Constitution of 1868

Congress passed a series of laws known as the Reconstruction Acts in 1867. These laws required the former Confederate states to dissolve existing state governments, register all eligible men (white or African-American) to vote, and then hold conventions to create new state constitutions. To be readmitted to the United States, each state’s constitution had to accept the end of slavery and adopt the 14th amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for all men, regardless of race. Florida’s voters selected delegates to a state constitutional convention in November 1867. The convention met on January 20, 1868, and the new constitution was ratified by the voters the following May.

Constitution of 1868


Any school district neglecting to establish and maintain for at least three months in each year such school or schools as may be provided by law for such district shall forfeit its portion of the Common School Fund during such neglect.

Section 9. The Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State, and Attorney General shall constitute a body corporate, to be known as the Board of Education of Florida. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be president thereof. The duties of the Board of Education shall be prescribed by the Legislature.


Public Institutions

Section 1. Institutions for the benefit of the insane, blind, and deaf, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the State, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law.

Section 2. A State Prison shall be established and maintained in such a manner as may be fixed by law. Provision may be made by law for the establishment and maintenance of a House of Refuge for juvenile offenders, and the Legislature shall have power to establish a Home and Workhouse for common vagrants.

Section 3. The respective counties of the State shall provide in the manner fixed by law for those of the inhabitants who by reason of age, infirmity, or misfortune may have claims upon the aid and sympathy of society.



Section 1. All able-bodied male inhabitants of the State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, who are citizens of the United States or have declared their intention to become citizens thereof, shall constitute the Militia of the State; but no male citizen of whatever religious creed or opinion shall be exempt from military duty, except upon such conditions as may be prescribed by law.

Section 2. The Legislature shall provide by law for organizing and disciplining the Militia of the State, for the encouragement of volunteer corps, the safe keeping of the public arms, and for a guard for the state prison.

Section 3. The Adjutant General shall have the grade of Major General. The Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, shall appoint two Major Generals and four Brigadier Generals of Militia. They shall take rank according to the