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  #51  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Mexicans felt the political struggles over control of the government in Mexico City was more important than control of what they saw as a minor breakaway state off on the edge of the country.
And during the period when Texas was breaking away from Mexico there were a couple of other, ultimately less successful secessionist movements: the Republic of the Rio Grande (which, geographically speaking, meant that the Mexican government would first have to get through those guys to even get to the 70,000 Texans); and the Republic of Yucatán, which hung in there for seven years before finally being reunited with Mexico.

Also, granted that 7,000,000 versus 70,000 is a very large imbalance of power, as with all such independence or secessionist movements, the 70,000 didn't have to win, they just had to not lose. The Texans didn't need to march on Mexico City, just make retaking their distant and thinly populated province sufficiently difficult and unpleasant that Mexico at some point just says to heck with it. Of course, in the end, Texas was at enough of a disadvantage that they enlisted the United States (population: 23,000,000) on their side, and the U.S. actually did march on Mexico City.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Was the population difference really 7-8 million: 70,000?

That sounds completely unwinnable. I'm wondering why Mexico allowed this "independence". The numerical difference is so vast that no individual battle or even campaign loss would matter.
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Mexicans felt the political struggles over control of the government in Mexico City was more important than control of what they saw as a minor breakaway state off on the edge of the country.
The Texans had gained their independence in the Battle of San Jacinto, where they were substantially outnumbered. Mexico was also hindered by having to depend on extremely long supply lines through hostile territory.

But if Mexico had had its act together and been determined (and the US had stayed out of it), they could certainly have retaken Texas in the long run.The basic problem was that the Mexican government was a shambles during this time period. Not just Texas, but almost half the country was in rebellion or claimed by rebels at one point or another, and it was also invaded by France. Despite his defeat by the Texans, Santa Anna was able to regain (and lose) the presidency twice.
  #53  
Old 11-09-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
The Texans had gained their independence in the Battle of San Jacinto, where they were substantially outnumbered.
But that was a fluke. They won the war because Santa Anna decided to personally lead his troops in battle and then got captured. That's not the kind of thing the Texans could count on happening again if Mexico launched a new offensive.
  #54  
Old 11-09-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Taesahnim View Post
Sigh. I love revisionist history.

Texas did NOT join because of slavery. They joined because of a combination of things. First, Mexico was getting ready to try and grab them back. Second, the blithering idiot Mirabeau B. Lamar, who was the second President of the Republic, pretty much bankrupted the state with his wars against the Indians. As a result, Texas would not have been able to mount a decent defense against Mexico.
Why do you say it was revisionist history?

There was a considerable difference on the issue of slavery between the last Texan constitution as part of Mexico, and the first Texan constitution as an independent state.

Under the constitution as part of Mexico, no-one was to be born a slave in the state, no new slaves could be brought into the state, and anyone born in the state after the constitution was promulgated was a freeman. See: Constitution of the State of Coahuila And Texas, Pramble and Preliminary Provisions, arts. 13, 17, 18.

The 1836 independence Constitution is quite different. It provides that anyone who was a slave at the time the Constitution comes into force remains a slave; the Texan Congress has no power to prohibit emigrants from the United States from bringing slaves with them, and holding them as slaves in the same way as in the US; nor does the Texan Congress have the power to emancipate slaves; nor can slave-holders in Texas emancipate their slaves, except with the consent of Congress; no free person of African descent can live permanently in Texas, except with the consent of Congress; and all persons in Texas at the time of the adoption of the Constitution are citizens of Texas, except for Africans, descendants of Africans and Indians. See: Constitution of the Republic of Texas, General Provisions, sections 9 and 10.

Those are remarkably different provisions. Are you saying that the possibility of re-conquering by Mexico, with the ending of slavery, was irrelevant to Texas' decision to become part of the United States, with constitutional protection for slavery?
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  #55  
Old 11-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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That particular claim is bullshit. Texas did have a special provision in the annexation resolution allowing it to divide into as many as five states after admission.
That's not really special; any state could be subdivided into more states by agreement of the original state government (consent to form the new state(s) in its territory) and Congress (to admit the new state(s)).

Some advoates argue that the annexation treaty provision pre-approves the latter (Congressional admission of new state(s)) step. However, I don't see any such provision in the Texas' currently legally operative admission to the Union as of 30 March 1870....
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:30 PM
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Why do you say it was revisionist history?
Claims of "revisionism" are usually made when someone points out that the actual historical record does not match the established mythology about an event. The fact that the issue of slavery was intimately involved in the creation of the Republic of Texas and its annexation to the United States is hardly new information. Anyone familiar with that time period would be aware of it. However, it contradicts the hagiography of the Texan rebels as noble fighters for freedom in every movie of about the events. They were fighting for freedom, to be sure, but it was their own freedom, and one of the freedoms they were fighting for was being able to continue to hold other human beings as slaves.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve MB View Post
That's not really special; any state could be subdivided into more states by agreement of the original state government (consent to form the new state(s) in its territory) and Congress (to admit the new state(s)).

