Texas Votes Again to Secede from USA

Texas Counties have voted to secede from the USA and the issue will be taken up at the State Convention. But there is more to this story. In actuality, the USA never officially ratified the papers that would allow Texas to become part of the Union. This may be because of how they acquired the state. Read on…

The Texas Nationalist Secession Movement, was formed in the 1990s, with the slogan, “We Want Texas Independence”. The movement has seen a skyrocketing membership of over 400 percent (now at 200,000 and growing) and a gain of 900 percent on their website. A petition to secede was circulated via the Internet and has gained over 150,000 signatures.

The group says:

“The reasons for Texas independence are clear and simple. The people of Texas believe that Texans are best governed by Texans. We are no longer willing to be subjected to policies that we don’t want by people that we don’t elect.”

Now with a seemingly easy road to the White House for the Democratic candidate in the fall, the secession movement is gaining more ground. Today, The Texas Nationalist movement boasts 200k plus members.

This isn’t the first time Texas has tried to secede. In 1861, Texans voted to secede and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. When the war was over, the Supreme Court decided — in a case brought by none other than Texas — that states can’t secede unilaterally and any attempt to do so will be absolutely null and void.

Texas’ dreams to secede have waxed and waned over the last 150 years. Typically, when a Democrat is president the movement starts up again, only to fade into irrelevancy when there is a Republican president in the White House. The last movement, formed in the early 90’s by Richard Lance McLaren briefly rose up but failed due to McLaren’s violent tactics. He was later imprisoned for kidnapping and is serving a 99-year sentence.

After the failure of the movement in the 90’s under McLaren, the Texas Nationalist group took over and tried a more mainstream approach with some success — former Governor Rick Perry (R) mentioned the idea at a rally in 2009, although he later said he was joking. The group engages the public in speaking events, and bumper stickers can be seen on vehicles all over the state advocating for secession.

But no matter how tempting the idea may be, Texas Republican lawmakers can see the writing on the wall: Their secession dreams are for naught. Seceding, or at least seriously trying to secede, would open the lawmakers up for attack by Democrats, it would be a logistical nightmare. And they wouldn’t be privy to federal services like disaster relief (Texas is the largest recipient of disaster relief every year), social security, subsidies, infrastructure, or other safety net programs.

But because the movement is gaining popularity, the Republican lawmakers are being forced to acknowledge the idea. In 2012, only one county brought the notion forward at the Texas convention. In 2016, there are a reported 22 counties bringing the issue forward going into the convention (although The Houston Chronicle could only confirm 10 counties, but won’t know for sure until the May convention).

A party committee will decide on which issues will be up for debate at the convention and it’s likely secession will be up for a serious discussion. However, it’s also likely the notion will be voted down swiftly and almost unilaterally. But the fact that the state will even discuss it at all makes it one of the wackiest states in the union.

The Rest of the Story

While most children in the United States are given a white-washed version of United States history, the fact remains that Mexico became aware that the white illegal immigrants in northern Mexico were engaging in slavery.

The Mexican government attempted to enforce the law against slavery upon the illegal immigrants peacefully, but the slave owners found the prospect of giving up their slaves untenable.
Eventually, Mexico was forced to send militia into the north to defend the laws of the motherland at the Alamo, in Goliad and at San Jacinto. Remember the Alamo? It was one of the first anti-slavery battles in what is now the United States.

In the early 1800s, The United States becoming increasingly powerful both economically and militarily, seemed intent upon unlimited expansion, and Mexico’s northern territory lay in its path. The United States begin to set a land grab in place to take Tejas and California, which were the names at the time for much of the west. First the USA sent an ambassador to Mexico City with an unlimited budget to assure that the next president of Mexico would either be willing to allow the USA to acquire Texas or would be so weak that he would rather give in than go to war. The second part of the step was to send the Masons to Mexico to court the next president. And, third, they would begin sending massive number of U.S. citizens into Tejas and California, with the promise of free land and support.

The number of U.S. citizens that were illegally entering both Tejas and California alarmed Mexico. Although much of Tejas and California (which included Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado was high desert and mountains, there were also great expanses of plains perfect for grazing or plowing, and Mexico had no intention of giving it up.

Spain and then Mexico officially limited immigration to the green lands of Northern Mexico, but the United States ignored the limitations. U.S. President James K. Polk, content on simply taking the land by force, begin illegally sending US citizens into Northern Mexico until the number of illegals outnumbered the Mexicans. And, since there were no laws against slavery, those who took advantage of the free land, were wealthy landowners with slaves, which was also against Mexican law.

When Mexico became aware that the illegals were engaging in slavery, and the rumor spread that the Mexican government would use its army to enforce law upon the settlers, the slave owners found the prospect untenable. Eventually, Mexico was forced to send militia into the north to defend the laws of the motherland at the Alamo, in Goliad and at San Jacinto.

