WI: Texas Rebellion against Mexico soundly defeated, alternate path for Texas- and more

Deleted member 148213

This is a WI but it is also about an idea for a TL that I had, that I wanted to work out some of the more obvious butterflies as a result of it.

The basic idea is this: in OTL, Texas was the destination for considerable amounts of immigrants from Central Europe, as early as 1840.

In any TL where Texas becomes a part of the US permanently like OTL, however, I believe that it is so-ASB-as-to-be-verging-on-impossible for Germans, Czechs, Poles, etc. to constitute large majority of the state's population and survive as a culture there, mainly because given Texas' position on the North American continent and statehood in the US, it is going to be flooded with tons of Anglo and Anglo-assimilated American settlers, and the cultural position of English in the US combined with anti-German sentiment will inevitably erase the distinctiveness of these immigrant communities in Texas.

So, it seems to me that any TL that is going to end up with a non-Anglo/Mexican Texas must start with the failure of the Texan Revolution, which swiftly led to statehood in the US[1].

After that, it also must not butterfly the formation of German colonial societies to Texas; there are several points in favor of this and several against:

Firstly, the Mexicans wanted people to settle in Texas to protect against the Comanches. This need will not dissipate with the failure of the Texan rebellion, so other settlers would be needed. While not exactly pertinent to the reasoning, as it happened OTL in 1847, German colonists successfully concluded a peace treaty with the Comanches, one of the only unbroken treaties with Native Americans in the history of the US.

Secondly, there were already some Germans living in Texas before 1836- to be sure, their numbers were very small, as the Adelsverein which organized the first major German settlement in Texas was not established until 1842, but perhaps a seed was there- the "largest" early German colony was several families in OTL Austin County who started arriving in 1831. Their founder, Friedrich Ernst wrote back to Germany extolling the virtues of Texas- perhaps this set off the sequence in OTL that led to the foundation of the Adelsverein. In that case, it would be easy to claim that perhaps German settlement in Texas would not be butterflied by the failure of the revolution as this began before its start. Moreover, the Alsatian German settlement of Castroville was founded independently in 1844, so there seems to have been considerable interest.

Thirdly, German settlers would be both more Catholic (20%-60%, YMMV; OTL Pedernales was more Catholic than OTL Llano, the mix varied greatly across the state) and would not employ Black slaves like the Anglo-Americans did. The extent to which Protestantism and slavery helped flamed the fires of the revolution in Texas are debatable, but, to the extent that they were factors, the Mexicans would have less to worry about with German settlers.

Against this TL idea, one could propose that the Mexicans would be rightfully wary of more colonists after others tried revolting, and if taxes are raised in Texas to normal after the failure of the revolution, it will become a bit less attractive than it would have been to any settler.

But I still have many questions about the butterflies that would have to be worked out for this TL-

I assume the Texans are handily defeated- what will happen to their numbers and future Anglo immigration to Texas after the Mexican victory? A decrease in immigration from the US vis-à-vis OTL is absolutely critical or else the premise of a majority Central European Texas will never be possible.

What about the US? Is there a consensus on the forum as to whether the US would have gone to war with Mexico anyway to try and take Texas/Northern Mexico anyway even without the success of the Anglo revolt there? Would it still do so with the Germans there? Around what year would it try? Maybe the Mexicans sell large swathes to the US before any war breaks out- what would have to happen for that to occur?

Also, how does this affect the future of the US with the Civil War, and Mexico with the eventual fall of Santa Anna? As Texas is really just a small region smashed between those two giants, sparsely populated with Germans, Americans, Mexicans numbering no more than 60,000 in 1836 (and also native Americans of course) its history is also a history of the US and Mexico. Whether something resembling the Civil War will occur and when, as well as the future political situation in Mexico and any territorial changes are obviously, I think, the first things that would have to be determined for a TL like this to move forward.

Any input as to these questions or comments would be appreciated, thanks for reading.








[1]- Some of you may think of several alternatives, i.e. an Independent Texas, or some form of breakaway or autonomous region after a CSA victory, but the issue is that given that the Anglos start out with massive numerical superiority on the North American continent, every year that Texas is integrated into a English-speaking 'settler state' is another year for it to be flooded with English-speakers, making it increasingly unlikely to ever be majority non-Anglo. Not to mention that assimilation to English will slowly occur in the new cities and the dominance of the language, and thus, the Anglo culture, will be increasingly established. OTL, Texas was probably at least 5% German in 1845, but that percentage likely fell until the 1870s, when immigration from Central Europe really accelerated, and the Anglo population in Texas was then well established. For these reasons, averting the incorporation of Texas into the US, or preserving it as a free Anglo Republic must both be avoided.
 
Random musings:

Ideally the earlier the better to reach this goal - having the Texas Revolution occur and be crushed might make it a less desirable location for immigration. But on the other hand, a crushed revolution is certainly going to cut down the number of Anglo American settlers. While there were plenty of squatters and what have you, Texas immigration from America was largely by people looking to start legitimate new lives, the kind of lives where you can rely on filing deeds and having a functional judicial system. Mexico would cut off legitimate American immigration and a lot of those potential immigrants are not going to want to sneak in and live outside the law.

