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Texas was a scarcely populated territory under the Mexican government when Americans flocked into the area, hoping for a new start and a better life. Mexico, fearing an eventual takeover, banned further American immigration and set out to take control over the territory. People did not like these new laws and decided to break away from Mexico and fight for their autonomy. Texas Independence occurred in 1836 when Texan forces defeated Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
See the fact file below for more information on the Texas Independence or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Texas Independence worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- After fighting and winning their independence from Spain in 1821, the newly established government of Mexico created a system for colonization to ensure the loyalty of people who would be resettling in Texas.
- But conflicts in opinions on governance and ways of living on the untamed frontier would lead to another revolt for independence in Texas less than 15 years later.
- By 1830, the Mexican government passed the Law of April 6 to close the border, restrict American immigration into the Texas territory and raise taxes on goods being imported from the United States.
- The Mexicans also abolished slavery across the nation. Most Americans who had immigrated to Texas were from the South, where slavery was a central institution that formed the basis of social, political, and economic life.
- There were several thousand slaves in Texas at the time, and the law that repealed slavery greatly angered the immigrants and viewed the law as a move toward tyranny.
- Although Texas had been a province under the Spanish government, the Mexican Constitution of 1824 designated Texas a department of a new territory, Coahuila y Tejas. Many Tejanos – Spanish or Native Americans – supported the idea of a republic, but sought autonomy from Coahuila and full statehood for Texas.
- Mexican President and Commander-in-Chief Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, acting in response to military officials, landowners, and church leaders to the government’s shift toward a federal, decentralized republic, set aside the 1824 constitution and ordered a centralist structure instead. The Mexican Congress then granted him authority to personally subdue any uprising that may result.
- In early October 1835, an encounter at Gonzales sparked up the 1835 to 1836 Texas Revolution as delegates assembled in San Felipe de Austin to discuss Santa Anna’s impeachment and the constitution’s restoration. But a few months later, public sentiment began to lean toward complete separation and independence from Mexico.
- By early November, the Mexican army abandoned Fort Lipantitlan to Texas forces, giving another significant victory to the growing Texas revolution. Around this time, Texas leader Stephen Austin worked to transform the various militant groups into coherent armies.
- Leaders from across the Texas territory gathered together to establish a provisional state government in that same month, electing Henry Smith as its first governor, and Sam Houston, a former U.S. Congressman who had immigrated to Texas in the 1830s, became commander-in-chief of the burgeoning Army of Texas.
The Battle of Alamo
- Just as preparations for war were underway in Texas, Mexican President Santa Anna decided to leave his post to command Mexican forces against the Texas army. Santa Anna wanted to silence the rebellion with a strong hand, and he intended to supervise the effort himself.
- Soldiers in Santa Anna’s Mexican army, named the Army of Operations, were either drafted or were former convicts. He was able to gather nearly 7,000 men before marching north toward the Army of Texas.
- By late February, the Army of Operations had reached San Antonio, forcing the Texas troops to take shelter in an old Spanish mission known as The Alamo.
- Realizing that they had an opportunity to win the battle, Santa Anna and his forces began a nearly two-week-long siege of The Alamo, resulting in an attack that overran the fort on March 6, 1836.
- The majority of soldiers inside the Alamo were either killed or wounded in a brutal hand-to-hand fight. Santa Anna had ordered that no prisoners be taken, leaving a handful of civilians, mostly women and children, the only survivors of the Alamo.
- While the Texas forces lost badly, the Alamo became a rallying cry for Texans to join the cause for independence. The next morning, March 2, 1836, about 54 delegates representing each Texas settlement assembled in a simple windowless wooden structure and drafted and approved the Texas Declaration of Independence, stating “that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, sovereign and independent republic”, making their cause official in their eyes and the world’s.
- The people of Texas announced the formation of a new republic, and reappointed Sam Houston to serve as commander of the army. George Childress, a native of Tennessee, served as chairman of the committee that drafted the declaration and is considered its primary author.
Declaration of Independence and Final Victory
- Despite the Texas Declaration of Independence, the situation looked dim for many Texans following the battle of Alamo. Six weeks later, a large Texan army formed by Sam Houston traveled toward the Texas border at San Jacinto. Santa Anna was extremely confident, believing that his army outnumbering the Americans would ensure victory.
- Yet, on April 21, 1836, the Texans surprised and attacked the Mexican forces, shouting “Remember the Alamo!”, eventually defeating them and capturing Santa Anna.
- The Mexican dictator was forced to recognize Texas’ independence and withdrew his forces south of the Rio Grande.
- Texas sought annexation by the United States, but both Mexico and antislavery forces opposed its admission into the Union. For nearly a decade, Texas existed as an independent republic, and Houston was Texas’ first elected president. In 1845, Texas joined the Union as the 28th state, leading to the outbreak of the Mexican-American War.
Texas Independence Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Texas Independence across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Texas Independence worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Texas Independence.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Word War Search
- Magic Squares
- Road to Independence
- Back in Battle
- Men of Independence
- Lone Star Flag
- Texas Pledge
- Flag Parade
- Sam Says
- Lone Star Anthem
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Link will appear as Texas Independence Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 19, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.