The Birth of a Republic

Fifty-nine delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Sam Houston called for immediate adoption of the proposed Declaration of Independence. The declaration was approved by unanimous vote and signed by all members present.

Like the United States Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson 60 years earlier, the Texas declaration had three main sections. The first section declared the right of revolution.

The second section of the declaration listed the colonists’ grievances against the Mexican government:

  • General Santa Anna ignored the Constitution of 1824 and replaced it with “a consolidated central military despotism.”
  • The Mexican government had promised the Anglo-American settlers that there would be a written constitution, but it did not fulfill the promise.
  • The Mexican government favored Coahuila over the welfare of Texas.
  • Stephen F. Austin was arrested and held in Mexico.
  • The Mexican government failed to establish a public education system.
  • There was a military occupation of Texas.
  • Texans were denied such basic rights as trial by jury and freedom of religion.

Section three of the document proclaimed Texas independence and pledged the support of all the delegates who had signed the document.

Drawing on their experience as citizens of both the United States and Mexico, the members of the committee created a republican form of government. The new nation became known as the Republic of Texas. In drafting the constitution, the ever-present threat of an attack by Mexican troops made it necessary to act quickly.

Source: The Birth of a Republic
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