Chapter 5 Discussion Instructions: An Independent Mexico Much l

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Chapter 5 Discussion
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Instructions:
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An Independent Mexico Much like any new and independent government, Mexico’s independence began with some hurdles. During the initial few years its government resembled Spain, as it was set up as Constitutional Monarch, only being portrayed as a more democratic institution. Nevertheless, the lack of voice the people were awarded early on and the continuous economic difficulties led to the Constitution of 1824, resembling the U.S. Constitution. It was influenced by America’s Republic as well as the political philosophy prevalent during this time of revolution. History could be described simply as “stepping stones” leading to events that culminate into what one sees today. Consider the metaphor of various stones in a river, depending on which you take, you may end up in a different spot on the bank that may alter the next events in your life. Despite many similarities between the Constitution’s of Mexico and the U.S., if you would, please explain how they differed in regards to how the two addressed religion officially.
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Another aspect that one should not discount in terms of its effect as a catalyst for discontent seen in Tejanos (Mexican citizens who were residents of Texas) was the union of Texas and Coahuila (a region encompassing the very southern part of Texas and primarily the northern part of present day Mexico) as one state within the Mexican nation. This would be called Coahuila y Texas. (Texas was not populated enough to be its own state from the lens of those in power in Mexico City, hence they were combined.) The new capital of the Texas/Coahuila state would be in Saltillo. Thereby, the needs of Texas would not be the only focus of that state, but a much larger area. Therefore, Tejanos would feel overlooked in many regards. Yet, this represented something much more important. That was the centralized power in Mexico and the lack of autonomy Mexican citizens in Texas saw under that government. (Much like the catalyst that brought about Mexico’s independence from Spain) In other words, the question was once again, should what was perceived as a foreign land, be passing laws that effect me? From the beginning of an independent Mexico this would create factions, which would be referred to as Centralists and Federalist or those who were pro centralized government control of Mexico and those who were pro states’ rights, respectively. While this did not mean rebellion in 1824, the Coahuila y Texas state would move individuals to support American settlement of Texas. (This would mean much needed economic development for the region and perhaps eventual Mexican statehood outside of the Texas/Coahuila union). From the perspective of other officials it meant greater development of a region that was still largely occupied by changing indigenous populations that brought continued conflict. However, more developments would need to occur.
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Thus, American settlement in Texas would begin with Stephen F. Austin from 1821 to 1824. While it would be slow to begin, Austin would succeed in his efforts as an Empresario, initially under the law that state families would receive 4,428 acres for ranching activities, convert to Catholicism (which they did, but only in name), and to attract settlers, Texans would receive several federal exemptions for slavery over the years. (This would result in the perpetuation of the slavery in Texas). Other Empresarios would follow the precedent set by Austin, the Mexican government, and the government of Coahuila y Texas. Randolph B. Campbell describes the slavery issue well:
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“The Federal Constitution of 1824 did not mention slavery, but the 1827 Constitution of the State of Coahuila and Texas prohibited the further introduction of slaves and declared all children born thereafter to slaves already in the state to be free at birth. Settlers were very alarmed, but within a year the State Congress of Coahuila and Texas, some of its Tejano leaders impressed by the pleas of Austin’s colonists concerning the need for labor and others distracted by debates over different issues, passed a law that used the familiar practice of indentured servitude to permit the bringing in of slaves under a different name. Before being brought to Texas, enslaved persons signed contracts with their masters by which they technically became free but, in return for their “freedom,” agreed that they and their children would, in effect, be indentured to the master for life. In 1829, President Vicente Guerrero issued a decree abolishing slavery in all of Mexico, but within months he exempted Texas from that order. In short, from 1821 to 1836, the national government in Mexico City and the state government of Coahuila and Texas often threatened to restrict or destroy African-American servitude, but always allowed settlers in Texas a loophole or an exemption.”
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Source: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/yps01
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By 1830 Americans would substantially outnumber Tejanos. Tensions would begin to escalate as cultural conflicts as well as a lack of assimilation and acceptance of Mexican laws began to be a concern for a few. Although, most Tejanos were still supportive of American immigration as it brought economic development. More significantly, the central government of Mexico felt that they were loosing control over Texas and immigration, as various dispute over legal immigration were seen throughout this early period. The result was a new federal law in 1830 that voided any immigration contracts that were not fulfilled at that point, banned importing slaves into Texas, and strengthened customs enforcement. These new laws, while not overly oppressive, created conflict not between Texas and Tejanos, but Texans and the federal government. Such instances as the Anahuac Disturbances escalated tensions between the two factions, Federalists (Texans and Tejanos) and the Centralists (Representatives of the Federal Government). These resulted from the federal government establishing a military post near Galveston Bay in 1831 to enforce the aforementioned law of 1830. (Customs on trade, etc.) Succeeding the sporadic fighting with the centralist military, various groups of Texans and Tejanos from 1832 -1833 petitioned Mexico for similar requests: a repeal of the 1830 law and for greater autonomy (separation from Coahuila), assistance defending against Indians, and other legal reforms. In 1833 the federalist faction would win several offices, most prominently the presidency with San Anna as the Mexican President. A temporary quiet would result as the national government would reverse the voided empresario contracts to begin in 1834 and other advantageous reforms at the state level would be seen. Yet, turmoil would resume shortly. Once again………we look to the economy for answers. Colonel Juan N. Almonte’s report to the federal government on the state of Texas cited promising economic activity in Texas. The problem: trade consisting of primarily exports of cotton and cattle was with the U.S…….not Mexico. As a result Santa Anna (previously considered to be a federalist) reversed many of the reforms that would have seemed to have brought stability. Essentially, he re-ignited the very conflict that was present from Mexico’s Independence (as well as what was part of the catalyst for their separation from Spain in 1821 and to that point, the similar catalyst for the American Revolution), this was a conflict between an overly centralized power and its citizenry who wanted greater freedom. While many Texans and Tejanos were initially apathetic, rumors spread of a military expedition into Texas to reassert the central government’s authority.
