Kris Seago
Government/Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Academic Lower Division
Austin Community College
ACC Liberal Arts, ACC OER
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:

Course Inventories

The Evolution of the Texas State Constitution


The Evolution of the Texas State Constitution

Learning Objective

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the evolution of the Texas State Constitution and how it came to be in its modern-day form

Introduction: The Role of a State Constitution

A state constitution is the governing document of the state in much the same way the U.S. Constitution sets up the framework of the nation as a whole.

Many of the ideas found in the U.S. Constitution are also found in the Texas state constitutions, including individual rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, and republican government.

The First Texas Constitutions

Between the years of 1824 and 1876, Texas was at times a part of the United States of Mexico, an independent republic, a state within the Confederate States of America, and a state within the United States of America. Beginning in 1824, what we now know as Texas passed through many iterations—each with founding documents that can be accessed in this course.

These founding documents legally established the entity of Texas, set forth the rights and responsibilities of its people, and defined the scope and powers of its government.

The Texas Constitution of 1986
Figure 2.2 The Constitution of the State of Texas is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Texas. Image credit: courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Public Domain.


Texas State Constitutions

  • Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824
  • Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas 1827 
  • The Republic of Texas Constitution, 1836 
  • The State Constitution of 1845 
  • The Confederate Constitution of 1861 
  • The Post-Civil War Constitution of 1866 
  • The Reconstruction Constitution of 1869 
  • The Texas Constitution of 1876

Licenses and Attributions


Revision and Adaptation: The Evolution of the Texas State Constitution. Authored by: John Osterman. License: CC BY: Attribution

Introduction: Constitutions of Texas. Authored by: Kris S. Seago. License: CC BY: Attribution