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


Section 19. Provision may be made by general law for bringing suit against the State as to all liabilities now existing or hereafter originating.

Section 20. Lotteries are hereby prohibited in this State.

Section 21. The Legislature shall establish a uniform system of county, township, and municipal government.

Section 22. The Legislature shall provide by general law for incorporating such municipal, educational, agricultural, mechanical, mining, and other useful companies or associations as may be deemed necessary.

Section 23. No person who is not a qualified elector of this State, or any person who shall have been convicted of bribery, forgery, perjury, larceny, or other high crime, unless restored to civil rights, shall be permitted to serve on juries.

Section 24. Laws shall be passed regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Section 25. Regular sessions of the Legislature may extend to sixty days, but any special session convened by the Governor shall not exceed twenty days.

Section 26. All property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned by her before marriage, or acquired afterward by gift, devise, descent, or purchase, shall be her separate property, and not liable for the debts of her husband.

Section 27. The Legislature shall provide for the election by the people, or appointment by the Governor, of all State, county, or municipal officers not otherwise provided for by this Constitution, and fix by law their duties and compensation.

Section 28. Every bill which may have passed the Legislature shall, before becoming a law, be presented to the Governor, if