Florida Constitution

Florida Constitution

Florida Constitution

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The Constitution of the State of Florida is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of the U.S. state of Florida, and establishes the basic law of the state.

Florida has been ruled by six different constitutions since acceding to the United States. The current Constitution of Florida was ratified on November 5, 1968.


1838 Florida Constitution

One of the requirements for a United States territory to become a State of the Union is that its constitution be approved by the United States Congress. In order to fulfill that requirement, an Act was passed by the Territorial Council in 1838, approved by Governor Richard Keith Call, calling for the election of delegates in October 1838 to a convention to be held at St. Joseph, Florida. The delegates were to draft a constitution and bill of rights for the Territory of Florida. The Constitutional Convention convened on December 3, 1838 with Robert R. Reid presiding as president and Joshua Knowles secretary. The work of the Convention was carried out by eighteen committees, whose members were familiar with that particular area of government. The process was a relatively simple one, since they used the constitutions of several other Southern states as models. Only on the subject of banking did much debate take place. The Convention adjourned sine die on January 9, 1839.

A handwritten copy of the 1838 Constitution or "Form of Government for the People of...
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