March 2nd of every year is a very special day for Texans. For it is on this day, that citizens of Texas annually celebrate something which cannot be celebrated by citizens around the rest of the country, Texas Independence Day. Unlike any other state, Texas was once an independent and sovereign nation.
It was on March 2, 1836, in Washington-on-the-Brazos, that an assembly of representatives from various small villages and settlements throughout Texas voted to approve the Declaration of Independence from Mexico. In the words of the document itself, the signers declared “that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic.” Through the actions of this assembly of delegates, the Republic of Texas was formed.
The move toward independence was precipitated by Mexico’s decision to create a centralized form of government, which greatly diluted the power of the individual Mexican states, including the state of Coahuila y Tejas, which now includes parts of present day Texas.
It was an official Texas State Holiday today, and in Austin, the capital of Texas, there was an observance at the Texas State Cemetery, where fifteen signers of the “The Unanimous Declaration of Independence made by the Delegates of the People of Texas,” on that day long ago, are buried.
Declaring independence is one thing, securing the independence declared is something else altogether. On March 6, 1836, less than a week after independence was declared, the upstart Texans were dealt a bloody setback at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, by the Mexican military leader, Santa Anna.