Ch 4 Launching A Nation


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Ch 4 Launching A Nation

  1. 1. Chapter Four
  2. 2.  The New Nation  Ad interim gov’t set up in March 1836  David G. Burnet elected President  Lorenzo de Zavala elected Vice-President  Constitution of 1836  Gov’t could solicit loans  Issue promissory notes  Negotiate treaties  Develop a military (army/navy)  Challenges  Finances  Indians  Infrastructure  Constant fear of Mexican Invasion  Establishing a permanent government  General election to establish permanent gov’t originally planned for December, but Burnet approved elections in September 1836
  3. 3. David G. Burnet Lorenzo de Zavala
  4. 4.  Election of 1836  Sam Houston won the Presidency easily due to his popularity after San Jacinto  Won over Henry Smith and Stephen F. Austin  Mirabeau B. Lamar chosen as Vice-President  Constitution of 1836  Texans easily approved the constitution  Mandate for annexation to the United States  Marked the endorsement of U.S. institutions to be transplanted to Texas  Republicanism was a primary example  Presidential Elections  Served three-year terms, except the first president (limited to two years)  Presidents could serve alternate terms, but could not succeed themselves
  5. 5.  Supporting Concepts  Adherence to Anglo-American lifeways  English the primary language of Texas  Religious toleration  Catholics were the exception  Free enterprise  Economic competition without gov’t interference  Republican Government  Sovereignty was based upon the masses  Taken wholesale from the United States  Checks and balances  Three branches of gov’t  Regularly scheduled elections  Sam Houston’s administration greatly supported these ideals  Houston was a U.S. congressman and Gov. of Tennessee  Lamar served in the Georgia legislature
  6. 6.  Houston’s administration  Mixture of political allies and opponents  Wanted to create national harmony by integrating prewar factions  Determined to have his political enemies as close as possible  Diplomatic Recognition  One of Houston’s immediate concerns  Needed financial aid from other countries  Recognition equals credibility; wanted to be seen as a legitimate nation separate of Mexico  United States recognition  Annexation was the goal, but U.S. President Jackson feared northern opposition  Abolitionists in the U.S. saw annexation of Texas as part of a slave power conspiracy in the South  Did not act on annexation during his presidency  1837, the U.S. becomes the first country to recognize the Republic of Texas
  7. 7. Sam Houston Mirabeau B. Lamar
  8. 8.  Financial Difficulties  $1.25 million debt from the war and provisional gov’t  Gov’t could not pay public officials, military, or its war debt  Gov’t attempted to impose taxes  Little revenue due to Texans facing economic difficulties and little cash  Congress authorized printing of promissory notes  Depreciation weakened the currency
  9. 9.  Budget Cuts  Houston targets defense spending for reduction  Only kept 600 volunteer soldiers on active duty  Offered to pay others to return to the U.S. or gave them 1,280 acres if they wished to stay in Texas  Indian Campaigns  Avoided conflict whenever possible  Public Debt  At the end of Houston’s term, the debt was close to $2 million
  10. 10.  Legal Boundaries  First Congress fixed the Republic’s boundary at the Rio Grande  From its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico to its source in the Rockies  Then, northward to the 42nd parallel  Mexican municipios became county units  District Courts formed
  11. 11.  Immigration and Land Policy  Legislation passed to encourage immigration  To raise revenue  Land policy  Rewarded veterans  Also attempted to populate the entire region of the Republic  Heads of families received 640 acres; single men received 320 acres  Texas officials wanted people to purchase public land to help pay the debt  However, few people could afford to buy real estate  Overall, the Texas gov’t apportioned roughly 37 million acres (1836-1841)
  12. 12.  Military and Defense  Congress allocated funds for a small navy and local militias  Citizen soldiers replaced the volunteer army  The Texas Rangers  Created in May 1837 by Congress  Most of the founding Rangers were citizen soldiers from local militias  Volunteered to complete a specific mission  Returned to civilian life afterwards  Duplicated the “strike and pursue” tactics of the Tejano militias  Protected the frontier from Indian attacks on settlers  The Texas Rangers were considered a unique Texas invention
