The Republic of Texas (Spanish: República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two U.S. states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and United States territories encompassing parts of the current U.S. states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.
The region of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas commonly referred to as Mexican Texas declared its independence from Mexico during the Texas Revolution in 1836. The Texas war of independence ended on April 21, 1836, but Mexico refused to recognize the independence of the Republic of Texas, and intermittent conflicts between the two states continued into the 1840s. The United States recognized the Republic of Texas in March 1837 but declined to annex the territory.
The Republic-claimed borders were based upon the Treaties of Velasco between the newly created Texas Republic and Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico. The eastern boundary had been defined by the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 between the United States and Spain, which recognised the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Spanish Texas and western boundary of the Missouri Territory. Under the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 the United States had renounced its claim to Spanish land to the east of the Rocky Mountains and to the north of the Rio Grande, which it claimed to have acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
The republic's southern and western boundary with Mexico was disputed throughout the republic's existence. Texas claimed the Rio Grande as its southern boundary, while Mexico insisted that the Nueces River was the boundary. Texas was annexed by the United States on December 29, 1845 and was admitted to the Union as the 28th state on that day, with the transfer of power from the Republic to the new state of Texas formally taking place on February 19, 1846. However, the United States again inherited the southern and western border dispute with Mexico, which became a trigger for the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).
Republic of Texas
República de Tejas (Spanish)
Map of the Republic of Texas. The disputed area is in light green, while the Republic is in dark green.
|Common languages||English and Spanish (de facto)
French and German|
Native languages (Caddo, Comanche) and Portuguese regionally
|Government||Unitary Presidential Constitutional republic|
|David G. Burnet|
|Sam Houston, 1st term|
|Mirabeau B. Lamar|
|Sam Houston, 2nd term|
|Lorenzo de Zavala|
|Mirabeau B. Lamar|
|David G. Burnet|
|Kenneth L. Anderson|
|Historical era||Western Expansion|
|March 2 1836|
|December 29, 1845|
• Transfer of power
|February 19 1846|
|1840||1,007,935 km2 (389,166 sq mi)|
|Currency||Republic of Texas Dollar|
|Today part of||United States|
Texas had been one of the Provincias Internas of New Spain, a region known historiographically as Spanish Texas. Though claimed by Spain, it was not formally colonized by them until competing French interests at Fort St. Louis encouraged Spain to establish permanent settlements in the area. Sporadic missionary incursions occurred into the area during the period from the 1690s–1710s, before the establishment of San Antonio as a permanent civilian settlement. Owing to the area's high Native American populations and its remoteness from the population centers of New Spain, Texas remained largely unsettled by Europeans, although Spain maintained a small military presence to protect Christian missionaries working among Native American tribes, and to act as a buffer against the French in Louisiana and British North America. In 1762, France ceded to Spain most of its claims to the interior of North America, including its claim to Texas, as well as the vast interior that became Spanish Louisiana. During the years 1799 to 1803, the height of the Napoleonic Empire, Spain returned Louisiana back to France, which promptly sold the territory to the United States. The status of Texas during these transfers was unclear and was not resolved until 1819, when the Adams–Onís Treaty ceded Spanish Florida to the United States, and established a clear boundary between Texas and Louisiana.
Starting in 1810, the territories of New Spain north of the Isthmus of Panama (including Texas) sought independence in the Mexican War of Independence. Many Americans fought on the side of Mexico against Spain in filibustering expeditions. One of these, the Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition (also known as the Republican Army of the North) consisted of a group of about 130 Americans under the leadership of Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara. Gutierrez de Lara initiated Mexico's secession from Spain with efforts contributed by Augustus Magee. Bolstered by new recruits, and led by Samuel Kemper (who succeeded Magee after his death in battle in 1813), the expedition gained a series of victories against soldiers led by the Spanish governor, Manuel María de Salcedo. Their victory at the Battle of Rosillo Creek convinced Salcedo to surrender on April 1, 1813; he was executed two days later. On April 6, 1813, the victorious Republican Army of the North drafted a constitution and declared the independent Republic of Texas, with Gutiérrez as its president. Soon disillusioned with the Mexican leadership, the Americans under Kemper returned to the United States. The ephemeral Republic of Texas came to an end following the August 18, 1813 Battle of Medina, where the Spanish Army crushed the Republican Army of the North. The harsh reprisals against the Texas rebels created a deep distrust of the Royal Spanish authorities, and veterans of the Battle of Medina later became leaders of the Texas Revolution and signatories of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico 20 years later.
