Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Reminders of past strength, conflict live on
Saturday is the 177th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836. On that day, citizens of Mexican Texas officially broke away from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas. This document, drafted by a committee of five delegates from the Convention of 1836, was written in a single day and was reviewed and approved on March 2. The convention was under pressure to act because the Alamo was under siege.
"The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America.
"In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood."
These words are the beginning of a long list of grievances outlined by the convention which led to Texas' fight for independence. While the first shots of the war were fired Oct. 2, 1835, at the Battle of Gonzales, this was the definitive document that officially declared Texas' intention to break away and become its own republic.
More than 170 years later, Texas is a part of the United States of America, but it still maintains the fiercely independent spirit that was seen in so many instances of our history, from the "Come and Take It" Gonzales flag to the remnants of the Alamo in San Antonio and Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. That independence and determination lives on in today's Texans.
We are proud to be one of the oldest newspapers in Texas, and we are grateful for the people who were willing to take a stand and fight to protect our rights and our land. Happy Independence Day, Texas.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.