Via: Searching History
At one time, the Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America. It existed from 2 March 1826 to 19 February 1846. It shared a border with the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of the Rio Grande (another Mexican breakaway republic), and the United States. Mexico considered Texas a state in rebellion during its entire existence.
The dispute between Texas and Mexico wasn’t merely about Anglo settlers making trouble inside Mexico. While that was true, to an extent, the issues extended well beyond the white settlements. The Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas (and others) declared its independence from Mexico because the central government adopted centralist policies that abolished the autonomy of several states within the Mexican Federal Republic.
Reacting to several states who declared their independence, Mexican president Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, also known as simply Antonio López de Santa Anna, ever the political opportunist, mounted an aggressive campaign to bring the rebels “back into the fold.” Texas was no exception — it was only the last of several stops. After his capture by the Texians outside of San Jacinto, Texas, Santa Anna admitted defeat and granted Texas its freedom (in exchange for his life, no doubt). While Texians reacted positively to the acknowledgment, Mexico’s Congress rejected it out of hand. No agreement obtained under duress, they argued, was valid.
Earlier, however, elected president of Mexico in 1833, Santa Anna was far outside his comfort zone. He managed to take a failing government and make things worse. And who could blame him? When he assumed the mantle of the presidency, Mexico was already bankrupt. There was no money in the treasury and around eleven million pesos of debt. Granted, in 1833, eleven million pesos was only equivalent to about $109,430.95, but it was a lot of money for the Mexicans. Greatly annoyed, bored with politics, and perhaps a bit frightened of failure, El Presidenté Santa Anna packed his bag and went on a hiatus for a time — leaving his country in the hands of his vice presidents. The first was Valentin Gómez Furias, a liberal who attempted to implement sweeping changes. All he managed to do, however, was irritate the ruling elite. They saw Furias as a dangerous radical who had to be stopped. At this point, though, Santa Anna was himself a liberal. By giving Furias responsibility for necessary reforms, he could deny culpability and save his reputation among the powerful elite.
In May 1834, Santa Anna ordered the disarmament of the civic militia and urged Congress to abolish the controversial “Law of the Case,” a decree issued in June 1833 that permitted the exile of individuals who opposed political reforms, and which applied to anyone the government chose, that is, lumping every political opponent together as a means of getting rid of them. It is also known as the Law of Political Ostracism.
On 12 June, Santa Anna dissolved Congress and announced his decision to form a new Catholic, centralist, and conservative government. He had managed to broker a deal with the Catholic archdiocese whereby, in exchange for preserving the privileges of the church (and army), the Church would make a monthly donation to the government of around 40,000 pesos. Thus, the supporters of Santa Anna had managed to achieve what radicals had failed to do: force the Church to support the Republic’s fiscal requirements.
After firing Furias in 1835, Santa Anna designated his new vice president, Miguel Barragán, acting president, and returned to his hacienda. Barragán replaced the 1824 Constitution with a new instrument called The Seven Laws (Siete Leyes). Meanwhile, Santa Anna was happy to remain in the background, uninvolved in the conservative effort to establish a unitary central government. Efforts to replace the Constitution of 1824 angered more than the Texians. Nationally, the centralist movement was a political disaster.
States in rebellion included Alta California, Nuevo Mexico, Tabasco, Sonora, Coahuila y Tejas, San Luis Potosi, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. Several of these states formed their governments: the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Yucatán, and the Republic of Texas.
Historians note that the fierce resistance of these rebellious states was possibly fueled by Santa Anna’s reprisals, which may have violated every human right imaginable. Had Santa Anna treated these people differently, it is possible that a revolution in Texas would never have occurred. As it happened, the Zacatecas militia was the largest and best armed of Mexican states. It took no time for Santa Anna to roll them up, take 3,000 prisoners, and begin executing them. It was a different story when El Presidenté Santa Anna arrived in Texas. After defeating 257 Texians at the Alamo with an army exceeding 2,000 men, the Texas Revolution turned out quite differently.
The United States annexed Texas on 29 December, 1845 and was admitted to the union as the 28th State on the same day. Formal state power was transferred to the State of Texas on 19 February 1846. At one time, the Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America — but it wasn’t the only state to have been a sovereign republic.
(Note: Please bookmark and share retired Marine Mustang’s two blogs, Fix Bayonets and Searching History)