Some advoates argue that the annexation treaty provision pre-approves the latter (Congressional admission of new state(s)) step. However, I don't see any such provision in the Texas' currently legally operative admission to the Union as of 30 March 1870....
I pretty much said that before:

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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Whether or not this could be done unilaterally, or would require Congressional approval, and whether this right was nullified by Texas's secession and subsequent readmission, are a matter of dispute.
The "special" part was that it allowed the argument that Congress had pre-approved the division (something no other state had). In the event this idea has remained untested. (Regarding Texas's "readmission" to the Union, this depends on the interpretation that Texas had actually left it in the first place, rather than legally remaining part of it, which again has been the subject of dispute.)
  #58  
Old 11-09-2019, 02:51 PM
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However, it contradicts the hagiography of the Texan rebels as noble fighters for freedom in every movie of about the events. They were fighting for freedom, to be sure, but it was their own freedom, and one of the freedoms they were fighting for was being able to continue to hold other human beings as slaves.
As the Pilgrims left religious persecution in England so that they could religiously persecute others (including themselves) in the New World.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:08 PM
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Texas did have a special provision in the annexation resolution allowing it to divide into as many as five states after admission.
Parts of what had been "Texas" sensu lato went on to become parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. So in a sense that provision came true.

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Texas sold its northwest section to the US for $10M specifically to pay off debts as part of the Compromise of 1850. Since this is not part of the treaty of annexation and Texas could have sold their rights to that land and still stay independent I don't think the debt really was the reason for annexation.
Speaking of which: That weird long stovepipe of territory to the northwest. It had puzzled me ever since grade school seeing it on maps in history textbooks. It made no sense to draw such boundaries. It took me some digging, but I finally found out why it was like that.

The original northwest boundary of the territory had been the upper Arkansas and Rio Grande. The upper Arkansas was set as the boundary between the US's Louisiana Territory and Spanish territory in the 1819 Adams-Onis treaty, along with the 42nd parallel west of the Arkansas. The Rio Grande formed the western boundary of Texan claims. The upper Arkansas and Rio Grande got relatively close to each other in the Colorado Rockies, which makes that stovepipe so narrow.

The source of the Arkansas is at Leadville, just west of Denver. The source of the Rio Grande is farther to the southwest. Neither of them gets anywhere near the 42nd parallel, so the boundaries were extended north from the river heads. When they first drew up those boundaries and signed the 1819 treaty, nobody knew the country and nobody knew where the upper rivers actually were. That's how you get such weird borders. Something similar caused the Northwest Angle of Minnesota in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The weird stovepipe disappeared when the federal government took that land from Texas and added it to the western territories.
  #60  
Old 11-10-2019, 05:57 PM
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Browsing through the collection of Texas constitutions at the Tarleton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin, where I found those two constitutions I cited, I also found the Constitution of Texas of 1845, adopted just before Texas was annexed. The summary of the Constitution put up by the Tarleton Law Library has this interesting statement: "Constitutional scholars consider it to have been one of the best-drafted state constitutions."

The Constitution carries forward many of the provisions from the Republic of Texas Constitution, included continuing slavery and barring "Africans, and descendants of Africans" from civil rights.

So, according to the Tarleton Law School, a Constitution entrenching white supremacy is "one of the best-drafted state constitutions"?
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 11-10-2019 at 05:58 PM.
  #61  
Old 11-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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So, according to the Tarleton Law School, a Constitution entrenching white supremacy is "one of the best-drafted state constitutions"?
Probably in the same sense that you can talk of a "well-crafted set of manacles."
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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Browsing through the collection of Texas constitutions at the Tarleton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin, where I found those two constitutions I cited, I also found the Constitution of Texas of 1845, adopted just before Texas was annexed. The summary of the Constitution put up by the Tarleton Law Library has this interesting statement: "Constitutional scholars consider it to have been one of the best-drafted state constitutions."

The Constitution carries forward many of the provisions from the Republic of Texas Constitution, included continuing slavery and barring "Africans, and descendants of Africans" from civil rights.

So, according to the Tarleton Law School, a Constitution entrenching white supremacy is "one of the best-drafted state constitutions"?
Probably more in the sense of does what a constitution is supposed to do in a legal sense, without leaving too many loopholes, areas for interpretation, etc... not necessarily in the sense of what's right or wrong.
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