Could Texas have lasted as a buffer state between the U.S. and Mexico?

In regards to the financing of Texas, I think you can get Britain to float an independent Texas' economy as a means of preventing American expansionism. Also Texas is more likely to exist in a world with a set of independent nations in the west like an independent Rio Bravo, California, Mormon state, etc. rather than just as a buffer between the United States and Mexico.

I'd agree here, but I think we can also see Texas remain independent by itself in a scenario like the one I described above. Also, an independent Texas would be the first of these western nations. So Deseret, California, Rio Bravo... and possibly Columbia/Oregon would be following its example.

If we were to keep Texas by itself, I do think its borders will be very much reduced. Even if Mexico accepts an independent Texas, it will try to assert the Nueces - Pecos border, since this territory had been part of the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Chihuahua, and the territory of Nuevo Mexico. If the US pushes for a Pacific outlet and still manages to get California, Texas might side with the US to "reclaim" these lands. However, the US won't let Texas keep the ridiculous panhandle that reaches up to the 42nd parallel, much likely it will push for a border at the Arkansas River or the 37th parallel.
 
I found the Vidaurri link... very interesting.

Nevertheless, I do have to echo stevj713 and TRH thoughts above in that joining an independent Texas might not be as attractive as the CSA. As stevej713 notes, Texas would be financially strained, dependent on the US, and very depopulated.
Even if, by the late 1850s Texas manages to figure its stuff out and independent state, the population difference would still be very hard to overcome. Population-wise the Rio Grande/Bravo states would dominate Texas. In 1850, these states had a population of ~900,000 while Texas had just over 200,000 (plus ~60,000 if we include the New Mexico claims). The largest "city" in Texas was Gavelston with roughly ~5,000 people, and Austin - the capital - was a town with less than 1,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, Monterrey had roughly ten times the population of Gavelston. No matter how economically sound Texas becomes they won't match the Rio Grande states in size at least until 1870, and that is with a large number of American migrants, who in the case of an independent Texas might settle elsewhere. Considering this, even if Vidaurri - or some other governor - make an overture to join Texas, they'd be holding all the cards, and I highly doubt the Texans would like to suddenly be a minority in their own country.

For this reason, I think the only way we can get a "Greater Texas" is if the Rio Bravo states join Texas from the get-go, and all of them rebel and gain their independence together as a "Greater Rio Bravo Federation" not the other way around. This way Texas becomes one state in a larger confederation and the anglo-Texans become a very influential minority in this country. Down the line, Texas would certainly dominate even if we split it into two or three states, "East Texas" is almost bound to be the richest state as it would include a major port in Houston/Gaveston Bay and the major "border towns" with the US. Although Tamaulipas, will likely pull ahead of NL as the other state with two major port (Tampico and Matamoros) and large oil fields.
I doubt they'd make a move towards Texas until 1858 when the War of Reform breaks out (I doubt an independent Texas would butterfly it away), and at that point Texas had nearly 600,000 people, more than triple its growth from ten years prior. It would be far closer to population parity at that point, and the addition would grant Texas some hugely profitable Mexican lands that really only need stability and investment (something Texas could more easily provide due to European and American contacts).

Vidaurri was already acting virtually independently of Mexican authority, and I really don't see why Texas wouldn't deal with him to get territory for almost nothing and securing the southwestern border further.
 
I wonder how that cherokee state was supposed to work out.

It's gotta be Cherokee in name only, that's the original core of Texas and it includes Houston, Dallas, and most of OTL Texas's prime farmland. Of course the whole thing's pretty ASB anyway, so who knows.
 
I doubt they'd make a move towards Texas until 1858 when the War of Reform breaks out (I doubt an independent Texas would butterfly it away), and at that point, Texas had nearly 600,000 people, more than triple its growth from ten years prior. It would be far closer to population parity at that point, and the addition would grant Texas some hugely profitable Mexican lands that really only need stability and investment (something Texas could more easily provide due to European and American contacts).

Vidaurri was already acting virtually independently of Mexican authority, and I really don't see why Texas wouldn't deal with him to get territory for almost nothing and securing the southwestern border further.

The problem is that Texas is still smaller or of equal size until the late 1860s. Even if Vidaurri and the company are actively seeking annexation, it is not the same for an independent Texas to accept a partnership than for the US or CSA to annex the territory. The Rio Grande states will include roughly 50% of the population and somewhere between 1/3 to 1/4 of the territory (depending on whether Texas actually controls New Mexico and the disputed territory). If Texas gains its independence in 1835-1836 and Rio Grande does so in 1840-1841 (when it was declared) and both decided to join sometime in the 1850s or 1860s so they can remain independent and free of Mexican / US control. This will very much be a partnership/federation and not outright annexation.
To balance things out, Texas might be carved into 3 or 4 states so there is a parity in the number of states. And while Austin might remain the capital, it will most likely move to San Antonio (to choose a central location) or Laredo - which I personally think works best - as a "neutral" location in the disputed territory, which so happens to be the de-jure capital of the RotRG.
 
