The Texan Dream

After Sam Houston’s Texian army defeated the colonial Mexican army at the battle of San Jacinto and forced General Santa Anna to order all of his troops south of the Rio Grande, in 1836 Texas declared independence and became its own country.

Around the same time, Texans began considering joining the United States. For years, Texas attempted to get annexed by the United States to no avail because at that time, the United States consisted of twenty-six states: Thirteen states that practiced slavery, and thirteen that did not. Given that Texas practiced slavery, The United States was not willing to annex Texas because it feared doing so would create an imbalance of power, giving the south too much influence over the north.

Sam Houston, who understood the power of Texas’ valuable business and trade relationships, had fostered them with England, France, Luxembourg, and the Republic of Yucatán. The English were very interested in keeping us from becoming a state because at that time they believed that northern California, Oregon, and Washington were theirs, and they knew that the United States was going to continue manifest destiny, expanding westward until it stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

England, which the United States had broken away from only about sixty-five to seventy years earlier, began to see Texas as their ally. Unable to get cooperation from the United states, with a vengeful Spain at Texas’ heels refusing to recognize our independence, Sam Houston strategically began to develop the narrative that England was our friend, that we were negotiating a treaty with them, and that the United States government was our enemy.

Concerned about the powerful threat Texas could pose as an adversary, the United States approached Texas to negotiate a treaty including annexation.

On this day October 13th, in 1845, a majority of the citizens of the independent Republic of Texas voted to ratify our state constitution that would lead to annexation as the 28th American state.

In our state constitution, the final version of which was adopted in 1876, it says Texas is a free and independent state subject only to the Constitution of the United States. This means the maintenance of our free institution and the maintenance of our right to self-government should remain unimpaired by any other states. From the conservation of that constitution, we have evolved to the powerful state we are today, with a GDP that now ranks 10th largest in the world among countries. With some of our values seeming to shift in the wrong direction, we could easily start losing some of the benefits from our state’s economic success that we all experience in one way or another.

Our culture of hardworking individuals and profit-driven entrepreneurs helped grow Texas into a powerful economic engine. With the vast amount of money that trickles down from our successful businesses throughout our state economy that does not tax incomes, it is possible that the American dream is more alive in Texas than anywhere else. That’s why people are moving here from all around the nation and the world: To work hard and get a piece of that Texan Dream, as I like to call it.  

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