Constitution of 1865

In October 1865, delegates convened to reestablish Florida as part of the United States by revoking the state’s Ordinance of Secession and passing a new state constitution. The state remained under martial law, however, and Congress refused to seat legislators from the former Confederate states until more stringent requirements were met. Florida ultimately scrapped the Constitution of 1865 in favor of a new version created in 1868.

Constitution of 1865



Section 18. That retrospective laws punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared penal or criminal, are oppressive, unjust and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex post facto law shall ever be made.

Section 19. That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Section 20. That the people shall have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together to consult for the common good; and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.

Section 21. That no soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.

Section 22. That no standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the Legislature; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Section 23. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free people, and ought not to be allowed.

Section 24. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors, shall be granted or conferred in this State.