America In the Early 19th Century
Topic: Texas

Table of Contents
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Important Maps
Biographies of Key Historical Figures


Overview: Texas used to be its own country. Stephen Austin settled it and Samuel Houston was the president. He settled it after ďThe War for Texas Independence.Ē This event came after Mexico got its independence in 1821. More than 19,000 people came and settled in Texas by 1821, many of whom brought slaves. The existence of these slaves were against Mexican Law. Texans objected to the ban on slavery and revolted. In 1835, after Antonio Santa Ann took power, he attacked the Alamo bringing with him 5,000 troops. Texas only had 200 troops. All of them died, including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Travis. Texas declared its independence after this battle. Mexico was forced to give Texas its independence after the battle of San Jacinto. Since the slave states wanted to add more slave states to the Union, they favored annexation of Texas by the US. The North opposed it because they didnít want slave states. Jackson exchanged diplomats with Texas because he recognized them. When Britain also did this, Van Buren didnít want to because favored the  Democratic Party and did not want it split. Tylerís secretary of state, J.C. Calhoun, was for annexation, although the Senate wouldnít ratify the Treaty Of Annexation in 1844. Texas was later admitted into the Union by Tyler when he signed a joint resolution in 1846.The Mexican War took place from 1845 to 1848. In this war, Mexico would not accept annexation of Texas by the US. They said that Texas-Mexican border was not Rio Grande, but instead the Nueces River. The Mexicans also attacked the Rio Grande when Zachary Taylor had taken his position south of the Nueces. Congress had declared war 2 days too late. Taylor then went with his troops into Mexico by 1847. Fremont and Kearny did the same but into California. Taylor then won a battle at Buena Vista in the February of 1847. Winfield Scott also went to Mexico City with his troops that same year, but 7 months later, in September.

Vocabulary and Identifications

1) annexation*to take control of a territory and add it to a country.

2) Rio Grande*the fifth longest North American river, forms the Southwest boundary of Texas.

3) Alamo* a military fort

4) Davy Crockett*am American frontiersman who became a legendary figure of rather fantastic dimensions and was born a pioneer cabin in eastern Tennessee on August 17, 1786.

5) Jim Bowie* a famous hero who died at the Alamo for independence from Mexico.

Important Maps


Texas Revolution: 1836

Biographies of Important People
Zachary Taylor

 Zachary Taylor was born in 1784 in Orange County, Virginia. He was later taken to Kentucky to live the rest of his childhood. In 1808 he was an infantry officer when he joined the regular army. William Henry Harrison led him in the War of 1812. He then served in the Black Hawk and Second Seminole was in 1838 and won against the Seminoleís in the Battle of Lake Okeechobee, which gave him the promotion to brigadier general.
 Later in the early 1840ís, Taylor got moved out with his troops to Southern Boundaries and then to Texas. He arrived at Texas a little before the war with Mexico. He was then moved to land between the Neuces River and the Rio Grande. This was where Taylor beat the Mexicanís at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma on May 8th and 9th of 1846. This battle led to the U.S. declaring war on Mexico. He was now promoted to major general. Because of this, he captured Matamros and Monterrey.

Then parts of his troops were sent to be under the command of General Winfield Scott in Central Mexico. Later, on the 22nd and the 23rd of February. 1847, retreat to upper force assembled under the president of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at Buena Vista, and won which made the nation very happy.
 Taylor then decided to run for president. He had barely any political experience and had never thought to even vote before. He was in the Whigs and said he was an unbiased slave owner. Although the Northerners did not like that, he still became the president in 1848. During his presidency, to end the British encounters in Central America, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was signed in 1850 to stop the possibility of an Atlantic-Pacific canal in the area.

Zachary Taylor then became ill, and ending his life July 9th, 1850. His mysterious death made him the second president to die in office. Some historians believed that he had been poisoned rather than becoming ill from food poising as was first believed. During his life he attended the Northwest Indian campaigns, 2nd Seminole War, and the War of 1812. He was president from 1849 to 1850, and he got married to Margaret Mackall Smith. He was the 12th president and had the nickname of "Old Rough-and-Ready!"


Insert your questions here.
1. Which number President was Zachary Taylor?
    a. 10th
    b. 11th
2. Who was elected the president of  Texas when it became its own country?
    a. William Henry Harrison
    b. Stephan Houston
    c. Zachary Taylor
    d. Jefferson Davis
3. Where did Davy Crockett and James Bowie die?
    a. Black Hawk
    b. Second Seminole War
    c. War of 1812
    d. The Alamo
4. Which states favored the Annexation?
    a. Northern States
    b. Slave States
    c. Both
    d. None
5. Who was President Tyler's secretary of state?
    a. John C. Calhoun
    b. James Bowie
    c. Davy Crockett
    d. None of the Above
6. Who did Texas get its freedom from in 1836?
    a. New Mexico
    b. Louisiana
    c. Mexico
    d. None


1. c.
2. b.
3. d.
4. b.
5. a.
6. c.



Student authors:
Caroline W.
Katie W.
Erica S.

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