Republic of Texas
Overview
 
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, bordering the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, that existed from 1836 to 1846.

Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, as well as parts of present-day New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 based upon the Treaties of Velasco
Treaties of Velasco
The Treaties of Velasco were two documents signed at Velasco, Texas, on May 14, 1836, between Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, in the aftermath of the Battle of San Jacinto ....

 between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 between the United States and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in 1819.
Encyclopedia
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, bordering the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, that existed from 1836 to 1846.

Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, as well as parts of present-day New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 based upon the Treaties of Velasco
Treaties of Velasco
The Treaties of Velasco were two documents signed at Velasco, Texas, on May 14, 1836, between Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, in the aftermath of the Battle of San Jacinto ....

 between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 between the United States and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in 1819. Its southern and western-most boundary with Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 was under dispute throughout the existence of the Republic, with Texas claiming that the boundary was the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

, and Mexico claiming the Nueces River
Nueces River
The Nueces River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas, approximately long. It drains a region in central and southern Texas southeastward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost major river in Texas northeast of the Rio Grande...

 as the boundary. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

, after the annexation of Texas by the United States
Texas Annexation
In 1845, United States of America annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas's border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican-American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory , extending the nation's...

.

Establishment

The Republic of Texas was created from part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas was one of the constituent states of the newly established United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution.It had two capitals: first Saltillo, and then Monclova...

 as a result of the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

. Mexico was in turmoil as leaders attempted to determine an optimal form of government. In 1835, when President Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

 abolished the Constitution of 1824, granting himself enormous powers over the government, wary colonists in Texas began forming Committees of Correspondence and Safety. A central committee in San Felipe de Austin
San Felipe, Texas
San Felipe, also known as San Felipe de Austin, is a town in Austin County, Texas, United States. The town was the social, economic, and political center of the early Stephen F. Austin colony. The population was 868 at the 2000 census.-History:...

 coordinated their activities. In the Mexican interior, several states revolted against the new centralist policies. The Texas Revolution officially began on October 2, 1835, in the Battle of Gonzales
Battle of Gonzales
The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops....

. Although the Texian
Texian
Texian is an archaic, mostly defunct 19th century demonym which defined a settler of current-day Texas, one of the southern states of the United States of America which borders the country of Mexico...

s originally fought for the reinstatement of the Constitution of 1824, by 1836 the aim of the war had changed. The Convention of 1836
Convention of 1836
The Convention of 1836 was the meeting of elected delegates in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas in March 1836. The Texas Revolution had begun five months previously, and the interim government, known as the Consultation, had wavered over whether to declare independence from Mexico or pledge to...

 declared independence on March 2, 1836, and officially formed the Republic of Texas.

1836–1845

The first Congress of the Republic of Texas
Congress of the Republic of Texas
The Congress of the Republic of Texas was the national legislature of the Republic of Texas established by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836. It was a bicameral legislature based on the model of the United States Congress...

 convened in October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia
West Columbia, Texas
West Columbia is a city in Brazoria County in the U.S. state of Texas within 50 miles of Eastern Columbia. The population was 4,255 at the 2000 census....

). Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

, known as the Father of Texas, died December 27, 1836, after serving two months as Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 for the new Republic.

In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

, Velasco
Velasco, Texas
Velasco was a town in Texas, United States, that was later annexed by the city of Freeport. Founded in 1831, Velasco is situated on the east side of the Brazos River in southeast Texas. It is sixteen miles south of Angleton, Texas, and four miles from the Gulf of Mexico.The town's early history is...

 and Columbia), before president Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 moved the capital to Houston in 1837. The capital was moved to the new town of Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 in 1839 by the next president, Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

. The first flag of the republic was the "Burnet Flag" (a gold star on an azure field), followed shortly thereafter by official adoption of the Lone Star Flag.

Internal politics of the Republic were based on the conflict between two factions. The nationalist faction, led by Lamar, advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, and the expansion of Texas to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. Their opponents, led by Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful co-existence with Native Americans. The Texas Congress even passed a resolution over Houston's veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 claiming the Californias
Las Californias
The Californias, or in — - was the name given by the Spanish to their northwestern territory of New Spain, comprising the present day states of Baja California and Baja California Sur on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico; and the present day U.S. state of California in the United States of...

 for Texas. The 1844 presidential election split dramatically, with the newer western regions of the Republic preferring the nationalist candidate Edward Burleson
Edward Burleson
Edward Burleson was a soldier, general, and statesman in the state of Missouri, the Republic of Texas, and later the U.S. state of Texas....

