Six Constitutions over texas

In his foreword to Six Constitutions Over Texas: Texas’ Political Identity, 1830-1900, historian H. W. Brands describes the saga surrounding the development of the Texas state constitution as having “the sweep of a Russian novel . . . populated by characters as colorful as any of Tolstoy’s.” Indeed, even a glance at the table of contents reveals hints of international and regional conflict, intrigue, and shifting political alliances that characterized the rise and–in the case of the first five iterations–fall of the constitutions serving as the guiding document for what was variously a state of Mexico, an independent nation, a member of the Union, a Confederate state, and a newly subdued region under Reconstruction.

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The Noble Lawyer

In an essay titled “How to Pick a Jury,” Clarence Darrow articulated the notion that the majority of jury trials represent clashes between socioeconomic classes. This assertion, made in 1936, remains relevant in contemporary society. Similarly, William J. Chriss emphasizes the role of jury trials as a crucial mechanism within democratic societies to curb the dominance of affluent and influential individuals. He aptly describes the legal profession as democracy’s chosen vocation, highlighting the significance of jury trials in mitigating authoritarian tendencies among the privileged. 

The book, “The Noble Lawyer,” commences with this premise, undertaking a thorough analysis of the subject while also examining the prevalent negative perceptions of attorneys in today’s public consciousness. Despite their essential role in upholding the legal system and advocating for individuals, lawyers often face ridicule and misunderstanding. Chriss delves into the reasons behind this disparagement and offers a compelling defense of the noble ideals inherent in the legal profession. 

Throughout “The Noble Lawyer,” Chriss provides a historical account of the evolution of the American legal system and its current state. Drawing from a diverse array of sources including literature, cinema, and contemporary events, he illustrates the essence of lawyering and underscores the inherent responsibilities and virtues that define the profession. 

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Words From the Wise