This paper examines three most important events in the history of Texas which have had the strongest impact on its development and its current status today. The events that will be investigated include the Texas Revolution, Annexation by the United States, and Texas Oil Boom start.
The first event which I think has had the significant impact on Texas and its modern status as one of the American states was the Texas Revolution. Texas Revolution or Texas War for Independence is a term used to describe the armed conflict which took place between the colonists of Texas and Mexico government. Texas War for Independence began on October 2, 1835 with the Battle of Gonzales and came to an end with the Battle of San Jasinto.
The first shots of revolution were made as the settlers of Texas, who were generally dissatisfied with the Mexican unstable rule, fired shots at Mexican soldiers sent to he settlements of Gonzales to take from Texans a cannon whose was to scare away the attacks of the Natives. After a series of victories (the Battle of Goliad, Battle of Concepcion, the Siege of Bexar, and the capturing of San Antonio), the Texans declared their independence from Mexico. They immediately wrote a constitution of the Republic of Texas. However, the Mexican army defeated the Texans a few months later in the Battle of Alamo and Battle of Goliad. Before Texans won the Battle of San Jasinto (1836), they has to go through the Battle of Goliad or Goliad Massacre when four hundred surrendered Texans were killed. The Velasco Treaties were signed, which recognized the independence of the Republic of Texas. That was how Texas won its independence from Mexico. The importance of that event for the modern-day Texas is that Texas, first of all, gave birth to its unique identity as well as paved the road to further joining the United States, which defined the course of its development for the next two hundreds of years.
Related to the Texas War for Independence was the subsequent annexation of Texas by the United States. Texas became the 28th state of the United States on December 29, 1845. The annexation of Texas followed almost ten years of independence when Texas was suffering from Mexican military forces’ raids, Indian tribes, and financial difficulties. Even through Texas had its independence recognized by such countries as the United States, the UK, France, Belgium, and Holland, its citizens still voted for annexation by the States. However, the annexation became possible only within almost a decade following the vote, when the opposition from the Northern states, who objected to accepting the territory with slave labor, was overcome. The approval by the U.S. Congress became possible only on December 29, 1845, when the Constitution of the Republic of Texas was accepted and Texas was officially added as the state with legal slavery. The significance of this event was that Texas became the United States and developed the way the United States did. This makes a difference in every respect, especially if to compare it with the situation in present day Mexico.
An important battle was Battle of Alamo, which did not bring the military victory, but a psychological victory as it sparked a wave of people’s righteous wrath and hatred against the Mexicans, who killed the defenders of Texas in an unequal battle, where for every defender Mexico lost eight soldiers.
January 10, 1901 was the day when Texas Oil Boom started with the discovery of an extensive reserve of oil in the vicinity of Beaumont, Texas. On that day, Texas was virtually catapulted into the age of rapid economic growth and industrialization, as well as dramatic urban and educational advancements. What exactly happened then?
On January 10, 1901, the Lucas Gusher reportedly came through at the oilfield of Spindletop, which had been discovered earlier on a salt dome formation close to Beaumont. This resulted in the Lucas Gusher flowing of estimated one hundred thousand barrels daily. For decades, the Texas Oil Boom would last and attract investors, who founded many of the U.S. largest oil companies (Gulf Oil Corporation, Exxon Company, Texaco, and Sun Oil Corporation). This discovery defined the economy of state for the remainder of the twentieth century. It also established Texas as a giant energy explorer and a state name synonymous with becoming rich.
Yet, the development of the oil industry was not just about the population of Texas getting wealthier and the economy of the state getting more stable. It was also about the dramatic changes in the urban development and in the educational domain. As soon as Texas became a leading petroleum producer, its rapid urbanization began. How did it happen? It was all related to the places where oil got discovered, so the boom-town era embraced the whole state. As far as small farming communities were unable to offer infrastructures that would meet the demands of the exploding population close to oil drills, newcomers formed large communities, overcrowded schools, and built more and more lodgings. As the urban areas grew, more plants opened to meet the demands of wartime and to profit from the cheap oil. Previously agricultural state had grown urban by its four fifths by 1980. This happened as the farming families got displaced or got involved in extensive corporate operations. Besides, oil-production tax authorization brought money that enabled the development of the local community. Education, and higher education in particular, developed vigorously. Texas universities expanded and opened, and many thousands of students enrolled every year. The Permanent University Fund and Permanent School Fund were established to enable the education system benefit from oil. The revenues from oil drilling as well as gas or sulfur, rent payments on a set of mineral leases, and increases in investments all make up the money paid to Texas universities and schools. Such endowment for education is one of the largest in the world.
Overall, three most significant events in the history of Texas were the Texas Revolution, Texas annexation by the United States, and Texas Oil Boom, i.e. discovery of large oil reserves on the territory of Texas. These events defined the development of the state for many years ahead.
- McDonald, Archie. Texas: A Compact History. Abilene, TX: State House Press. Print.