Texas perceives itself as a representation of the best qualities of America, both economically and politically. Texas has experienced an evolution in various aspects of its political status, with the outsiders having a different viewpoint from what the Texans view themselves. A comparison between Texas and other states provides proof of the state’s position in politics. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast Texas’s political and economic status and those of the State of Maryland.
Political Contrast between Texas and the State of Maryland
Texas called a new constitutional convention after a failed attempt to publish an acceptable constitution in 1874. The convention consisted of people from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The attendance included 75 white democrats, nine white republicans, six African American republicans, 40 farmers, and 40 members of the Grange, a militant farmers’ association for enhanced conditions. The political basis for Texas in 1875 was agriculture, and as such, many representatives in the constitutional convention were interested in the farming industry (Champagne & Harpham, 2019).
The dominant themes for the constitution included mainly a firm popular control of state government. Other topics were limiting the state government’s power, the economy in the state government, and promoting the agricultural interests of small-scale farmers. The themes of the constitutional convention imply that the Texas population’s political orientation was for a democratic state which would enhance the power of the people in choosing the state’s leadership.
Several factors triggered the Texans to propose a democratic political process when searching for leaders such as the governor and the state’s judges. First, the dictatorship of the first Governor Edmund Davis due to the previous 1869 constitution necessitated a call to publish a constitution that most people would perceive acceptable. The Governor used the 1869 constitution to exercise extreme and superior power as a centralized executive with minimal local government influence.
As a radical republican, Davis used force to sustain rule, which worsened by refusing to vacate office after the election of a democrat, Richard Coke, in 1873 (Champagne & Harpham, 2019). Using his constitutional powers, Governor Davis attempted to use the Supreme Court and the judges he solely appointed to overturn Coke’s Gubernatorial win in the election.
The dictatorial incidences and radical political powers that the 1869 constitution granted the leaders initiated the need to establish the criteria for selecting judges and public officials from appointments to elections. This approach would help in reducing the misuse of power and manipulation of political processes (Champagne & Harpham, 2019). This case study illustrates that the constitutional amendment resulted in a more democratic state with a constitution that supports the democratic process of selecting both political leaders and public officials like the Supreme Court Judges.
The Texas constitution differs from the State of Maryland’s draft law, giving a significant contrast. First, the state of Texas constitution is longer with 79,999, while that of Maryland is 59,999 words. The Texas constitution has undergone 507 amendments, while that of Maryland has had 234 times of amendments. The legal system, as a political aspect, may involve constitutional penalties for different offenses. The death penalty has been a highly debated issue among various states, with several states legalizing such a form of punishment while five other states have abolished the fine. Texas is among the 31 states that still hold the death sentence as a legal punishment.
Despite upholding the death sentence as a penalty, there is increasing controversy about the law due to the level of forgiveness awarded to people on death row. For instance, 13 people among the total 166 people exonerated from death row for their crimes were from Texas. Several factors have increased the pardoning of criminals on death row. The state has faced an improvement in DNA analysis and databases, which are helpful with pardons. On the other hand, death penalties have high financial expenses for the state, which, according to the Dallas Morning News, averaged about $2.3 million in 1992 (Halperin & Barnes, 2019). The high costs result from numerous appeals from the defendants over the death row; hence the state incurs court costs, state lawyers’ fees, and the cost of the practical death execution procedure.
The legal system appears to be biased against the minority groups, such as African Americans. These minority groups receive less effective representation in the penal system for the death penalty cases and hence more death records for the criminals from the ethnic minority groups in Texas. The rates of death rows for the minority groups in the Texas state implies seclusion of the political aspects such as the legal representation (Halperin & Barnes, 2019).
The citizens of Texas have different perceptions about the death penalty, with a section of the Texans believing in human rights irrespective of the individual’s offense. Another area of the population has a different outlook that certain individuals or groups are not entitled to their human rights and deserve execution. On the other hand, an average citizen of Texans perceives a death sentence as human rights abuse.
In contrast to Texas’s upholding the death sentence as a legal punishment, the state of Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013. Most of the residents in the State of Maryland are against any potential reinstatement of the sentence. The citizens of Maryland State perceive the death sentence as a government’s commitment to protecting the citizens. Another division of citizens opposes death row due to discrimination in executing the law since most individuals who faced the death row were non-whites and failed to serve as a preventive measure (Vatz, 2018). Capital punishment sentences have been shown to exist among the murderers of whites vs. blacks but not clearly among the race differences of the perpetrators.
Texas was one state that employed capital punishment with some dispatch and regularity. According to ABC News affiliate reports in 2010, “As many as 60 people may be alive today in Texas because two dozen convicted killers were executed last year in the nation’s most active capital punishment state.” The conflicting opinions and practices concerning the death row show the marked differences between the justice system in the two states.
In conclusion, this paper has demonstrated that marked divisions among the various states characterize American history. The United States was not very united in the past since each state had its legal system that was tearing the country apart.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 designed a new constitution that resulted in a national sovereign government with sovereign states establishing their local governments. Therefore, Texas and Maryland created their governments with their independent constitutions. There are few similarities in political operations and differences between various states, such as Texas and Maryland States. The citizens from different states also have diverse views concerning their existing constitution, political processes, and changes in the legal frameworks of their States.
Champagne, A., & Harpham, E. (2019). Governing Texas (4th ed.). Norton & Company.
Halperin, R., & Barnes, R. C. (2019). How the death penalty fails Texas. Dallas News. Web.
Vatz, R. E. (2018). Opinion: The death penalty should be revived. MarylandReporter. Web.