On Oct. 2, 1835, the first shots in the Texas War for Independence were fired at the Battle of Gonzales, sparking the Texas Revolution and Texas’ eventual split from Mexico.
While Texas was officially an entity of Mexico, by the 1820s, Americans were flooding into the territory due to the plentiful land and farming opportunities it presented.
As the farming and ranching population grew, the American population in Texas increased, leading to more and more of Texans associating with America rather than Mexico.
In 1835, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna became President of Mexico. Santa Anna was aware of the changing landscape in Texas and sought to quash any rebellious actions.
He did so by ordering the Mexican army to disarm Texans, fearing they might rise up against Mexico. This, however, only angered the Texans.
On Oct. 2, 1835, Mexican soldiers tried to seize a small cannon from the village of Gonzales. The Texas militia resisted, leading to a brief fight. This was the opening incident in what became the Texas Revolution. Over the next three months, the Texan colonists drove all Mexican army troops out of the province. Santa Anna, determined to put down the rebellion, marched an army of troops into Texas. He encountered and defeated, after a thirteen day fight, a small Texan resistance at what we now call the Battle of the Alamo. Texas achieved its independence from Mexico in 1836.
The Republic of Texas immediately attempted to join the United States, but was rebuked several times, as the US feared angering Mexico, and divisions over admitting a large slave state split the parties. In 1845, however, a treaty between Texas and the United States approved the annexation of Texas which officially joined the Union in 1846 as the 28th state. Almost immediately, the United States and Mexico went to war.
- Why do you think Texas wanted to join the Union, rather than remain a sovereign country, given that Texas seceded from that Union less than 15 years later?
- If Mexico had never let Americans settle in Texas, do you think the United States would have acquired it?
- Texas was becoming increasingly more American and only a couple thousand Mexicans even lived there. Why then do you think Texas was so important to Santa Anna and Mexico?
26, July 2018, 1835 Battle of Gonzales [Digital image]. Retrieved from <google.com>.