• Land in Tejas was rich & desirable, with forests in the
east, rich soil for growing corn & cotton, & great
grassy plains for grazing animals.
• It was home to Plains & Pueblo Native Americans &
had few Spanish settlers.
• In 1821, only about 4,000 Tejanos lived there.
• Spain agreed to allow Moses Austin to start his own
colony in Texas.
• Shortly after Austin arrived in Tejas in 1821, Mexico
gained its independence from Spain, so Tejas became
part of Mexico. It made Austin’s land grant worthless.
• The Mexican government would allow Austin to keep
his colony only if he agreed that new settlers must
become Mexican citizens & Catholic.
• He attracted 297 families, known as the
“Old Three Hundred.”
• He demanded evidence that each family was moral,
worked hard, & did not drink.
• By 1830, the population had grown to about 30,000,
with Americans outnumbering the Tejanos six to one.
• Tejanos & Americans did not get along for several
– Americans did not want to learn Spanish
– Official documents had to be in Spanish
– Slavery was outlawed by Mexico in 1829 & Americans wanted
slaves to help with their cotton farms
– Tejanos believed Americans thought they were superior &
deserved special privileges
– Americans seemed unwilling to adapt to Mexican laws
• The Mexican government sent
troops to Tejas to force them to
obey the laws.
What is the Alamo?
• Mission San Antonio de Valero (later called the Alamo)
was established in 1718, the first of five Spanish
missions founded in San Antonio to Christianize and
educate resident Indians.
• Other Spanish missions in San Antonio included San
Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, & Espada.
• It was well over 100 years old when it became the focal
point for the Battle of the Alamo. The Alamo will
always be remembered and associated with that battle.
• Texans talked about breaking away from Mexico,
although Austin remained loyal.
• Austin went to Mexico City to meet with General Lopez
de Santa Anna, the Mexican President. They discussed
changes to be made.
• When Santa Anna didn’t agree to the changes, Austin
protested & was jailed for one year. Santa Anna also
sent troops to Texas.
• Mexicans tried to seize the Alamo, but Texans fought
back & the Mexicans fled.
The Fight for the Alamo
• Leaders William Travis, James Bowie, Davy Crockett,
& Juan Seguin, helped to lead the revolt. In 1836, Santa
Anna’s troops surrounded San Antonio & began
another siege of the Alamo.
• Travis wrote: “The enemy has demanded a
surrender…I have answered the demand
with a cannon shot & our flag still waves
proudly from the walls. I shall never
surrender or retreat.”
Colonel William Travis
• He was a Texas military
commander & fought at
the Alamo at age 26.
• He asked Texans for
support & backup in
defending the Alamo
from Santa Anna’s
• He gave his life fighting
at the Alamo.
• He commanded the Volunteer
Force at the Alamo.
• He was disabled by pneumonia
& he was confined to his cot at
the time of his death.
• He is known for his famous
"Bowie knife" and his
sometimes reckless sense of
• He was a genuine frontiersman
and Indian fighter who had no
formal schooling. He served in
the Tennessee legislature and
killed 105 bears in one year!
• When he lost a re-election
against Andrew Jackson in
1835, he set out for Texas with a
group of fellow adventurers,
telling opponents"You can go to
hell--I'm going to Texas!"
• He died defending the Alamo.
• He led the Mexican rebellion
• After taking the Alamo, he
moved against the forces
being massed by Sam
Houston, pushing them back
toward eastern Texas.
• The army settled into a
siesta. And then the Texans
struck. Santa Anna was
captured the next day.
• The Mexicans set the Alamo on fire & the mission went
up in flames & Texans fought to put it out.
• The Alamo’s defenders held off the attack for 12 days.
They refused to surrender.
• On the 13th day, Santa Anna ordered more than 1,800
men to storm the fortress.
• Texans met attackers with a hailstorm of cannon &
gunfire. Then it suddenly became strange & quiet.
Texans had run out of ammunition.
• Five Texans had died, but the Battle of the Alamo was
Events of March 3, 1836
• Day 13 of the siege: At 1 a.m. Mexican troops move
towards their positions. At 5 a.m. Santa Anna gave the
signal. The Mexican bugler sounded & they advanced
on the Alamo.
• Texans fought hard to defend their mission. There were
heavy Mexican casualties (nearly 600 killed or
wounded). The battle raged all through the Alamo.
• By 6:30 a.m. the last firing was over. The Alamo had
fallen... In the words of General Vincente Filisola,
“By grapeshot, musketshot and the
bayonet, they were all killed at last."
• Men who had not died in the Battle were executed at
Santa Anna’s command.
• A total of 183 Alamo defenders died, although they let a
few women & children live.
• Susanna Dickinson, one of the survivors, was
ordered by Santa Anna to tell the story of the
Alamo to other Texans to discourage rebellion.
The battle shocked Texans & showed them
how hard they would have to fight for their
freedom from Mexico.
• With Santa Anna on the attack, Texans fled eastward.
They were captured by Mexican forces, who executed
more than 300 more.
• Born in Virginia, Sam
Houston was a statesman,
politician, & soldier.
• He moved to Texas, leaving
the United States to protest
Jackson’s Indian Removal
• Houston persuaded Texans
to move eastward & led the
battle against Santa Anna
at San Jacinto.
Victory at San Jacinto
• With support from Texans, Houston’s army doubled
into more than 800 angry men, including Tejanos,
American settlers, volunteers from the U.S., & many
free & enslaved African Americans.
• Santa Anna caught up with Houston near San Jacinto
River & Texans advanced on the Mexican army with
“the stillness of death.”
• When close to Santa Anna’s camp, they raced forward,
rifles ready, screaming, “Remember the Alamo!!!”
• In 18 minutes, Texans killed more than half
of the Mexican Army. Santa Anna signed a
treaty giving Texas its freedom. With the
Battle of San Jacinto, Texas was now
The Lone Star Republic
• Texans adopted the nickname Lone Star Republic &
proclaimed themselves to be an independent nation.
• They set up their own army & navy & elected Sam
Houston as president.
• Many Texans did not want to remain an independent
nation & so Texas asked the U.S. Congress to join the
union in 1836.
• Congress voted against it, because many Americans
feared conflicts with slavery & voting advantages.
• It would be more than ten years
before Texas would join the
• The official state flag of
Texas, called the Lone Star
Flag, was adopted in 1845
when Texas became the
28th state of the United
• The colors represent
bravery (red), purity
(white), and loyalty (blue).
• The large white star was
first used on Texas flags in
the 1830's during the
battles between Texas and
• Without the Alamo there could have been no
Battle of San Jacinto.
• Without the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas could not
• Without Texas, the westward expansion of the
U.S. would have been thwarted.
• Without the West, the U.S. would have remained
an Atlantic power, and not risen to become a
• Without the U.S. as a world
power, the world as we see it
today would not exist.
Six Flags Over Texas
• The amusement park was named for the six different
nations’ flags which have governed Texas, including:
France, Spain, Mexico, Republic of Texas, the Confederate
States of America, & the United States of America.