Texas Celebrates Independence Day


Texas flag | Image by Richard A McMillin

The Lone Star State declared its independence from Mexico on this day in 1836, after years of fruitless attempts to reconcile conflicts with the government of Antonio López de Santa Anna.

The decision to declare independence came as General Santa Anna besieged the Texas battalion at the Alamo. Such a step was not taken lightly, however, and came after years of struggles with the Mexican government.

The direct cause of the war occurred in 1835, when Santa Anna usurped Mexico’s 1824 constitution, which guaranteed certain rights, liberties, and privileges. Prior to this, Texans had petitioned for a redress of other grievances for years, holding conventions in 1832 and 1833.

Following the abrogation of the constitution, the conflict became inevitable. In October 1835, Texans defended the now-famous “Come and Take it” cannon against confiscation by Mexican military authorities in the Battle of Gonzales.

Other states within Mexico also fought against Santa Anna’s regime, including a failed rebellion in Zacatecas, the creation of a temporary independent state in the Yucatán, and open resistance in Monclova.

On November 7, 1835, Texas sent an explanatory declaration to the Mexican government justifying its armed resistance to the new regime. It claimed that Santa Anna “and other military chieftains, have, by force of arms, overthrown the federal institutions of Mexico.”

Therefore, “the good people of Texas, availing themselves of their natural rights … have taken up arms in defense of their rights and liberties.”

This November document added that “they hold it to be their right during the disorganization of the federal system, and the reign of despotism, to withdraw from the union, to establish an independent government … but that they will continue faithful to the Mexican government so long as that nation is governed by the constitution.”

In response, Santa Anna began marching to Texas with the Mexican military in order to quell the troublesome Texans. The siege of the Alamo began on February 23.

On March 1, while the Alamo was still standing, Texas leaders assembled at Washington-on-the-Brazos and, having concluded that no resolution with Mexico was possible, issued the Texas Declaration of Independence the following day.

“When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people … so far from being a guarantee for their inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression,” the document opened.

Claiming that the “spirit of the constitution has departed,” leading to “acts of malfeasance and abduction on the part of the government,” the convention asserted “the inherent and inalienable right of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands.”

After listing a number of grievances that were “borne by the people of Texas, until they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue,” the document declared that “the people of Texas, do now constitute a free, sovereign, and independent republic.”

“We fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the supreme Arbiter of the destinies of nations,” the document concluded.

Signatories included Thomas Rusk and Sam Houston. Notable Mexican statesman Lorenzo de Zavala also signed, having been forced to flee Mexico due to his disagreements with Santa Anna. Zavala had helped frame the 1824 Mexican constitution.

On March 6, the Alamo was captured by Santa Anna, and its defenders were executed. Another force of Texas who had surrendered was ordered to be massacred at Goliad by the Mexican leader on March 27.

Nevertheless, the battle for Texas independence would continue as General Sam Houston led a quickly constructed army against the military force of Santa Anna. Despite overwhelming odds and numerous disadvantages, the Texans successfully defeated and captured Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21.

Andrew Mahaleris, the press secretary for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, explained to The Dallas Express, “Nearly two centuries ago, brave Texans fought and earned their independence. Their vision of freedom and liberty lives on in the indomitable Texas spirit today.”

“As we continue to build the Texas of tomorrow, we must always remember how the sacrifices of past generations helped create a future for the next,” he concluded.

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19 days ago

“…the Alamo was captured by Santa Anna, and its defenders were executed.” This reads as if the Alamo defenders were alive, captured and executed after the fact, rather than died in battle.

Reply to  Kent
19 days ago

Not all of them, including wounded not able to fight any longer. If you knew your history the survivors were lifted up on Bayonettes.

Reply to  Djea3
19 days ago

A small number at that, not the whole population under siege.

Anna W.
Anna W.
19 days ago

One thing missed, Mexico was enslaved for 70 year’s by Spain. Santa Anna wanted too free the slaves In Texas. Travis, Crockett and Boone all headed to help war against Mexico.

Now women in Texas have no right over their bodies. Sounds like slavery to me.
Abbott says nothing about taking the rights of blacks away in “2023”. He sounds like this is 1836”.

The sad part about this, is minorities want come out and VOTE!
I am currently watching the LIARS on CPAC at their convention.

Reply to  Anna W.
19 days ago

You are right. Women have no right over their bodies, and the same people who support this ruling complain about being forced to wear a mask! Protect the fetus of someone else’s pregnancy, but don’t keep them from spreading a virus that has killed millions.

Reply to  Janet
19 days ago

Seems as if you need to research what masks are good for and what they are NOT good for. As an example for you to consider: If one had a Chain Link Fence with 16 inch by 16 inch openings (instead of what 2X2?) the virus would pass through the links smaller than a tennis ball. That is the relative size of the fabric in masks and the virus.

The masks and scarves etc have been proven to be ineffective overall. Part of the issue is all masks must be perfectly fitted, In industry, an N95 mask must be professionally fitted, full instruction given, the type, manufacturer, size and filter components recorded for EACH INDIVIDUAL who is required to wear one. The fitting INCLUDES verification that all air must flow through the mask, not around it. If that exact model and size is unavailable a NEW professional fitting must take place with full verification of efficacy, then recorded for that individual.

I could go on regarding the research about masks and C19, but apparently facts do not matter to many people.

With regard to rights. In Many states a fetus being killed along with the mother is a second murder charge. Think about that a while.

19 days ago

Happy Birthday Texas!

19 days ago

New folks arriving in Texas have missed the school education on Texas History.
I grew up in Texas and just loved Texas history which was taught at different grade levels.
Sam Houston is one of my favorite Texans of Texas lore.

While certainly some Texas legends might contain hyperbole, and may overlook their faults and unjust actions, what does remain through Texas history is that mindset of strong-willed individual liberty, and belonging to a region of like-minded people who cherish liberty.
I like liberty.
I like being able to control my life and prosperity without dictates of government.