Constitution of Coahuila and Texas

The Constitution of 1824 of the Republic of Mexico provided that each state in the republic should create its own constitution. The state of Coahuila and the former Spanish province of Texas were combined as the state of Coahuila and Texas. The Baron de Bastrop represented Texas. It took more than two years to frame the constitution, which was published on March 11, 1827.

The constitution had the following provisions:

  • It divided the state into three departments, including Texas, the District of Bexar.
  • The Catholic religion was the state religion.
  • Citizens were guaranteed liberty, security, property, and equality.
  • Slavery was forbidden and no slaves could be imported after six months.
  • Legislative power was given to twelve deputies who would be elected by popular vote; Texas was allowed two of the twelve. The deputies were given a great deal of power, including electing state officials if there was not a majority in the vote, serving as a grand jury in political and electoral matters, and regulating the army and militia.
  • The executive power was led by a governor and vice governor, elected for four-year terms.
  • The governor could recommend legislation, grant pardons, lead the state militia, and see that the laws were obeyed.
  • The vice governor oversaw the council and served as the police chief at the capital.
  • Judicial authority was given to state courts. The courts could try cases, but could not interpret the laws.

Trial by jury was promised in the constitution, but it was never established; trials were in front of judges. The laws were written in Spanish, which few Anglo-Texans could read. There was widespread opposition to the government under this document, so at the Convention of 1833 a new constitution was proposed to give Texas statehood separate from Coahuila.

Source: Constitution of Coahuila and Texas
Copyright © Texas State Historical Association

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