The Texas Revolution
Analyzing the United States of America, history indicates that Texas is the only state that formed part of the larger country by way of treaty, as opposed to territorial annexation. It remained independent during the period dated 1836 – 1845. Prior to the year 1824, Texas was indeed under Spanish possession, thereafter forming part of Mexico, which had achieved independence by then. Settlement in the area began 1821 when Americans were given the green light by Spanish authorities to own land. However, it became a requirement that prospective settlers professed Catholicism, followed Spanish culture and pledged loyalty to Spain and later on, Mexico.
The American settlers, who were overwhelmingly Protestant, were not prepared to shift allegiance from the US, leading to growing grievances against the government of the Mexicans (Pike, 2008). This gave rise to the famous Mexican Revolution, marked by the October, 1835 Gonzales battle and the April, 1836 San Jacinto battle. It must also be noted that clashes took place earlier, but they were not of a military nature (Barker & Pohl, 2008).
From the insurgent perspective, the Texas revolution is reducible into four distinct phases. The first took place between October and December 1835. On the 2nd of October, the colonialists congregated at Gonzales blocked Centralist troops in their attempts at retrieving a cannon presented to the town as a means of defence against Indians. Successfully doing so gave increased impetus to the natives, leading to the capture of Lipantitlan and Goliad, which were Centralist strongholds. In October, a makeshift army took charge of San Antonio de Béxar. On the 5th of December, when enough personnel were available, the insurgents attacked the area, conquering it after a 5-day battle. A meeting in November, the Consultation, took place with the aim of reinstituting the 1824 Federal Constitution. Delegates wanted to coalesce with Federalists in similar Mexican states in a bid to bring down Santa Anna. Jose Antonio’s failed seizure of Tampico broke relations between the Texans themselves and other Federalists. The Consultation gave Samuel Houston the commander-in-chief role, but did not grant him control over the army. The institution of a government was the other endeavor of the Consultation, whereby Henry Smith was elected governor and the General Council, an advisory body was elected (The Alamo n.d.).
The second phase took place between December 1835 and February 1836. Infighting amongst the insurgents led to disunity. Smith decided to disband the General Council, but the latter retaliated by stating that it Lt. James W. Robinson was the new governor. In essence, there were to civil governments in competition with each other. The disunity trickled down to the forces. Some opined that the revolt was successful, negating the need of further action, while others wanted the revolt to continue in spring. A third view was to carry the war into deeper parts of Mexico, focusing on Matamoros, the city positioned at Rio Grande’s mouth, and in possession of a customhouse. The success of this Matamoros Expedition would give the insurgents control over all customs, at the same time keeping the war out of Texas (The Alamo n.d.).
Following the Centralist garrison’s ejection from San Antonio, an insurgent garrison, headed by James C. Neill was ordered to remain. By the end of the year, he realized that Dr. James Grant and Frank W. Johnson had recruited almost 200 of the men in his garrison for their Matamoros Expedition. Over and above that, the two men took with them a large proportion of the equipment and clothing stockpiled for the San Antonio garrison. The consequence of this was weakened defense should Centralists return (The Alamo n.d.).
The third phase took place between January and February 1836, and focused on Matamoros. The expedition was under the control of three commanders: James Bowie, appointed by Houston, James Fannin and Johnson, both appointed by the General Council. The spirit of the movement was dampened by Houston, who on a one-off visit convinced certain members of the troop that the expedition was an ill-conceived idea. Houston sent Bowie to San Antonio while Lt. Colonel Travis, along with thirty men was ordered reinforce the somewhat subdued garrison. Neill went to be with his family at the same time looking for more recruits and supplies for his men. As Houston was left without an army, Smith sent him to the influential Cherokee Indians to prepare a treaty keeping the Indians from assisting the Centralists. For most insurgents, the goal shifted from reinstituting the 1824 Federalist Constitution to outright severance from Mexico (The Alamo n.d.).
The fourth phase, February to April 1836 saw the Centralist make a return to Texas, where they found divided, unprepared insurgents. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s goal was the recapture of the political center, San Antonio de Béxar. A second column, under General Jose Urrea headed to Matamoros to counter the threat there. On completing that mission, he and his men marched to Goliad to address the insurgents in the area. On the 6th of March, 1835, Béxar fell. Other areas fell as Urrea headed to Goliad (The Alamo n.d.).
The political future of Texas was the agenda for delegates meeting at Washington-on-the-Brazos, held on the 1st of March. On the following day, the Republic of Texas was created as it was declare independent. Sam Houston was appointed the army’s commander, this time his authority extended to all troops. On the 6th of March, Houston went to Gonzales to supervise the reinforcement of the Alamo garrison. However, it had fallen by the time of his arrival 5 days later, so that he ordered an eastward retreat, taking men he found along the way. This move, on the backdrop of the advancing victorious Centralists instigated a widespread exodus of government officials and civilians alike, the Runaway Scrape. The Louisiana-Texas fringe appeared to be the safest escape bet. Seeing that protection from the US was accessible (The Alamo n.d.).
Oddly enough, Houston’s army was still in present day Texas in mid April. The news coming through on the 20th of April revealed that General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna left before his army, leaving him vulnerable to attack. Houston wasted little time, attacking Santa Anna’s camp the following day. Santa Anna mange to flee from San Jacinto but he did not get far. Vince’s Bridge, the only escape avenue that Santa Anna and his men could use was destroyed. The twenty-minute long San Jacinto battle brought an end to the Centralist bid to lay claim to Texas (The Alamo, n.d.).
Barker, E., C., and Pohl, J., W.,”Texas Revolution”, Tsha Online (2008), Accessed on 10th March, 2009, from http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/qdt1.html
Pike, J., “Texas Revolution”, GlobalSecurity.org (2008), Accessed on 10th March 2009, from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/texas-revolution.htm
The Alamo, “Texas Revolution – The Battle” (n.d.), Accessed on 10th March, 2009, from http://www.thealamo.org/revolution.html
Cite this The Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution. (2017, Feb 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-texas-revolution/