QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-04 > 1114084976
Subject: April 21, 1836
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 08:02:56 EDT
1836 The Battle of San Jacinto
During the Texan War for Independence, the Texas militia under Sam Houston
launches a surprise attack against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna
along the San Jacinto River. The Mexicans were thoroughly routed, and hundreds
were taken prisoner, including General Santa Anna himself.
After gaining independence from Spain in the 1820s, Mexico welcomed foreign
settlers to sparsely populated Texas, and a large group of Americans led by
Stephen F. Austin settled along the Brazos River. The Americans soon
outnumbered the resident Mexicans, and by the 1830s attempts by the Mexican government
to regulate these semi-autonomous American communities led to rebellion. In
March 1836, in the midst of armed conflict with the Mexican government, Texas
declared its independence from Mexico.
The Texas volunteers initially suffered defeat against the forces of Santa
Anna--Sam Houston's troops were forced into an eastward retreat, and the Alamo
fell. However, in late April, Houston's army surprised a Mexican force at
San Jacinto, and Santa Anna was captured, bringing an end to Mexico's effort to
subdue Texas. In exchange for his freedom, Santa Anna recognized Texas's
independence; although the treaty was later abrogated and tensions built up
along the Texas-Mexico border.
The citizens of the so-called Lone Star Republic elected Sam Houston as
president and endorsed the entrance of Texas into the United States. However, the
likelihood of Texas joining the Union as a slave state delayed any formal
action by the U.S. Congress for more than a decade. Finally, in 1845, President
John Tyler orchestrated a compromise in which Texas would join the United
States as a slave state. On December 29, 1845, Texas entered the United States
as the 28th state, broadening the irrepressible differences in the U.S. over
the issue of slavery and igniting the Mexican-American War.