Along with the rest of Mexico, Texas gained its independence from Spain in 1821 following the Treaty of Córdoba, and the new Mexican state was organized under the Plan of Iguala, which created Mexico as a constitutional monarchy under its first Emperor Agustín de Iturbide. During the transition from a Spanish territory to part of the independent country of Mexico, Stephen F. Austin led a group of American settlers known as the Old Three Hundred, who negotiated the right to settle in Texas with the Spanish Royal governor of the territory. Since Mexican independence had been ratified by Spain shortly thereafter, Austin later traveled to Mexico City to secure the support of the new country for his right to settle. The establishment of Mexican Texas coincided with the Austin-led settlement, leading to animosity between Mexican authorities and ongoing American settlement of Texas. The First Mexican Empire was short lived, being replaced by a republican form of government in 1823. Following Austin's lead, additional groups of settlers, known as Empresarios, continued to colonize Mexican Texas from the United States. In 1830, Mexican President Anastasio Bustamante outlawed American immigration to Texas, following several conflicts with the Empresarios over the status of slavery in the region. Angered at the interference of the Mexican government, the Empresarios held the Convention of 1832, which is considered the first formal step in what later became the Texas Revolution.
On the eve of war, the American settlers in the area outnumbered Mexicans by a considerable margin. Following a series of minor skirmishes between Mexican authorities and the settlers, the Mexican government, fearing open rebellion of their Anglo subjects, began to step up military presence in Texas throughout 1834 and early 1835. Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna revoked the 1824 Constitution of Mexico and began to consolidate power in the central government under his own leadership. The Texian leadership under Austin began to organize its own military, and hostilities broke out on October 2, 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales, the first engagement of the Texas Revolution. In November 1835, a provisional government known as the Consultation was established to oppose the Santa Anna regime (but stopped short of declaring independence from Mexico). On March 1, 1836 the Convention of 1836 came to order, and the next day declared independence from Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas.
The second Congress of the Republic of Texas convened in October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia). Stephen F. Austin, known as the Father of Texas, died December 27, 1836, after serving two months as Secretary of State for the new Republic.
In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia), before President Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. The next president, Mirabeau B. Lamar, moved the capital to the new town of Austin in 1839.
The first flag of the republic was the "Burnet Flag" (a single gold star on an azure field), followed in 1839 by official adoption of the Lone Star Flag.
Internal politics of the Republic centred on two factions. The nationalist faction, led by Lamar, advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans (Indians), and the expansion of Texas to the Pacific Ocean. Their opponents, led by Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful coexistence with the Indians, when possible. The Texas Congress even passed a resolution over Houston's veto claiming the Californias for Texas. The 1844 presidential election split the electorate dramatically, with the newer western regions of the Republic preferring the nationalist candidate Edward Burleson, while the cotton country, particularly east of the Trinity River, went for Anson Jones.
The Comanche Indians furnished the main Indian opposition to the Texas Republic, manifested in multiple raids on settlements, capture and rape of female pioneers, torture killings, and trafficking in captive slaves. In the late 1830s, Sam Houston negotiated a peace between Texas and the Comanches. Lamar replaced Houston as president in 1838 and reversed the Indian policies. He returned to war with the Comanches and invaded Comancheria itself. In retaliation, the Comanches attacked Texas in a series of raids. After peace talks in 1840 ended with the massacre of 34 Comanche leaders in San Antonio, the Comanches launched a major attack deep into Texas, known as the Great Raid of 1840. Under command of Potsanaquahip (Buffalo Hump), 500 to 700 Comanche cavalry warriors swept down the Guadalupe River valley, killing and plundering all the way to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, where they sacked the towns of Victoria and Linnville. Houston became president again in 1841 and, with both Texians and Comanches exhausted by war, a new peace was established.
