When Did Texas Declare Independence From Mexico?

Sam Houston was elected the first president of independent Texas.
Sam Houston was elected the first president of independent Texas.

On October 2, 1835, a section of Texans began firing shots at Mexican soldiers in the town of Gonzales, and although the Mexican soldiers retreated without firing back, the Texas revolution had officially begun. The revolution lasted until April 21, 1836. It left Texas an independent state with the aim of joining the Union, but the antislavery states opposed its admission.

The Texas Declaration of Independence formally declared the independence of Texas from Mexico and the formation of the Republic of Texas. It was submitted to the Convention of 1836 at the Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and signed on March 3, 1836. For about a decade Texas was an independents state, and Sam Houston was its first elected President. It joined the Union as the 28th state in 1845.

The Texas Revolution

The Texas revolution began on October 2, 1835, and lasted until April 21, 1836. It pitted armed resistance from Texas against the Mexican government. The Mexican government believed that the US had instigated the revolution with the aim of annexing Texas. The government, therefore, passed the Tornel Decree which declared any foreign fighter fighting the Mexican troops a pirate with no particular citizenship.

The revolt began after a decade of cultural and political differences between Texans and the government of Mexico. The government had centralized the right of Mexicans and curtailed its immigration policies regarding immigrants from the US. While the Tejanos and the government deliberated on the intention of the revolution, the Texans and several sympathizers from the US took over Mexican garrisons in Texas in mid-December 1835.

The deliberation failed to declare independence but instead installed an interim government. The interim government worked in favor of the Texans as the Mexican government lost direct control of the territory. The second convention in March 1836 declared independence of the state. In 1845 the US annexed Texas as the 28th state leading to the Mexican–American War.

Causes of the Secession

Several factors led to the secession of Texas from Mexico including the fact that most Texans felt culturally closer to the US than to Mexico. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, it encouraged Americans to settle in the state and thus led to high numbers of Americans. Most of those who settled in Mexico were from the southern states who still embraced slavery. Mexico illegalized slavery. Texans were therefore afraid of losing their right to slaves.

In 1824 after several Americans had settled in the state, Mexico abolished the constitution that allowed the state to govern itself and adopted the constitution that placed the state under the control of the government. Texans found trade with the US better than with other parts of Mexico. The Mexican government had placed embargoes on its ports and thus affecting export of cotton from Texas.

Initially, Texas was not a state of its own but part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Texans wanted their state since it was difficult to obtain services from the capital which was difficult to reach. The Mexican government refused to declare Texas a state.


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