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Pronunciamiento de Texas

7 November 1835

Region: Texas
Place: Austin

Pronunciamiento text

Pronunciamiento de Texas, 7 de noviembre de 1835

Por cuanto D. Antonio López de Santa Anna y otros jefes militares han destruido por la fuerza de las armas las instituciones federales de México, y disuelto el pacto social que existía entre Texas y las otras partes de la confederación mexicana, los buenos ciudadanos de Texas se valen ahora de sus derechos naturales para declarar solemnemente:

Primero. Que han tomado las armas en defensa de sus derechos y libertades, que se hallan amenazados por los excesos de los déspotas militares, y que sostienen los principios de la constitución federal de México de 1824.

Segundo. Que Texas cesa civil y moralmente en la obligación de mantener la unión; pero que estimulada por la generosidad y simpatía comunes a un pueblo libre, ofrece sus auxilios y protección a los miembros de la confederación mexicana que quieran tornar las armas contra el despotismo militar.

Tercero. Que no reconocen ningún derecho en las actuales autoridades nominales de la República Mexicana para gobernar dentro de los límites de Texas.

Cuarto. Que no cesarán de hacer la guerra a las expresadas autoridades, mientras sus tropas permanezcan dentro de los límites de Texas.

Quinto. Que estiman por derecho suyo el separase de la unión, durante la desorganización del sistema federal y reinado del despotismo, para establecer un gobierno independiente, o adoptar las medidas que estimen por más convenientes para la protección de sus derechos y libertades, pero que continuarán fieles al gobierno mexicano, mientras esa nación sea gobernada por la constitución y las leyes que se formaron para el gobierno de la asociación política.

Sexto. Que Texas es responsable por los gastos de sus ejércitos que se hallan en campaña.

Séptimo. Que se empeña el crédito público de Texas para el pago de las deudas que sus agentes hubieren contraído.

Octavo. Que Texas premiará con donaciones de tierras, a todos aquellos que le presten servicios en su presente lucha, y que los recibirá como ciudadanos.

Estas declaraciones las hacemos solemnemente a la faz del mundo y ante Dios, para que presencie la verdad, y sinceridad de ellas, invocando maldición y deshonra sobre nosotros siempre que nos hagamos culpables de doblés.

B. J. Archer, presidente

P. B. Dexter, secretario

Firmada por 57 miembros de la convención.

Context

Following Mexico’s independence from Spain, the central government’s relation with what became, in 1824, the state of Coahuila-Texas, was nothing short of problematic. An extremely liberal law of colonization dating from 1822, paired with the fact that distance prevented the government from controlling the influx of Anglo-American settlers who came to occupy Texas, resulted in there being nine Americans for every Mexican in the region by 1828. These settlers were not inclined to integrate into Mexican society. The realization that this could result in the loss of Texas to the United States led General Anastasio Bustamante’s administration (1830-32) to issue the law of 6 April 1830, which forbade U.S. citizens from emigrating to Texas. It was a law that was impossible to enforce considering the state of communications at the time. In a similar vein, Santa Anna’s government declared void a decree passed on 14 March 1835 by the State of Texas and Coahuila, legalizing the colonisation of uncultivated land in the province. The aversion towards the Mexican government felt by most American Texans (who objected to learning Spanish, abiding by Mexican law, becoming Roman Catholics, etc) was further exacerbated by the 1829 abolition of slavery. As long as the 1824 Federal Constitution was in place slavery was allowed to continue under Texan law. However, by June of 1835, it had become evident by the waves of pronunciamientos of support the centralist plans of Orizaba (19 May) and Toluca (29 May) had received, that the move to abolish the 1824 Constitution was gathering momentum. Many Texans started to become restless, aware that a centralist state would tighten the Mexicans’ grip over the distant and increasingly U.S.-populated secessionist province with uniform laws and taxes. The fact that the imposition of a centralist state would result in the abolition of slavery in Texas was also a major source of concern, albeit often downplayed in the relevant historiography. Events in the spring of 1835 had also created significant discontent in the region. In tandem with Santa Anna’s repression of the federalist factions in Zacatecas, General Martín Perfecto de Cos crushed a federalist rebellion in Monclova, and towards the end of April disbanded Agustín Viesca’s state legislature for opposing the Plan of Cuernavaca of 25 May 1834. Before closure, it granted Governor Viesca the authority to relocate the capital, and he did so, moving to San Antonio Béxar. Although his hope was that by doing so, he would have a little more time to defend his federalist state government against the centralist authorities in the ascent, he was captured on 8 June and imprisoned in Monterrey. With Cos in charge of Coahuila and Texas, a crackdown of federalists and troublemakers such as Lorenzo de Zavala and William B. Travis ensued. On 22 June a pronunciamiento was launched in Austin marking the beginning of what would become the Texan Revolution of independence. As the summer progressed the conflict escalated with Cos intent on quelling the rebellion. On 2 October the Texan forces won the battle of Gonzales and advanced towards San Antonio Béxar which they would storm on 5-9 December. Goliad was captured on 9 October. In the meantime in Mexico City, the 1824 Constitution was formally abolished on 23 October 1835. In this pronunciamiento of 7 November 1835, the Texan rebels made clear that they supported the 1824 charter and would cease to recognize the national government until the federal constitution was restored. Whilst this was not the Texan declaration of independence it paved the way for secession.

WF

Notes

Diario del Gobierno, 6 de enero de 1836.

Also in Josefina Zoraida Vázquez (ed.), Planes en la nación mexicana. Libro tres: 1835-1840 (Mexico City: Senado de la República/El Colegio de México, 1987), pp. 76-77.

Transcribed by Germán Martínez Martínez and Revised by Will Fowler.

Re-checked by Natasha Picôt LF 16/11/08 (added title). Original document double-checked by Natasha Picôt (10/12/08).COLMEX: J. Z. Vázquez Planes y documentos, Caja 13, Exp. 9, f. 1.

Participants (2):

Leader and signatory role:
B. J. Archer
Leader and secretary role:
P. B. Dexter

Pronunciamiento grievances

National (federalist, anti-government, pro-constitution)

Local (federalist, against Occupation)

Political (federalist, anti-government, pro-constitution)

Proactive

Military (civic militia)

Civilian

Personal (against Antonio López de Santa Anna)

Other (Promise of land and payment for joining Texan army)

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