The Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution occurred because of a series of events that began long before the first shots fired at the Battle of Gonzales. In the summer of 1820 a 59 year-old Missourian named Moses Austin asked the Spanish Authorities for a large land tract which he wanted to use to attract American Pioneers. To manys surprise in early 1821 the Spanish government gave him permission to settle 300 families. Spain had welcomed Americans to help develop the land and to provide a buffer against the illegal U.S. immigrants who were causing problems. Although Moses Austin died and was not able to see his goal reached his son Stephen F. Austin stepped into his shoes and promised to carry out his fathers goal of colonizing Texas. By the end of 1824 Austin had attracted over 242 colonists to Texas and persuaded the Mexican government that the best way to attract Americans was to give out land grants. By the 1830’s there were 16,000 Americans settled in Texas. As the population grew, the Mexican government grew skeptical of the growing American population. Mexico had feared the U.S. was planning to gain the province by revolution. Due to the diverse differences in language and culture their was bitter conflict between the Native Mexicans and the colonists. To reclaim the authority over Texas the Mexican government reestablished its constitutional prohibition against slavery, restricted trade with the United States, and put a end to further American Immigration. These actions possibly could have provoked the Texas Revolution.
In 1832 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna became Mexico’s president. Many colonists hoped that Antonio would make Texas a self-governed state within the United States. Once in power, Santa Anna was less truthful than many Texans were led to believe. In mid 1834 Santa Anna overthrew Mexico’s constitutional government, abolished state governments, and pronounced himself as dictator. When Stephen F. Austin went to try to settle Texans’ hardships Antonio had the nerve to imprison him in a Mexican jail for twelve long months.
The Texans began to prepare for war. They elected Sam Houston as commanding general of. whatever military forces he could gather. But little did everyone know what would come upon them. On October 2nd of 1835 the first battle of the Texas Revolution began. The Mexican authorities sent a force of 100 men to repossess cannon. The cannon had been provided to the residents of Gonzales to use as defense against the Indians. In reaction to the forces, The Texans under the commands of John H. Moore and J.W.E. Wallace loaded the cannon and fired the shot that began the Battle of Gonzales and the beginning of the Texas revolution. After a very short fight, the Mexicans retreated with one casualty. But things were just getting started.
Soon news spread that Santa Anna himself was marching North with 7,000 soldiers to crush the revolt. When Sam Houston learned that Santa Anna wanted to recapture San Antonio to be abandoned. But a rebellious group of 150 decided to defend their city and they made their stand at an abandoned Spanish Mission, the Alamo. For 12 days Mexican Forces attacked the Alamo. Legend has it that on March 5, 1835 when William Travis realized the defense of the Alamo was useless he drew a thin line in the dirt with his sword. Travis then said only those willing to die for Texas’ Independence should cross the line and fight for the Alamo. All men but two did. On March 6 at 5 a.m. the Mexican troops destroyed the mission’s walls. By 8 a.m. the fighting was over and left 183 lay dead. Santa Anna’s troops suffered 1,500 causalities. "Remember the Alamo" became the battle cry of the Texas war of independence.
This defeat gave Sam Houston time to prepare an Army. Many volunteers including Juan Sequin from the South wanted to help. Juan was to be colonel. The Texans had about 750 men verses the Mexicans 1,500 men. Early in the morning men were sent to cut off the Mexicans only escape. When the long awaited order to advance was given, the Texans did not hesitate one bit. They “remembered the Alamo” and gave it their all. In a very short time 730 Mexican Soldiers were taken as prisoner and another 700 slain. The Battle for Texas had won.
A committee was formed to write the Texas Declaration of Independence. The president of the convention Richard Ellis appointed 5 men to do the job. George C. Childress wrote most of the document himself. The document hoped to get rid of Santa Anna, restore power to the state government, and declare Texas independent. Texas, having won its independence, became a republic. Independence from Mexico was declared on March 2nd, 1836, at the Washington-on-the-Brazos Convention fulfilling the Texas Declaration of Independence. Texas had finally achieved Independence.
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