Texas: Founding of a New State
The Texas territory has been governed by several nations since Spain first claimed the land in the 1500s. The journey from Spain’s claim to Sam Houston’s Battle of Jacinto is a very interesting one that includes settlers, politicians, armies and nine different constitutions. After the Battle of San Jacinto, Sam Houston and governments to follow had many obstacles to overcome with the forming of a solid state constitution. The development of Texas came from two areas: Mexico and the Anglo settlement. Texas was included as part of the territory of The Republic of Mexico from when secured its independence from Spain in 1821, about the time Stephen F. Austin began to bring Anglo colonist to the sparsely populated Texas region. (Gibson 36). Following the Mexican War of Independence, the new Republic of Mexico adopted the Constitution of 1824; the Republic of Mexico required that each state in the Republic write its own constitution. The legislature of the combined state of Coahiula and Texas published its Constitution in 1827. Texas was under the rule of Mexico and the Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas (Texas), completed in 1827, which setup an unicameral congress twelve deputies including two from Tejas (Texas) territory. In the early years of the United States colonies the immense population was concentrated along the Atlantic Coast where the original thirteen British colonies were settled. As the population developed and the financial burdens grew with the inhabitants, the look to the Western frontier became more and more attractive to many. The western frontier was still very unsettled past the Appalachian Mountains which may the transition less appealing to women. The frontier was seen by many, as a vast opportunity for daring men to move out and go make their fortune. This move required men to gamble the safety of their current situations for the unknown. Failure by men during this time was often caused by business failure or just gambling on a chance at a better future or promise of great fortune. One of these eager men was Moses Austin. “Moses Austin was born in 1761, the son of an innkeeper who was also a tailor and famer. These were humble occupations that did not suit Moses’s higher ambitions.”(Haley 5). Moses left home at the age of twenty-two in search of his place in life. He traveled through Pennsylvania, where he went into business with his brother, Stephen Austin, and later married into wealth by wedding Mary Brown. After the marriage, the Austin family moved to Virginia where Moses opened a dry goods store and quickly prospered. In 1793, Mary Austin gave birth to their third child, and first son, which he named after his brother, Stephen Fuller Austin. “In 1803, the united States purchased Louisiana Territory from France, which had acquired it from Spain. The Austin’s were once again American citizens and they were a family of power and influence” (Haley 10). It was in 1819, that the national depression wiped out most of the family’s fortune and the Austin’s were once again in ruins, with Moses nearing on the age of sixty. Once again Moses was stuck with fretting about how he could restore the family fortune he reflected back at how well he had done starting the American Colony in Spanish Mexico just years earlier. He decided, without appointment, to start his journey out to San Antonio de Bexar, to set his plans into motion by meeting with the Mexican governor, Antonio Martinez, with only $50 in his pocket, which was lent to him by his son, Stephen F. Austin. The meeting did not go as planned, and he was given his walking papers by the Governor. He ran into an old friend, Felipe de Bastrop. Bastrop and Austin discussed his plan. Austin shared his vision for the new Anglo colony in Texas to Bastrop, who agreed to help draw up the proper petition, and present it to Governor Martinez. Bastrop agreed to advise the governor to approve the proposal. May...
Cited: Author Unknown, http://www.sanjacintodescendants.org/battle.html. San Jacinto Descendants Organization. online. 21 April 2008.
Author Unknown. http://www.texasalmanac.com/topics/history/timeline/declaration-independence. Texas State Historical Association website, Inc. online. 7 November 2013.
Author Unknown. http://www.texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/7_2_0.html . University of Texas at Austin. Online. 14 October 2013.
Gibson Jr., L. Tucker, and Clay Robison. Government and Politics in the Lone Star State. 8th edition. Boston. Pearson .2013.
Haley, James L. Stephen F. Austin and the Founding of Texas. New York: Rosen, 2003.
Haley, James L. Stephen F. Austin and the Founding of Texas. Perf. Benjamin Becker. Audible. 2009.
May, Janice C. The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide. Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 1996.
Winkler, Ernest William. Journal of the Secession convention of Texas, 1861. Austin. Austin printing Company. 1912.
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