Since the advent of European explorers on the territory of the modern state of Texas, it has been claimed and, to a greater or lesser extent, controlled by six states – France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America. The Lone Star State often refers to the “six flags of Texas,” referring to various periods of its history. The political legacy of all six states is diverse. Spain, for example, has left a significant mark on the state’s culture: language, accent, names of places, and cities. Throughout the reign of the Spaniards and the short claim to the colony by France, this land was shaken by many political wars and clashes with the indigenous people. For the most part, Texas adopted the Anglo-American legal system, which is preserved to this day (Calvert et al., 2020). However, Spanish practices left behind such laws as the preservation of household plots and their protection from withdrawal on account of taxes, creditors, and other authorities upon the death of a spouse. At the same time, French influence on the state remained insignificant and did not retain any laws in the modern legal system.
With the advent of Mexico and its constitution, the province of Texas was transformed into a state merged with Coahuila. Thus, Texas became part of a federal republic, where power belonged to the elected from each state. Mexican influence is particularly dynamic in history since the mentioned constitution of 1824 was already replaced in 1857 by another, a more liberal one, caused by the severe issue of clashing state sovereignty and centralized government (Calvert et al., 2020). During this time, Texas managed to visit the republic, which also fell under the onslaught of political clashes and the collapsed economy. The 1857 constitution postulated many freedoms, including the abolition of slavery and the death penalty, and was created in the wake of the corresponding power in the United States. Nevertheless, four years later, it turned out that not all the provisions of this constitution were observed.
Between 1861 and 1865, Texas was part of the Confederate States of America. The secession was dictated by the attitude towards the African American population, which made up almost a third of the state’s total population and, despite the abolition of slavery, were still enslaved. The new state wanted to keep the usual order of things and resisted the new liberal freedoms from U.S. power. After a series of civil wars, the state re-entered the Americas, abandoning confederate constitutional practices (Calvert et al., 2020). The political influence of this period is exceptionally insignificant, while at the level of local governments, the days and even the month of memory of the Confederation are approved.
Finally, it was Anglo-American law, which came from the U.S. authorities, that had the most modern and significant influence on the politics of the state of Texas. The state currently has a constitution, adopted in 1876, which provides for a bicameral legislature elected every two and four years. This fact showed the influence of the Mexican period when the government was formalized in a federal form. The U.S. only brought order to state politics, as well as the liberal sentiment that kept the Democratic Party at the helm of Texas until the end of the 20th century (Calvert et al., 2020). It is highly likely that since the roots of history included so many “masters” of the state, the inclination towards liberalism and democracy suggested itself. However, in contrast, the conservatism of the Confederate States of America again emerged when the Republicans began to have a more significant advantage than the Democrats. Although initially, their ideas were accepted due to the freshness and the same liberal spirit, which, under the influence of the U.S. Constitution, turned out to be more democratic than the party that had stagnated in power.
Calvert, R. A., De León, A., & Cantrell, G. (2020). The history of Texas. John Wiley & Sons.