Cat. 42

Bilingual New Mexico Constitution of 1910

Curator Commentary

The emergence in the United States of a modern industrial economy altered working conditions for many Americans. Large-scale industrial and manufacturing operations threatened worker safety and multiplied opportunities for workplace abuse.

New Mexico’s constitutional convention delegates embraced the Progressive era’s drive to provide basic safeguards for citizens. The state’s 1910 constitution aimed to combat the adverse consequences of industry by offering important protections. Provisions prohibited convict labor, required an eight-hour workday for public employees, and guaranteed compensation to railroad workers for injuries suffered because of company negligence.

The majority of New Mexico citizens at this time were of Hispanic heritage, prompting the convention to provide publication of all laws in both English and Spanish for at least twenty years.

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