Although Texas achieved self-government, Mexico refused to recognize its independence. On March 5, 1842, a Mexican force of over 500 men, led by Ráfael Vásquez, invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They soon headed back to the Rio Grande after briefly occupying San Antonio. About 1,400 Mexican troops, led by the French mercenary general Adrián Woll, launched a second attack and captured San Antonio on September 11, 1842. A Texas militia retaliated at the Battle of Salado Creek while simultaneously, a mile and a half away, Mexican soldiers massacred a militia of fifty-three Texas volunteers who had surrendered after a skirmish. That night, the Mexican Army retreated from the city of San Antonio back to Mexico.
Mexico's attacks on Texas intensified conflicts between political factions, including an incident known as the Texas Archive War. To "protect" the Texas national archives, President Sam Houston ordered them removed from Austin. The archives were eventually returned to Austin, albeit at gunpoint. The Texas Congress admonished Houston for the incident, and this episode in Texas history solidified Austin as Texas's seat of government for the Republic and the future state.
There were also domestic disturbances. The Regulator–Moderator War involved a land feud in Harrison and Shelby Counties in East Texas from 1839 to 1844. The feud eventually involved Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and other East Texas counties. Harrison County Sheriff John J. Kennedy and county judge Joseph U. Fields helped end the conflict, siding with the law-and-order party. Sam Houston ordered 500 militia to help end the feud.
After gaining their independence, the Texas voters had elected a Congress of 14 senators and 29 representatives in September 1836. The Constitution allowed the first president to serve for two years and subsequent presidents for three years. To hold an office or vote, a person had to be a citizen of the Republic.
However, it is important to note that citizenship was not granted to all previous inhabitants of Texas, and not all of them could even live legally within the limits of the Republic without the consent of Congress. In this regard, the Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) established major differences according to the ethnicity of each individual. Section 10 of the General Provisions of the constitution stated that all persons who resided in Texas on the day of the Declaration of Independence were considered citizens of the Republic, excepting "Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians." For new white immigrants, section 6 established that, to become citizens, they needed to live in the Republic for at least six months and take an oath. While regarding the black population, section 9 established that black persons who were brought to Texas as slaves were to remain slaves, and that not even their owner could emancipate them without the consent of Congress—and the Congress was not allowed to make laws that affected the slave trade or declare emancipation. Section 9 also established that: "No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the Republic, without the consent of Congress."
The first Congress of the Republic of Texas convened in October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia). Stephen F. Austin, often referred to as the "Father of Texas," died on December 27, 1836, after serving just two months as the republic's secretary of state. Due mainly to the ongoing war for independence, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas in 1836: (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia). The capital was moved to the new city of Houston in 1837.
In 1839, a small pioneer settlement situated on the Colorado River in central Texas was chosen as the republic's seventh and final capital. Incorporated under the name Waterloo, the town was renamed Austin shortly thereafter in honor of Stephen F. Austin.
The court system inaugurated by Congress included a Supreme Court consisting of a chief justice appointed by the president and four associate justices, elected by a joint ballot of both houses of Congress for four-year terms and eligible for re-election. The associates also presided over four judicial districts. Houston nominated James Collinsworth to be the first chief justice. The county-court system consisted of a chief justice and two associates, chosen by a majority of the justices of the peace in the county. Each county was also to have a sheriff, a coroner, justices of the peace, and constables to serve two-year terms. Congress formed 23 counties, whose boundaries generally coincided with the existing municipalities. In 1839, Texas became the first nation in the world to enact a homestead exemption, under which creditors cannot seize a person's primary residence.
The Texian leaders at first intended to extend their national boundaries to the Pacific Ocean, but ultimately decided to claim the Rio Grande as boundary, including much of New Mexico, which the Republic never controlled. They also hoped, after peace was made with Mexico, to run a railroad to the Gulf of California to give "access to the East Indian, Peruvian and Chilean trade." When negotiating for the possibility of annexation to the US in late 1836, the Texian government instructed its minister Wharton in Washington that if the boundary were an issue, Texas was willing to settle for a boundary at the watershed between the Nueces River and Rio Grande, and leave out New Mexico. In 1840 the first and only census of the Republic of Texas was taken, recording a population of about 70,000 people. San Antonio and Houston were recorded as the largest and second largest cities respectively.
