March 2nd is a very important day for Texas — in 1793 one of their most important leaders was born and on the same say in 1836, the Republic of Texas officially adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence. Read on to learn more about this great state’s journey to statehood, and the important role Sam Houston played in making it happen.
In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain and possessed land that stretched south to Guatemala and north to Oregon Country. The province of Texas was a large portion of this land with a very small population. To increase its population, the Mexican government allowed immigrants from the United States to settle the land. This included Stephen Austin, known as the “Father of Texas”, and about 300 American families.
These people quickly grew the population of Texas, but as they grew, they started to realize they didn’t like being controlled by the Mexican government. By the year 1835, Texans concluded they had enough of the Mexican government and that they would fight for their independence — beginning the Texas Revolution.
An important leader and politician during the Texas Revolution was a Virginian man by the name of Sam Houston. Houston had lived with the Cherokee Indians as a teenager and was originally sent to Texas by Andrew Jackson to negotiate with the Native Americans in Texas. He quickly became invested in the Texas Revolution and was elected Commander in Chief for the Texan Army.
In early 1836, about 200 Texan volunteer Soldiers fought off thousands of Mexican Soldiers for almost two weeks. This battle was fought in San Antonio and was known as The Battle of the Alamo. Even though the Texans were defeated, their strength and resilience became a symbol for the remainder of the Texas Revolution.
The Battle of San Jacinto
Less than a year after The Battle of the Alamo, the Republic of Texas fought Mexico again in the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle consisted of less than a thousand Texans versus about fifteen-hundred Mexicans. The outnumbered Texans defeated Mexico and won their independence on April 21, 1836.
Joining the United States
The Republic of Texas remained independent for almost a decade until Sam Houston persuaded the leaders of Texas to join the United States for increased protection and to open more opportunities for trade.
The Republic of Texas became the state of Texas on December 29, 1845 and was the twenty-eighth state to be admitted into the union.