Chapter 6 ‘The Constitution Will Be Our Last Hope in the Momentary Storm.’ Institutions of Constitutional Protection and Oversight in Mexico and Their Contribution to Atlantic Constitutional Thought (1821–1841)

In: Comparative Constitutional History
Catherine Andrews
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This chapter compares constitutional institutions that political thinkers in Revolutionary France, early nineteenth-century Spain, and Mexico devised with the aim of protecting constitutional order from abuses by one or more of the branches of government. The chapter focuses on two different types of historical institutions: those with moderating powers and those with conserving powers. Moderating institutions acted as buffers between legislative and executive authorities to prevent either from encroaching upon the prerogatives of the other. Conservative institutions undid unconstitutional actions and supervised constitutional order. The chapter shows that Mexicans were well-acquainted with the constitutional debates surrounding both types of institutions in France and Spain. It demonstrates that Mexican politicians not only endorsed these two types of institutions in their constitutional plans, but also reworked them to create an innovative institution of constitutional control in the 1836 Mexico Constitution: the Supreme Conservative Power.

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