Texas Independence Day

In 1824, Stephen Austin drafted the Mexican Constitution, which framed the most liberal representative governmental system the world had known until then. Other Texans and Tejanos were instrumental in its passage. See:

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/constit1824.htm
But the United States of Mexico was short lived as a democratic republic. Santa Ana seized dictatorial power by military coup in 1833 after he had been elected President. Soon Texas had no reason to stay in and every reason to get out of the Mexican Union.

The leading Tejano signatory to the 1824 Constitution was also a signatory to the 1836 Texas Declaration of Independence.

The Texas Declaration of Independence was produced, literally, overnight, from March 1 to March 2, 1836. Its urgency was paramount, because while it was being prepared, the Alamo in San Antonio was under seige by Santa Anna’s Army of Mexico.

As seen from the transcription below, the document parallels somewhat that of the United States, signed almost sixty years earlier. It contains statements on the function and responsibility of government, followed by a list of grievances. Finally, it concludes by declaring Texas a free and independent republic.

The full text follows:

 

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.

When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.

Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is therefore submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken, of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.

The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America.

In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood.

It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.

It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens, for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution, and the establishment of a state government.

It has failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.

It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.

It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyrrany, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and rendering the military superior to the civil power.

It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriving us of the fundamental political right of representation.

It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial, in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and the constitution.

It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.

It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true and living God.

It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.

It has invaded our country both by sea and by land, with intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our homes; and has now a large mercenary army advancing, to carry on against us a war of extermination.

It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defenseless frontiers.

It hath been, during the whole time of our connection with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions, and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrranical government.

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.

The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.

We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers of the people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations.

22 Responses

  1. This was an important week in the history of Texas. Yesterday was the 180th Anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Today marks the anniversary of the tenth day of the 13 day siege at the Alamo.

    Travis was despairing at that point, outnumbered 25-1, with no hope of aid and being asked to hold out to the last man so that Houston could gather enough men to meet Santa Ana in what would be the final battle.

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  2. I didn’t know that bit about the Mexican Constitution. Thanks.

    Like

    • You’re welcome, JNC.

      I have been musing about Texas negotiating its secession. Assuming no civil war, what would be the hard details?

      1] Common defense/military alliance/maintenance of US military and naval bases in TX? Would TX have to join NATO as part of the agreement?
      2] Common Market/economic union/free trade/NAFTA?
      3] Compensation to the USA for federal land?
      4] Unrestricted travel for the citizens of the 2 nations in each nation?

      If no coordination of Texas and USA policy toward Mexico there could be problems. Would Texas have to join NAFTA?

      5] Would citizens of the USA and residents of Texas have to declare allegiance to one or the other, or would dual citizenship be an agreed possibility? Could Texans volunteer for the US military and remain citizens of TX?

      Texas has its own power grid, so that would not be a problem.

      What else?

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  3. The only problem I have with the high-mindedness of that declaration is that every reference to ‘property’ meant ‘slaves’.

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  4. “”Under no circumstance will Mexico pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing,” he said. “Building a wall between Mexico and the United States is a terrible idea. It is an idea based on ignorance and has no foundation in the reality of North American integration.

    Just curious that means to the government of Mexico.

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/mexico-says-wont-pay-trumps-terrible-border-wall-145016621.html

    Like

    • Means NAFTA and trade integration. Considering all the American owned factories on the MX side of the River, it is pretty easy to see how a MX pol would be looking at it.

      It won’t keep MX money out of the FedReserveBanks in SA, DAL, and HOU.

      Like

    • Well, check out Victor Davis Hanson’s Mexifornia. He might mean it that way, too. One thing I’m sure he doesn’t mean is that Mexico is going to do anything to change their immigration laws:

      Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are:

      • in the country legally;
      • have the means to sustain themselves economically;
      • not destined to be burdens on society;
      • of economic and social benefit to society;
      • of good character and have no criminal records; and
      • contributors to the general well-being of the nation.

      The law also ensures that:

      • immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;
      • foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;
      • foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal politics;
      • foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;
      • foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;
      • those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.

      Who could disagree with such a law? It makes perfect sense. The Mexican constitution strictly defines the rights of citizens — and the denial of many fundamental rights to non-citizens, illegal and illegal. Under the constitution, the Ley General de Población, or
      General Law on Population, spells out specifically the country’s immigration policy.

      http://humanevents.com/2006/05/08/mexicos-immigration-law-lets-try-it-here-at-home/

      Like

  5. Worth a note:

    “The government here is between a rock and a hard place. They can’t appeal the decision because they won and they won because the lower court and the appeals court bought their argument, the GSE’s are not Federal Instrumentalities and if they aren’t, they are subject to state law. In this case that is Delaware Law where they are chartered. If that is true, then the NWS, illegal under Delaware Law should be ruled as such.”

    http://www.valueplays.net/2016/03/03/the-9th-circuit-may-have-just-decided-the-delaware-gse-cases-for-plaintiffs/

    http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36442-fanniegate-9th-circuit-rules-that-fannie-and-freddie-are-private-companies

    Like

  6. Can I get in on this?

    http://notable.ca/uk-company-introduces-a-period-policy-giving-female-employees-time-off-for-cramps/

    As the dude in Raising Arizona said, “Sometimes Igets the menstruel cramps real hard.”

    Like

    • McWing:

      Can I get in on this?

      I identify as a PMS victim.

      BTW, from the article:

      The new policy is said to be well received by both genders

      And here I thought women staying at home was so 20th century.

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    • Why can’t they take sick days? As anyone in a house full of females knows, period cramps can be a bitch. I understand not being able to work under such conditions, especially if you suffer severe cramps. But I thought the UK had excellent sick leave and medical leave and family leave policies?

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  7. March 4, 1836, was the 11th day of the Siege of Alamo. Santa Ana ordered his big cannons rolled closer to the walls. The sustained artillery attack continued. If you visit, notice the walls are scarred but not breached by cannon shot.

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  8. I can see the FBI’s point re Apple, but this is horseshit.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2584964/

    On par with Janet Reno claiming Koresh was molesting children so the compound should be burned to the ground with people in it.

    Like

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