On March 3, 1837, US President Andrew Jackson appointed Alcée La Branche American chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas, thus officially recognizing Texas as an independent republic. France granted official recognition of Texas on September 25, 1839, appointing Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to serve as chargé d'affaires. The French Legation was built in 1841, and still stands in Austin as the oldest frame structure in the city. Conversely, the Republic of Texas embassy in Paris was located in what is now the Hôtel de Vendôme, adjacent to the Place Vendôme in Paris's 2e arrondissement.
The Republic also received diplomatic recognition from Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Yucatán. The United Kingdom never granted official recognition of Texas due to its own friendly relations with Mexico, but admitted Texian goods into British ports on their own terms. In London, immediately opposite the gates to St. James's Palace, Sam Houston's original Embassy of the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James's is now a hat shop, but is clearly marked with a large plaque and a nearby restaurant is called Texas Embassy. A plaque on the exterior of 3 St. James's Street in London notes the upper floors of the building (which have housed the noted wine merchant Berry Brothers and Rudd since 1698) housed the Texas Legation.
|Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Republic of Texas|
|No.||Portrait||President||Term of Office||Party||Term||Previous Office||Vice President|
|—||David G. Burnet
April 18, 1788 – December 5, 1870
|March 16, 1836
October 22, 1836
||Delegate to the
Convention of 1833
|Lorenzo de Zavala|
March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863
|October 22, 1836
December 10, 1838
of the Texian Army
|Mirabeau B. Lamar|
|2||Mirabeau B. Lamar
August 16, 1798 – December 19, 1859
|December 10, 1838
December 13, 1841
Vice President of the
Republic of Texas
|David G. Burnet|
March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863
|December 13, 1841
December 9, 1844
President of the
Republic of Texas
January 20, 1798 – January 9, 1858
|December 9, 1844
February 19, 1846
Secretary of State
of the Republic of Texas
December 9, 1844 – July 3, 1845
On February 28, 1845, the US Congress passed a bill that authorized the United States to annex the Republic of Texas. On March 1, US President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. Faced with imminent American annexation of Texas, Charles Elliot and Alphonse de Saligny, the British and French ministers to Texas, were dispatched to Mexico City by their governments. Meeting with Mexico's foreign secretary, they signed a "Diplomatic Act" in which Mexico offered to recognize an independent Texas with boundaries determined with French and British mediation. Texas President Anson Jones forwarded both offers to a specially elected convention meeting at Austin, and the American proposal was accepted with only one dissenting vote. The Mexican proposal was never put to a vote. Following the previous decree of President Jones, the proposal was then put to a vote throughout the republic.
On October 13, 1845, a large majority of voters in the republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery and emigrants bringing slaves to Texas. This constitution was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a US state on the same day annexation took effect, December 29, 1845 (therefore bypassing a territorial phase). One of the motivations for annexation was the huge debts which the Republic of Texas government had incurred. As part of the Compromise of 1850, in return for $10,000,000 in Federal bonds, Texas dropped claims to territory that included parts of present-day Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
The resolution did include two unique provisions: First, it said up to four additional states could be created from Texas' territory with the consent of the State of Texas (and that new states north of the Missouri Compromise Line would be free states). Though the resolution did not make exceptions to the constitution, the U.S. Constitution does not require Congressional consent to the creation of new states to be ex post to applications, nor does the U.S. Constitution require applications to expire. To illustrate the strength of the latter caveat, the 27th Amendment was submitted to the states in 1789, yet was not ratified until 1992—thus, the expressed consent of Congress, via this resolution, to the creation of new states would not expire nor require renewal. Second, Texas did not have to surrender its public lands to the federal government. While Texas did cede all territory outside of its current area to the federal government in 1850, it did not cede any public lands within its current boundaries. Consequently, the lands in Texas that the federal government owns are those it subsequently purchased. This also means the state government controls oil reserves, which it later used to fund the state's public university system through the Permanent University Fund. In addition, the state's control over offshore oil reserves in Texas runs out to 3 nautical leagues (9 nautical miles, 10.357 statute miles, 16.668 km) rather than three nautical miles (3.45 statute miles, 5.56 km) as with other states.
