Was Texas Part Of Mexico? A Detailed History

The history of Texas and its relationship to Mexico is long and complex. In short, yes – Texas was briefly part of Mexico before rebelling and becoming an independent republic, and later joining the United States.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Texas was part of Mexico from 1821 to 1836. After Mexico gained independence from Spain, Texas was part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, Texian settlers rebelled against Mexican rule and formed the Republic of Texas, which existed until Texas joined the United States in 1845.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we will take an in-depth look at the history of Texas and its changing relationship with Mexico. We will examine topics like:

– Spanish colonization of Texas in the 18th century

– Texas as part of Mexico after Mexican independence

– Causes of the Texas Revolution against Mexico in 1835-36

– The Republic of Texas period from 1836-1845

– U.S. annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War

Spanish Colonization of Texas

Early Spanish Expeditions and Missions in Texas

The history of Texas dates back to the time when it was under Spanish colonization. In the early 16th century, Spanish explorers began venturing into the vast wilderness of what is now Texas. Explorers such as Cabeza de Vaca and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca were among the first Europeans to set foot on Texas soil.

These early expeditions laid the foundation for future Spanish presence in the region.

One significant aspect of Spanish colonization in Texas was the establishment of missions. The Spanish built numerous missions across Texas, with the aim of converting Native Americans to Christianity and expanding Spanish influence in the area.

These missions served as both religious and military outposts, playing a crucial role in the Spanish colonization efforts.

Spanish Texas as Part of New Spain

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Texas was considered a part of New Spain, which was the name given to the Spanish territories in North America. The Spanish crown claimed Texas as its own and governed it through the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

This administrative structure allowed the Spanish to exert control over the region and facilitate further colonization.

Under Spanish rule, Texas experienced significant economic growth. The Spanish introduced livestock, such as cattle and horses, which thrived in the region’s vast grasslands. They also established trade routes and encouraged the development of agriculture, leading to the growth of towns and settlements.

Furthermore, the Spanish implemented policies that attracted settlers to Texas. They offered land grants to individuals willing to establish ranches or farms, further encouraging the expansion of Spanish influence in the region.

Increasing Settlement in Spanish Texas

As the 18th century progressed, the settlement of Texas by Spanish colonists increased. Communities began to flourish, and the population grew steadily. The establishment of presidios, or military forts, helped protect the settlers from Native American raids and other threats.

Spanish Texas also saw an influx of immigrants, including Canary Islanders and European families looking for new opportunities. These immigrants brought with them their cultures, traditions, and expertise, contributing to the rich tapestry of Texas history.

By the late 18th century, Texas had become a vibrant and diverse region, with a mixture of Spanish, Native American, and European influences. The Spanish presence in Texas laid the groundwork for future events, ultimately leading to Texas becoming an independent republic and eventually joining the United States.

For more information on the Spanish colonization of Texas, you can visit the following websites:

Texas as Part of Mexico

The history of Texas is a fascinating tale of cultural exchange and political transformation. Before it became a state of the United States, Texas was indeed a part of Mexico. Let’s delve into the historical events that led to Texas being a Mexican territory.

Mexico Gains Independence from Spain

In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain after a long and arduous struggle. This marked the beginning of Mexico as a sovereign nation. As a result, the vast territory of Texas, which was previously under Spanish rule, became a part of the newly formed Mexican state.

Texas Becomes Part of Coahuila y Tejas State

Following Mexico’s independence, the region of Texas was incorporated into the state of Coahuila y Tejas. This state encompassed both the present-day Mexican state of Coahuila and the American state of Texas.

The Mexican government aimed to promote settlement and economic development in Texas by offering land grants to settlers.

During this time, Texas experienced an influx of immigrants from the United States, as well as other parts of the world. These settlers brought with them their own cultural traditions and aspirations for a better life.

The population of American settlers in Texas grew rapidly, leading to a significant shift in demographic and cultural dynamics.

American Settlement in Mexican Texas

The American settlers in Texas, known as Texians, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of the region. They brought with them their own political ideals and aspirations for self-governance. However, tensions began to rise between the Mexican government and the Texians, primarily due to cultural differences and disagreements over issues such as slavery.

The growing discontent of the Texians eventually led to the Texas Revolution in 1835. This armed conflict between the Texians and Mexican forces resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1836.

For nearly a decade, Texas existed as an independent nation before joining the United States as the 28th state in 1845.

To learn more about the history of Texas as a part of Mexico, you can visit The Texas State Library and Archives Commission. It provides a wealth of resources and documents that shed light on this pivotal period in Texas history.

Causes of the Texas Revolution

Cultural Clashes Between American Settlers and Mexico

The cultural clashes between American settlers and Mexico played a significant role in fueling the Texas Revolution. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, it inherited a territory that included Texas.

American settlers, attracted by the promise of cheap land and opportunities for economic growth, began migrating to Texas in large numbers. However, tensions arose between these settlers and the Mexican government due to cultural differences and conflicting ideologies.

The American settlers were primarily of Anglo-Saxon descent and brought with them their own customs, language, and way of life. This clashed with the predominantly Catholic and Spanish-speaking Mexican society.

The differences in language, religion, and societal norms created a sense of alienation among the American settlers, leading to a growing resentment towards the Mexican government.

The American settlers also had different ideas about governance and individual liberties. They were used to a more decentralized system of government, while Mexico, under President Santa Anna, sought to centralize power.

This clash of ideologies further deepened the divide between the American settlers and the Mexican government, eventually leading to the Texas Revolution.

