Happy Texas Independence Day, Texas! On this day in 1836, Texas declared it’s independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas.
Why is Texas Independence Day such a critical holiday and why do we still celebrate it to this day in Texas? For that, I’d like to quote from Dr. Stephen Harding of Victoria College:
“The first reason is historical – this day marks the creation of the Republic of Texas. For almost a decade Texas existed as a sovereign nation. It exchanged foreign ministers with other countries; it had a national army and navy (though neither was especially effective); it maintained a national currency (though, to be sure, the money was never worth much). When Texas joined the Union in 1845, it did so as a nation and thus demanded rights not accorded to mere territories. By order of Joint Resolution of the U.S. Congress, Texas retained possession of its public lands. So large was the landmass of Texas, the same resolution allowed Texas to divide into as many a five states. In 1850 Texans did, in fact, sell a portion part their western holdings to pay off the debt incurred during the Republic period. Since then, however, they have been reluctant to part with even so much as an inch of their sacred soil – the resolution notwithstanding. Texas nationalism has proved stronger that political expediency.
The second reason is psychological, perhaps even spiritual. The Republic of Texas was an ephemeral empire. Like the spring bluebonnets, it bloomed, blossomed, and blanched with the sands of time. But also like the state flower, its sent lingers in the hearts and imaginations of every Texan. A moment ago I referred to Texas nationalism. Many outside the state would, no doubt, find that remarkably pretentious, but those who live here understand the truth of it. Texas existed as a nation for ten years; Texans got used to the idea; and nationalism is a difficult habit to break. The novelist John Steinbeck perhaps said it best:
Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. “
So Happy Independence Day, Texas!