, while the cotton country, particularly east of the Trinity River
Trinity River (Texas)
The Trinity River is a long river that flows entirely within the U.S. state of Texas. It rises in extreme north Texas, a few miles south of the Red River. The headwaters are separated by the high bluffs on the south side of the Red River....

, went for Anson Jones
Anson Jones
Anson Jones was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."- Early life :...

.

The Comanche
Comanche
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

s were the main Native American opposition to the Texas Republic. In the late 1830s, Sam Houston negotiated a peace between Texas and the Comanches. Lamar replaced Houston as president in 1838, and reversed the Indian policies. He launched a genocidal war against the Comanches and invaded Comancheria
Comancheria
The Comancheria is the name commonly given to the region of New Mexico, west Texas and nearby areas occupied by the Comanche before the 1860s.-Geography:...

 itself. In retaliation, the Comanches attacked Texas in a series of raids. After peace talks in 1840 ended with the massacre of 34 Comanche leaders in San Antonio, the Comanches launched a major attack deep into Texas, known as the Great Raid of 1840
Great Raid of 1840
The Great Raid of 1840 was the largest raid ever mounted by Native Americans on white cities in what is now the United States. It followed the Council House Fight, in which Republic of Texas officials attempted to capture and take prisoner 33 Comanche chiefs who had come to negotiate a peace...

. Under command of Potsanaquahip (Buffalo Hump
Buffalo hump
Buffalo Hump was a Native American War Chief of the Penateka band of the Comanche Indians...

), 500-700 Comanche cavalry warriors swept down the Guadalupe River
Guadalupe River (Texas)
The Guadalupe River runs from Kerr County, Texas to San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is a popular destination for rafters and canoers. Larger cities along the river include New Braunfels, Kerrville, Seguin, Gonzales, Cuero, and Victoria...

 valley, killing and plundering all the way to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, where they sacked the towns of Victoria
Victoria, Texas
Victoria is a city in and the seat of Victoria County, Texas, United States. The population was 60,603 at the 2000 census. The three counties of the Victoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 111,163 at the 2000 census,...

 and Linnville. Houston became president again in 1841 and, with both Texans and Comanches exhausted by war, a new peace was established.

Although Texas governed itself, Mexico refused to recognize its independence. On March 5, 1842, a Mexican force of over 500 men, led by Ráfael Vásquez
Ráfael Vásquez (Mexican general)
Ráfael Vásquez was a 19th-Century General in the Mexican Army during the Mexican rebellion against the centralist style rule of government.-Early life:...

, invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They soon headed back to the Rio Grande after briefly occupying San Antonio. About 1,400 Mexican troops, led by the French mercenary general Adrián Woll
Adrián Woll
Adrián Woll was a French soldier of fortune and mercenary who served as a general in the army of Mexico during the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War.-Biography:...

, launched a second attack and captured San Antonio on September 11, 1842. A Texas militia retaliated at the Battle of Salado Creek
Battle of Salado Creek (1842)
The Battle of Salado Creek was a decisive engagement in 1842 which repulsed the final Mexican invasion of Texas. Colonel Mathew Caldwell of the Texas Rangers led just over 200 militiamen against an army of 1,600 Mexican Army troops and Cherokee warriors and defeated them outside of San Antonio de...

. A reinforcement militia, however, was defeated by Mexican soldiers and Texas Cherokee Indians on September 18 during the Dawson Massacre
Dawson Massacre
The Dawson Massacre, also called the Dawson Expedition, was an incident during the Mexican Invasions of Texas, in which thirty-six Texan militiamen were killed by Mexican soldiers with artillery on September 17, 1842 near San Antonio de Bexar...

. The Mexican army would later retreat from the city of San Antonio.

Among the effects of Mexico's attacks on Texas was the intensification of conflicts between political factions, including an incident known as the Texas Archive War
Texas Archive War
The Texas Archive War was an 1842 dispute over an attempted move of the Republic of Texas national archives from Austin to Houston and, more broadly, over then-president Sam Houston's efforts to make Houston the capital of Texas.-Background:...

. To "protect" the Texas national archives, President Sam Houston ordered them removed from Austin. The archives were eventually returned to Austin, albeit at gunpoint. The Texas Congress admonished Houston for the incident, and this episode in Texas history would solidify Austin as Texas's seat of government for the Republic and the future state.

