Coahuila y Tejas

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Estado Libre y Soberano de
Coahuila y Texas
Coahuila y Tejas
State of Mexico
Bandera de Iturbide.png
1824 [1] –1835 Flag of Texas.svg
Flag of Coahuila.svg
Flag of Coahuila y Tejas.svg Flag
Location of Coahuila y Texas Mexico - Coahuila y Texas (1824).svg
Location of Coahuila y Texas
Coahuila y Tejas within Mexico
Capital Saltillo
Monclova (March 9, 1833)
Government Federated state
Legislature Unicameral Congress
  Upper houseCongreso del Estado Libre y Soberano de Coahuila y Tejas [2]
   Mexican Independence September 27, 1821
  EstablishedMay 7, 1824 [3]
   Texas Revolution October 2, 1835
  DisestablishedDecember 15, 1835
   Texas annexation December 29, 1845
  1824 [4] [a] 800,000 km2(308,882 sq mi)
  1828 [5] 70,955 
Today part ofFlag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
- Flag of Coahuila.svg  Coahuila
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
- Flag of Texas.svg  Texas
^ a. The size of the state was roughly more than 800 000 square kilometers, Mexico never did a precise measurement of the territory of Coahuila y Tejas.

Coahuila y Tejas (Coahuila and Texas) was one of the constituent states of the newly established United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution. [6]

Constituent state is a state entity that constitutes a part of a sovereign state. A constituent state holds regional jurisdiction over a defined administrative territory, within a sovereign state. Government of a constituent state is a form of regional government. Throughout history, and also in modern political practice, most constituents states are parts of complex states, like federations or confederations. Constituent state can have republican or monarchical form of government. Those of republican form are usually called states or autonomous states, republics or autonomous republics, and also cantons. Those that have monarchical form of government are often defined by traditional hierarchical rank of their ruler.

First Mexican Republic 1824-1864 federal republic in Central America

The First Mexican Republic, known also as the First Federal Republic, was a federated republic and nation-state officially designated the United Mexican States. "Independence transformed Mexico from Spain's largest and most prosperous colony to a sovereign nation suffering economic decline and political strife." The First Mexican Republic lasted from 1824 to 1835, when conservatives under Antonio López de Santa Anna transformed it into a centralized state, the Centralist Republic of Mexico.

1824 Constitution of Mexico

The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. It was replaced by the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857.


It had two capitals: first Saltillo (1822–1825) for petition[ clarification needed ] of Miguel Ramos Arizpe, that changing the capital for dispute of political groups, but Monclova recovered primacy because it was the colonial capital since 1689; this action provoked a struggle between the residents of Saltillo and Monclova in 1838–1840, but the political actions of Santa Anna convinced the monclovitas to accept the final change of political powers to Saltillo. In the case of Tejas its territory was organized for administrative purposes, with the state being divided into three districts: Béxar, comprising the area covered by Texas; Monclova, comprising northern Coahuila; and Río Grande Saltillo, comprising southern Coahuila.

Saltillo City in Coahuila, Mexico

Saltillo is the capital and largest city of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila and the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name. As of the 2015 census, Saltillo had a population of 807,537 people, while the population of the metropolitan area was 923,636 inhabitants, making Saltillo the largest city and the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Coahuila and the 19th most populated metropolitan area in the country.

Monclova Place in Coahuila, Mexico

Monclova, is a city and seat of the surrounding municipality of the same name in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. According to the 2015 census there were 231,107 inhabitants in the city. Its metropolitan area has 381,432 inhabitants and has a population density of 29.88 inhabitants per square kilometers. Monclova is the third largest city and metropolitan area in the state in terms of population, after Torreón and Saltillo.

The state remained in existence until the adoption of the 1835 "Constitutional Bases", whereby the federal republic was converted into a unitary one, and the nation's states (estados) were turned into departments (departamentos). The State of Coahuila and Texas was split in two and became the Department of Coahuila and the Department of Texas.

Federation A union of partially self-governing states or territories, united by a central (federal) government that exercizes directly on them its sovereign power

A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.

Unitary state state governed as a single unit with a supreme central government

A unitary state is a state governed as a single power in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create administrative divisions. Such units exercise only the powers that the central government chooses to delegate. Although political power may be delegated through devolution to local governments by statute, the central government may abrogate the acts of devolved governments or curtail their powers. A large majority of the world's states have a unitary system of government.

Both Coahuila and Texas seceded from Mexico because of Antonio López de Santa Anna's attempts to centralize the government. Texas eventually became the independent Republic of Texas, which in 1845 became a state of the United States of America. Coahuila joined with Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, to form the short-lived Republic of the Rio Grande.