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Thus, by 1835 the beginning of the ideological change would become truly apparent, where many in Texas would start to not see this as a fight for political reform, but perhaps Independence. I would like you to explain the how the historical truth differs from the narrative that has been perpetuated in movies, etc, in terms of the origins of this conflict. While there were a greater number of whites in Texas (indeed some that broke the laws of Mexico by illegally immigrating), this was in fact not a war about race. Racism was also indeed present, but at this point it was not to the extent told in media and books. While not all Tejanos welcomed Americans, most did, primarily because they brought economic development. With some exceptions of course, the still relatively small Tejano population meant that resources were not scarce. Hence, the Texas/Tejano relationship prior to the revolution was for the most part, advantageous. This began not as a conflict between whites and Mexicans, but between an oppressive government and its citizens (both Texas and Tejanos) who wanted greater liberty, either within or outside of the Mexican government. (Centralists as opposed to Federalists).
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To be sure, not all Texans, nor Tejanos would support the cause of Texas Independence. Nevertheless, how does the prominent narrative portray it wrong and why? It is indeed much easier to simply blame conflicts on race. However, it is just simply incorrect. Additionally, to that point, it is much easier to blame just one side. Yet, what we see in history is many times there is not one side who is wholly in the right. If you would, please explain how both parties, up until 1835, were at least partially in the wrong as well as partially in the right.
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Please be sure to respond to at least one of your peer’s comments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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I will provide you the details of the website so you can get access to the ebook, and you can read chapter 5
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https://www.textbooks.com/
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username: mstephanie846@gmail.com
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password: Steph190
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that’s the only source you can use to get information for the discussion if you have any questions please let me know
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This paragraphs below is one of my peers discussion, you’ll need to write a response to the discussion that he wrote:
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The Texas revolution, like the American Revolution, had to do with an oppressive government infringing on the rights of the people. Texans looked at the Mexican government and began to question why a separate country was telling them what to do. Texans wanted independence, not because of racial tensions, but because of oppressive governmental control. In certain media outlets ranging from movies to articles, it is shown that the Texas independence campaign was purely racial. This is not the case, as the main reason for the outcry of independence was because of the constricting governmental powers intruding on the Texan’s and Tejano’s rights. There were two sides to this debacle, the centralists who represented the Mexican government and were pro-government, and the federalists which wanted nothing to do with the Mexican government and its laws. The federalists believed that the laws put in place by the Mexican government did not apply to them. One of the laws that were passed by the Mexican government that triggered a rebellious streak in the Texans and Tejanos was the ban on importing slaves, and the increase in customs near the borders. I think this is why people associate Texan independence with race. One of the main reasons that Texans wanted to be free from Mexican control was that they wanted to own slaves. But since the Mexican government came up with a law that banned that, there was an outrage as people probably needed slaves to function from a business standpoint. But the slave aspect of it all was not the sole reason why Texans wanted their independence, it was the accumulation of all the restrictive laws passed by the Mexican government that made Texans antsy to get out.
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Further down the road, some laws were appealed by the Texans, and everything was back on track. That was until the Mexican government realized that Texans were trading cotton and cattle with the U.S. and Mexico couldn’t touch any of those goods. Restrictive laws were once again put in place for the Texans. Honestly, I can see why the centralists did what they did. They owned Texas and they wanted it to follow its every command. They also wanted to trade goods with the U.S. and cash in on some of the cattle and cotton trade. I think what happened was that the centralists saw the Texans gaining all this money from trading with the U.S., and they got scared of the idea that Texas could grow more powerful than them and give them the boot. It makes sense why the Mexican government would want to keep the Texans under their control, as Texas is a large state and it has the capabilities of becoming a very powerful state. But then again, the Mexican government really should not have been so harsh on the Texans. Stopping their source of income was a mistake on the centralist’s part. If my income got stopped I would want to riot too. The Texans were fed up with the harsh laws that ruined their businesses, and so they wanted to do something about it. I think the centralists were partially right in the sense that they wanted to cash in on some of the trade with the U.S., after all, they need money too. I think it was wrong however to stop the trading and the exports out of Texas completely, this only fueled the Texan fire even more. I think that the federalists were partially right in that they wanted freedom from overbearing control from a government that did not even reside in Texas.

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