The Slavery Issue in Texas

The issue of slavery was another important factor that contributed to the Texas Revolution. In the early 19th century, Texas had become a haven for slaveholders from the southern United States. They brought their slaves with them to work on the cotton and sugar plantations that were rapidly expanding in the region.

However, Mexico had abolished slavery in 1829, and the Mexican government sought to enforce this law in Texas. This created tension between the slaveholding American settlers and the Mexican authorities.

The American settlers saw the abolition of slavery as a threat to their economic interests and way of life.

The conflict over slavery intensified as Mexico attempted to curtail the expansion of slavery in Texas. This led to resistance from the American settlers, who were determined to protect their institution of slavery.

The debate over slavery became a rallying cry for independence, further driving the Texas Revolution.

Santa Anna’s Centralization Policies

The centralization policies of Mexican President Santa Anna also played a significant role in sparking the Texas Revolution. Santa Anna sought to consolidate power in Mexico City and reduce the autonomy of the individual states, including Texas.

These policies were met with resistance from the American settlers, who valued their local autonomy and self-governance. They saw Santa Anna’s centralization efforts as a threat to their rights and freedoms.

The American settlers believed that their interests were better served by governing themselves rather than being subjected to the centralized power of the Mexican government.

Santa Anna’s heavy-handed approach, including the suspension of local governments and the imposition of martial law, further fueled the discontent among the American settlers. This led to widespread support for the Texas Revolution and the eventual push for independence from Mexico.

The Texas Revolution and Republic

Texian Revolt Against Mexican Rule

The Texas Revolution marked a significant turning point in the history of Texas. The Texian settlers, primarily of Anglo-American descent, revolted against Mexican rule in the early 1830s. Tensions had been brewing for years as the Mexican government imposed stricter control over the region, leading to discontent among the Texian population.

The revolution began with the Battle of Gonzales in 1835, where Texian rebels successfully defended a small cannon against Mexican forces. This event sparked a series of battles and skirmishes, including the famous Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

Although the Texians faced numerous challenges and setbacks, they ultimately emerged victorious. The Texas Revolution paved the way for the establishment of the Republic of Texas and set the stage for Texas to become an independent nation.

Independence and the Republic of Texas

On March 2, 1836, delegates from various settlements in Texas signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, officially declaring Texas a separate and independent nation. The Republic of Texas was born, with its capital initially located in Washington-on-the-Brazos and later moved to Houston.

The newly formed republic faced numerous challenges, including ongoing conflicts with Mexico, financial difficulties, and struggles to establish a stable government. However, during its nine-year existence, the Republic of Texas made significant progress in developing its infrastructure, attracting settlers, and establishing diplomatic relations with other nations.

One of the most notable achievements of the Republic of Texas was the signing of the Treaties of Velasco in 1836. These treaties, signed after the Texian victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, ensured the recognition of Texas’ independence by Mexico and established the Rio Grande as the southern boundary of the new nation.

The Lone Star Republic Period

The period of the Lone Star Republic, as the Republic of Texas came to be known, was marked by both triumphs and challenges. The republic faced financial difficulties and struggled to maintain a stable economy. However, it also experienced significant growth and expansion.

During this time, Texas sought annexation by the United States, a goal that was finally achieved in 1845. The Lone Star Republic became the 28th state of the United States, bringing an end to its status as an independent nation.

The legacy of the Texas Revolution and the Republic of Texas is still celebrated today. Texans take pride in their state’s unique history and the spirit of independence that was forged during this pivotal period.

The Texas Revolution and the establishment of the Republic of Texas laid the foundation for the diverse and vibrant state that exists today.

Texas Joins the United States

After gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, Texas sought to become a part of the United States. This desire was largely driven by the need for protection against Mexican aggression and the hope for economic growth.

Texas was a vast territory with abundant natural resources, and many Texans believed that joining the United States would bring them greater prosperity and security.

Texas Seeks U.S. Annexation

In 1836, Texas formally applied for annexation to the United States, but their request was initially met with resistance. Some politicians in the United States were concerned about the potential expansion of slavery and the impact it would have on the balance of power between free and slave states.

Others worried about the potential for conflict with Mexico if Texas were to become a part of the United States.

However, as tensions between the United States and Mexico escalated, support for Texas annexation grew. In 1845, the United States Congress approved a resolution to annex Texas, and President James K. Polk signed it into law.

Texas would officially become a part of the United States on December 29, 1845.

Annexation and the Mexican-American War

The annexation of Texas proved to be a major catalyst for the Mexican-American War, which lasted from 1846 to 1848. Mexico did not recognize the annexation of Texas and considered it a rebellious province.

The dispute over the Texas-Mexico border, specifically the Rio Grande boundary, led to armed conflict between the two nations.

The Mexican-American War resulted in a decisive victory for the United States, with Mexico ceding a vast amount of territory, including present-day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

This further expanded the United States’ territorial reach and solidified Texas as a part of the nation.

Texas Becomes a U.S. State

Following the Mexican-American War, Texas continued its journey towards statehood. On February 19, 1846, Texas was admitted to the Union as the 28th state. This marked the culmination of Texas’ desire to be a part of the United States and solidified its place in American history.

Today, Texas remains an integral part of the United States, known for its rich history, diverse culture, and significant contributions to various industries.


In summary, while brief, the period where Texas was part of Mexico had an enormous impact on the history of North America. The clashes between American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government led to Texian rebellion and independence, setting off a chain of events that included the Mexican-American War and the United States’ acquisition of the Southwest. So the answer is yes – for over a decade, Texas was officially part of Mexico before becoming the independent Republic of Texas and eventually a U.S. state.

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