  13. 13.  Texas Political Factions  Political parties did not exist, but pro- or anti-Houston factions did  Lamar was aligned with the anti-Houston faction  Lamar’s Complaints  Cherokee treaty  Denounced Houston for failing to eliminate Indian dangers on the western frontier; did not endorse the neutrality treaty  Foreign relations  Houston had not gotten Mexico to acknowledge Texas’ independence  Lamar did not want U.S. annexation  Envisioned Texas a great republican power some day  Financial Issues  Blamed the budget deficit on Houston’s financial ineptness  Election of 1838  Lamar easily won as Houston’s faction did not have a suitable candidate  David G. Burnet was elected as Vice-President
  14. 14. Mirabeau B. Lamar David G. Burnet
  15. 15.  Public Debt  Lamar campaigned that he would alleviate the debt by securing a $5 million loan  He never secured it  He issued $3 million of noninterest-bearing promissory notes  Also issued legal tender known as Texas Redbacks  No reserves in the treasury; only public honor and public land to back the currency  Texas money cheapened as a result  By 1841, one dollar of the Republic’s paper money was worth 12 to 15 cents in U.S. currency
  16. 16. 3 Dollar Bill, 1838
  17. 17. 5 Dollar Redback, 1839 (Front) 50 Dollar Redback, 1839 (Back)
  18. 18.  Liberal Fiscal Policy  Lamar spent extravagantly  Money sources  Business licenses  Limited available credit  Taxes on slaves  $457,380 loan from a bank in Philadelphia (1839)  Military budget  Built up the navy  Increased staffs of frontier garrisons  Launched a costly campaign against the Indians  Campaigned against the Cherokees; Houston’s friend Chief Bowles killed  Cost the Republic $2.5 million  Moved the Texas capitol  Transferred the capitol from Houston to Austin (on the Colorado River)  Another way to lash out against Sam Houston’s influence  Founded the Texas State Library
  19. 19.  Liberal Fiscal Policy  Debate over Lamar’s policy  Was it visionary or foolish?  Some historians see it as a well-thought out plan to ensure Texas’ survival until the U.S. annexed it in the mid-1840s  Foreign Relations with Mexico  Sent 3 separate agents to Mexico to enact a peace settlement  They all failed  Lamar argued that the Rio Grande River was the western boundary of Texas  He attempted to buy the region between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande (Lamar attempted to be diplomatic)  Friction over this led to the Santa Fe Expedition
  20. 20.  Santa Fe Expedition  Lamar assumed that New Mexico would rather be Texans than Mexican citizens  Decided to send an expedition to Santa Fe to spread their influence and goodwill  Congress refused to fund the expedition in 1839 and 1840  Lamar took $89,000 from the Texas Treasury and send their expedition on presidential orders  320 armed soldiers marched over 1,000 miles under the command of Hugh McLeod  Left in June 1841, finally got there in October 1841  As soon as the Texans arrived in Santa Fe, Mexican soldiers intercepted them and forced them to march to Mexico City  Many Texans died during the march  Congress was furious when they found out  The legislature censured Lamar and almost impeached him  However, his three year term was coming to a close and they did not want to cause further friction
  21. 21.  Recognition in Europe  Lamar sent agents to Europe to petition for diplomatic recognition and loans  Lamar was really trying to get the $5 million loan he promised  England  Strong abolitionist sentiment in England; wanted to keep Texas at arm’s length  Also wanted to maintain cordial relations with Mexico  Consented to only a trade agreement in 1838  France  Wanted to acquire new friend in North America  Also liked the prospect of Texas independence from the U.S.  France sent Count Alphonse de Saligny to inspect Texas  Favorable review  France became the first European nation to recognize the Republic in September 1839
  22. 22.  Recognition in Europe  Netherlands  Acknowledge Texas’ independence in September 1840  England’s recognition  Finally recognized diplomatic relations in November 1840  Lamar’s $5 million loan  Though agents in Europe successful obtained trade agreements and international recognition, they were not able to secure Lamar’s loan  Economic issues in Europe prompted financial restraint
