Texas Independence Day

A state holiday in Texas, Texas Independence Day celebrates the day that the state adopted its declaration of independence from Mexico. The result was the Republic of Texas. Celebrations include festivals, cooking contests, parades, concerts, reenactments, educational activities, and other celebrations.

Common festivities include events like chili cook-offs, barbeque, and concerts, typically featuring Texas’s own brand of country music. Decorations feature many Texas symbols—bluebonnets, longhorns, and the Texas flag.

History of Texas Independence

What is now the second-largest state both in size and population started out as a struggle between Spanish, French, and American settlers along with native tribes. The Spanish first came in 1528, led by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. But the first to truly settle in Texas were the French, led by La Salle, in 1685 in Matagorda Bay, when La Salle miscalculated in his attempt to get to the Mississippi River. But the conditions, including the land and the neighboring natives, were harsh enough to force the colony to abandon their efforts a few years later. However, the Spanish grew concerned at the French interest and the French colonies in present day Louisiana, so they started to settle in East Texas. In 1718, the Spanish established San Antonio.

After the Louisiana Purchase, in which the United States bought the Louisiana territory from the French, the Spanish and American territories were only separated by the Sabine River. After the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, Texas became part of the newly independent Mexico. American settlers flooded to Texas with Mexico’s open immigration policy, the Mexican government only abolishing immigration when the American population grew greater than the Mexican population in 1830.

After several revolts against Mexican rule, the Texas Revolution started with the Battle of Gonzales in 1835. The revolution included the famous Battle of Alamo, the thirteen day battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, in which all “Texian” soldiers were defeated. Before the war’s conclusion, Texas signed its Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836, creating the republic of Texas. Soon after, Sam Houston led the army to win the Battle of San Jacinto, ending resulting in freedom from Mexico. This left Texas with several options—to remain independent or annexation into the United States.

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