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The Constitution of 1876 is the sixth constitution by which Texas has been governed since independence from Mexico was achieved in 1836 It was framed by the Constitutional Convention of 1875 and adopted on February 15 1876 by a vote of 136606 to 56652 and it remains the basic organic law of Texas The constitution contains some provisions that are uniquely Texan many of which are products of the states unusual history Some for example may be traced to Spanish and Mexican influence Among them are sections dealing with land titles and land law in general debtor relief judicial procedures marital relations and adoption and water and other mineral rights Other atypical provisions may be attributed to the twin influences of Jacksonian agrarianism and frontier radicalism-both prevalent when Texas first became a state and both widely supported by the bulk of immigrants to Texas before the Civil War Those influences produced sections prohibiting banks and requiring a stricter separation of church and state than that required in older states Reconstruction under the highly centralized and relatively autocratic administration of Governor Edmund J Davis and his fellow Radical Republicans prompted provisions to decentralize the state government Upon regaining control of both the legislative and executive branches of the government the Democrats determined in 1874 to replace the unpopular Constitution of 1869 They wanted all officials elected for shorter terms and lower salaries abolition of voter registration local control of schools severely limited powers for both the legislature and the governor low taxation and state expenditures strict control over corporations and land subsidies for railroads Early in 1874 a joint legislative committee reported an entire new constitution as an amendment to the Constitution of 1869 Because the document had not been prepared by a convention and because of the possibility that its adoption might antagonize the federal government the legislature rejected the proposal On the advice of Governor Richard Coke the next legislature submitted the question
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