Republic of Texas

The Republic of Texas was a sovereign nation in North America between the United States and Mexico that existed from 1836 to 1846. Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the nation claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S. state of Texas, as well as parts of present-day New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming based upon the Treaties of Velasco between the newly created Texas republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain, in 1819. Its southern and western-most boundary with Mexico was under dispute throughout the existence of the Republic, with Texas claiming that the boundary was the Rio Grande, and Mexico claiming the Nueces River as the boundary. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican–American War, after the annexation of Texas.

Historical context

Texas was not the only Mexican state to secede from Mexico and declare independence. The Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas also withdrew themselves from Mexico and formed their own short-lived federal republic called the Republic of the Rio Grande with Laredo as the capital, which is in the present-day State of Texas. The Mexican state of Yucatán also seceded and formed the Republic of Yucatán. Several other states also went into open rebellion including San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Jalisco and Zacatecas. All the Mexican states that revolted, including Texas, were upset with President Antonio López de Santa Anna over abolishing the Mexican Constitution of 1824, dissolving the Mexican Congress and changing the structure of the Mexican government from a federal one to a centralized one. In fact, Yucatán, in its declaration of independence, expressed its desire to re-accede to the Mexican Union if federalism was to be re-established. Texas was the only seceding Mexican state to retain its independence from Mexico.

However, the context of the Texas rebellion was different from the other Mexican states/provinces attempting to declare independence, because the Texas rebellion was conducted with great assistance by Anglo American immigrants. Mainly because of this fact, Texas was also the only former Mexican state to entertain the idea of joining the United States entirely of its own volition. After gaining their independence, the Texas voters had elected a congress of 14 senators and 29 representatives in September 1836. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas allowed the first president to serve for only two years. It set a three year term for all later presidents.

Diplomatic relations

On March 3, 1837, US President Andrew Jackson appointed Alcée La Branche as chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas, thus officially recognizing Texas as an independent republic. France granted official recognition of Texas on September 25, 1839, appointing Dubois de Saligny to serve as chargé d'affaires. Great Britain never granted official recognition of Texas due to its own friendly relations with Mexico, but admitted Texan goods into British ports on their own terms.


On February 28, 1845, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States to annex the Republic of Texas. On March 1, U.S. President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. Faced with imminent American annexation of Texas, Charles Elliot and Alphonse de Saliny, the British and French ministers to Texas, were dispatched to Mexico City by their governments. Meeting together with Mexico's foreign secretary, they signed a "Diplomatic Act" in which Mexico offered to recognize an independent Texas, with boundaries that would be determined with French and British mediation. Texas President Anson Jones forwarded both offers to a specially elected convention meeting at Austin, and the American proposal was accepted with only one dissenting vote. The Mexican proposal was never put to a vote. Following the previous decree of President Jones, the proposal was then put to a national vote.

On October 13, 1845 a large majority of voters in the Republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery and the slave trade. This constitution was later accepted by the U.S. Congress, making Texas a U.S. state on the same day annexation took effect, December 29 1845 (therefore bypassing a territorial phase). One of the motivations for annexation (besides the primary one of desiring to be united with their perceived Anglo-American ethno-cultural brethren of the United States and their Anglo-American brethren of "the South" regional-cultural) was that the Texas government had incurred huge debts which the United States agreed to assume upon annexation. In 1852, in return for this assumption of debt, a large portion of Texas-claimed territory, now parts of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming, was ceded to the Federal government.

The annexation resolution has been the topic of some incorrect historical beliefs—one that remains is that the resolution granted Texas the explicit right to secede from the Union. This was a right argued by some to be implicitly held by all states at the time, up until the conclusion of the Civil War. The resolution did include two unique provisions: first, it said that up to four additional states could be created from Texas' territory, with the consent of the State of Texas. The resolution did not include any special exceptions to the provisions of the US Constitution regarding statehood. The right to create these possible new states was not "reserved" for Texas, as is sometimes stated.. Second, Texas did not have to surrender its public lands to the federal government. While Texas did cede all territory outside of its current area to the federal government in 1850, it did not cede any public lands within its current boundaries. This means that generally, the only lands owned by the federal government within Texas have actually been purchased by the government. This also means that the state government has control over oil reserves which were later used to fund the state's public university system. In addition, the state's control over offshore oil reserves in Texas runs out to 3 leagues (10.357 miles, 16.668 km) rather than three miles (4.828 km) as with other states.

Presidents and vice presidents

Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Republic of Texas with election results
From To President Vice president Presidential
Vice pres.
16 March 1836 22 October 1836 David G. Burnet
Lorenzo de Zavala
22 October 1836 10 December 1838 Sam Houston Mirabeau B. Lamar Sam Houston
Henry Smith
Stephen F. Austin
Mirabeau B. Lamar  
10 December 1838 13 December 1841 Mirabeau B. Lamar David G. Burnet Mirabeau B. Lamar
Robert Wilson
David G. Burnet  
13 December 1841 9 December 1844 Sam Houston Edward Burleson Sam Houston
David G. Burnet
Edward Burleson
Memucan Hunt
9 December 1844 19 February 1846 Anson Jones Kenneth L. Anderson Anson Jones
Edward Burleson
Kenneth L. Anderson  

Notable figures of the republic

In Alternate History

The "Sliders" episode "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy" takes place in an alternate history where the Republic of Texas remained independent throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries (see List of Sliders episodes).

The canceled CBS show "Jericho" showed an "Independent Republic of Texas" in the series finale. The Independent Republic of Texas, according to the show's history, was formed after the devastating nuclear attacks in the former United States of America. Eager to avoid a conflict with the newly-formed "Allied States of America" and the remnants of the former United States, it declared independence, and by assisting traitors to the Allied States, it became an ally of the United States in the upcoming war (which could never be aired).

See also



External links

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