There were also domestic disturbances.The Regulator–Moderator War was a land feud in Harrison and Shelby counties in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

 from 1839 to 1844. The feud eventually involved Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and other East Texas counties. Harrison County Sheriff John J. Kennedy
John J. Kennedy (Republic of Texas politician)
John Joseph Kennedy was a Scotch-Irish American sheriff of Harrison County, Texas that helped end the Regulator-Moderator War in East Texas. He was an artillery officer in the United States Army and a cavalry captain for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War...

 and county judge Joseph U. Fields helped end the conflict siding with the law and order party. Sam Houston ordered 500 militia to help in ending the feud.

Government

After gaining their independence, the Texas voters had elected a Congress of 14 senators and 29 representatives in September 1836. The Constitution
Constitution of the Republic of Texas
The Constitution of the Republic of Texas was written in 1836 between the fall of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio and Sam Houston's stunning victory at San Jacinto. The constitution was written quickly and while on the run from Santa Anna....

 allowed the first president to serve for only two years, and set a three year term for all later presidents.

The first Congress of the Republic of Texas convened in October 1836 at Columbia
West Columbia, Texas
West Columbia is a city in Brazoria County in the U.S. state of Texas within 50 miles of Eastern Columbia. The population was 4,255 at the 2000 census....

 (now West Columbia). Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

, sometimes called the "Father of Texas," died December 27, 1836, after serving two months as Secretary of State for the new Republic. Due mainly to the ongoing war for independence, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas in 1836: (Washington-on-the-Brazos
Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas
Washington-on-the-Brazos is an unincorporated area along the Brazos River in Washington County, Texas, United States. It was founded when Texas was still a part of Mexico, and the settlement became the site of the Convention of 1836 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence...

, Harrisburg, Galveston
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

, Velasco
Velasco, Texas
Velasco was a town in Texas, United States, that was later annexed by the city of Freeport. Founded in 1831, Velasco is situated on the east side of the Brazos River in southeast Texas. It is sixteen miles south of Angleton, Texas, and four miles from the Gulf of Mexico.The town's early history is...

 and Columbia
West Columbia, Texas
West Columbia is a city in Brazoria County in the U.S. state of Texas within 50 miles of Eastern Columbia. The population was 4,255 at the 2000 census....

). The capital was moved to the new city of Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

 in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved to a tiny frontier settlement on the Colorado River
Colorado River (Texas)
The Colorado River is a river that runs through the U.S. state of Texas; it should not be confused with the much longer Colorado River which flows from Colorado into the Gulf of California....

 named Waterloo. A new city was laid out, and Waterloo was renamed Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

.

The court system inaugurated by Congress included a Supreme Court consisting of a chief justice appointed by the president and four associate justices, elected by a joint ballot of both houses of Congress for four-year terms and eligible for re-election. The associates also presided over four judicial districts. Houston nominated James Collinsworth to be the first chief justice. The county-court system consisted of a chief justice and two associates, chosen by a majority of the justices of the peace in the county. Each county was also to have a sheriff, a coroner, justices of the peace, and constables to serve two-year terms. Congress formed 23 counties, whose boundaries generally coincided with the existing municipalities.

In 1839, Texas became the first nation in the world to enact a homestead exemption
Homestead exemption
Homestead exemption is a legal regime designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, and circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse...

, under which a person's primary residence could not be seized by creditors.

Boundaries

The Texan leaders at first intended to extend their national boundaries to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, but ultimately decided to claim the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 as boundary, including much of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, which the Republic never controlled. They also hoped, after peace was made with Mexico, to run a railroad to the Gulf of California
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland...

 to give "access to the East Indian, Peruvian and Chilean trade."
When negotiating for the possibility of annexation to the U.S. in late 1836, the Texan government instructed its minister Wharton in Washington that if the boundary were an issue, Texas was willing to settle for a boundary at the watershed between the Nueces River
Nueces River
The Nueces River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas, approximately long. It drains a region in central and southern Texas southeastward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost major river in Texas northeast of the Rio Grande...

 and Rio Grande, and leave out New Mexico.

Diplomatic relations

On March 3, 1837, US President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 appointed Alcée La Branche
Alcée Louis la Branche
Alcée Louis la Branche was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from the state of Louisiana. He served one term as a Democrat....