Antonio López de Santa Anna Mexican politician and military

Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, was a Mexican politician and general who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then for Mexican independence. He greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government, and was an adept soldier and cunning politician, who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the nineteenth century to such an extent that historians often refer to it as the "Age of Santa Anna." He was called "the Man of Destiny", who "loomed over his time like a melodramatic colossus, the uncrowned monarch." Santa Anna first opposed the movement for Mexican independence from Spain, but then fought in support of it. Though not the first caudillo of modern Mexico, he "represents the stereotypical caudillo in Mexican history," and among the earliest. Conservative historian, intellectual, and politician Lucas Alamán wrote that "The history of Mexico since 1822 might accurately be called the history of Santa Anna's revolutions.... His name plays the major role in all the political events of the country and its destiny has become intertwined with his."

Republic of Texas independent sovereign nation in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846

The Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two U.S. states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and United States territories encompassing parts of the current U.S. states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.



Mexico in 1824. Coahuila y Tejas is the northeastern-most state. Political divisions of Mexico 1824 (location map scheme).svg
Mexico in 1824. Coahuila y Tejas is the northeastern-most state.

In 1821, the Mexican War for Independence severed the control that Spain had exercised on its North American territories, and the new country of Mexico was formed from much of the lands that had comprised New Spain. [7] In the early days of the country, there was much disagreement over whether Mexico should be a federal republic or a constitutional monarchy. [8] In 1824, a new constitution restructured the country as a federal republic with nineteen states and four territories. [9] One of the new states was Coahuila y Tejas, which combined the sparsely populated Spanish provinces of Texas and Coahuila. [9] [10] The poorest state in the Mexican federation, [11] Coahuila y Tejas covered the boundaries of Spanish Texas but did not include the area around El Paso, which belonged to the state of Chihuahua and the area of Laredo, Texas, which became part of Tamaulipas. [9]

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

New Spain viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire (1535-1821)

The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Erasmo Seguin, Texas' representative to Congress during the constitutional deliberations, originally advocated for Texas to become a federal territory. He knew that Texas' small population and insufficient resources made the region ill-prepared to be an independent state, and that the federal government had an obligation to assist territories. Because Coahuila was more populous than Texas, he feared that in a combined state Coahuila would wield greater power in decision making. The representative from Coahuila, Miguel Ramos Arizpe, was likewise concerned that his region was ill-equipped to become an independent state. Ramos Arizpe was unwilling to join with other nearby states, as Coahuila compared unfavorably to those states in either population or economy and would thus be a weaker partner. To convince the Texans to join forces with Coahuila, Ramos Arizpe wrote to the ayuntamiento in Bexar to warn the political leaders that a territory would lose its ownership of public lands to the federal government. State governments retained ownership of public land. This was enough to persuade the Texans to drop their opposition to the merger. [12]

Miguel Ramos Arizpe Mexican priest

Don Miguel Ramos Arizpe was a Mexican priest and politician, and known as "the father of Mexican federalism."

Immigration and slavery

The federal government had little money to spare for the military, so settlers were empowered to create their own militias to help control hostile native tribes. The border region of Texas faced frequent raids by Apache and Comanche tribes. In the hopes that an influx of settlers could control the raids, the government liberalized its immigration policies, and settlers from the United States were permitted to move to Mexico. [13]

States were responsible for implementing the General Colonization Law. Officials in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila y Tejas, were soon besieged by foreign land speculators who wanted to claim land in Texas. [14] The state passed its own colonization law in 1825. [15] Approximately 3420 land grant applications were submitted by immigrants and naturalized citizens, many of them Anglo-Americans. [16] Only one of the twenty-four empresarios , Martín De León settled citizens from within Mexico; the others came primarily from the United States. [17] [18]

From the time Mexico became independent from Spain, there was public support for abolishing slavery. Fears of an economic crisis if all of the slaves were simultaneously freed led to a gradual emancipation policy. [19] In 1823, Mexico forbade the sale or purchase of slaves, and required that the children of slaves be freed when they reached fourteen. [20] Any slave introduced into Mexico by purchase or trade would also be freed. [19] Many of the colonists in Texas, however, had already owned slaves and brought them to the new territory when they immigrated from the United States. [20]

In 1827, the legislature of Coahuila y Tejas banned the admission of additional slaves into the state and granted freedom at birth to all children born to a slave. [20] The new laws also stated that any slave brought into Texas should be freed within six months. [21] Two years later, slavery was officially prohibited in Mexico. [20] American settlers in Texas began to discuss revolt. The governor of Coahuila y Tejas, Jose Maria Viesca, wrote to the president to explain the importance of slavery to the east Texas economy, and the importance of the Texas economy to the development of the state. Texas was temporarily exempted from the slavery prohibition rule. [22] By 1830, the state was ordered to comply in full with the emancipation law. Many colonists converted their slaves to indentured servants with 99-year terms, a practice which the state also banned in 1832. [23]


As the number of Americans living in Texas blossomed, Mexican authorities became apprehensive that the United States might wish to annex the area, possibly using force. [24] [25] On April 6, 1830, the Mexican government passed a series of laws restricting immigration from the United States into Texas. The laws also cancelled all unfilled empresario contracts and called for the first enforcement of customs duties. [24] Implementation of the new laws angered colonists in Texas, and in June 1832 a group of armed settlers marched on the military base at Anahuac, and deposed the commander, Juan Davis Bradburn. A second group forced the surrender of another Mexican military commander at the Battle of Velasco. [26] [27] The small rebellion coincided with a revolt led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna against the centralist policies of Mexican president Anastasio Bustamante. Texans aligned themselves with Santa Anna's federalist policies. [28]

Settlers in Texas continued to press for changes in Mexican law. [29] In 1833, they requested separate statehood, going so far as to draft a proposed state constitution. [29]

In March 1833, the capital of the state was transferred from Saltillo to Monclova, which was closer to Tejas. [30] Shortly thereafter, civil war erupted as the federal government moved away from federalism and towards a more centralized government. As fighting erupted, residents in Saltillo declared that Monclova had been illegally made the state capitol and selected a new governor. Texans in Saltillo recommended establishing a provisional government in Bexar during the unrest to strengthen the autonomy of Texas. Juan Seguin, political chief of Bexar, called for a town meeting to create a government but was forced to postpone it when Mexican troops advanced in the direction of Texas. [31]


In 1835, President Santa Anna revoked the Constitution of 1824 and began consolidating his power. In various parts of the country federalists revolted, and in May 1835 Santa Anna brutally crushed a revolt in Zacatecas. [32] The federalists, including Agustín Viesca, the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, were afraid that Santa Anna would march against Coahuila after subduing the rebels in Zacatecas, so they disbanded the state legislature on May 21, 1835, and authorized the governor to set up an office in a different part of the state. Viesca was arrested as he traveled to San Antonio. When Viesca escaped and reached Texas, no one recognized him as governor. [31] In October 1835, Santa Anna abolished all state governments, replacing them with administrative divisions from Mexico City. [33] Settlers in Texas revolted the same month, and, at the conclusion of the Texas Revolution in April 1836, Texas had become self-established as the independent Republic of Texas.


Possible flag of the Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas 1824-1836 Flag of Coahuila y Tejas.svg
Possible flag of the Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas 1824-1836

Coahuila y Tejas was divided into several departments, each of which was governed by a political chief. Departments were further subdivided into municipalities, which were governed by alcaldes , similar to a modern-day mayor. Each municipality also had an elected ayuntamiento , similar to a city council. Originally, all of Texas was included in the Department of Béxar, while Coahuila comprised several departments. [34] After many protests from residents of Texas, in early 1834 the region was divided into three departments, Béxar, Brazos, and Nacogdoches. At the same time, Texas was granted three representatives to the state legislature from the original two. [35]

Laws were set by a state legislature. Ten of the 12 members were elected from Coahuila, with two coming from Texas. [36] Legislators met at the state capital, originally Saltillo, Coahuila, later Monclova, Coahuila. The choice of capital city was controversial; Saltillo was located in the extreme south of the state, more than 300 leagues from the northernmost part of Texas. [37]


The federal government recognized that border states required a different military model than other states. In 1826, Coahuila y Tejas and the nearby states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León were placed under a single military commandant general, who was stationed near Laredo. [38] According to the regulations, each of the garrisons in Texas (at the Alamo Mission in Bexar and at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad) should have 107 soldiers, not including officers. [38] By 1832 there were a combined 70 soldiers with guns (with an additional 70 who had no weapons). [39] The federal government occasionally established other garrisons within Texas, but when the immediate threat was considered to be gone the garrisons were usually disbanded. [40] The bulk of the rest of the army remained in Mexico City, in large part so its leaders could curry political favor. [41]

The government had little money, and troops were often unpaid, with ammunition, guns, and food in short supply. In many cases townspeople were forced to provide food and other supplies to the soldiers. [42] Few men volunteered for military service in the frontier, so many garrisons were composed of convicts or others forcibly recruited. [43]

In 1828, Coahuila y Tejas passed legislation authorizing an official state militia. Texas had at least three militia units – at Bexar, Goliad, and in Stephen F. Austin's colony along the Brazos River. [44]


Despite the influx of settlers from the United States after the colonization laws were passed, the majority of settlers within Coahuila y Tejas were either Mexican citizens or Tejanos. Within Texas, however, by 1830 approximately 80% of the population was from the United States or Europe. [45]

