Texas- that fabled state of either pride or ridicule. If you meet someone and they’re from Texas, they will tell you in the first five minutes of a conversation. Their place of origin would likely supersede any claim to being a Marine, a vegan or a cross-fitter, as they take that much pride in their state. #ItsHappened Maybe not a vegan, as there is no way you can smell a Texas brisket on the smoker and decide that the lawn clippings taste better. Ridicule? Texans get it. Watch Full Metal Jacket sometime. #RIPGunnyErmey So what is it about Texas that gives them the foundation of this pride?
The Texas Revolution of 1835-1836 isn’t even the beginning, but that’s where we’re going to really get into this story. #TakeItWayBack The problem began with two separate items in the US Congress that were unrelated at the time, but can be connected in retrospect as pieces to a much larger conflict- the American Civil War. #StayWithMeHere
The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 came on the heels of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, as Spain was very nervous about the new country in North America. When the United States got their independence the first time, it was against the Brits benchwarmers and drunken free agency signings, so no one was worried. But when they ended up kicking the crap out of the British first stringers? #ItJustGotReal So Spain decided to try and barter their way out with the Adams-Onis Treaty. Florida was essentially worthless, as old people and Disney World wouldn’t show up for almost a century. #M-I-C-K-E-Y It was kinda all on its own, and attached to Georgia. Andrew Jackson (Yes, THAT Andy Jackson) had been crossing the border to kill Indians anyways, so they felt it was best to deal it away in exchange for a clearly defined border in the west. It worked, as America was eager to kill Indians on their own turf rather than on someone else’s beachfront property. The state of Florida would eventually get retirement communities, a juice to mix with vodka, and the wonders that are on Dale Mabry Highway much further down the road, but it was totally worth it. Besides, we would take the rest of the land to the west eventually, so it didn’t matter in the long run. #WellTakeThat2
In exchange for Florida, the US agreed that their western border would now follow a straight line along 42 degrees North, then go vaguely south along the Rocky Mountains, and then start following random rivers until it eventually found its way to the Sabine River and the Gulf of Mexico. Churchill drew straighter lines carving up the Middle East post-Versailles with the French, and he was probably drunk. #ProbablyNotProbably
It would be nice to say that this worked for a while, but immigrants had been flooding into the region for quite some time, and they didn’t care that a treaty had been signed. #ItsJustPaperForPoliticians The Spanish had been shipping people over for centuries to abuse their own Natives, but the area was inundated with Scots, Irish and Welsh that decided to leave the UK because they suddenly realized that the British monarchy sucked to live under, and they weren’t going to change that. #Ever So the Anglos flooding the region liked to call themselves Texians, as they were Texan-Mexicans and too lazy to come up with something better. This was not to be confused with the Tejanos, which were the Mexicans who took the land by force from the Natives with guns and free blankets. #DontTryToPretendYouWereNiceAboutIt Trust me when I say that I am looking forward to telling this story when it simply involves Texans, Mexicans and excessive drinking.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 is when this ball seriously began rolling towards war. The Missouri Compromise was essentially a deal between parties in Congress that allowed Maine to enter the Union as a state that restricted slavery so long as Missouri was admitted without restriction. It passed, eventually, after being split into two parts, and then tossed out in the 1850’s as unconstitutional. Is it important? Absolutely. Are we going to get into it? Absolutely not. #AtThisTime The southern slaveholders were anxious to find another state south of Missouri that they could enter into the Union and get an upper hand in Congress. Oh Look! There’s a bunch of land we can invade to the west!
So they did. Really. Shortly after the Missouri Compromise, Southerners began flooding into Texas, and immediately began agitating for pushing the border to the Rio Grande and independence from Mexico. What did the Mexicans do about it? Absolutely nothing. They had their own problems, what with fighting the Spanish for their own independence from 1810-1821. So, a bunch of irate people in Texas? #GoRopeACow #WellDealWithYouLater
The Mexicans weren’t stupid. They knew that the influx of Southerners was really an American land grab in the making, so they talked about it in detail. #TequiliaWasProbablyInvolved They talked and talked… and talked some more while the Texian army “acquired” a number of Mexican Army garrisons. When they Mexican government finally realized that something was happening, they did two things immediately- they issued the Tornel Decree in December 1835 and handed the reigns over to Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, better known simply as Santa Anna. Pretentious academics balk at that, but no one cares what they think. The Tornel Decree basically stated that any foreigners fighting against the Mexican government would be given no quarter in battle. #KillEmAll They then gave the go ahead for Santa Anna to go ahead and regulate the Texan Problem. #MountUp
He straight up smashed the Texian Army like a $5 hooker in Bangkok. The Texians were emboldened by their minor victories against drunken Mexican garrisons to the point that they thought that they could take the port city of Matamoros. That didn’t end well for the Texians, as Santa Anna sent some cavalry under General Jose de Urrea and they smeared them at San Patricio on February 27, 1836. What few Texians managed to escape were dealt with at the Battle of Agua Dulce a few days later. Want to take a guess at what General Urrea did to the prisoners? #NoSurvivorsToAsk
The retreat of Sam Houston and the Texians from Santa Anna’s forces is often referred to as the Runaway Scrape. What really happened? The Texian Army didn’t even bother to pack their gear before running North, fast. The non-Tejano civilians took that as their cue to nope on out, and they tried their best to keep up with Sammy. #JustFollowTheEmptyWhiskeyBottles This hasty retreat is in part why the little mission in the middle of nowhere called the Alamo received few reinforcements or supplies. The Alamo drew its own reinforcements who wore coonskin caps and forged knives. #GonnaNeedALotOfKnives #ThatHatLooksStoopid
Before we can get to talking about the Battle of Thermopo… Battle of the Alamo, it is important to know some background on the major players involved, as that will also help people to understand why the speed bump that was the Alamo became such an important turning point in the Texas Revolution. Next up: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the drunken political chameleon.