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Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States (1824)

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Powers of the General Congress.

Article 47. No resolution of the General Congress shall assume any other form than that of a law or a decree.

Article 48. The resolutions of the General Congress, in order to have the force of a law or decree ought to be signed by the President, except in those cases excepted by the Constitution.

Article 49. The laws or decrees, which emanate from the General Congress, shall have for their object:

1st. To sustain the national independence, and to provide for the preservation and security of the nation in its exterior relations.

2d. To preserve the Federal Union of the States, and peace and public order in the interior of the Confederation.

3d. To maintain the independence of the States among themselves, so far as respects their government according to the Constitutive act and this Constitution.

4th. To sustain the proportional equality of obligations and rights which the states possess in point of law.

Article 50. The exclusive powers possessed by the General Congress are the following, viz:

1st. To promote instruction by securing for a limited time to authors the exclusive privilege to their works; by establishing colleges for the Marine, Artillery and Engineer Departments; by erecting one or more establishments, for the teaching of the natural and exact sciences, the political and moral sciences, the useful arts and languages; without prejudice to the rights which the states possess, to regulate the public education in their respective states.

2d. To promote the general prosperity, by decreeing the opening of roads, canals, and their improvement without hindering the states from opening and improving their own; establishing post offices and post roads, and securing for a limited time to inventors, or those who have perfected, or introduced any new invention, the exclusive privilege for their respective invention, improvements or new introductions.

3d. To protect and regulate the political liberty of the press in such a manner that its exercise can never be suspended, and much less be abolished in any of the states or territories of the confederation.

4th. To admit new states and territories into the federal union, and to incorporate the same with the nation.

5th. To regulate definitively the boundaries of the states, and terminate the differences, when they cannot agree among themselves about the lines of demarcation of their respective districts.

6th. To erect territories into states and regulate them in conformity with those already existing.

7th. To unite two or more states, upon their petition to that effect, into one, or two erect new states within the limits of those already in existence, with the approbation of three-fourths of the members present in both chambers, and the ratification of an equal number of the legislatures of the other states of the Union.

8th. To fix the general expenses, establish the contributions necessary in order to defray them, to regulate their collection, determine their expenditure, and to require annually account of the same from the government.

9th. To contract debts on the credit of the confederation, and to fix the guarantees of their repayment.

10th. To acknowledge the national debt, and indicate the means to consolidate and extinguish the same.

11th. To regulate the commerce with foreign nations, between the different states of the Union and with Indian tribes.

12th. To give instructions for the forming of Concordates with the Holy See, to approve and ratify the same, and to regulate the exercise of patronage (patronato) in the whole Union.

13th. To approve treaties of peace, alliance, friendship, confederation, armed neutrality, and all others which the President of the United States may enter into with foreign powers.

14th. To establish ports of all kinds, erect custom-houses, and designate their location.

15th. To determine and render uniform the weight, fineness, value, stamp and denomination of the coins throughout the Union, and to adopt a general system of weights and measures.

16th. To declare war, upon examining the facts presented to its consideration by the President of the United States.

17th. To establish rules for the granting of letters of marque, and for declaring valid or invalid prizes on water and land.

18th. To designate the force of the army and navy, to fix the contingent of men to be furnished by each state, to establish ordinances and rules for their organization and service.

19th. To form regulations for the organization, arming and disciplining of the local militia of the states; reserving to each state the appointment of its own officers and the faculty of instructing them according to the discipline laid down in the aforesaid regulations.

20th. To grant or refuse the entrance of foreign troops into the territory of the confederation.

21st. To permit or to refuse to squadrons belonging to foreign powers to remain for more than one month in Mexican harbors.

22d. To permit the departure of national troops beyond the limits of the republic.

23d. To create or suppress all public employments of the Federation, to fix, increase or diminish the appointed salaries, rewards, in case of retirement, and pensions of the same.

24th. To grant rewards and compensations to persons who have rendered great services to the republic, and to decree public honors in memory of great men.

25th. To grant amnesties and indulgences for offenses the cognisance of which appertains to the tribunals of the confederation, in such cases, and upon observing the prerequisites prescribed by law.

26th. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization.

27th. To establish general rules as to bankruptcy throughout the Union.

28th. To select a place of residence for the supreme powers of the Federation and to exercise in its district the attributes of the legislative power of a state.

29th. To change such residence whenever it may deem it necessary.

30th. To grant laws and decrees for the interior administration of the Territories.

31st. To dictate all laws and decrees, which may conduce to accomplish the objects spoken of in the forty-ninth article without intermeddling with the interior administration of the states.