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The Texans wanted to be annexed from the get-go, and it was blocked because it would upset the balance of pro-slavery and anti-slavery states. A Clay victory in 1844 probably would have blocked it.
For how long is the question.

Clay may have been upset that it may imbalance the slave/free balance, but clay himself is an expansionist and if he has a chance to annex Texas WITHOUT A WAR he will.
 
For how long is the question.

Clay may have been upset that it may imbalance the slave/free balance, but clay himself is an expansionist, and if he has a chance to annex Texas WITHOUT A WAR he will.

This is why I think it would be key for Mexico to get its shit together right after the Texas Revolution - if you can avoid the Pastry War and have Mexico assert control of the Nueces Strip, it'd work even better. This way the threat of a war with Mexico will stretch well into and hopefully past Clay's term, further delaying the issue. Ideally, the issue gets past down until the issue over slavery implodes, and Texas opts to just remain independent and keep ist slaves for longer, rather than joining the US.

Mexico might warm up to the idea of recognizing Texas if and only if Texas remains independent and does not seek annexation. Meanwhile, Texas and the US can sign a trade agreement or two and a mutual defense pact that renders annexation unnecessary. Until the US backtracks on the agreement because Texas still has slaves and is harboring Confederate refugees....
 
The problem is that Texas is still smaller or of equal size until the late 1860s. Even if Vidaurri and the company are actively seeking annexation, it is not the same for an independent Texas to accept a partnership than for the US or CSA to annex the territory. The Rio Grande states will include roughly 50% of the population and somewhere between 1/3 to 1/4 of the territory (depending on whether Texas actually controls New Mexico and the disputed territory). If Texas gains its independence in 1835-1836 and Rio Grande does so in 1840-1841 (when it was declared) and both decided to join sometime in the 1850s or 1860s so they can remain independent and free of Mexican / US control. This will very much be a partnership/federation and not outright annexation.
To balance things out, Texas might be carved into 3 or 4 states so there is a parity in the number of states. And while Austin might remain the capital, it will most likely move to San Antonio (to choose a central location) or Laredo - which I personally think works best - as a "neutral" location in the disputed territory, which so happens to be the de-jure capital of the RotRG.
Considering how small all of those cities were at the time, Monterrey makes the most sense because it was the commercial hub of northern Mexico since inception.

Regardless, I fail to see Rio Grande winning its independence even with an independent Texas. Their only hope is for some sort of agreement with Texas, and since I very much doubt Texas and Mexico will have solved their border dispute it behooves Texas to make nice with Vidaurri and secure the border. This probably means that Texan internal policy changes into more of a federation but both sides stand to gain tremendously from the arrangement.
 
Considering how small all of those cities were at the time, Monterrey makes the most sense because it was the commercial hub of northern Mexico since inception.

Regardless, I fail to see Rio Grande winning its independence even with an independent Texas. Their only hope is for some sort of agreement with Texas, and since I very much doubt Texas and Mexico will have solved their border dispute it behooves Texas to make nice with Vidaurri and secure the border. This probably means that Texan internal policy changes into more of a federation but both sides stand to gain tremendously from the arrangement.

So something like this (sketched it up yesterday, and the maps might be worth it of its own TL) :

A Map inspired by the discussion on this thread: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...ween-the-u-s-and-mexico.502211/#post-21454356

 
So something like this (sketched it up yesterday, and the maps might be worth it of its own TL) :
If we're getting technical, Coahuila should be a part of Nuevo Leon (Vidaurri annexed it to his state). And if Texas managed to nab Chihuahua with Vidaurri and his scheming then Sonora probably comes along for the ride. But a lot of what happens in the West is completely upended with the lack of a Mexican-American War so the border could go many different ways.
 
There is little doubt as a historical fact that the Southern border of Mexican Texas was the Nueces River. I certainly believe that the claim to the Rio Grande was originally nothing more than an ambit claim. Between 1836 & 1945 the British and the French tried to persuade the Mexicans to acknowledge Texan independence. Had Mexico offered to acknowledge Texan independence with the Nueces as the border, and the condition of no annexation to the US, Texas would have accepted it and the independence could have been guaranteed by Britain and France. This would have prevented annexation to the US in the 1840s, but I doubt that the British and French would have felt obliged to block annexation a generation later.

So I guess one might speculate that Mexican recognition of Texan independence with international guarantees would have delayed annexation at least until the 1860s. Maybe German migration might have had a bigger demographic effect on Texas, or maybe a different ACW, which Texas would have avoided might have led to long-term independence.
 
If we're getting technical, Coahuila should be a part of Nuevo Leon (Vidaurri annexed it to his state). And if Texas managed to nab Chihuahua with Vidaurri and his scheming then Sonora probably comes along for the ride. But a lot of what happens in the West is completely upended with the lack of a Mexican-American War so the border could go many different ways.
Coahuila and NL might be split upon unification with Texas the same way Texas is split... but as you mention we are now being technical.

