Texas & Mexico

"Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from
 what source it may."



   I. Implementation of Mexico's grand settlement plan for Texas
       A. Empresario system
            1. Huge land tracts to American proprietors
            2. Colonization by 100-300 families
                  • enticed by practically free land & tax exemptions
                  • Catholic; slavery prohibited; abide by Mexican law
            3. Benefits
                  • economic enrichment
                  • buffer between Mexico City & hostile Comanches
                  • upstanding people (assured by system itself)
       B. Stephen Austin of Missouri = #1 (from father)
            1. 297 families (aka "Old Three Hundred")
            2. Great success = 25 more contracts
            3. Sometimes called "Father of Texas"
  II. Failure of Mexico's grand settlement plan for Texas
       A. Implosion
            1. Settlers considered themselves Americans
            2. 90% southern (Protestant; pro-cotton/slavery)
            3. Fredonia effort (1825) clue of what was to come
            4. 1830: 20,000 Americans + 2,000 slaves
            5. U.S. thrice attempted to purchase Texas
            6. Pres. Jackson = expansionist & military-minded
       B. Mexico attempted to extinguish American influx
            1. No more immigration + stiff taxes on imports
            2. U.S. flow unaffected; hostile toward Mexico
            3. Austin's petition of greater autonomy (1833)
                  • Santa Anna denied; Austin jailed (18 mos.)
                  • resistance mounted; skirmishes occurred
                  • Santa Anna marches north
                  • Texas forces under Sam Houston (Tenn)
III. Texas Revolution (Oct 1835 thru Apr 1836)
       A. Skirmish at Gonzalez (very minor casualties)
       B. Siege of the Alamo (Feb/Mar 1836)
            1. William Travis; Jim Bowie; Davy Crockett
            2. 6,000 Mexicans vs. 180+ Alamo insurgents
            3. Infamous "line in the dirt" episode
            4. Crockett's legendary demise
            5. Goliad = 3 wks. later (300 brutal casualties)
       C. Battle of San Jacinto (Apr 1836)
            1. "Remember the Alamo!"
            2. Santa Anna surprised by Houston
                  • careful strategy or mere happenstance?
                  • "Yellow Rose of Texas" (aka Emily West/Morgan)
            3. Treaty of Velasco (May 1836)
IV. Lone Star Republic est'd w/ Houston as prez
       A. Texas annexation destined, but delayed
            1. Might mean full-scale war w/ Mexico
            2. Would disrupt free & slave state balance
                  • Calhoun as new Sec. of State
                  • Texas divided into several states?
            3. Texas impatience = close ties w/ Britain
                  • alternate cotton source & new low-tariff market
                  • might affect slavery (Britain had abolished prior)
       B. Presidential action
            1. None by Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison
            2. Initiated by Tyler
                  • sectional issue (Calhoun new Sec. of State)
                  • denied by north & west senators (2/3 vote)
            3. Hastened by Polk's election & nat'l sentiment
                  • "reannexation" = implied part of Louisiana
                  • O'Sullivan's "manifest destiny" editorial
            4. Accomplished by joint resolution (simple majority)
 V. Mexican War
       A. Mexico furious w/ U.S. regarding Texas annexation
       B. Border dispute! Rio Grande or Nueces River?
            1. Gen. Zachary Taylor to area in Jul 1845
            2. Dear Mexico: "Here's an offer you can't refuse"
                  • Taylor attacked w/ 11 casualties in Apr 1846
                  • Pres. Polk to Congress: "War exists"
                       ✓ address pre-written by Polk
                       ✓ matter treated as fait accompli
                  • Calhoun, Clay, Webster, Lincoln opposed war
            3. How clear was the result? Nicholson: "Crystal"
                  • Gen. Santa Anna vs. Gen. Winfield Scott
                  • U.S. controlled northern Mexico by Feb 1847
                  • Mexico City fell in Sep 1847
       C. Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo (delayed 'til Feb 1848)
            1. Rio Grande boundary between U.S. & Mexico
            2. New Mexico & upper California ceded to U.S.
            3. U.S. paid Mexico $15 million ("conscience fee")
            4. U.S. assumed $3+ million Mexican debt
       D. Finishing items
            1. Gadsden Purchase (1853)
                  • southern strip of Ariz & N Mex for $10 million
                  • completed continental U.S. outline
            2. Sam Houston to Texas = Geo. Washington to U.S.
                  • opposed secession in 1861
                  • reviled, then revered


"The Yellow Rose of Texas"   by Asleep At The Wheel