Catalog # SKU0711
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Thomas M. Marshall & Ethel Ratiler


Author: Ethel Zivley Ratiler

Recognition of the Republic of Texas
The Movement for Independence
Author: Ethel Zivley Ratiler

Diplomatic Relations of Texas and the United States: 1839-1843
Author: Thomas Maitland Marshall

Special Reprint - 2 books in one Volume!

Excerpt: Recognition of the Republic of Texas

When Texas in the fall of 1835 found herself at war with Mexico, her first step, after putting the country in a state of defense, was to cast about for aid. Two alternatives were presented to her: she might either ally herself with the Mexican Liberals, who were also in rebellion against the centralized government of Santa Anna; or she might declare independence, and trust to the United States for assistance to sustain it.

What she did was to experiment with each course in turn; and the revolution falls thus into two phases-first, an effort to restore the "republican principles" of the constitution which Santa Anna had overthrown; secondly, a struggle for independence. Some emphasis has been laid upon the conscientiousness of the Texan colonists during the first period in adhering to their obligations to Mexico and the reluctance with which they finally threw off allegiance to their adopted country.

It is no doubt true that, rather than engage in a war whose issue was at best doubtful, the majority of the colonists would have preferred to continue the old relationship with Mexico under the constitution, if peace might thereby have been restored. But in tracing the relations between Texas and the United States at this time, one is forced to question whether the Texan leaders were as sincere during the first months of the revolution in their loyalty to the constitution of 1824 as they were later on in the acknowledged war for independence; whether more confidence either in their own strength or in help from without might not have led earlier to an unqualified declaration of independence. In the fall of 1835, however, they felt that help form some quarter must be forthcoming-that alone they were incapable of resisting the forces that had already suppressed similar uprisings in other provinces throughout Mexico.

The Consultation at San Felipe, which was called partly for the purpose of determining what course to pursue, decided, November 6, against a declaration of independence by a vote of thirty-three to fifteen. On the next day a report defining the position in which Texas stood was brought in by a committee appointed for the purpose, and unanimously adopted. It stated that: Whereas, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and other military chieftains, have, by force of arms, overthrown the federal institutions of Mexico, and dissolved the social compact which existed between Texas and the other members of the Mexican confederacy; now the good people of Texas, availing themselves of their natural rights,...

In 1835, however, a large proportion of the Texans were actually contemplating independence. But the problem of securing immediate aid against Santa Anna confronted them. The Mexican Liberals held out flattering inducements. The other source, the United States, from which they were ardently hoping to receive help, was far less certain. Besides a precipitate declaration might meet with the disfavor of their neighbor on the north, whose good will above all it was essential to retain. Under considerations such as these many of the radicals were induced to temporize, with the mental reservation that independence should be the ultimate aim.

And in this desire it is safe to assume that a great number of the so-called conservative party also shared.

There can be no doubt that Stephen F. Austin was influenced by such considerations, and his attitude throws perhaps the truest light upon the situation in the fall of 1835. He was at the time the recognized leader of the conservatives; and he has subsequently been held up as the one man who to the last was faithful to every possible obligation to Mexico. To all outward appearance this was true. In his zeal to coöperate with the Liberal party he even incurred the suspicion of some of his own fellow citizens-so much so that he was spoken of contemptuously as a "Mexican."

Though a man remarkable for his fairness in dealing with others, his opposition to a declaration of independence in the fall of 1835 led him into bitter and unjust denunciations of his opponents-a thing that he deeply regretted afterward. But the principle at stake was not loyalty to Mexico, however reluctantly he may have renounced allegiance to his adopted country when such a step became necessary. The controlling motive of his life was the welfare of his colony; and on his return from Mexico, he undoubtedly felt that the radical party, in precipitating the revolution, was endangering the very end they had in view, namely, independence.

That he, too, however, had become convinced that independence must be the ultimate result, there is abundant evidence to show; and this perhaps explains the apparent inconsistency of his attitude in the fall of 1835. In a personal letter to a cousin, written August 21, 1835, from New Orleans on his return from a two years' imprisonment in Mexico, he gives the clearest exposition of his views. Having been kept in close confinement in Mexico, he was as yet unaware of the recent developments in Texas. He had, however, as he says in this letter, already come to the conclusion that the best interests of Texas demanded that she become a part of the United States. He had foreseen that the Anglo-American colonization of Texas, if unchecked, would result inevitably in her separation from Mexico, which he considered but the preliminary step to annexation to the United States.

As a means of hastening the process he planned to induce a great immigration during the winter of 1835-6-`with passports, so long as the door was legally open; should it be closed, it would then be time enough to force it open, if necessary.' The immigrants should of course be slaveholders, in order to harmonize with their neighbors in the slaveholding states. When this had been accomplished, he expected "the violent political convulsions of Mexico to shake off Texas as a gentle breeze shakes off a ripe peach." The importance of Texas to the southwest he believed would appeal to all reflecting men, but especially to Jackson and the Senate. In the meanwhile, however, everything should be governed by "prudence and an observance of appearances."

"The Mexicans," he says, "are a strange people. Appearances mean everything to them even though they know they are being deceived. They have high ideals of national dignity, but will sacrifice national dignity and national interest, too, if it can be done so as not to arrest public attention. The more the Anglo-American population of Texas is increased the more readily will the Mexican government give it up; and the more Texas seems to oppose a separation from Mexico the less tenacious will Mexico hold to it."

Excerpt: Diplomatic Relations of Texas

During the first administration of Houston the keynotes of Texan diplomatic relations with the United States were recognition of her independence and annexation. The first of these had been attained by the last official act of Andrew Jackson, but annexation met with greater difficulty. Opposition developed in the United States Congress to such an extent that the offer of annexation was withdrawn in October, 1838, two months before the close of Houston's first administration.

The election of Lamar to the presidency of Texas brought about a changed attitude in diplomatic relations. Lamar desired to see Texas develop into a great independent republic; he hoped to build up her finances, to secure the recognition of foreign powers, to gain an acknowledgment of Texan independence from Mexico, to extend her trade relations by commercial treaties, to expand the boundaries, and to establish a system of education.

It is the object of this paper to trace the diplomatic relations of Texas and the United States during this period of nationalism and to show their outcome in the second administration of Houston. The subject of annexation has recently received extended treatment from several able historians; in consequence the present writer will treat that subject only when necessary to explain the course of events with which this paper specifically deals.

The most important step toward the accomplishment of Lamar's plans was to secure his country from Mexican aggression. Mexico had not acknowledged the independence of her rebellious province and was continuing a predatory warfare in the neighborhood of the Rio Grande. Torn with internecine strife, assailed by France, and confronted with rebellion in Yucatan, Mexico had scant means to carry on more than guerrilla warfare against Texas.

The time appeared auspicious for coming to an understanding. Accordingly the plan was conceived of sending an agent to Mexico and of instructing the Minister to the United States to attempt to secure the good offices of that government in undertaking the rôle of mediator.

Perfect-bound, 5x8, 192pages

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