Constitutional Convention (United States) - Wikipedia
when did the Constitutional Convention meet? What was the purpose of the convention? The Constitutional Convention met in the summer of What great. Start studying Constitutional Convention - Philadelphia (May-September ). Articles need fixing, and are inadequate to meet challenges of s. On September 17, , a majority of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention approved the documents over which they had labored.
The district courts were given appellate jurisdiction over the county courts in probate matters. The article also mandated a court in each organized county with original jurisdiction over misdemeanors not granted to the courts of justices of the peace and certain civil cases and appellate jurisdiction in cases originating in the justice of the peace courts.
The commissioners' court was to consist of the county judge and four elected commissioners, one from each commissioner's precinct.
The article on education drastically changed the system established by the Republicans in In the first section the framers ordered the legislature to establish and make provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools but then added provisions that made that directive impossible. To support the system the article authorized the legislature to levy a poll tax of one dollar on all male inhabitants between the ages of twenty-one and sixty and to appropriate not more than one-fourth of the general revenue.
In addition, it set aside as a perpetual fund all proceeds from lands previously granted to the schools, including all the alternate sections of land already reserved for the state or afterwards reserved out of grants to railroads or other corporations as specified in the Constitution ofand the proceeds from the sale of one-half of all other public lands as prescribed by an act of the legislature in The document abolished the office of state superintendent, founded a board of education composed of the governor, comptroller, and secretary of state, eliminated compulsory attendance, provided for segregated schools, and made no provision for local school taxes.
The constitution further required the legislature to establish an institution of higher education for the instruction of the black youth of the state. To support the university and its branches the constitution set aside one million acres of the public domain, with all sales and proceeds therefrom to be placed in a Permanent University Fund.
It also provided that proceeds from the lands previously granted for the establishment and maintenance of the university including the fifty-league grant by the legislature in but not the one-tenth of the alternate sections of land granted to railroads and all future grants would permanently belong to the university. The constitution also provided for precinct voting and mandated a poll tax, but not as a prerequisite for voting.
It provided for homestead grants of acres to heads of families and eighty acres to single men eighteen or more years of age, and for protection against the forced sale of a homestead for debt. It declared railroads to be common carriers, forbade their consolidation and further aid in grant of money or bonds, and authorized the legislature to enact regulatory laws, including maximum freight and passenger rates. To promote the construction of new track, the document authorized the legislature to grant the railroads sixteen sections of public land for each mile of road constructed.
It prohibited the state from chartering banks but mandated the legislature to enact general laws for the establishment of private corporations other than banks, that would provide fully for the adequate protection of the public and individual stockholders.
Overall, the Constitution of complied with public opinion. It provided for biennial sessions of the legislature, low salaries for public officials, precinct voting, abolition of the road tax, and a return to the road-working system; for a homestead exemption clause, guarantees of a low tax rate, a less expensive, locally controlled, segregated school system, and a less expensive court system; for county and justice of the peace courts; and for popular election of officers.
It also prohibited the registration of voters and grants of money or bonds to railroads. The document was adequate for a rural people engaged principally in subsistence farming, but not for an urban-industrial-commercial society.
Very few changes were made during the first half century of the constitution's existence, but since then it has been changed at a steadily increasing rate. Changes are made through amendments submitted to the voters by consent of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature and approved by a majority of those voting. Of ninety-nine amendments submitted by Septemberonly forty-three were adopted, but by the voters had approved proposals.
No provision was made in the constitution for calling another constitutional convention.
- Constitutional Convention (United States)
- CONSTITUTION OF 1876
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On several occasions there has been considerable agitation for a new document, but the voters defeated a proposal for a constitutional convention inand in they rejected an extensive revision prepared by the legislature. The constitution's more than 63, words make it one of the most verbose of state constitutions.
Its wealth of detail causes it to resemble a code of laws rather than a constitution. Its many requirements and limitations on both state and local governments make it one of the most restrictive among state constitutions.
