The Texas Presidencies : Presidential Leadership in the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845 Page: 2
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defense of its territory. In these tumultuous days the Republic of Texas arose, and its new
president stepped forward to meet the daunting task.
Burnet had to inspire the country to fight on despite the monumental difficulties it
faced. In a proclamation to the people of Texas on March 18, he declared, "Rally, then,
fellow-citizens, to the standard of freedom. Let not every idle rumour, circulated perhaps
by the articles of the enemy, paralyze your hands or divide your thoughts from one grand
purpose, the Independence of Texas."1
The impetus behind the Texas Revolution emerged in the chaos of internal
Mexican politics shortly after Mexico won its independence from Spain. Without the
grievances Texians had toward the Mexican government, the Texas Revolution never
would have had the same ferocity or justification. Even just a few years before Texas
declared its independence, many leaders still desired that their land become an equal
partner in the Mexican confederation. Mexico, however, had inherited Spain's fear of
American designs on its territory, even though both Spain and its successor state had
realized the need to populate the area in order to build infrastructure and a more secure
hold on its lands adjacent to the American border. Spain had prohibited immigration of
foreigners into its American dominions, favoring the indigenous peoples and native
Spaniards to populate the countryside.
Following Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, the nation enacted various
measures to encourage foreign immigration. Some of these policies would later inspire
1 David G. Burnet to People of Texas, March 18, 1836. William C. Binkley, ed.,
Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution. 1835-36.2 vols. (New York: D.
Appleton-Century Co., 1936), 1,516.
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Bridges, Kenneth William. The Texas Presidencies : Presidential Leadership in the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845, thesis, May 1998; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278112/m1/6/: accessed October 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .