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Mexican Rule and Texas Independence

Spanish New Mexico declared its independence in 1821 from New Spain, Spain�s crumbling colonial empire in the Americas, forming the new nation of Mexico and also the New Mexico territory to its north. 

A hoped for result of Mexico's independence was more open trade and better relations with the United States where previously Spain had enforced its border strictly and had arrested American traders who ventured into the region. 

After Mexico's independence, large caravans began delivering goods to Santa Fe along the Santa Fe Trail, over the 870-mile journey which took 48 days from Kansas City, Missouri (then known as Westport).


1. What was Santa Fe a trailhead for?

2. What region did the Mexican government attract American?

3. Who became a empresario?

4. Tensions rose after an abortive attempt to establish the independent nation of Fredonia in 1826. Where was this proposed Fredonia?

5. Who lead the "war party"?

6. Who declared himself dictator of Mexico?

7. When did Texas become independent from Mexico?

8. When did Texas become a state?

9. What did the Mexican government consider the statehood of Texas?



1. Santa Fe was also the trailhead for the ��El Camino Real� (the King�s Highway), a major trade route which carried American manufactured goods southward deep into Mexico and returned silver, furs, and mules northward (not to be confused with another �Camino Real� which connected the missions in California). A branch also ran eastward near the Gulf (also called the Old San Antonio Road). Santa Fe also connected to California via the Old Spanish Trail.

2. The Mexican government began to attract Americans to the Texas area with generous terms.

3. Stephen F. Austin, became an �empresario�, receiving contracts from the Mexican officials to bring in immigrants. In doing so, he also became the de facto political and military commander of the area.

4. Fredonia was the name of a proposed republic in Texas, in the region near Nacogdoches where Haden Edwards had a land grant.

5. William Travis, leading the �war party�, advocated for independence from Mexico, while the �peace party� led by Austin attempted to get more autonomy within the current relationship.

6. When Mexican president Santa Anna shifted alliances and joined the conservative Centralist party, he declared himself dictator and ordered soldiers into Texas to curtail new immigration and unrest.

7. Immigration continued with 30,000 Americans (with 3,000 slaves) arrived in 1835. A series of battles, including at the Alamo, at Goliad, and at the San Jacinto River, led to independence and the establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1836.

8. The U.S. Congress, however, refused to annex Texas, stalemated by contentious arguments over slavery and regional power. Texas remained an independent country, led by Sam Houston until it became the 28th state in 1845.

9. Mexico viewed the establishment of the statehood of Texas as a hostile act, helping to precipitate the Mexican War.

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