  23. 23.  “The Father of Texas Education”  Lamar’s view: “Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy and while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of man. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge and the only security that freemen desire.  County Education Allocations  Set aside 4 leagues (17,714 acres) of land in each county for primary schools  Higher Education  50 leagues of land was allocated for the support of two universities  Later became Texas A&M and the University of Texas
  24. 24.  Education in the Republic  Though Lamar made progressive reform to improve education, it largely remained rudimentary  Unpredictable weather, bad infrastructure, familial duties, and Indian raids impeded the routine of learning  Educational reforms such as those championed by Horace Mann in the U.S. did not make it to Texas  Public education funded by tax payers  Non-sectarian educational facilities  Well-educated teachers  Most elite families sent their children to the U.S.  Little literature was produced by citizens in the Republic
  25. 25.  Folk Literature in the Republic  Colorful tall tales and exaggerated humor  Largely based in the oral tradition of common people  Similar to preservation goals of oral historians today  Davy Crockett and Sam Houston were popular subjects  Houston’s constant drinking and affinity for whiskey  Crockett’s infamous violin serenade at the Alamo  These were individuals that the common man could identify with  Newspapers in the Republic  The Telegraph and Texas Register were fairly successful publicans  Austin started two newspapers that covered political issues and frontier affairs
  26. 26.  The Homestead Act  Passed in 1839  Protected citizens from seizure of their homes, land, tools, and work animals for any debts they had  Similar to laws in Hispanic culture  The Texas Empresario System  Instituted in 1840-1841  Modeled on the Mexican colonization program  Based on the Constitution of 1824  Issued contracts to immigration agents  Entrusted with the duty of settling colonists in specific areas
  27. 27.  Houston’s comeback  Houston’s faction charged Lamar with fiscal ineptness also  Lamar racked up $7 million in debt by 1841  Houston saw the relocation of the capitol to Austin as financially irresponsible (and the location was vulnerable to Indian attack)  Houston easily defeated Burnet (the Lamar candidate)  Houston’s second term: December 1841 to December 1844
  28. 28. Sam Houston Edward Burleson
  29. 29.  Bureaucratic Retrenchment  Congress terminated dozens of offices  Lowered salaries of public officials  Reduced military forces  Only a few companies of Texas Rangers were left  Houston’s Fiscal Policy  Overturned fiscal policies passed by Lamar  Only $200,000 of legal tender was printed  Houston spent less than $600,000 in his second term
  30. 30.  Occupation of San Antonio  After Lamar’s blunder in Santa Fe, Santa Anna orders the army to cross the Rio Grande and into San Antonio  He wanted to spread his influence and goodwill  San Antonio fell again to the Mexicans  Left after 2 days, but took 60 prisoners with them  Houston responds by sending General Alexander Somervell to the Rio Grande  Expedition of 750 men  Goal was to protect the border from future invasions
  31. 31.  The Mier Expedition  300 of Somervell’s men decided to ignore the General and begin a counteroffensive into Mexico  On Christmas Day 1842, 260 Texans entered Mier  They were captured by Mexican infantrymen  The prisoners were marched to Mexico City  A majority managed to escape temporarily  Only 4 made it back to Texas  Mexican troops recaptured 176 Texans  Santa Anna initially ordered all the Texans to be executed
  32. 32.  The Black Bean Episode  In Mexico City, Santa Anna reduced the number of Texans to be executed to 10 percent  The men to be executed would be chosen by lottery  The Texans were forced to draw from a pot containing 159 white beans and 17 black beans  Those who drew the black beans would die by firing squad  Results of the Mier Expedition  Texans began to want U.S. annexation again  Benefits of joining the Union  Financial security; Texas was almost bankrupt  Military security; fear of a massive Mexican invasion and Indian raids  Land values; great potential for land value profits
  33. 33.  Houston on Annexation  U.S. sentiment toward annexation was favorable due to England’s assistance to Texas  Afraid that Britain would gain too much influence in North America again  Annexation of Texas fit into most Americans’ goal of Manifest Destiny  However, northern abolitionists and “Free Soilers” were staunchly opposed to annexing another slave state  U.S. President John Tyler supported an annexation treaty in April 1844  Rejected by the U.S. Senate 35 to 16  Former President Martin Van Buren worked especially hard to make sure Texas was not annexed  Houston began courting the British, French, and the pro- annexation camp in the U.S.  Attempting to gain influence with the U.S. through diplomacy
