Presentation on theme: "Independence For Texas. In 1819, in the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain, the United States had agreed to drop any claim to Texas. At the time, few people."— Presentation transcript:
Independence For Texas
In 1819, in the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain, the United States had agreed to drop any claim to Texas. At the time, few people lived in Texas, only about 3,000. Because Spain wanted to promote the growth of Texas, they offered vast tracts of land to people who agreed to bring their families to settle on the land. The people who obtained these grants from the government and recruited the settlers were called empresarios.
One of the last to receive one of these grants before Mexico gained its independence from Spain on September 27, 1821, was Stephen F. Austin. Texas, of course, was part of Mexico. Austin recruited 300 American families, known as the Old Three Hundred, to settle on large ranches. Austin’s success made him a leader among the American settlers in Texas. From , Mexico continued to offer new settlers large tracts of land at extremely low prices, and in return the colonists agreed to learn Spanish, become Mexican citizens, convert to Catholicism, and obey Mexican law.
By 1830 Americans in Texas far outnumbered Mexicans, and very few adopted Mexican ways. In the meantime the United States had twice offered to buy Texas from Mexico. In 1830, the Mexican government issued a decree, or official order, that stopped all immigration from the United States. Trade between Texas and the United States was discouraged by placing a tax on goods imported from the United States. These new policies angered the Texans, especially since there was talk about the Mexican government’s plans to end slavery.
In 1833 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna became president of Mexico. Stephen Austin traveled to Mexico City with the Texans’ demands, which were to remove the ban on American settlers and to make Texas a separate state. Santa Anna agreed to the 1 st request but refused the 2 nd. Austin sent a letter back to Texas suggesting that plans for independence get underway. The Mexican government intercepted the letter and arrested Austin. Then Santa Anna named himself dictator and overthrew Mexico’s constitution. He reorganized the government of Texas, taking away almost all of their local power.
Unrest in Texas grew, and in 1835 Santa Anna sent an army into Texas to punish the settlers who were against him. After a brief struggle at Gonzales, Texans drove back the Mexican troops. The Texans called on volunteers to join their fight. In December 1835, the Texans scored an important victory when they liberated San Antonio from the control of a larger Mexican force. With the Mexican withdraw, though, many Texans left San Antonio thinking the war was won. No one was preparing to face Santa Anna again.
Davy Crockett was a backwoodsman from Tennessee. He won notice for his frontier skills, his sense of humor, and the shrewd common sense he often displayed in politics. These skills helped get him elected to 3 terms in Congress. When he lost his seat in Congress in 1835, he did not return to Tennessee, but instead went southwest to Texas to help with the struggle for independence. ?v=BAhAarI1Zig
Furious at the loss of San Antonio, Santa Anna marched north. When his army reached San Antonio in late February 1836, it found a small Texas force barricaded inside a nearby mission called the Alamo. Although the Texans had cannons, they lacked gunpowder, and worse, they only had about 180 soldiers to face Santa Anna’s army of several thousand. They did, however, have some brave leaders like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Commander William B. Travis. For 12 long days, the defenders of the Alamo kept Santa Anna’s army at bay with rifle fire. During the siege, 32 volunteers from Gonzales slipped through the Mexican lines to join the Alamo’s defenders.
On March 6, 1836, Mexican cannon fire smashed the Alamo’s walls, and the Mexicans launched an all-out attack. The Alamo defenders killed many Mexican soldiers as they crossed open land and tried to mount the Alamo’s walls, but they were too numerous. In the end, every defender was killed, and only a few women, children, and servants survived to tell the tale. They had, however, bought Texans some much needed time while Texan leaders drew up a new constitution and firmly declared independence from Mexico and established the Republic of Texas.
Because it was not possible to hold a general election, Texas leaders set up a temporary government and selected officers to serve. Sam Houston was named commander in chief of the Texas forces. Raised among the Cherokee people, Houston had fought with Andrew Jackson against the Creek people and had also served in Congress and as governor of Tennessee. Houston ordered troops at Goliad to abandon their position to defend other forts, but they came face to face with Mexican troops. Although several hundred Texans surrendered, on Santa Anna’s orders they were executed a few days later. This action outraged Texans, who called it the “Goliad Massacre.”
Houston moved his small army eastward about 100 miles, watching the movements of Santa Anna and waiting for a chance to strike. Finally, he gathered his army of about 900 at San Jacinto, near present-day Houston, where Santa Anna was camped nearby with an army of more than 1,300. On April 21 the Texans launched a surprise attack on the Mexican camp shouting, “Remember the Alamo! Remember the Goliad!” They killed more than 600 soldiers and captured 700 more, including Santa Anna. On May 14, 1836, Santa Anna signed a treaty that recognized the independence of Texas.
Texans elected Sam Houston as their president in September He promptly sent a delegation to Washington D.C. asking the United States to annex, or take control of, Texas. President Andrew Jackson refused, however, because the addition of another slave state would upset the balance of slave and free states in Congress. Furthermore, the Mexican government refused to honor Santa Anna’s recognition of independence, so fighting continued between Texas and Mexico. Texas also had an enormous debt and no money to repay it.
President John Tyler supported adding Texas to the union and persuaded Texas to reapply for annexation, however the divided Senate failed to ratify the annexation treaty. By 1844, things had changed as the feeling of Manifest Destiny was growing throughout the country. After James K. Polk’s victory, supporters of annexation pressed the issue in Congress. They proposed and passed a resolution to annex Texas, and on December 29, 1845, Texas officially became a state of the United States.