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


date of their commissions. The officers and soldiers of the State Militia, when uniformed, shall wear the uniform prescribed for the U. S. Army.

Section 4. The Governor shall have power to call out the Militia, to preserve the public peace, to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrection or repel invasion.



Section 1. That all ordinances and resolutions heretofore passed by any Convention of the people, and all acts and resolutions of the Legislature conflicting or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States and the statutes thereof, and with this Constitution, and in derogation of the existence or position of this State as one of the States of the United States of America, are hereby declared null and void, and of no effect.

Section 2. That all acts and resolutions of the General Assembly, and all official acts of the civil officers of the State, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution and statutes of the United States or with this Constitution, or with any ordinance or resolution adopted by this Convention, and which have not been, and are not by this Constitution annulled, are in force, and shall be considered and esteemed as the laws of the State until such acts or resolutions shall be repealed by the Legislature of the State or this Convention.

Section 3. All laws of the State passed by the so-called General Assembly since the 10th day of January, A. D. 1861, not conflicting with the word or spirit of the Constitution and laws of the United States, or with this Constitution, shall be valid. All writs, acts, proceedings, judgments, and decrees of the so-called courts of the State, where actual service was made on the defendant, all executions and sales made thereunder, and all acts, orders and proceedings of the judges of probate, and of executors, administrators, guardians, and trustees, provided they were in conformity with the laws then in force, and did not conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States and this Constitution, shall be valid; the sales of the property or effects of deceased persons shall not prevent the widow from claiming said property in kind, in whosoever hands the same may be found, when the sale had not been made for the purpose of paying the debts of the deceased, and where other than lawful money in the United States was obtained for said property. Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to make any one who, as an officer of any court, or who acted under the authority of any court, individually liable, provided they acted strictly in accordance with what was then considered the law of the State, and not conflicting with the Constitution and laws of the United States. All fines,