The Battle of San Jacinto (Spanish: Batalla de San Jacinto), fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes. A detailed, first-hand account of the battle was written by General Houston from Headquarters of the Texian Army, San Jacinto, on April 25, 1836. Numerous secondary analyses and interpretations have followed, several of which are cited and discussed throughout this entry.
General Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, and General Martín Perfecto de Cos both escaped during the battle. Santa Anna was captured the next day on April 22 and Cos on April 24, 1836. After being held about three weeks as a prisoner of war, Santa Anna signed the peace treaty that dictated that the Mexican army leave the region, paving the way for the Republic of Texas to become an independent country. These treaties did not specifically recognize Texas as a sovereign nation, but stipulated that Santa Anna was to lobby for such recognition in Mexico City. Sam Houston became a national celebrity, and the Texans' rallying cries from events of the war, "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" became etched into Texan history and legend.Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing the Texian and immigrant occupiers. Santa Anna's cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians, both legal Texas settlers and illegal immigrants from the United States, to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the rebellion.
Several months previously, Texians had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. About 100 Texians were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexicans marched into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to retake Texas. For the next 10 days, the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies from Texas and from the United States, but the Texians were reinforced by fewer than 100 men because the United States had a treaty with Mexico, and supplying men and weapons would have been an overt act of war.
In the early morning hours of March 6, the Mexican Army advanced on the Alamo. After repelling two attacks, the Texians were unable to fend off a third attack. As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian fighters withdrew into interior buildings. Occupiers unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texians died, while most historians of the Alamo agree that around 600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat. The news sparked both a strong rush to join the Texian army and a panic, known as "The Runaway Scrape", in which the Texian army, most settlers, and the new, self-proclaimed but officially unrecognized, Republic of Texas government fled eastward toward the United States ahead of the advancing Mexican Army.
Within Mexico, the battle has often been overshadowed by events from the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. In 19th-century Texas, the Alamo complex gradually became known as a battle site rather than a former mission. The Texas Legislature purchased the land and buildings in the early part of the 20th century and designated the Alamo chapel as an official Texas State Shrine. The Alamo has been the subject of numerous non-fiction works beginning in 1843. Most Americans, however, are more familiar with the myths and legends spread by many of the movie and television adaptations, including the 1950s Disney mini-series Davy Crockett and John Wayne's 1960 film The Alamo.Congress of the Republic of Texas
For the current Texas legislative body, see Texas Legislature.The Congress of the Republic of Texas was the national legislature of the Republic of Texas established by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836. It was a bicameral legislature based on the model of the United States Congress. It was transformed into the Texas Legislature upon annexation of Texas by the United States in 1846.Foreign relations of the Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was a North American nation from 1836 to 1845; in its short time it established diplomatical relations worldwide, mainly through the cotton trade.List of counties in Texas
The U.S. state of Texas is divided into 254 counties, more than any other U.S. state. Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, the 23 municipalities became the original Texas counties. Many of these were later divided into new counties. The last county to be initially created was Kenedy County in 1921, but Loving County is the newest organized county; it was first organized in 1893 in an apparent scheme to defraud, abolished in 1897, then reorganized in 1931. Most of these recent counties, especially near the northwest, were created from Bexar County during the 1870s.Each county is run by a commissioners' court, consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts drawn based on population) and a county judge elected from all the voters of the county. In smaller counties, the county judge actually does perform judicial duties, but in larger counties, the judge's role is limited to serving on the commissioners' court. Certain officials, such as the sheriff and tax collector, are elected separately by the voters, but the commissioners' court determines their office budgets, and sets overall county policy. All county elections are partisan; the one exception is the board of trustees of the Dallas County department of education (the Harris County trustees were elected on a nonpartisan basis until 1984).While the counties have eminent domain power and control all unincorporated land within their boundaries, they have neither home-rule authority nor zoning power. The county is responsible for providing essential services (except for fire and ambulance, which are often supplied by volunteer fire departments). Unlike other US states, Texas does not allow for consolidated city-county governments. Cities and counties (as well as other political entities) are permitted to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services (as an example, a city and a school district may enter into agreements with the county whereby the county bills for and collects property taxes for the city and school district; thus, only one tax bill is sent instead of three). School districts are independent of county and city government (with the exception of the Stafford Municipal School District, which is city controlled).
