A political history of the Texas Republic, 1836--1845
Siegel, Stanley E.
Doctor of Philosophy
The annexation of Texas by the United States brought to a close the nine year period of independent existence which the Republic of Texas had enjoyed. During this short era, which began in 1836 and reached its conclusion in 1845, Texas enjoyed all the attributes of a sovereign nation. This work is concerned with the political history of the Republic. It is true that political parties and divisions existed prior to the Revolution, and in this period political differences were based upon distinct principles. The faction led by William H. Wharton in the early stages of the trouble with Mexico was eager for a complete break; the faction led by Austin counseled a moderate program, and did not agree on the wisdom of independence until late in 1835. However, the political divisions on the basis of principles did not continue in the period of the Republic. Politics were almost wholly of a personal nature in the period, 1836--1845. The personality of Sam Houston dominated Texas in that era, and was responsible for the two Houston administrations, as well as the election of Anson Jones, who was Houston's chosen candidate. Also it can be said that the election of Lamar was nothing more than a reversion from the first Houston term in office. Finally, there were no political parties in Texas comparable to the Whigs or Democrats in the United States. There were political techniques, appropriate to a developing, more sophisticated, nation, but politics in the Republic were primarily of a personal nature. In conclusion, the individual citizen of the Republic was much like his counterpart in the United States. His principles were in the Jacksonian mold, and his devotion to agrarian pursuits, resulted in a distrust of any type of corporate monopoly. Texas was akin to any other Southern state in the ante-bellum period, with cotton the chief source of wealth, and with slavery a recognized institution. The development of the Republic continued along these lines, so that the state of Texas naturally became a part of the Confederacy at the time of the Civil War. Also social historians have asserted that the germination of the distinct Texas character and tradition had its origin in the period of the Republic.
American history; Political science