As far as Sonora goes, I don't think nabbing it will be that easy. Geographically, Chihuahua poses a huge challenge; it is a large mountainous plateau with sierras at both the east and west of it. For the most part, it faces east and there is a good line of communication/roads between El Paso and Chihuahua City, and from there to Torreon and Saltillo (via Durango). Not so much for Sonora, which is on the other side of the Sierras and the Sonoran Desert. Even today, in OTL the roads connecting Sonora to Chihuahua either hug the border with the US in the north through the desert or curve downwards through Sinaloa to avoid the Sierra Occidental. This is pretty much the reason why the cartels have been able to entrench themselves in this region (especially the Sierras in Sinaloa).

I think it is a bit of a cliche to have Sonora and Chihuahua as a package, but historically Sonora and Sinaloa had more ties to Jalisco/Guadalajara than they did to Chihuahua (and or New Mexico and Durango).

Walker's "Republic of Sonora and Baja California" might succeed in this scenario, but I still think it is just as likely to go its own way, join California or Desertet (if they went their own way), or join the Texas-RG-Federation. In the latter case, it will remain an "island in the Pacific" until a railroad is built (similar to California in OTL). However, at this point, this will no longer be the Rio Grande Republic but more accurately The Sierra Madre Federation.

There is little doubt as a historical fact that the Southern border of Mexican Texas was the Nueces River. I certainly believe that the claim to the Rio Grande was originally nothing more than an ambit claim. Between 1836 & 1945 the British and the French tried to persuade the Mexicans to acknowledge Texan independence. Had Mexico offered to acknowledge Texan independence with the Nueces as the border, and the condition of no annexation to the US, Texas would have accepted it and the independence could have been guaranteed by Britain and France. This would have prevented annexation to the US in the 1840s, but I doubt that the British and French would have felt obliged to block annexation a generation later.

So I guess one might speculate that Mexican recognition of Texan independence with international guarantees would have delayed annexation at least until the 1860s. Maybe German migration might have had a bigger demographic effect on Texas, or maybe a different ACW, which Texas would have avoided might have led to long-term independence.

Agree. I'd insist that you'd need a stabler Mexico post-Texas independence, so they can act with reason and recognize Texas and at the same time push to keep the Nueces / Pecos border.
 
Walker's "Republic of Sonora and Baja California" might succeed in this scenario, but I still think it is just as likely to go its own way, join California or Desertet (if they went their own way), or join the Texas-RG-Federation. In the latter case, it will remain an "island in the Pacific" until a railroad is built (similar to California in OTL). However, at this point, this will no longer be the Rio Grande Republic but more accurately The Sierra Madre Federation.
Yet how will they get over Macho Grande?
 
Coahuila and NL might be split upon unification with Texas the same way Texas is split... but as you mention we are now being technical.

As far as Sonora goes, I don't think nabbing it will be that easy. Geographically, Chihuahua poses a huge challenge; it is a large mountainous plateau with sierras at both the east and west of it. For the most part, it faces east and there is a good line of communication/roads between El Paso and Chihuahua City, and from there to Torreon and Saltillo (via Durango). Not so much for Sonora, which is on the other side of the Sierras and the Sonoran Desert. Even today, in OTL the roads connecting Sonora to Chihuahua either hug the border with the US in the north through the desert or curve downwards through Sinaloa to avoid the Sierra Occidental. This is pretty much the reason why the cartels have been able to entrench themselves in this region (especially the Sierras in Sinaloa).

I think it is a bit of a cliche to have Sonora and Chihuahua as a package, but historically Sonora and Sinaloa had more ties to Jalisco/Guadalajara than they did to Chihuahua (and or New Mexico and Durango).

Walker's "Republic of Sonora and Baja California" might succeed in this scenario, but I still think it is just as likely to go its own way, join California or Desertet (if they went their own way), or join the Texas-RG-Federation. In the latter case, it will remain an "island in the Pacific" until a railroad is built (similar to California in OTL). However, at this point, this will no longer be the Rio Grande Republic but more accurately The Sierra Madre Federation.



Agree. I'd insist that you'd need a stabler Mexico post-Texas independence, so they can act with reason and recognize Texas and at the same time push to keep the Nueces / Pecos border.
Mexico is far, far too weak to exercise any real control over the region, it's too far from their center of power. Even the lucrative and important Monterrey couldn't be held by the central government. If Texas/Vidaurri get the locals on board to join up Mexico can't do anything to stop them. And Vidaurri wielded tremendous power with the frontier landlords and local elite, his say has tremendous clout. It really depends on who makes the better offer, and I doubt it's going to be Mexico.

Having said that, if there is an independent Texas there may be a Mexican California, and if that's the case then Sonora's importance goes up about a hundred fold and Mexico will do much more to ensure its protection.
 
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