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Texas's code is 48, which when combined with any county code would be written in the form of 48XXX. The FIPS code for each county in the table links to census data for that county.President of the Republic of Texas
The President of the Republic of Texas (Spanish: Presidente de la República de Texas) was the head of state and head of government while Texas was an independent republic between 1836 and 1845.Republic of Texas–United States relations
Republic of Texas–United States relations refers to the historical foreign relations between the now-defunct Republic of Texas and the United States of America. Relations started in 1836 after the Texas Revolution, and ended in 1845 upon the annexation of Texas by the United States.Seal of Texas
The Seal of the State of Texas was adopted through the 1845 Texas Constitution, and was based on the seal of the Republic of Texas, which dates from January 25, 1839.Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of a larger one that included other provinces opposed to the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government believed the United States had instigated the Texas insurrection with the goal of annexation. The Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops "will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag." Only the province of Texas succeeded in breaking with Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas, and eventually being annexed by the United States.
The revolution began in October 1835, after a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the increasingly large population of American settlers in Texas. The Mexican government had become increasingly centralized and the rights of its citizens had become increasingly curtailed, particularly regarding immigration from the United States. Colonists and Tejanos disagreed on whether the ultimate goal was independence or a return to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. While delegates at the Consultation (provisional government) debated the war's motives, Texians and a flood of volunteers from the United States defeated the small garrisons of Mexican soldiers by mid-December 1835. The Consultation declined to declare independence and installed an interim government, whose infighting led to political paralysis and a dearth of effective governance in Texas. An ill-conceived proposal to invade Matamoros siphoned much-needed volunteers and provisions from the fledgling Texian Army. In March 1836, a second political convention declared independence and appointed leadership for the new Republic of Texas.
Determined to avenge Mexico's honor, Santa Anna vowed to personally retake Texas. His Army of Operations entered Texas in mid-February 1836 and found the Texians completely unprepared. Mexican General José de Urrea led a contingent of troops on the Goliad Campaign up the Texas coast, defeating all Texian troops in his path and executing most of those who surrendered. Santa Anna led a larger force to San Antonio de Béxar (or Béxar), where his troops defeated the Texian garrison in the Battle of the Alamo, killing almost all of the defenders.
A newly created Texian army under the command of Sam Houston was constantly on the move, while terrified civilians fled with the army, in a melee known as the Runaway Scrape. On March 31, Houston paused his men at Groce's Landing on the Brazos River, and for the next two weeks, the Texians received rigorous military training. Becoming complacent and underestimating the strength of his foes, Santa Anna further subdivided his troops. On April 21, Houston's army staged a surprise assault on Santa Anna and his vanguard force at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Mexican troops were quickly routed, and vengeful Texians executed many who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was taken hostage; in exchange for his life, he ordered the Mexican army to retreat south of the Rio Grande. Mexico refused to recognize the Republic of Texas, and intermittent conflicts between the two countries continued into the 1840s. The annexation of Texas as the 28th state of the United States, in 1845, led directly to the Mexican–American War.Texians
Texians were residents of Mexican Texas and, later, the Republic of Texas.
Today, the term is used specifically to distinguish early Anglo settlers of Texas, especially those who supported the Texas Revolution. Mexican settlers of that era are referred to as Tejanos, and residents of modern Texas are known as Texans.Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Thomas Jefferson Rusk (December 5, 1803 – July 29, 1857) was an early political and military leader of the Republic of Texas, serving as its first Secretary of War as well as a general at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was later a US politician and served as a Senator from Texas from 1846 until his suicide. He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1857.
Republic of Texas