The Republic of Texas was a short lived country roughly corresponding to the present day state of Texas in the United States of America. The northern boundaries with the United States were defined by the Adams-Onis treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819. The southern boundary with Mexico were under dispute during the lifetime of the Republic with Texas claiming that the boundary was the Rio Grande and Mexico claiming the Rio Nueces. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican War between Mexico and the United States after the U.S.A.'s annexation of Texas.
The Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836, near the present city of Houston. Mexican General Santa Anna's entire force of 1,600 men was killed or captured by Texas General Sam Houston's army of 800 Texans; only nine Texans died. This decisive battle resulted in Texas' independence from Mexico.
In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved to the new town of Austin.
Internal politics of the Republic were based on the conflict between two factions. The nationlist faction, lead by Mirabeau B. Lamar advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans, and the expansion of Texas to the Pacific Ocean. Their opponents, lead by Sam Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful coexistence with Native Americans. The Presidents of the Republic were, Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, James Burnet (acting), Sam Houston, and Anson Jones.
On February 28, 1845 the United States Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States to annex the Republic of Texas and on March 1 U.S. President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. On October 13 of the same year, a majority of voters in the Republic approved a proposed constitution that was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a U.S. state on the same day annexation took effect (therefore bypassing a territorial phase). One of the primary motivations for annexation was that the Texas government had incurred huge debts which the United States agreed to assume upon annexation.
Famous Republic of Texas Patriots include:
- Sam Houston
- Davy Crockett
- Jim Bowie
- William B. Travis
- Stephen F. Austin
- Albert Sidney Johnson
- Edward Burleson
The Republic of Texas is also the name of a separatist group which claims that the annexation of Texas by the United States was illegal and that Texas remains an independent nation under occupation. They claimed to reinstate a provisional government in December, 1995. The group has almost no support among Texans.