Before Mexican independence in 1821, Texas was a part of the Spanish colony of New Spain. Texas then became a state of Mexico (or part of Coahuila) until the Texas Revolution.
The first declaration of independence for Texas was signed in Goliad on December 20, 1835.
The Texas Declaration of Independence was enacted at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, effectively creating the Republic of Texas.
The Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836, near the present city of Houston. Mexican General Santa Anna's entire force of 1,600 men was killed or captured by Texas General Sam Houston's army of 800 Texans; only nine Texans died. This decisive battle resulted in Texas' independence from Mexico.
Sam Houston, a native of Virginia, was President of the Republic of Texas for two separate terms, 1836-1838 and 1841-1844. He also was Governor of the state of Texas from 1859 to 1861.
The first Congress of the Republic of Texas convened October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia).
Stephen F. Austin, known as the Father of Texas, died December 27, 1836, after serving two months as Secretary of State for the new Republic.
In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved to the new town of Austin.
Internal politics of the Republic were based on the conflict between two factions. The nationlist faction, lead by Mirabeau B. Lamar advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans, and the expansion of Texas to the Pacific Ocean. Their opponents, lead by Sam Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas to the United States and peaceful coexistence with Native Americans. The Presidents of the Republic were, Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, James Burnet (acting), Sam Houston, and Anson Jones.
The Republic was given diplomatic recognition by the United States, France, Great Britain, and The Republic of Yucatan.
On February 28, 1845 the United States Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States to annex the Republic of Texas and on March 1 U.S. President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. On October 13 of the same year, a majority of voters in the Republic approved a proposed constitution that was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a U.S. state on the same day annexation took effect (therefore bypassing a territorial phase). One of the primary motivations for annexation was that the Texas government had incurred huge debts which the United States agreed to assume upon annexation.
Famous Republic of Texas Patriots include:
The Republic of Texas is also the name of a separatist group which claims that the annexation of Texas by the United States was illegal and that Texas remains an independent nation under occupation. They claimed to reinstate a provisional government in December, 1995. The group has almost no support among Texans.