Representación dirijida por el ilustre ayuntamiento e la Ciudad de Bexar
(Representatíon directed by the illustrious city council and the City of Bexar)
COAHUILA Y TEJAS
Under the protective wings of the Constitution of 1824, symbolized by an eagle in this engraving, Coahuila and Texas formed a single vast state in the Mexican Republic. The Bexar petition of 1832 identified that cumbersome arrangement as one of the major causes of the current troubles in Texas.
(From Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas desde la consumacion de la independencia. ..[2 vols.; Mexico: 1945-46], II, frontispiece.
This web site is designed to help the teacher of Texas and American history to cover with their class the role of the Tejanos of San Antonio in events leading to the Texas Revolution.
The principle focus of this web page is the document known as the Bexar Remonstrance. It was written on December 19, 1832, and was as compilation of the grievances against the Mexican government's administration of Texas. It was composed by the ayuntamiento (city council) of Bexar, present day San Antonio. Before jumping into the document, it is first necessary to understand the events leading up to its composition. This is a short summary of the events before the writing of this document so that the teacher can give the students the context for this document.
From 1810 to 1821, Mexico was locked in a bloody revolution. After winning their independence, they moved from the tyranny of Spain to the tyranny of Augustín Iturbide. In 1824, the Federalists, liberal minded men who believed in state's rights as opposed to a strong central government, took power and drafted the Constitution of 1824. Between 1824 and 1832, there was constant infighting among the powerful in Mexico. This conflict was between the Federalist, and the Centralists. The Centralists, true to their name, were in favor of a strong central government.
During this time, colonization of Texas continued. A constitution was drawn up for the state of Coahuila y Tejas which was a merging of the states of Coahuila and Texas until Texas had enough of a population to be its own state. Immigration was encouraged from Europe, Mexico, and primarily the United States. The goal was to bring as many hard working people into Texas as possible and have them develop the state. In the years that followed, the Anglo population skyrocketed, easily eclipsing the Mexican and European populations in the state. In response to this alarming turn of events, and to the repeated attempts on the part of the United States to acquire Texas, Bustamante, the leader of Mexico, issued the Decree of April 6, 1830 forbidding the continued immigration of people from the United States.
As a result of this decree, as well as other events that are covered in this web site, the several ayuntamientos of Texas became very upset with the state of things. There were conflicts between the colonists and the Mexican forces like the Freedonian Rebellion and the Anahuac Disturbances. These predominantly Anglo ayuntamientos met at San Felipe de Austin to discuss the situation in typical American form by having each town elect 5 delegates to send to the convention. They drafted a list of grievances to the government and sent it to Bexar, the only settlement to not attend the convention, for their approval. Bexar was appalled at the other towns for their gall. The proper way to redress grievances under the constitution was for individual towns to submit them to the government, not to call a convention of several towns. It was not the Mexican way of doing things. The Bexareños were not opposed to the substance of the grievances of the other towns, just their method. Deciding to take a lead on the issues, and encouraged by Stephen F. Austin, the ayuntamiento of Bexar drafted the Bexar Remonstrance. It was sent to the government and circulated to the other Texas settlements where it was fully endorsed.
At this beginning stage, the Bexareños wanted these problems addressed, and to continue to be a part of the Republic of Mexico. A good amount of the Anglo settlers felt the same way, including Austin. It was only after the events between 1832 and 1836 that the settlers began to sour towards Mexico.