  34. 34. Martin Van Buren
  35. 35. Manifest Destiny
  36. 36.  What is it? • The driving force (one component) behind America’s expansion to the west (specifically the Pacific Coast) • Was not an official government policy • Promoted heavily in newspapers, posters, and other propaganda • John O’Sullivan first uses the term in a newspaper in 1845 • “manifest destiny to overspread the continent” • Regarding the annexation of Texas • Says America was “chosen” to lead the continent out of wilderness • Americans were “chosen” to establish civilization  What caused it? • Myth of the Chosen Nation – God chose the Americans to establish democracy from sea to shining sea • The Louisiana Purchase – over 1/3 of the continent is gained by Jefferson’s legislation • Government saw the appeal of potential land bringing more political power to the growing nation • Land Availability + Politics + Religion = Manifest Destiny
  37. 37.  What it meant to the country • Through physical expansion to the west, the United States would be set on a course to become a political and social superpower • Manifest Destiny adds fuel to the fire of expansion • Advertising potential for great wealth in minerals in the West • Promoting programs to help the downtrodden acquire and keep land in the West (if they paid their way)  Results • Many Easterners head to the West in search of riches and a new start • Most believing they were helping the US achieve Manifest Destiny and it was God’s chosen path for them • Manifest Destiny expands to foreign policy • Becomes the driving force behind the Mexican-American War • Later, the Spanish-American War (after we achieve “sea to shining sea”) • Today, becomes intertwined with globalization • We must spread democracy throughout the world
  38. 38.  Election of 1844  Jones was Houston’s Secretary of State  Easily won the presidency on a platform similar to Houston’s  Kenneth Lewis Anderson was his Vice-President  Ran a virtually silent campaign  Last President of the Republic  Term of office: December 1844 – February 1846
  39. 39.  Financial Issues  Jones was never able to rein in the Republic’s debt  By the time Texas was annexed, the debt was roughly $10 million  Annexation  Before U.S. President John Tyler left office, he proposed Texas annexation one last time through a joint resolution  Only required a majority approval of both houses of Congress John Tyler
  40. 40.  President Jones’ Silence  Jones was largely silent on the issue of annexation throughout his presidency  Was attempting to await the outcome of annexation, treaty, and independence offers  Many were the brain-child of Houston’s second term  Late 1844, the Texas Congress declared their intent to join the United States  Popular sentiment grew  People began to burn effigies of Jones due to his apparent complacence on the issue  June 1845, Jones put two choices up for consideration  Remain an independent nation  Mexico agreed to a treaty recognizing Texas’ independence  Join the United States  People overwhelming wished to join the United States
  41. 41. Texians  Individuals that took extreme pride in the nation  “Rugged Individualism” – valued resiliency, self- reliance, and courage  Plays into Manifest Destiny; these were the people expected to go and tame the West for the cause of M.D.  Typically a largely undisciplined and lawless society  Social pressures as a result of constant danger was a significant cause
  42. 42. Indians  Texas had no clear Indian policy and no standing treaties  Many tribes verged on extinction  Cherokees  Sam Houston negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees in 1835 acknowledging their rights to lands in East Texas  The First Congress rejected this agreement, and Lamar’s election extinguished their hopes of becoming recognized landowners  The Cherokees resisted Lamar’s demand for their removal until Texas troops killed Chief Duwali in the Battle of Neches in 1839
  43. 43. Indians  Comanches  Comanches had no real tribal government and constantly breached treaties that Houston had negotiated  Comanche raids were characterized by destruction of property, murder, and hostage taking  In March 1840, Texans met with the Comanches at the Council House in San Antonio to negotiate hostage release. However, the negotiations failed, and both sides resumed their attacks  In October 1844, Houston negotiated a treaty of peace and commerce that led to some tranquility, but they never stopped marauding completely
