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New Mexico Statehood
Digital History ID 571

Author:   New Mexico Constitution
Date:1912

Annotation: When it was finally admitted as a state in 1912, New Mexico adopted a Constitution explicitly affirming the protections provided by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and guaranteeing the rights of Spanish speakers. Excerpts from the Constitution follow.


Document:

Article II.

Sec. 5. Rights under treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo preserved. The rights, privileges and immunities, civil, political and religious, guaranteed to the people of New Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo shall be preserved inviolate.

Article VII.

Sec. 3. Religious and racial equality protected; restrictions on amendments. The right of any citizen of the state to vote, hold office, or sit upon juries, shall never be restricted, abridged or impaired on account of religion, race, language or color, or inability to speak, read or write the English or Spanish languages except as may be otherwise provided in this Constitution; and the provisions of this section and of section one of this article shall never be amended except upon a vote of the people of this state in an election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting in the whole state, and at least two-thirds of those voting in each county of the state, shall vote for such amendment.

Article XII.

Sec. S. Teachers to learn English and Spanish. The legislature shall provide for the training of teachers in the normal schools or otherwise so that they may become proficient in both the English and Spanish languages, to qualify them to teach Spanish-speaking pupils and students in the public schools and educational institutions of the State, and shall provide proper means and methods to facilitate the teaching of the English language and other branches of learning to such pupils and students.

Sec. 10. Educational rights of children of Spanish descent. Children of Spanish descent in the State of New Mexico shall never be denied the right and privilege of admission and attendance in the public schools or other public educational institutions of the State, and they shall never be classed in separate schools, but shall forever enjoy perfect equality with other children in all public schools and educational institutions of the State, and the legislature shall provide penalties for the violation of this section. This section shall never be amended except upon a vote of the people of this State, in an election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting in the whole State and at least two-thirds of those voting in each county in the State shall vote for such amendment.

Source: Constitutions of the United States: National and State (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 1962), 2: 7, 25-26, 37.

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