|Timeline of Events Leading to the Mexican War
1820—Moses Austin was granted land in Texas
Worked for years trying to put together the colony and when he finally got permission from the governor of Texas he contracted pneumonia and on his death bed he told his wife to make sure his son Stephen followed through.
What city is Texas is named after Austin?
1821—Mexico gains Independence from Spain and American population increased.
In the end, desperate Spanish authorities authorized American colonization in an effort to increase the population.
This produced a new set of problems for the Mexican authorities
1821—Stephen Austin and settlers officially start settlements in Texas
Austin arrives with 300 families.
Didn't want to do it at first but talked into it by his mother in a letter written two days before Moses Austin died.
1830—Mexico passed laws forbidding more settlers into Texas
They were now outnumbered 2 to 1 some American settlers were provoking Indians to raid Mexican settlements.
Mexicans also outlawed importation of new slaves but they could not stop the settlers from coming in.
Mexico lacked the power to stop it and by 1834 it was a free-for-all again.
1835—Battle of Gonzalez: first battle of the Mexican War
The growing tensions between Mexico and Texas erupt into violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence.
Once again Mexico let itself get outnumbered by “Americans” through immigration
Santa Anna tried to take a small cannon belonging to Gonzales but failed, cannon still a symbol of resistance.
1836—The Battle of the Alamo
Out-numbered 6,000 to 200, the volunteer Texas defenders held out for 13 days until they were finally overrun and massacred. Became rallying cry for victory/revenge against Mexico.
Santa Anna used his warfare of “wearing down” his opponent.
Sent “sacrificial lambs” out to be shot to help use up the ammunition at the Alamo.
1836—The Battle of San Jacinto where Sam Houston captured Santa Anna
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.
The actual battle at San Jacinto lasted less than 18 minutes although the slaughter continued until dark. General Houston and his officers tried to stop the continued killing but the enraged soldiers sought revenge for the slaughter at the Alamo and at Goliad.
The Texans lost nine men and the Mexican Army about 600. Cries of "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad" indicated the revenge the Texan soldiers felt against the Mexicans
1836—Texas gained its independence and established the Lone Star Republic
Texas (Lone Star Republic) gained its independence after fighting the war with Santa Anna and the Mexicans.
Money was low.
Refusal to pay taxes by the Texans themselves to their new government helped drain Texas.
Eventually the Lone Star Republic will ask to be part of the US after about 10 years on their own.
1845—Bear Flag Revolt establishes California as an independent country (Bear Flag Republic)
The Bear Flag Revolt, from June to July 1846, a small group of American settlers in California rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California an independent republic. This republic became an overnight success when gold was found in 1849 which led to becoming a state in 1850.
1845—Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S.
Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. over the southern boundary of Texas, which had now become the southern boundary of the U.S.
Mexico said that Texas extended only to the Nueces River (more north), while the Texans said that it extended to the Rio Grande River (more south).
1846—Battle between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande where "American blood was shed on American soil."
Polk ordered troops to “protect” the newly acquired land in Texas.
He stationed the military south of the Nueces River right above the Rio Grande River. He claimed this was Texas land.
The Mexican felt it was their right to attack anyone south of the Nueces since they owned the land north of the Rio Grande River.
Once our military was attacked, it opened the door to declare war.
1846—Congress declares war on Mexico
1848—Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War
The treaty added an additional 525,000 square miles to United States territory, including the including the land that makes up all or parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Mexico also gave up all claims to Texas and recognized the Rio Grande as America’s southern boundary.
1853—Gadsden Purchase is bought for 10 million dollars (Parts of AZ & NM)
Only practical solution for a southern Rail Road line to the Pacific Ocean. A flat valley running along the Rio Grande River