liberty of speech and press, the right of the accused to obtain bail and to be tried by a jury, and the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.” …show more content…

Also, the governor could “make certain appointments, fill vacancies, and cause the laws to be faithfully executed but was given no control over local or other elected state officials.” Another measure taken to reduce the power of the state government was to limit the powers of the legislative branch. An article was included that specified what legislature could place taxes on and another one listed the areas which they were prohibited from making laws about. The delegates reduced the number of years officials could serve to four years in the senate and two years in the House of Representatives. They would only be allowed to meet biennially as opposed to annually as per the previous constitution. When it came to the judicial branch, the delegates chose to have judges elected by popular vote, in contrast with the previous constitution where judges were appointed by the governor. Additionally, the delegates created a court of appeals which was made up of three judges and would handle criminal cases so that the Supreme Court could focus on civil

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