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Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States
Original front of the 1824 Constitution
Original front of the 1824 Constitution
Created January 21, 1824
Ratified October 4, 1824
Location General Archive of the Nation in the Lecumberri Palace
Authors General Constituent Congress
Signers General Constituent Congress
Purpose National constitution to replace the Constitutive Act of the Federation

The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official religion.

Contents

Drafting and Promulgation

After the abdication of Agustin de Iturbide, the Mexican Empire was dissolved and was established a Supreme Executive Power formed by a triumvirate whose members were Generals Pedro Celestino Negrete, Nicolás Bravo and Guadalupe Victoria, whose substitutes were Jose Mariano Michelena, Vicente Guerrero and Miguel Dominguez. This Supreme Executive Power was a provisional government to called a new Constituent Congress. The new Congress was installed on 7 November 1823.

Within the members of Congress were observed two ideological tendencies. The Centralists, between who emphasized Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, the priest Jose Maria Becerra Jimenez, Carlos María de Bustamante, Juan José Ignacio Espinosa de los Monteros, Rafael Mangino y Mendívil and the priest José Miguel Guridi y Alcocer. On the other hand the Federalists , between who emphasized Miguel Ramos Arizpe, Lorenzo de Zavala, Manuel Crescencio Rejón, Valentín Gómez Farías, Juan de Dios Cañedo, Juan Bautista Morales, Juan Cayetano Gómez de Portugal, Francisco García Salinas and Prisciliano Sánchez..[1] Years later, these ideologies formed the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.

The thesis of Servando Teresa de Mier was opposed to dividing the territory into independent states, considering that this would weaken the nation, which needed unity to counter any attempted reconquest of Spain which would be supported by other European nations. If it was true that the American colonies had united in a federation, in Mexico the concept does not necessarily work, since the old provinces (now called states) had always been a central government and felt that future state governments would take a selfish attitude causing disunity and chiefdoms[2]. There was already an experience of Central America that after the dissolution of the empire and give the provinces the category of free states, on July 1, 1823 had decided not to join the new republic. Those who defended the federalist ideology, argued that it was the desire and will of the nation formed in this way and exemplified the United States prosperity established under this regime, in counterpart exemplified the failure of Iturbide.[3]

On January 31, 1824, was approved the Constitutive Act of the Federation, which was an interim status of the new government. The nation formally assumed sovereignty and was constituted by free, sovereign and independent states. During the following months, continued the constitutional debates.

On October 4, 1824, was made the solemn proclamation of the federal pact under the name of Federal Constitution of United Mexican States.

On October 10, 1824, Guadalupe Victoria was elected the first president of the United Mexican States for the period 1825 -1829, the same day the president and vice president Nicolás Bravo swore the constitution.[4][5] Guadalupe Victoria served as interim president from October 10 to March 31 of 1825. His constitutional term in office began on 1 April 1825.

Content

The 1824 Constitution was composed of 7 titles and 171 articles, was based on the Constitution of Cadiz to American[a] issues, in the United States Constitution to the formula for federal representation and organization, in the Constitutional Decree for the Liberty of Mexican America of 1814, which abolished the monarchy. It introduced the system of federalism in a popular representative republic with Catholicism as official religion. The 1824 constitution does not expressly the rights of citizens. The right to equality of citizens was restricted by the continuation of military and ecclesiastical courts. The most relevant articles were:

1. The Mexican nation is sovereign and free from the Spanish government and any other nation.
2. The religion of the nation is Roman Catholic Church and is protected by law and prohibits any other.
4. The Mexican nation adopts as form of government a popular federal representative republic.
6. The supreme power of the federation is divided into Legislative power, Executive power and Judiciary power.
7. Legislative power is deposited in a Congress of two chambers, a Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Senators.
50. Political freedom of press in the federation and the states (paragraph 1).
74. Executive power is vested in a person named President of the United Mexican States.
75. It provides the figure of vice president, who in case of physical or moral impossibility of the president, exercise the powers and prerogatives of the latter.
95. The term of the president and vice president shall be four years.
123. Judiciary power lies in a Supreme Court, in the Circuit Courts and District Courts.
124. The Supreme Court consists of eleven members divided into three rooms and a prosecutor.
157. The individual state governments will be formed by the same three powers.

Although was not stipulated in the constitution, slavery was prohibited in the Republic. Miguel Hidalgo promulgated the abolition in Guadalajara on 6 December in 1810. The president Guadalupe Victoria declared slavery abolished too, but was the president Vicente Guerrero who made the decree of Abolition of Slavery on September 15, 1829.

  1. Slavery is abolished in the Republic.
  2. Therefore are free those who until this day were considered as slaves.
  3. When circumstances of the treasury permit it, it will compensate slave owners in the terms that is held by law.

Federation

At the time of the promulgation of the Constitution, the nation was composed of 19 free states and 3 territories. That same year, two changes were made in the country, remained finally composed by 19 free states, 5 territories and the federal district.