In the frontier areas of the state, similar to the rest of the Mexican frontier, there was more ethnic intermarriage than in the interior regions. [46] Although both the federal and state constitutions established the Catholic Church as the official religion, the frontier areas often disobeyed the rule. [36] [46]


For the most part, only enough food was grown for use in the area; little was exported. This was partially due to labor shortages and partly due to raids from native tribes. Wild game was abundant, and many families survived by hunting, keeping a few head of livestock, and subsistence farming. [47]

Within Texas, the economy depended heavily on the cultivation of cotton. In 1834, Texas exported over 7,000 bales of cotton. Ranching was also lucrative, and Texas exported over 5,000 head of cattle in 1834. [48] Lumber was exported in small quantities, primarily to Matamoros. [49] In the mid-1830s, Texas imported approximately $630,000 worth of goods. Exports amounted to only about $500,000. The trade deficit resulted in a lack of currency in Texas; in a report to his superiors Juan Almonte estimated that only about 10% of transactions within Texas were conducted with specie. [50]

Much of the trade was run by recent immigrants; few Tejanos were involved in exporting or industry. The newcomers may have had increased access to capital markets and to transportation, and may have had closer ties with, or at least a better understanding of, foreign markets. [51]

Many inhabitants of the Mexican frontier chafed at rules that limited trade with the United States. As these areas, including Texas, were far from federal and often state control, smuggling was rampant. [46] Coahuila did not have a coastline, and thus could not import goods from other countries. From 1823 through 1830, Texas settlers had an exemption on tariffs for some goods. Tariffs could not be collected on other goods because there was no customs house to collect the duties. A customs house was established in Anahuac in 1830, but the soldiers were expelled by settlers in 1832. A similar incident occurred in 1835, again resulting in the closure of the customs house. Texas continued to serve as a smuggling haven, with some of the goods being sent into the Mexican interior and into the territory of New Mexico. [52]

See also

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  1. "Las Diputaciones Provinciales" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 15.
  2. "Historia Legislativa del Congreso del Estado de Coahuila (15 de agosto de 1824)" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-24.
  3. "Las Diputaciones Provinciales" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 15.
  4. "Historia Legislativa del Congreso del Estado de Coahuila (Constitucion de 1824)" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-24.
  5. "Las Diputaciones Provinciales" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 76.
  6. 5th. Article of Mexican Constitution of 1824.
  7. Manchaca (2001), p. 161.
  8. Edmondson (2000), p. 71.
  9. 1 2 3 Manchaca (2001), p. 162.
  10. Vazquez (1997), p. 51.
  11. de la Teja (1997), p. 85.
  12. Weber (1982), p. 24.
  13. Manchaca (2001), p. 164.
  14. Vazquez (1997), p. 53.
  15. Manchaca (2001), p. 195.
  16. Manchaca (2001), p. 198.
  17. de la Teja (1997), p. 88.
  18. Manchaca (2001), p. 199.
  19. 1 2 Manchaca (2001), p. 163.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Barr (1990), p. 14.
  21. Manchaca (2001), p. 165.
  22. Edmondson (2000), p. 80.
  23. Vazquez (1997), pp. 57, 63.
  24. 1 2 Henson (1982), pp. 47–8.
  25. Morton (1947), p. 33.
  26. Henson (1982), p. 1078.
  27. Vazquez (1997), p. 65.
  28. Vazquez (1997), p. 66.
  29. 1 2 Vazquez (1997), p. 67.
  30. Vazquez (1997), p. 70.
  31. 1 2 Vazquez (1997), p. 71.
  32. Hardin (1994), p. 6.
  33. Nugent (2009), p. 151.
  34. Ericson (2000), p. 33.
  35. Vazquez (1997), p. 69.
  36. 1 2 Nugent (2009), p. 144.
  37. Weber (1982), p. 26.
  38. 1 2 Weber (1982), p. 108.
  39. Weber (1982), p. 109.
  40. Weber (1982), p. 111.
  41. Weber (1982), p. 110.
  42. Weber (1982), pp. 111112.
  43. Weber (1982), p. 114.
  44. Weber (1982), p. 116.
  45. Mintz (2009), p. 10.
  46. 1 2 3 Mintz (2009), p. 9.
  47. Weber (1982), p. 140.
  48. de la Teja (1997), pp. 9192.
  49. Weber (1982), p. 142.
  50. Weber (1982), p. 141.
  51. Weber (1982), p. 143.
  52. Weber (1982), p. 155.


Coordinates: 28°50′N99°30′W / 28.833°N 99.500°W / 28.833; -99.500