Comparing the U.S. and Texas Constitutions
Written in the immediate aftermath of a despotic government, the Texas Constitution is infused with language designed to limit and decentralize government. When the framers gathered at the Convention in 1875 they loathed their prior governor, the Radical Republican and former Union general, Edmund Davis, and were intent a man of his moral character should never be placed in a position of governmental power ever again. Another influential emotion was fear of having to scrape together tax money. In 1873, the economy stalled and many Texas residents were struggling to feed their families.
Most of the framers of the Constitution of 1876 were Grange members, which is the oldest agricultural advocacy group in the nation. They promote community promotion of agriculture to stimulate the economy. Since it would be in their best interests to preserve agriculture the constitution includes requirements to protect homesteads and severely curtailing the abilities of banks and railroads. Staying true to their beliefs, the framers allowed special interest groups to receive many protections or special privileges under the constitution and these parties are now unwilling to relinquish that provides them an exclusive advantage over most
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every other Texas citizen. Also, the Texas Constitution is so long, the second longest in the nation with over 400 amendments, because the regulations were not written as statutes, but placed in the main body of the constitution.
Although it can be argued the Texas Constitution offers more civil liberties such as freedom of the press, speech, religion, assembly, privacy, petition and from search and seizure, namely because their Bill of Rights is Article I and the U.S. Bill of Rights is an addendum to the 14th amendment. Prior to 1868, it only applied to the government and not the individual states, the Texas constitution itself guarantees them. Therefore, if the Bill of Rights had not been instituted, the Texas Constitution would certainly extend more civil liberties. In reality, however, the constitution was created by an agrarian, all Caucasian male contingent two hundred years ago that promoted their own establishment who still enjoys special privileges. That violates the civil liberties of other Texas citizens and makes it a severely outdated document.