View Full Version : Independent Texas
December 21st, 2007, 09:08 PM
What if Texas, after achieving its independence from Mexico, eventually decided that it was in its best interests not to join the United States. Instead the Republic of Texas lived on as in independent nation.
So how does this effect American history in general?
In particular how is the Civil War effected?
And what happens when Texas strikes it big with oil?
December 21st, 2007, 09:14 PM
If Texas stays independent does this prevent the Mexican War?
If so that means that the territories whose acquisition and status caused the issue of the spread of slavery to go up the political agenda.
By the way if somehow the Civil War happened in something like the form it had in OTL would Texas stay neutral?
And would it become a Pariah after the rest of the Americas abolished slavery or abolish slavery itself.
How significant would Mexico be if it still had California and other Western States?
December 21st, 2007, 09:22 PM
Odds are that the US still goes after CA etc, Manifest Destiny is just too strong.
war might be delayed till 1860s, mayber as a distracion from slavery?
mexico would be stronger, but maybe so would the us?
Sergio Van Lukenstein
December 21st, 2007, 09:32 PM
Mexico might try to take back Texas again. Whether or not Mexico succeeds, it will make life very difficult for the independent Texans.
The Civil War still results in a Northern victory, but an easier one. While most of the fighting OTL was done outside of Texas, Texas did send large amounts of troops to fight for the South. I assume that Texas will still be concerned about Mexico, so even if it does favor the Confederacy, it will not join... not if they want to have the chance of fighting off invasions by the Union and Mexico at the same time.
And when Texas strikes it rich with oil, it will become like a Middle Eastern country ISOTed into North America. It may end up actually getting fought over by America and Mexico after all. But oil-rich Texas might have the monetary resources to raise a good army. And hopefully for them, they'd have made some allies by then.
December 21st, 2007, 10:10 PM
I've read that the Texas Republic was given an offer by the British that in exchange to manumission of its slaves, the Brits would buy all the cotten the Texans could produce. They wanted to hamper American expansion, and slavery, so why not get some cotton out of the deal?
December 21st, 2007, 11:10 PM
Could Texas Survive without Being Annexed?
This first question is Texas' survival. The Lone Star Republic will have to deal with Indians (Apaches) raiding on the western border and Mexicans who don't recognize the treaty which supposedly granted Texas freedom. To survive without drastically altering history (which is of course possible) then Texas will need the help of Britain. Matthais Corvinus is right, such help would probably have come from Britain: indeed, today somewhere in London is a mediocre Tex-Mex restaurant called the Texas Embassy because it occupies the building where the RoT's embassy to Britian stood. The British would offer mediation with the Mexicans, aid, and trade, but probably would have insisted on emancipation. Texas has to agree or face long odds by itself. Most likely legal segregation occurs (if the emancipated slaves aren't sold to the US or exiled to Liberia).
What kind of Texas results between 1845-1860?
We must first explain why Texas wasn't annexed by the US. The more likely scenario than outright Texan refusal to petition for annexation in the first place is that the US continues to refuse annexation due to concerns about slavery. By the time the Texans agree to emancipation to get British aid, opinion is in Texas itself disfavors the Union. The USA meanwhile concentrates on a 54'40" settlement of Oregon Country in 1844. War with Britain may break out, but all we really need is tension.
Britain in enforcing peace between Mexico and Texas also enforces the maximum extent of territory for Texas: the Rio Grande to its source/a line North to the US boundary settled in 1819. Texas has to convince Santa Fe that it is really part of Texas; in OTL, Santa Fe resisted this furiously. This prompts some kind of constitional convetion in Texas. The Republic's Constition up until that point is not federal so admiting New Mexico as a state isn't available as an easy fix. I'd always wondered if given enough time Texas might deviate a bit further from the US' Constitution and invent a new kind of federal structure. I'll hold off on speculation for now; let's presume Texas emerges as a nation still called Texas with the citizens of Santa Fe enthusiastically included.