The Mexicans moved quickly from the Alamo to San Jacinto to restore order in the north of Mexico. However, the USA has sent even more troops to meet Santa Ana and he was captured and forced to sign a surrender document that he could not read as it was in English. Within the document, there was a statement giving all rights to Northern Mexico to the USA. Surely, one would think that Sam Houston would have realized that a general of the Mexican Army could not agree to give part of the country to Mexico. Santa Ana signed the document and was allowed to return to Mexico City. When word got back to Washington, the government realized that they did not have the right to claim the land, so they set stage two into progress.

There were those in Congress and the Polk Administration that wanted all of Mexico and considered it their manifest destiny to take the entire country. The surrender document agreed that the border was to be the Nueces River to the south. However, Polk had another idea. He declared that the boarder would be the Rio Grande River, which was well south of the Nueces River and he ordered General Zachary Taylor to move his troops into the new area. Mexico reacted upon the invasion with gunfire, which killed sixteen of the US troops. This gave Polk what he needed to declare war on Mexico.

However, when the declaration of war came before Congress, a young representative from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln rose to complain about the situation. He doubted the validity of the surrender document, as well as the claim to the disputed land south of the Nueces River. With the realization that Congress was not going to pass the declaration of war, Polk acted quickly to order General Taylor to begin moving past the Rio Grande and begin killing as many men, women, and children as he could find as he continued to Mexico City. Many of the troops, disgusted by the action deserted rather than take part in the massacre. Among the deserters were the St. Patrick Brigade of Irish immigrants. All seventy-three were rounded up and hanged by the US Army.

The United States conducted a shrewd, savage and ultimately shameful campaign against a weaker and poorly armed foe. While Santa Ana was busy in the north trying to keep law and order in terms of slavery, the USA sent General Winfield Scott to the southeast coast near Veracruz and begin bombarding the city. Foreign councils attempted to intercede on humanitarian grounds, imploring the USA and General Scott to allow the civilians – at the very least, the women and children – to leave, but both the USA and Scott refused. For two days and two nights, around the clock, thousands of shells fell on the once quiet little fishing village, until the majority of the people in Veracruz were dead. Corpses lay in the streets.

With the massacre of Veracruz behind him, General Scott moved onto Mexico City. He reached Chapultepec Castle on the outskirts of then Mexico City on the morning o f September 13, 1847. Within the Castle were a small force of Mexican troops under the command of Nicolás Bravo, including young teenage cadets from the military academy. Though greatly outnumbered they defended the Castle against General Scott’s troops for two hours before General Bravo ordered retreat, however the cadets refused to fall back and fought to the death. Legend has it that the last of six cadets, Juan Escutia, leapt from Chapultepec Castle wrapped in the Mexican flag to prevent the flag from being taken by the enemy. According to the later account of an unidentified US officer, “about a hundred” cadets between the ages of 10 and 16 were among the “crowds” of prisoners taken after the Castle’s capture.

The bodies of the six youths were buried on the grounds of Chapultepec Park. On March 5, 1947, a few months before the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec, U.S. President Harry S. Truman placed a wreath at the monument and stood for a few moments of silent reverence. Asked by US reporters why he had gone to the monument, Truman said, “Brave men don’t belong to any one country. I respect bravery wherever I see it.” In 1947 the remains of the six cadets were found and identified and, on 27 September 1952, were re-interred at the Monument to the Heroic Cadets in Chapultepec.

The Niños Héroes were:

  • Juan de la Barrera  (age 19)
  • Juan Escutia  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Francisco Márquez  (age 13)
  • Agustín Melgar  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Fernando Montes de Oca  (age 15–19) (?)
  • Vicente Suárez  (age 14)

It was then that U.S. President Polk made an offer, either there would be a continuation of war, with nothing less than unconditional surrender of Mexico, or the negotiated loss of Northern Mexico to the Untied States. And thus the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded half of Mexico to the United States, including what are now Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado.

The actions of President Polk and his band of mercenaries who slaughtered thousand of Mexicans were taken to task by many in Washington, including General Ulysses S. Grant, who called Polk and his men cowards. Major General George Gordon Meade spoke out saying that Polk and his men acted uncivilized in murdering “for their own amusement.”

“Remember the Alamo” is the most famous of all Texas slogans.

But what, exactly, are we to remember?

That a band of noble defenders held out for 13 days against the overwhelming might of an oppressive regime and then died a glorious death for the cause of liberty?

Or, perhaps, that a gang of racist land-grabbers and mercenaries with orders from a murderous and coward of a president got their just desserts when the army of a legally constituted government put down their impudent rebellion?

What many call the Texas Land Grab and others refer to as a Revolution consisted of San Jacinto, Goliad, and The Alamo in what is now Texas. But, the rest of the story goes to those who fought for their country without shame. They are the real heroes.

 

About G. William Hood

G. William Hood is a writer, fine arts painter, educator and world traveler. He lives in Cuernavaca with his pet cockatiel, Pepe.
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