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Alamo, The - REVOLUTION IN TEXAS

REVOLUTION IN TEXAS (Illustration) American History Famous People Film History Legends and Legendary People Nineteenth Century Life Social Studies Famous Historical Events

Believing that Texas would have to declare its independence from Mexico, in order to protect colonists’ interests, Stephen Austin worked on flag designs.  This image, maintained by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, depicts one of the designs.  Austin wrote these words, among others, on this drawing:  "Where Liberty dwells there is my country.”

 

At the time of his arrest, Austin had been a strong supporter of Texas as a separate state within Mexico. He had sworn a loyalty oath to Mexico and meant to keep it. Eighteen months in prison, however, helped to change his mind.

With their leader under Santa Anna's control, Texians (who feared for Austin's life) were relatively quiet (between 1833 and 1835). But when Austin walked out of his prison cell for the last time, Santa Anna was Dictator of all Mexico. Two hundred days which changed Texas were about to begin.

From the president's perspective, Texians were troublemakers who needed to be controlled. He banned Texas slavery (in 1835) and feared the expansionist tendencies of Mexico's neighbor to the north - the country from which Anglo-Americans had immigrated. Santa Anna believed the colonists would revolt absent strong, centralized government.

Texians (who numbered 20,000 by 1834) feared expulsion from their land. They, together with the Tejanos (who had long desired local rule), were convinced a dictator was deliberately disrupting their way of life and meant to end his interference one way or another.

Some of the key events, leading to the birth of Texas as an independent country, occurred between October of 1835 and March of 1836:

  • After a skirmish known as the Battle of Gonzales, where 'volunteers' killed the Mexican commander and several soldiers, the rebels issued an urgent appeal "To Arms!!!!" The message, sent to all 'Freemen of Texas,' declared 'Now's the day, & now's the hour.' Comparing their own situation to Israelite bondage, in Biblical times, the volunteers urged:

If Texas will now act promptly; she will soon be redeemed from that worse than Egyptian bondage which now cramps her resources and retards her prosperity.

  • The Mexican Congress issued a decree on December 30, 1835 that anyone who bore arms against the government would be shot.
  • Santa Anna - as Generalissimo - led his army into Texas in early January, 1836. Referring to anyone who used armed resistance against the Mexican government as 'pirates' (deserving no mercy), he planned to crush insurgency with the force of a mighty hammer.
  • Santa Anna, meanwhile, had marched with thousands of his men to San Antonio. Texians in the town, seeking refuge from Santa Anna's approaching army, gathered in the old San Antonio de Valero Mission.

As Santa Anna's army positioned itself around the old mission, those inside were worried. Would they get reinforcements? Would there be enough supplies to hold out during a siege?

Today the San Antonio de Valero Mission is known by two simple words: The Alamo.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5156stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Aug 15, 2017


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