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GOVT 2306 Texas Government

tag 0 Download 3 Pages / 677 Words tag 31-07-2020
  • Course Code: GOVT 2306
  • University: South Texas College
    icon is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

  • Country: United States


Texas is part of a federal system of government, that is, it is one of fifty states in a political system that divides power between the national and state governments. The United States Constitution, federal law, federal court decisions, and federal treaties make up the highest level of political authority in the country. States possess considerable powers of their own so long as they are not in conflict with the federal government. The history of federalism in the United States reflects real arguments about which level of government should exercise the most political power in the country. Texans, like many Southerners, have long taken the position that state and local governments should be the centers of power, while others believe that federal authority is uniform across the country and better for the nation as a whole.
The 1876 Texas Constitution defines the relationship of Texans to their government and the government to the people. It is a long, detailed, complex document reflective of nineteenth-century conservative values. In its great length, it essentially tells the government what it can do and thereby restricts it to doing only that which is explicitly granted. It creates a weak governorship and provides that the legislature meet only once every two years in regular session for a limited time period of 140 calendar days. So important to the drafters of this document were the rights and protections of Texans that the first Article sets forth the Texas Bill of Rights, not a series of amendments like we find in the US Constitution. And even more so than the United States Constitution, the Texas Bill of Rights protects Texans from the potential abuse of political power by the state. Texans consider themselves among the freest Americans in the union. These beliefs about limited government, especially in privacy areas, infuse the spirit of the Texas Constitution.
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