 American chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas
United States Ambassador to Texas
For 300 years, from 1521 until 1821, the part of North America that is now the state of Texas was part of the Spanish possessions in the New World called New Spain...

, thus officially recognizing Texas as an independent republic. France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 granted official recognition of Texas on September 25, 1839, appointing Alponse Dubois de Saligny to serve as chargé d'affaires. The French Legation was built in 1841, and still stands in Austin as the oldest frame structure in the city. Conversely, the Republic of Texas embassy in Paris was located in what is now the Hotel de Vendome, adjacent to the Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

 in Paris' 2e arrondissement.

The Republic also received diplomatic recognition from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and the Republic of Yucatán
Republic of Yucatán
The Republic of Yucatan was a nineteenth century sovereign state during two periods of the century. The first Republic of Yucatan, founded May 29, 1823, joined the Mexican federation as the Federated Republic of Yucatán on December 23, 1823, less than seven months later...

. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 never granted official recognition of Texas due to its own friendly relations with Mexico, but admitted Texan goods into British ports on their own terms. In London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, the original Embassy of the Republic of Texas still stands. Immediately opposite the gates to St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

, Sam Houston's original Embassy of the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James's
Court of St. James's
The Court of St James's is the royal court of the United Kingdom. It previously had the same function in the Kingdom of England and in the Kingdom of Great Britain .-Overview:...

 is now a hat shop, but is clearly marked with a large plaque and a nearby restaurant is called Texas Embassy. A plaque on the exterior of 3 St. James's Street in London notes that the upper floors of the building (which have housed the noted wine merchant Berry Brothers and Rudd
Berry Brothers and Rudd
Berry Bros. & Rudd is a wine and spirits merchant based in the United Kingdom. The company sells wine from around the world, including en primeur wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône and Italy. The company also sells a number of wines and spirits under its own label 'Berrys' Own Selection'...

 since 1698) housed the Texas Legation.

Presidents and vice presidents

Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Republic of Texas with election results
From To President Vice president Presidential
candidates
Pres.
votes
Vice pres.
candidates
V.P.
votes
March 16, 1836 October 22, 1836 David G. Burnet
David G. Burnet
David Gouverneur Burnet was an early politician within the Republic of Texas, serving as interim President of Texas , second Vice President of the Republic of Texas , and Secretary of State for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States of America.Burnet was born in Newark,...

 

(interim)
Lorenzo de Zavala
Lorenzo de Zavala
Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Saenz was a 19th-century Mexican politician. He served as finance minister under President Vicente Guerrero. A colonizer and statesman, he was also the interim Vice President of the Republic of Texas, serving under interim President David G...

 
(interim)
     
October 22, 1836 December 10, 1838 Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

Sam Houston
Henry Smith
Henry Smith (Texas Governor)
Henry Smith was first American-born Governor of the Mexican territory of Texas and briefly presided over the revolution there.-Early life:...

 
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

5119
743
587
Mirabeau B. Lamar  
December 10, 1838 December 13, 1841 Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

 
David G. Burnet
David G. Burnet
David Gouverneur Burnet was an early politician within the Republic of Texas, serving as interim President of Texas , second Vice President of the Republic of Texas , and Secretary of State for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States of America.Burnet was born in Newark,...

Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

 
Robert Wilson
6995
252
David G. Burnet  
December 13, 1841 December 9, 1844 Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 
Edward Burleson
Edward Burleson
Edward Burleson was a soldier, general, and statesman in the state of Missouri, the Republic of Texas, and later the U.S. state of Texas....

Sam Houston
David G. Burnet
7915
3619
Edward Burleson
Memucan Hunt
6141
4336
December 9, 1844 February 19, 1846 Anson Jones
Anson Jones
Anson Jones was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."- Early life :...

 
Kenneth L. Anderson
Kenneth Lewis Anderson
Kenneth Lewis Anderson was a lawyer, the fourth and last Vice President of the Republic of Texas.He was born in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where he worked as a shoemaker at an early age...

