Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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Why did Texans want their independence from Mexico?

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Texans wanted independence from Mexico because of Mexico's abolition of slavery, increase in tariffs, and the rise of Santa Anna. Texas, being Mexican territory, was subject to Mexican laws and policies. In 1831, Mexico abolished slavery. The United States was in the middle of exploiting the economic benefits of forced...

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Texans wanted independence from Mexico because of Mexico's abolition of slavery, increase in tariffs, and the rise of Santa Anna. Texas, being Mexican territory, was subject to Mexican laws and policies. In 1831, Mexico abolished slavery. The United States was in the middle of exploiting the economic benefits of forced labor, so the people of Texas were not keen to the idea of losing it. Cotton production was still rising and removing slaves from Texas would have essentially ended the economy.

Mexico also increased tariffs on items imported into Mexico from Texas. Once again, this was a devastating blow to the growing economy of Texas. Finally, the rise of Santa Anna sparked great fear on the people. Santa Anna was a Mexican nationalist, which was a signal to Texas that he would increase control over the area.

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There are several reasons why Texans wanted their independence from Mexico. One reason was the Mexicans closed the border with the United States. Mexico was concerned about the growing number of Americans who were coming to Texas. Thus, they closed the border. This resulted in illegal American immigration into Mexico controlled Texas.

Another concern was the high protective tarriff the Mexicans put on American products. The Mexicans wanted the people of Texas to buy Mexican products. The tariff was designed to encourage that to occur. The Texans, however, wanted to buy products from the United States.

The Texans were concerned about Mexican policies. The Texans didn’t like that all documents had to be in Spanish. They were also concerned that they had to become Catholic. Texas wanted to be its own state within Mexico, but that was not allowed. Finally, no new slavery was allowed in Texas.

When Santa Anna ended the Mexican constitution, the people of Texas had enough. The fight for freedom fro Mexico would now begin.

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White Texans saw themselves as culturally American, not Mexican. They spoke English, not Spanish, and felt a much closer affinity with the United States than with Mexico. The stark cultural differences extended to the issue of slavery. Slavery was illegal in Mexico, yet the vast majority of white Texans supported the institution. Many American settlers coming into Texas had brought their slaves with them, and were reluctant to give them up.

As with the rest of the United States, slavery was closely linked to the wider issue of states' rights. The 1824 Mexican Constitution had granted the Texans a fair degree of control over their own affairs. Yet it was subsequently abolished by the Mexican government, which gave itself more power and control, much to the outrage of the Texan public. The abolition of the 1824 Constitution was indicative of the chronic instability of the Mexican political system. Texans increasingly felt that there was no one they could turn to in order to protect their interests. They certainly couldn't rely on the chaotic central administration in Mexico City with its rapid turnover of presidents.

In economic terms, Texas benefited little from being part of Mexico. Most of the state's trade was with the United States, and so inevitably, close economic ties developed. As with many parts of the South, cotton was a vitally important cash crop for Texas. But it was difficult to transport to Mexican territory on account of the vast tracts of arid desert that separated Texas from Mexico proper. It was much easier to transport cotton, as with most other goods, downstream to American ports such as New Orleans.

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