Without the Mexican American War of 1846-48, the California Gold Rush of 1849 will probably not happen on schedule. In the intervening time, Texas has received the backing of Great Britain and, unlike the US, eliminated slavery. Also, the original Texas Constitution guaranteed certain land rights to settlers; essentially, the Homestead act was part of the Constitution. All of this means that the vast waves of immigrants coming from Europe after 1848 may differ to Texas in greater numbers than OTL. Maybe the British even subsidize starving Irishmen to emigrate to Texas rather than feed the growing numbers of the US; the Irish are happy to go, since there are more Roman Catholics in Texas (i.e. Tejanos, Hispanic Texans).
By the mid-1850s, Texas has a growing imigrant population that is begining to strike out across the Rio Grande to California, hearing of the splendid farming available there. The US has acquired all of Oregon country (Britain is not happy), but the South is all the more incensed because no new slave country has been found. ATL's controversies are even worse for the US. All of this serves to limit the extent to which Western settlers look to Washington when in 1856 or so, gold is discovered in California. In 1858, or so, settlers there rise up against corrupt Mexican officials. They can either chose to pursue life as an independent state, but they will have to fight Mexico City alone: they need some kind of ally. The ATL US is probably not a good candidate. Even if Manifest Destiny sypathies are high, the US will still be riven by slavery debacles. The best bet is Texas or Great Britain, it'd be great to have both.
Mexico will probably have gotten money from Britain in the settlement of the Texas issue, so it doesn't have the debt crises it did OTL. However, Texas will definitely jump at the chance to become a Contiental Republic. Mexico will probably have to be fought, but with the support (not declared) of Britain, volunteer armies, it's even money on the outcome. I'd bet on Texas winning, though it'd be tough. Texas will probably take Baja California and a bit of Sonora, but much more would have to presume either a huge Texas' army or lots of upheval in Mexico.
Questions for Texas after 1860
If the US has a civil war, I'd expect it to stay neutral until Britain does anything. Supporting the US may be a possibitlity in return for some kind of concession out west (maybe Indian territory), but not likely given the descent of the orignial settlers from the South. Supporting the South may be likely because of Realpolitick, but antagonizing Washington is dangerous. I'd still expect to see a Civil War, in anycase, but I'd expect Texas to remain neutral. The biggest effect of the Civil War, IMHO, will be further increased migration to Texas, perhaps some from the former Confederacy due to a desire to escape "Yankee Rule." Once oil is discovered, which I'd expect to see sooner since the RoT will put a heavy emphasis on any kind of drilling technology that allows it to reach water. This will probably quickly have uses if the utility of oil is realized.
The biggest question for this Texas in the later half of the 19th century is how it industrializes. It has all the makings of an extractive economy, relying on agriculture, ranching, and mineral exctraction. British support will probably require Free Trade, which further hampers the development of internal industry. Railroads are the key, however, and Texas has the possibility of developing industry in that arena since it will a shorter route for a transcontintal rail than the US.
In the early 20th century, apart from labor politics, the biggest issue for Texas will be the closing of the frontier: Texas will have relied on land to attract immigrants and homestead rights may have been grandfathered into the RoT Constitution. Eventually, though, the land will run out and something will have to be done.
If Texas doesn't become as expansive, then it becomes something like an American Switzerland, since neutrality will be the only way it can survive and oil will make it wealthy. It will take ingenuity and good leadership for Texas to become more. Whether it will be blessed in those regards is unknowable. I like to think it would be, but I'm biased.
December 22nd, 2007, 05:05 AM
I think the best way to keep Texas out of Union is a Clay victory in 1844. Give Clay two terms and Texas might have gotten its feet under it, and is feeling like it doesn't need the US anyway. California would follow Texas' example and successfully strike out on its own as an independent Republic. The gold rush means it doesn't need the US either.
