Introduction: The Constitutions of Texas

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define a constitution
  • Discuss the constitutions of Texas
  • Describe the current constitution of Texas

A constitution is a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.

What distinguishes Texas from other states is its unique history as an entity—a state, a republic, a nation—and the documents that actually created what became the Texas we know today.

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 on this site. 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.

This chapter discusses those constitutions and introduces the Constititution of 1876–Texas’ current constitution.