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Texas - Trouble is Brewing!

Texas history - tension between Mexico and Anglo-American settlers in Texas

Carol Stoddard

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Texas - Trouble is Brewing!

The Colonization of Texas:
Trouble on the Horizon

Remember . . .
1500's - European explorers come to TX
1800's - Empresarios sell TX to settlers

After 300 years of trying, not many Spanish settlers lived in Coahuila y Tejas (Texas). They thought it was too far from Mexico City, Indians were hostile, bad water, desert conditions, diseases, etc.

Most of Texas was frontier land (wilderness). Only a few towns with a few Spanish settlers existed, about 4,000 people total.

And then in a short span of time, around 30 years, hundreds and hundreds of families moved down from the northeast - from a fairly new country called the United States.

Mexico breaks free from Spain
Good news: Tired of making the mother country rich, Mexicans broke away from Spain and took control of their own lives. Bad news: The new Mexican government must now deal with those Anglo settlers from the U.S. who:
The Mexican Constitution of 1824
What's the first thing a new country needs? Its own government.

How is the government formed? The people who design it spell out the details in a document called a CONSTITUTION.

The Mexican Constitution of 1824 says that:

And then Mexico gains its independence from Spain...
Why? European countries didn't treat their colonies very well. In fact, Spain considered Mexico important for only two reasons:
1) Mexicans were supposed to find valuable raw materials (gold, copper, etc.) and sell them back to Spain for a very LOW price.

2) Mexicans should provide a market for goods from Spain by buying what they needed from "home." (This system is called MERCANTILISM)
Yo quiero mucho dinero!! Mwahahaha!
didn't speak their language.
weren't the same type of Christians.
were pouring in by the hundreds into the most desolate, least settled, and most hostile part of the Mexican territory.

The new Mexican government kept all of this in mind when they formed their constitution.

Do you see how small this state is in comparison to the rest of Mexico? Nevertheless, it represented BIG problems.
King Ferdinand VII of Spain
Since most of the people who lived in the state of Coahuila y Tejas were different than the people in the other states, they liked having the power to make their own laws.
Knowing that the FEDERAL government of Mexico wanted to outlaw slavery, the Anglo settlers in Coahuila y Tejas hoped they could make new STATE laws to keep their slaves.
The Anglo settlers from the U.S. liked this new Constitution a lot. Can you guess why?
"Yup, I like it. I like it a lot!!" Stephen F. Austin
How did the other Mexican states feel about the new Constitution?
Some people liked the states having more control than the National government.
Some people hated it, especially the government officials in Mexico City who lost a lot of their power.
Those who "hated" it were called NATIONALISTS, because they wanted the National government to have all the power.
Remember this for later, it's important.

Nationalists vs. States' Rights Supporters
And now for something completely different . . .
Causes of mistrust between Anglo settlers and Mexico:
Although they promised to change religions once they moved to Texas, Texans did not convert to Catholicism.
Texans kept their American customs and didn't try to fit in.
Texans established their own schools and printed their own newspapers.
Mexican officials worried that the Texans were becoming too independent.

To make matters worse, the new Texans started acting like they were going to take over Texas.
An American empresario named Haden Edwards tried to take away the lands of Spanish settlers in Nacogdoches by making them "prove" they owned their land.
When he was punished by the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, Edwards started the FREDONIAN REBELLION, claiming that "his" part of Texas was independent from Mexico.
Fortunately, most Anglo settlers, including Stephen F. Austin, sided with Mexico, and not Edwards . . . so Edwards skipped town.
But the rebellion made the Spanish officials in Mexico City even more nervous about these new Texans. They were very suspicious
that the Texans wanted to steal their territory and become
a part of the United States.

Hmmm, that sounds familiar.
Spain and the U.S. had fought before about borders. Spain said the border between Texas and the Louisiana territory was the Arroyo Hondo. The U.S. said the border was the Sabine.

To keep the peace, the two sides signed a NEUTRAL GROUND AGREEMENT which left a "no man's land" between TX and the Louisiana territory.

Neither side patrolled it with
their troops, so guess what?
That's where the outlaws hid out.
Then the Mexican government REALLY got their feathers ruffled.
Most of the people in the U.S. believed in something called MANIFEST DESTINY. This means that they felt the U.S. should grow until its borders covered the whole continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. If you were Mexico, wouldn't that make you a little miffed?

Finally, in 1826 the United States government offered to BUY Texas from Mexico. Mexican officials declined. In fact, they were outraged that anyone would think they would sell off part of their country.
Do you see how much territory Mexico owned that might be gobbled up under MANIFEST DESTINY?
By 1830, the Anglo settlers of Texas and Mexican officials were somewhat hostile toward each other.
Austin, you goin' down bro!
Mexicans didn't speak English and the Anglo settlers (Texans) had no intentions of learning Spanish.
They were concerned that they may try to make Texas a part of the United States, and Mexicans didn't want to lose part of their territory.
Stephen F. Austin General Teran
Mexico is divided into states (just like the U.S.).
Texas was one of those states (called Coahuila y Tejas).
The Constitution gave each state a lot of power.
The National government (located in Mexico City) didn't have as much power as its individual states.
This new distribution of power was very different from before.
The Mexican colonies were used to being told what to do by Spain, and were a little nervous about making their own decisions.
Full transcript