  44. 44. Tejanos  Tejanos were torn between viewing their destinies as tied to Anglo-Americans and expressing caution toward a people who viewed them with disgust and contempt  Tejanos were numerically disadvantaged, business was conducted in a foreign language, and most were not familiar with the new form of politics.  They described themselves as “foreigners in their native land.”  Tejanos adopted many of the new customs and habits in addition to retaining their cultural heritage  Most struggled finding a niche in Anglo society and supported themselves in the ranching and freighting industries
  45. 45. Election of 1844 • Results • James Polk wins (friend of Andrew Jackson, Tennessee slaveholder) • He supported Texas annexation (even though it was Tyler’s idea) • Supported “reoccupation” of Oregon Polk’s Goals • Reduce tariffs • Settle the Oregon dispute (“Fifty-four Forty or Fight!!”) • Make California a state Oregon Territory Controversy • Democrats wanted Polk to be as uncompromising on Oregon as he was on Texas annexation • “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!” – U.S. should be prepared to go to war with Britain (again) if they were unwilling to move their border north to the 54, 40 degree boundary (near Russian-owned Alaska at this point) • Polk decides to be diplomatic and settles on the 49th parallel (where Washington and Vancouver, B.C. still separate the two countries today) • Bottom line: Manifest Destiny is attempting to claim British territory in the Northwest
  46. 46. Oregon obtained, now on to Mexico! • Polk tries diplomacy again • Sends John Slidell to buy California, New Mexico, most of Arizona, and the Rio Grande border of Texas for $30 million • They didn’t take it; government was way too unstable and did not want to be a pawn of U.S. imperialism • Mexico also felt that they still owned Texas and the U.S. was plotting to take all of Mexico eventually • Thornton Affair • Detachment of U.S. troops scouted near the Rio Grande border (near present-day Brownsville) • Skirmish with Mexican troops; 11 U.S. troops die • Gives the U.S. a reason to declare war though the circumstances behind the attack are still uncertain • Declaring War • Polk uses the Thornton Affair and Mexico’s refusal to sell their land as a cause for war • Exaggerates and says the Mexicans were actively attacking American soil • War declared on 13 May 1846 • Polarization on the War • Whigs (North and South) vehemently denounce the war; see Manifest Destiny causing unnecessary expansion with a racist undertone • Democrats (especially Southerners) support the war; see the merits of Manifest Destiny
  47. 47. Fighting the War on Three Fronts (1846-1848) • Santa Fe • Led by General Stephen Kerney • Goal was to move through NM, AZ, and the Sonoran desert to meet up with troops in California • California • Kerney brings his troops through NM and AZ; arrives in California in late 1846 • Finally defeats the Mexicans near Los Angeles in January 1847 • Central Mexico • Polk sends General Zachary Taylor, finally occupies Mexico City in September 1847
  48. 48.  6,000 Texans participated in the war  Texas Rangers  Pseudo reconnaissance detachment for Zachary Taylor’s army  Crucial individuals  John Coffee “Jack” Hayes, Ben McCulloch, William A. “Big Foot” Wallace, Mustang Grey, and Samuel H. Walker  Received numerous commendations from the U.S. military  Notoriety in Mexico  Known for extreme frontier individualism  Took no prisoners, harassed civilians, and killed anyone suspected of supporting Mexico  Known as “Los Diablos Tejanos” (The Texas Devils) by civilians
  49. 49. Samuel H. Walker John Coffee “Jack” Hays Ben McCulloch William A. “Big Foot” Wallace
  50. 50. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo • Land north of the Rio Grade, California, and everything in between up for grabs • Mexico sells this land for $18 million (with a lot of influence from U.S. military) • U.S. gain of 1.2 million square miles Why Not Take All of Mexico? • Americans tired of expansion into Latin America • Manifest Destiny took on a selective, racist mentality • Americans came to believe Mexicans were inferior and did not want to include them as citizens Slavery Issue  Many in the U.S. looked to the South for the future of the new territory  Texas was now considered a major player in the “free” or “slave” state debate