Anson Jones
Edward Burleson

Kenneth L. Anderson  

Statehood

On February 28, 1845, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to annex the Republic of Texas. On March 1, U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John Tyler
John Tyler
John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States . A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President . He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor...

 signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. Faced with imminent American annexation of Texas, Charles Elliot
Charles Elliot
Sir Charles Elliot, KCB , was a British naval officer, diplomat, and colonial administrator. He became the first administrator of Hong Kong in 1841 while serving as both Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China...

 and Alphonse de Saligny, the British and French ministers to Texas, were dispatched to Mexico City by their governments. Meeting with Mexico's foreign secretary, they signed a "Diplomatic Act" in which Mexico offered to recognize an independent Texas, with boundaries that would be determined with French and British mediation. Texas President Anson Jones
Anson Jones
Anson Jones was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."- Early life :...

 forwarded both offers to a specially-elected convention meeting at Austin, and the American proposal was accepted with only one dissenting vote. The Mexican proposal was never put to a vote. Following the previous decree of President Jones, the proposal was then put to a national vote.
On October 13, 1845, a large majority of voters in the Republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 and emigrants bringing slaves to Texas. This constitution was later accepted by the U.S. Congress, making Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 on the same day annexation took effect, December 29, 1845 (therefore bypassing a territorial phase). One of the motivations for annexation was the Texas government had incurred huge debts which the United States agreed to assume upon annexation. As part of the Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

, in return for this assumption of debt ($10,000,000), Texas dropped claims to territory, now parts of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

, which Texas had never controlled and which the Federal government had captured directly from Mexico early in the Mexican War
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

 and governed directly.

The annexation resolution has been the topic of some historical myths; one that remains is that the resolution granted Texas the explicit right to secede from the Union
Secession in the United States
Secession in the United States can refer to secession of a state from the United States, secession of part of a state from that state to form a new state, or secession of an area from a city or county....

. This is a right argued by some to be implicitly held by all states, although the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in Texas v. White
Texas v. White
Texas v. White, was a significant case argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The case involved a claim by the Reconstruction government of Texas that United States bonds owned by Texas since 1850 had been illegally sold by the Confederate state legislature during the American...

in 1869 that no state has the right to unilaterally secede. The resolution did include two unique provisions: first, it said up to four additional states could be created from Texas' territory, with the consent of the State of Texas (and that new states north of the Missouri Compromise Line would be free state
Free state (government)
Free state is a term occasionally used in the official titles of some states.In principle the title asserts and emphasises the freedom of the state in question, but what this actually means varies greatly in different contexts:...

s). The resolution did not include any special exceptions to the provisions of the US Constitution regarding statehood. The right to create these possible new states was not "reserved" for Texas, as is sometimes stated. Second, Texas did not have to surrender its public lands to the federal government. While Texas did cede all territory outside of its current area to the federal government in 1850, it did not cede any public lands within its current boundaries. This means the only lands owned by the federal government within Texas have subsequently been purchased by the federal government. This also means the state government has control over oil reserves
Oil reserves
The total estimated amount of oil in an oil reservoir, including both producible and non-producible oil, is called oil in place. However, because of reservoir characteristics and limitations in petroleum extraction technologies, only a fraction of this oil can be brought to the surface, and it is...

, which were later used to fund the state's public university system through the Permanent University Fund
Permanent University Fund
The Permanent University Fund is one of the methods by which the State of Texas funds public higher education within the state. A portion of the returns from the PUF are annually directed towards the Available University Fund , which distributes the funds according to provisions set forth by the...

. In addition, the state's control over offshore oil reserves in Texas runs out to 3 nautical leagues
League (unit)
A league is a unit of length . It was long common in Europe and Latin America, but it is no longer an official unit in any nation. The league originally referred to the distance a person or a horse could walk in an hour...

 (9 nautical miles, 10.357 statue miles, 16.668 km) rather than three nautical miles (3.45 statue miles, 5.56 km) as with other states. It is also a common fallacy that Texas is the only state that was its own independent entity before it became a U.S. state. This is untrue, as the each of the original Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 was recognized as an independent government prior to federation in 1788. Additionally, the Republic of Vermont was founded as an independent state in 1777, and the government continued in this form until Vermont joined the American Union in 1791. Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

 also existed as a politically independent state prior to joining the Union, having been governed as an ancient settlement, a Kingdom, a Republic, and finally as a non-state U.S. territory
Organized incorporated territories of the United States
Organized incorporated territories are those territories of the United States that are both incorporated and organized .Through most of U.S...

 prior to being granted statehood in 1959.

See also

  • Timeline of the Republic of Texas
    Timeline of the Republic of Texas
    This is a timeline of the Republic of Texas, spanning the time from the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836 up to the transfer of power to the State of Texas on February 19, 1846.-1836:Texas Declares Independence...

  • The Texas Legation
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