Map of Mexico under the Constitution of 1824 The 19 founding states were:[6]
Primera Republica Federal 1825.PNG
Order Name Date of Admission
to the Federation
Installation date
of the Congress
1
México
20-12-1823 02-03-1824
2
Guanajuato
20-12-1823 25-03-1825
3
Oaxaca
21-12-1823 01-07-1823
4
Puebla
21-12-1823 19-03-1824
5
Michoacán
22-12-1823 06-04-1824
6
San Luis Potosí
22-12-1823 21-04-1824
7
Veracruz
22-12-1823 09-05-1824
8
Yucatán
23-12-1823 20-08-1823
9
Jalisco
23-12-1823 14-09-1823
10
Zacatecas
23-12-1823 19-10-1823
11
Querétaro
23-12-1823 17-02-1824
12
Sonora y Sinaloa
10-01-1824 12-09-1824
13
Tabasco
07-02-1824 03-05-1824
14
Tamaulipas
07-02-1824 07-05-1824
15
Nuevo León
07-05-1824 01-08-1824
16
Coahuila y Texas
07-05-1824 15-08-1824
17
Durango
22-05-1824 08-09-1824
18
Chihuahua
06-07-1824 08-09-1824
19
Chiapas
14-09-1824 05-01-1825

The 5 federal territories were: Alta California, Baja California, Colima, Tlaxcala and Santa Fe de Nuevo México. The Federal District was established around the City of Mexico on November 18, 1824.

Reactions

The influence of Spanish liberalism thought, the fragmentation that had been gradually consolidated by themselves Bourbon Reforms in New Spain, the newly won Independence of Mexico, the size of the territory, almost 4,600,000 km² (1,776,069 sq mi) and lack of communication resulted in a federal system with regional characteristics. The central states; Mexico, Puebla, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Veracruz and Michoacán who were the most populated worked as an administrative decentralization. The states of the periphery, Zacatecas, Coahuila y Texas, Durango, Chihuahua, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí and Nuevo León, acquired a moderate confederalism. The states furthest from the center, Yucatán, Sonora y Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Las Californias acquired a radical confederalism.[7]

Without existence of established political parties are distinguished three political trends. The first still supported the empire of Iturbide, but was a minority. The second was influenced by the Yorkist Lodge whose philosophy was radical Federalism and also encouraged a sense antihispanists largely promoted by the American plenipotentiary Joel Roberts Poinsett.[8] And the third was influenced by the Scottish Lodge to had been introduced to Mexico by the Spaniards themselves, favored Centralism and yearned for the recognition of the new nation by Spain and the Holy See.[9]

With the consummation of independence, the Royal Patronage was gone, the federal government and state governments were considered that these rights now belonged to the State. The way to manage church property was the most controversial point that polarized the opinions of the political class. Members of the Yorkist Lodge intended to use church property to clean up the finances, the members of the Scottish lodge considered the alternative an anathema. According to the federal commitment, states should provide an amount in money and men for the army or blood quota. The federal budget was insufficient to pay debt, defense, surveillance of borders, states resisted to meet the blood quota, which was sometimes covered with criminals.[9]

Some state constitutions were more radical and took supplies to practice locally, Patronage under the banner of "freedom and progress". The constitutions of Jalisco and Tamaulipas decreed government funding of religion, the constitutions of Durango and State of Mexico gave the Governor the practice of the Patronage, the constitution of Michoacán gave the local legislature the power to regulate the enforcement of fees and discipline of clergy and the constitution of Yucatán in a vanguardist way, decree freedom of religion.[10]

Repeal and Resettlement

In 1835, there was a drastic shift to the new Mexican Nation, the triumph of conservative forces in the elections unleashed a series of events that culminated on October 23, 1835, during the interim presidency of Miguel Barragán (the constitutional president was Antonio López de Santa Anna, but was out of office), when were approved the Basis of Reorganization of the Mexican Nation which ended the federal system and established a provisional centralist system. On December 30, 1836 interim president José Justo Corro issued the Seven Constitutional Laws which replaced the Constitution, secondary laws were approved on May 24, 1837.

The Seven Constitutional Laws among other things replaced the "free states" by French-style "departments", centralizing national power in Mexico City. This decision created an era of political instability, unleashing conflicts between the center and the former states of the country. Rebellions were raised in various places, the most important were:

  • Texas declared its independence by following the change of federalist system to centralist system and refused to participate in the latter. American settlers called for a convention in San Felipe de Austin and declared people of Texas in war against Mexico's central government, ignoring, therefore, to authorities and laws. Thus arose the Republic of Texas.
  • Yucatán under its condition of Federated Republic declared its independence in 1840 (officially in 1841). The Republic of Yucatán finally rejoined the nation in 1848.
  • Tabasco decrees its separation from Mexico in February 1841, in protest against centralism, rejoining in December, 1842.

The Texas Annexation and the border conflict after the annexation unleashed the Mexican-American War. As result the Constitution of 1824 was restored by the interim president José Mariano Salas on August 22, 1846. In 1847 was published The Reform Act which incorporated officially, with some changes, the Federal Constitution of 1824 while the next Constitution was drafted. This federalist phase culminated in 1853.

On March 1, 1854, is proclaimed the Plan of Ayutla with federalist orientation. In 1855, Juan Álvarez, interim president of the Republic issued the call for the Constituent Congress, which began its work on February 17, 1856, giving rise the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857.

Notes

  • ^a The term "American" to describe things from the United States is often frowned upon by many Mexican, Central and South Americans, because they and all the Latin Europe consider "American" to refer to things from the Americas, not solely the United States of America. They do not handle the division of North America and South America, for them the Americas is a single continent called America. However, "estadounidense" is often translated to "American" in this context, although in general, "estadounidense" can be defined as "of the United States".

See also

References

External links

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