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Texas Politics - The Constitution
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For more information on the state's Confederate constitution, see its Entry in The Handbook of Texas Online.

2.4    The Confederate Constitution of 1861

The Texas Secession Convention reconvened after voters ratified its proposal for secession from the United States, this time to manage the state's transition from the United States of America to the newly formed Confederate States of America.

This transition required adapting the existing Constitution of 1845 to the new situation. Time limitations as well as the power of example from the existing document, meant that most of the existing text was preserved intact. The Secession Convention mainly replaced references to the United States of America, emphasized the constitutionality of slavery, and asserted states' rights.

This rebel constitution was conservative in the sense that it did not make extensive changes to the existing constitution or body of laws and that it stepped back from a radical slavery agenda. While it eliminated the existing clause providing for the emancipation of slaves, it did not provide for the resumption of the African slave trade. Additionally, it retained all laws passed under the previous constitution that did not directly contradict the limited changes made under the new Confederate constitution.

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 115
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