The South actually was able to produce more cotton after freeing the slaves then before. Fertizilers and advances in agricultural tech might be the reason, but I don't think that the tech advanced all that much from the antebellum days. Rather I would say that free labor simply works better. So if Texas frees its slaves, it could impose a Jim Crow type system, and get more productive in the offing. Emancipation for a Better Economy.
Thought on the Clay victory idea. Without Texas or the territory that the United States took from Mexico, then the South will be territorially hemmed in. With the end of territorial expansion then the Civil War may be avoided. A Texas emanicipation scheme that makes the land more productive could give a model to the South, and emanicipation comes sometime in the 1870's or 80's. Support for the Transcontiental Railroad, and growing Imperialism in Europe eventually brings California and Texas into the United States by the end of 19th century. With gradual emancipition and without the pain of Civil War and Reconstruction America's political and racial history are radically altered.
December 22nd, 2007, 05:11 AM
Once oil is discovered, which I'd expect to see sooner since the RoT will put a heavy emphasis on any kind of drilling technology that allows it to reach water. This will probably quickly have uses if the utility of oil is realized.
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December 23rd, 2007, 12:11 AM
The British would offer mediation with the Mexicans, aid, and trade, but probably would have insisted on emancipation. Texas has to agree or face long odds by itself. Most likely legal segregation occurs (if the emancipated slaves aren't sold to the US or exiled to Liberia).
Think nastier—legal indentured servitude. Not slaves, nor property, but still servants. It's a smart move. All the ex-slaves stay working and though you have to pay them you don't have to cover their food and shelter. I imagine it's a net win economically, plus the indentured know that they truly (legally) are working towards their freedom which is an added impetus to do good work.
This has the additional bonus, from a Texas perspective, of being much more flexible and more workable in a factory based setting. Corporations will love this model, and I can absolutely see poor people and immigrants keeping the indentured servant thing going (plus Mexican conquests, perhaps).
As corporations move up in size in Texas I imagine they are going to export this model outside Texas, and the South will have something to copy. Heck, the North will probably be forced to copy it as well, with poor people substituting for ex-slaves.
This should, however, spur the development of labour unions—at least in the North. What happens when large but marginal corporations that can only make money with super-cheap labour go up against unions for their very survival (instead of just profits, as IOTL) is probably going to get very bad.
Remember ITTL slavery is still just over the border, and the Texans are giving it up purely as a rational geopolitical move. They'll have all the reasons in the world to find something as close to slavery as possible (without it being slavery) and indentured servitude is it—oh, and adding poor people/immigrants changes it from a racial problem to a class problem… that's going to cause all kinds of interesting butterfly effects across North America (methinks the OTL Americans protestations of not having a class based society will not be echoed ITTL).
December 23rd, 2007, 10:39 PM
I'll go with indentured servitude. The slaves in Texas had 'contracts'. Lets say that first, the Alamo and Goliad bug out and so the Texas army has a larger proportion of Hispanics. Then, when the call for immigrants is put out, some free blacks from the rest of the US answer and that Texas is desperate enough to take them. The net result is a narrow 'free' majority where the large landowners are removed from office. Santa Ana's army has a lot of people who also decide to stay. Santa Fe decides they can live with a five state federal system.
Britain still had the Corn Laws in effect. With free access to British markets, Texas can make money growing both cotton and corn, not to mention tallow, leather, wool, and maybe lard. Some fishing is also possible, and corned beef. Remember, the ships leaving Britain were almost empty compared to the ships entering, so the salt goes out as ballast.
Lots of indentured servants come out and the term of indenture is limited to seven years. They settle on the frontier and learn to be cowboys the way the British took up sheep herding in Australia. The ticket of leavers start farming someplace they liked and claimed while herding and make a new start. Lots of Hispanic/Hibernian families give an interesting flavor to Texas cuisine. Boilded potatos with jalapenos as a national dish?
What kind of cuisine do you think we would get?
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