Unit 5 Section 2 Notes

Section Two Notes
Spain began to feel more and more
threatened by the United States. People
known as filibusters, such as Philip
Nolan, began entering Texas. Many
were mustang traders, looking to
round up wild horses, while others
simply wished to incite revolution
within Texas.
Philip Nolan began coming to Texas in 1791 as a
mustang trader, and entered three times with
permission. Soon, the Spanish became suspicious
of him and thought that he was working as a spy
for U.S. General James Wilkinson. So in the early
1800’s when he entered into Texas with 20 men
without permission, the Spanish tried to arrest
him. Nolan resisted arrest and was killed. Whether
or not he was actually a spy, this event increased
Spain’s fears of U.S. expansion.
Many people had differing opinions about what should
happen to Texas. Most were from the United States,
and that influenced their opinions.
Differing opinions:
1. Some wanted to free Texas from Spain.
2. Others wanted to free all of Mexico from Spanish
3. Some filibusters wanted Texas to be part of the
United States.
4. A small amount wanted Texas to be its own country.
With the U.S. Revolution as an inspiration,
many people in Mexico began to push for
independence from Spain. Miguel Hidalgo y
Castillo, a priest in Dolores, Mexico, was the
first to call for war. “Will you not defend
your religion and your rights as true
patriots? Death to bad government!” He led
an army of 50,000 and marched across
Mexico. He was executed for these acts of
After Father Hidalgo’s death, other people led
the fight for Mexican Independence. Men
like Augustus William Magee, a U.S. citizen,
and Jose Gutiérrez de Lara, a Spanish
citizen, wanted to continue Father Hidalg0’s
rebellion against Spanish rule by invading
Texas. They joined forces to create the
Republican Army of the North. They took
Nacogdoches and later the presidio at La
Bahía from Spanish forces.
On April 6, 1813, Gutiérrez de Lara
issued a document declaring Texas
Independence, but their success did
not last long. Many soldiers became
unhappy with Gutiérrez and he was
forced from power. Others continued
to fight along the Texas coast, helped
by United States citizens and unhappy
citizens of Spanish Mexico and Texas.
The Battle of Medina was fought on August 18, 1813 along
the Medina River south of San Antonio. The Republican
Army of the North, led by Gutiérrez and Magee were up
against the Spanish royal army. The battle was short but
it is known as Texas’ bloodiest military engagement
within the state borders. The Republican Army lost
miserably, with only 100 of the 1400 soldiers surviving
the battle, while the royalists lost only 55 men.
Regardless of the outcome, the battle is important
because it inspired others to participate in the revolution
against Spain.
Not only was Spain having to worry about possible
U.S. expansion and a war for independence, pirates
were attacking Spanish ships at this time along the
Texas Gulf Coast. Many pirates claimed that they
were helping Mexico gain their independence, like
French pirate Jean Lafitte. Lafitte and his men
attacked many Spanish ships near Galveston
Island in the name of the Revolution, but in all
likelihood, Lafitte was simply interested in
capturing Spanish treasure.
Dr. James Long was probably the most famous
filibuster. An American citizen from Mississippi,
Long was unhappy about the Adams-Onís Treaty,
and wanted Texas to be either independent or part
of the U.S. After fighting Spanish forces
throughout Texas, Long declared Texas
independent, but was captured and soon after shot
and killed while awaiting trial. This ended the
filibuster period in Texas for some many years. His
wife, Jane Long, later settled in Texas on her own.
While others were fighting to free Texas and
failing, others continued to fight for
Mexico’s independence from Spain. José
María Morelos y Pavón led this revolution
until he was executed. In 1820, Spain began
having trouble at home in Europe, and this
weakened their stance in Mexico. Mexico
won its independence in 1821 and became a
republic in 1822.
1. Large social and
economic divisions
between the rich and
poor in New Spain
2. Political corruption in
3. Other revolutions as
inspiration, such as the
American and French
4. Father Hidalgo’s Cry of
1. Mexico became a
2. Many people die during
the revolution and lots of
money is lost
3. Political instability in
4. The new Mexican
government attempts to
increase the Texas
population with
immigrants from Europe
and the United States
After the Mexicans won their
Independence from Spain
Ranching continued to grow in
Texas, though most farmers were
poor and had to withstand many
obstacles. Many had to deal with
Native American attacks and
uncomfortable living conditions.
Many lived in jacales, small oneroom huts made of sticks and mud.
The Mexican government decided to
keep the mission system in Texas, but
with the goal of secularization. To
secularize means to move from
religious to civil control. Instead of
being used to convert Native
Americans to Christianity, the missions
were either sold or used to house
military units.

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