Author:
Kris Seago
Subject:
Government/Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Level:
Academic Lower Division
Provider:
Austin Community College
Tags:
ACC Liberal Arts, ACC OER
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Constitution Of Coahuila And Texas (1827)

Overview

Constitution Of Coahuila And Texas (1827)

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand the Constitution Of Coahuila And Texas (1827)’s role in Texas history

Introduction

This section discusses the Constitution Of Coahuila And Texas (1827)’s role in Texas history.

Constitution Of Coahuila And Texas (1827)

Consitution of Coahuila and Texas
Figure 2.5 Photo by Francisco Macías: Political Constitution of the Free State of Coahuila & Texas. Sanctioned by the Constitutional Congress of the said state, on the 11th of March, 1827.

 

The Constitution of 1824 of the Republic of Mexico provided that each state in the republic should frame its own constitution. The state of Coahuila and the former Spanish province of Texas were combined as the state of Coahuila and Texas. The legislature for the new state was organized at Saltillo in August 1824, with the Baron de Bastrop representing Texas.

Map of Coahuila and Texas
Figure 2.6 Coahuila y Tejas (Coahuila and Texas) was one of the constituent states of the newly established United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution. Image credit: Milenioscuro, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Constitution of Coahuila and Texas divided the state into three departments, of which Texas, as the District of Bexar, was one. The Catholic religion was made the state religion; citizens were guaranteed liberty, security, property, and equality; slavery was forbidden after promulgation of the constitution, and there could be no import of slaves after six months. Citizenship was defined and its forfeiture outlined. Legislative power was delegated to a unicameral legislature composed of twelve deputies elected by popular vote; Texas was allowed two of the twelve. The body, which met annually from January through April and could be called in special session, was given wide and diverse powers. In addition to legislative functions, it could elect state officials if no majority was shown in the regular voting, could serve as a grand jury in political and electoral matters, and could regulate the army and militia. It was instructed to promote education and protect the liberty of the press.

Executive power was vested in a governor and vice governor, elected for four-year terms by popular vote. The governor could recommend legislation, grant pardons, lead the state militia, and see that the laws were obeyed. The vice governor presided over the council and served as police chief at the capital. The governor appointed for each department a chief of police, and an elaborate plan of local government was set up. Judicial authority was vested in state courts having charge of minor crimes and civil cases. The courts could try cases but could not interpret the law; misdemeanors were tried by the judge without a jury. Military men and ecclesiastics were subject to rules made by their own orders. Trial by jury, promised by the constitution, was never established, nor was the school system ever set up. The laws were published only in Spanish, which few Anglo-Texans could read. Because of widespread objections to government under this document, the Convention of 1833 proposed a new constitution to give Texas statehood separate from Coahuila

 

References and Further Reading

Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la época colonial (Mexico City: Editorial Cultura, 1938; 2d ed., Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1978).

Nettie Lee Benson, "Texas as Viewed from Mexico, 1820–1834,"

Southwestern Historical Quarterly 90 (January 1987).

The Constitution of Mexico, and of the State of Coahuila and Texas

(New York: Ludwig and Tolefree, 1832).

Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898).

Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855).

Handbook of Texas Online, S. S. McKay, "CONSTITUTION OF COAHUILA AND TEXAS," accessed August 23, 2019.

Licenses and Attributions

CC LICENSED CONTENT, ORIGINAL

Revision and Adaptation. Authored by: Kris S. Seago. License: CC BY: Attribution

Revision and Adaptation: Constitution of Coahuila and Texas. Authored by: John Osterman. License: CC BY: Attribution