Chapter 13, section 2 SPONGE Complete the sentence: “Mexico feared that the Americans would try to make Texas…” (p.386) Define “Siege.” (p.387)
The Republic of Texas Chapter 13, Section 2
Setting the Scene The news of Texans fighting for independence from Mexico spread to the U.S. in 1835. Many Americans were inspired by the revolution, which so closely resembled the American Revolution. “I was in Chicago when I heard the news,” wrote Joseph Barnard, “the Texans are in arms for the cause of republican principals and have entered the contest with spirit and vigor.”
Americans in Mexican Texas In the early 1800’s, American farmers looked eagerly to Texas, which was a part of Spain. In 1821 Spain agreed to give Moses Austin a land grant in Texas. When Moses died, his son Stephen took over the project. Mexico won its independence before Stephen could get started, but the new country agreed to let Austin settle in Texas.
Americans in Mexican Texas Mexico wanted settlers to develop the land and control Indian attacks because so few Mexicans lived in Texas. Austin brought 300 families to Texas, many of whom brought slaves and set up cotton plantations. By 1830, there were 20,000 Americans in Texas because Mexico continued to allow them in.
Conflict with Mexico Early American settlers agreed to become Mexican citizens and convert to Catholicism, but later settlers resisted. In 1830, Mexico barred any more Americans from settling in Texas. Mexico feared that the Americans would try to make Texas a part of the United States. The U.S. had already tried to buy Texas twice.
Conflict with Mexico Mexico began to enforce its laws, using troops to make Americans go to church as well as freeing slaves. In 1833, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna gained power in Mexico. He became a dictator and threw out the Mexican constitution. Rumors spread that he would drive Americans out of Texas.
Texans Take Action Texans, with the support of many Tejanos (Mexicans living in Texas) clashed with Mexican troops in the town of Gonzales and forced them to retreat. American rebels then took the town of San Antonio, unaware that Santa Anna was on the march to take Texas back.
Texans Take Action Texas declared independence and formed the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836. Sam Houston was given control of the Army. By the time Santa Anna reached Texas, the Texans had taken up positions at the Alamo, waiting for an attack. The Texans were poorly equipped and outnumbered 150 to 6,000!
Siege at the Alamo • Inside the village, young William B. Travis was in command of famous frontiersman like Jim Bowie and Davy Crocket. • Mexican troops began the siege of the Alamo in February. In a siege, enemy forces try to capture a city or fort, often by surrounding and bombarding it.
Siege at the Alamo The Texans bravely defended the fort in a hopeless fight. Travis sent a letter to the people of Texas: “I shall never surrender or retreat. I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, and of everything dear to the American character to come to our aid with all speed. Victory or Death!”
Siege at the Alamo After 12 days of Mexican cannon bombarding the fort, the mission walls fell and soldiers poured into the fort. All 180 Texans in the fort were killed, many in hand-to-hand combat. However, 1500 Mexicans also lay dead at the end of the day.
Remember the Alamo! Texan Independence The fall of the Alamo caused Texans to seek revenge against Mexico. News of the Alamo inspired many new American to volunteer to help the Texans. Houston trained these men into an effective army. On April 21, 1836 Houston attacked the Mexican army, which was camped along the San Jacinto River.
Texan Independence The battle lasted only 18 minutes, as the outnumbered Texans killed 630 Mexicans and captured 700 more. The day after the Battle of San Jacinto the Texans captured Santa Anna and forced him to sign a treaty, which made Texas an independent republic.
The Lone Star Republic The Texans carried a flag with a single star into battle and called their new country the Lone Star Republic. They wrote a constitution modeled after the United States’ and elected Sam Houston their first President.
The Lone Star Republic The new “Lone Star Republic” faced several challenges: Mexico refused to accept Texan independence or Santa Anna’s treaty. Most Mexicans still thought of Texas as a part of their country. Texas was also bankrupt and suffered many attacks from Comanche Indians. Many Texans thought joining the U.S. would solve these problems.
The Lone Star Republic People in the U.S. were divided over whether to annex (add on) Texas. Southerners were generally in favor of adding Texas because slavery would grow into the west. Northerners opposed annexation for the same reason. President Jackson worried a war would start if Texas was annexed, and convinced Congress to refuse Texas’ admission.
The Lone Star Republic For nine years Texas was it’s own country. The republic attracted thousands of American and European immigrants in that time, growing to 140,000 by the 1840’s. The republic was home to a diverse group of people, including Mexicans, African Americans and Native Americans.
California and the Southwest Chapter 13, Section 3
New Mexico Territory In the early 1840’s, Mexico ruled over California and the rest of the Southwest (which was called New Mexico Territory.) Most of the Southwest is hot and dry with deserts and mountains. Early tribes like the Zuni farmed the area using irrigation while other tribes like the Apache lived by hunting.
New Mexico Territory • The Spanish explorer Juan de Onate claimed the region for Spain in 1598. • Santa Fe was built in the 1600’s and became the capital of the territory. • Spain did not allow Americans to settle in New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Trail • Once Mexico gained its independence in 1821, Americans were finally welcome to New Mexico. • American merchants from Missouri made a route to New Mexico that became known as the Santa Fe Trail. • There, they sold their goods to Mexican traders.
California’s Missions and Ranches • California was also ruled by Spain at first, then later Mexico. • The Spanish had already settled in California 65 years before the first English colony landed in America. • In California, missionaries quickly built a string of Catholic missions along the coast. • Each mission became self-sufficient; they produced enough food and supplies for the people living there and any nearby forts.
California’s Missions and Ranches • Before the Spanish arrived, California’s natives lived in small, scattered tribes. They had little hope of resisting Spanish soldiers and were baptized and forced to work on mission lands. • Work on missions for Native Americans included herding sheep and cattle and raising crops, but it was hard. Thousands died from overwork and disease.
California’s Missions and Ranches • When Mexico gained its independence, it took land away from the missions and gave it to wealthy noblemen. • The nobles set up ranches in California. • Again, Native Americans did most of the work here. Some became expert cowboys, called vaqueros.
Support for Expansion • By the 1840’s, some Americans had moved to California and the United States began to offer to buy the territory. • Many Americans saw our government as the best in the world, and thought it was our right and duty to spread American culture all the way to the Pacific.
Manifest Destiny • This idea that the U.S. should spread across the continent was called, Manifest Destiny (Manifest means obvious.) • Manifest destiny had an ugly side. Many Americans believed that whites were superior to other people, so there was no reason why they couldn’t take land from “inferior” people.
Election of 1844 • In 1844, the Whigs nominated Henry Clay for President. The Democrats chose James K. Polk. • Polk wanted to add Texas and Oregon to the U.S. He was the Manifest Destiny candidate. • Polk’s motto was “54°40’ north or fight”, meaning that he was going to fight for all of Oregon Territory. Polk won the election for two reasons: 1) He supported expansion of the U.S. and 2) he had a rockin’ mullet that no President since has been bold enough to grow.