The debate over Texas was at the heart of the U.S.-Mexican dispute. Seeing the trend of U.S. settlers immigrating to Texas, Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna attempted to bring U.S. immigration to a halt. He abolished slavery and enforced customs duties on the settlers as deterrence. In response, the settlers revolted.
As a result of Mexico’s actions, the Texans, under the command of General Sam Houston, officially declared their independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, organizing a temporary government. The war between Texas and Mexico includes the famous battle of Goliad.
One of the central figures whose life was an example of the struggles between the two countries was Juan Seguin. He was a staunch critic of Mexican politics and an active player in the Texas Revolution. Born into a Tejano family, Seguin was at first venerated by Texans, but then became the target of racial discrimination. Shunned first by Texans, and then by Mexicans as he fled south, he was an outcast in both lands.
The Texan republic lasted almost a decade, until it became the 28th state of the Union in 1845. The new state was a mecca of adventurers, fortune seekers, and settlers. After a brief time of peace, Texas found itself in another war. It seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in 1861.
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