Some of its passages are so poorly drafted as to need clarification for understanding, and others have been declared by the Texas Supreme Court to be beyond interpreting. Finally, since many of its provisions relating to the same subject are scattered widely throughout the text, a detailed index is necessary.
Most of the numerous amendments have dealt with the legislature, the judiciary, public education, and state finances. Those relating to the legislature have generally removed existing limitations on legislative action. Changes in the article on the judiciary have been so sweeping that the article has been almost completely rewritten. Alterations in provisions relating to public education have also removed original limitations and permitted expansion of the public school system.
Provisions relating to the state's financial system have been altered to permit adoption of new expenditure programs and exploitation of new sources of revenue. Other constitutional changes have relieved some of the burden of detail imposed on the governor's office inrevamped the basic suffrage requirements, altered the method of chartering municipal corporations, lengthened the term of office for many state and local officials, and established an ever-growing number of specifically allocated funds in the state treasury.
In spite of its cumbersomeness, of its need for frequent amendment, and its occasional obscurity, however, Texans have continued to hold on to the Constitution of The Constitution also limits the powers of the states in relation to one another.
Because the United States Congress has been given the power to regulate interstate commerce, the states are limited in their ability to regulate or tax such commerce between them.
A few of these protections are found in the main body of the Constitution itself. For example, Article I, sections 9 and 10 prohibits both ex post facto laws, which punish conduct that was not illegal at the time it was performed, and bills of attainder which single out individuals or groups for punishment. Most Constitutional protections for individual rights are contained in the Bill of Rights, which constitute the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
The protections of these amendments were originally interpreted to apply only against the federal government, but the Supreme Court has since ruled that most of them were made applicable to the states by passage of the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause after the Civil War.
The Fourteenth Amendment also contains the equal protection clause, which protects citizens from discrimination by the states on the basis of race, sex and other characteristics. Permanent Protections of a Constitution In a democracy without a written constitution, such as the United Kingdom, the legislature may pass laws granting or taking away any rights, or even changing the structure of the government itself.
Continental Congress - HISTORY
A Constitution is more difficult to alter, and the framers of the American Constitution made it especially difficult to amend. An amendment must first pass both houses of Congress by a two-thirds majority and must then be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. In a sense, this makes the Constitution an anti-majoritarian document. By binding the hands of future generations, it prevents a majority from granting tyrannical powers to the government in a time of crises.
It also prevents a majority from easily taking away the rights of minorities. And it prevents those in office from holding on to power by increasing their terms in office. A document that is so difficult to amend can become obsolete over time, if it is too detailed and inflexible.
For the most part, however, the Constitution is written in terms general or abstract enough to retain a core set of values yet be amenable to changing interpretations as called for by the times. The Structure of the Federal Government 1. Senators were originally chosen by the state legislature, but are now directly elected. The composition of the House and Senate represented a compromise between the larger states, which wanted a legislature based on population and the smaller states, which wanted equal representation for each state.
A majority of both houses must pass all bills, and if the President vetoes a bill, a two-thirds majority of both houses is required for the bill to become law. The powers of Congress are listed in Article I, Section 8, and Congress may not exercise any not power listed there. But those powers encompass many areas, including taxing and spending, coining and borrowing money, controlling interstate and foreign commerce, maintaining an army and navy, and declaring war.
Congress also has broad authority to delegate many of its powers to the President and to administrative agencies. Executive Branch The power of the executive branch is vested in the President.
The President is elected for a four-year term, not by direct election but by the electoral college.
Under this system, each state has a number of members of the electoral college equal to the number of members of the House and Senate.
The candidate who receives the largest number of votes in a state gets all the electoral votes of that state. The candidate with a majority of the electoral college becomes the President. If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the winner is chosen by the House of Representatives. To be eligible to be President one must be thirty-five years old and a natural born citizen of the United States.
Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no person may serve as President more than twice. The powers explicitly granted to the President in Article II are quite important, but limited in number.