For maximum effect on German immigration we'd want both push and pull factors. Pull factors might be something like religious movements - maybe one of the prominent leaders of the Old Lutherans has a vision of Texas as the new land for the faithful, and this redirects a lot of emigrants who OTL ended up elsewhere in America, or Australia or New Zealand. You could also have cultural pull factors. One of the things that inspired the Adelsverein was the book Das Kajütenbuch by Carl Anton Postl, perhaps that book gets greater exposure. Or a German who rolled all 1s OTL rolls all 20s ITTL and becomes a successful rancher/plantation owner and writes a successful memoir/how-to. Maybe Emperor Francis I becomes weirdly obsessed with Texas and underwrites operas about it, or, on the other hand, Texas becomes used as a metaphor to give Germans cover to discuss political issues they couldn't otherwise speak on publicly. As far as push factors, just steer mid-century central Europe into madness and war. Maybe an 1848 gone very bad, or some kind of earlier German/Austrian breakdown precipitated by something like an early death of the Duke of Texas himself, Klemens von Metternich.

I can't tell if you're contemplating a Texas that later becomes independent, or which remains part of Mexico, but I'm assuming the former. The hard part would be keeping it non-Anglo. You could further fortify the Texas population through a more successful relationship between natives and Europeans, minimizing the deaths from the Indian Wars (mostly, it's hard to see a path where the Comanches peacefully integrate into a European/"western" society), but that only gets you so far. You might have to make Texas actively anti-American so they make a robust effort to exclude American immigrants. Mexican Texas OTL suffered a number of filibuster attempts by Americans, maybe this continues and creates some long-lasting hard feelings. Something like William Walker storms the territory to try and 'save it' for slavery and gets a bunch of people killed. The US as a whole could roll over Texas easily, so they'd have to be kept busy for a while - Civil War, a more difficult Mexican War. If you wanted to crack the US up into two or more parts after the Civil War, that would of course do the trick.

It's probably inevitable that some number Americans will come to Texas, because it's big and there's a lot of work that can be done and it's going to be less populous ITTL. They could fill a role similar to that Mexican residents/immigrants served in TTL's Texas during the same time period, a sort of precarious semi-citizenship that is occasionally embraced and formalized (like the Bracero program) and penalized ("Operation Wetback" [pardon the language]).

If Texas can scoot into the 20th century okay, its oil reserves will have it punching above its weight. Assuming Texas has retained the old Mexican/Spanish treatment of oil and minerals, all that oil belongs to the state. That oil wealth is not so overwhelming as to make Texas irresistible as a US target, but it's plenty good for Texas to beef up its self defense capacity. The US will certainly seek to meddle in Texas affairs, though, given how big of an influence it will have on global oil markets. The US will probably implement price and production controls as in OTL, and again as in OTL that will lead to an oil smuggling boom. You could see America militarizing their border, and *Texas using oil revenues to head towards a social democracy type set-up, with both factors further clamping down on American immigration. If there's something similar to OTL's Great War, or really any kind of American-German conflict, that would also keep relations frosty.
 
Last edited:

Osman Aga

Banned
Why? Countries don't usually want to attract poor people. Most of the German immigrants to Texas OTL were middle class in Germany.

Regardless... it is a better alternative than Anglo-American Protestants with bigger loyalty to the US than to Mexico. The Irish are Catholic, desperate and helps to secure remote lands you own but don't control much.
 

Deleted member 148213

Random musings:

Ideally the earlier the better to reach this goal - having the Texas Revolution occur and be crushed might make it a less desirable location for immigration. But on the other hand, a crushed revolution is certainly going to cut down the number of Anglo American settlers. While there were plenty of squatters and what have you, Texas immigration from America was largely by people looking to start legitimate new lives, the kind of lives where you can rely on filing deeds and having a functional judicial system. Mexico would cut off legitimate American immigration and a lot of those potential immigrants are not going to want to sneak in and live outside the law.

For maximum effect on German immigration we'd want both push and pull factors. Pull factors might be something like religious movements - maybe one of the prominent leaders of the Old Lutherans has a vision of Texas as the new land for the faithful, and this redirects a lot of emigrants who OTL ended up elsewhere in America, or Australia or New Zealand. You could also have cultural pull factors. One of the things that inspired the Adelsverein was the book Das Kajütenbuch by Carl Anton Postl, perhaps that book gets greater exposure. Or a German who rolled all 1s OTL rolls all 20s ITTL and becomes a successful rancher/plantation owner and writes a successful memoir/how-to. Maybe Emperor Francis I becomes weirdly obsessed with Texas and underwrites operas about it, or, on the other hand, Texas becomes used as a metaphor to give Germans cover to discuss political issues they couldn't otherwise speak on publicly. As far as push factors, just steer mid-century central Europe into madness and war. Maybe an 1848 gone very bad, or some kind of earlier German/Austrian breakdown precipitated by something like an early death of the Duke of Texas himself, Klemens von Metternich.

I can't tell if you're contemplating a Texas that later becomes independent, or which remains part of Mexico, but I'm assuming the former. The hard part would be keeping it non-Anglo. You could further fortify the Texas population through a more successful relationship between natives and Europeans, minimizing the deaths from the Indian Wars (mostly, it's hard to see a path where the Comanches peacefully integrate into a European/"western" society), but that only gets you so far. You might have to make Texas actively anti-American so they make a robust effort to exclude American immigrants. Mexican Texas OTL suffered a number of filibuster attempts by Americans, maybe this continues and creates some long-lasting hard feelings. Something like William Walker storms the territory to try and 'save it' for slavery and gets a bunch of people killed. The US as a whole could roll over Texas easily, so they'd have to be kept busy for a while - Civil War, a more difficult Mexican War. If you wanted to crack the US up into two or more parts after the Civil War, that would of course do the trick.

It's probably inevitable that some number Americans will come to Texas, because it's big and there's a lot of work that can be done and it's going to be less populous ITTL. They could fill a role similar to that Mexican residents/immigrants served in TTL's Texas during the same time period, a sort of precarious semi-citizenship that is occasionally embraced and formalized (like the Bracero program) and penalized ("Operation Wetback" [pardon the language]).

If Texas can scoot into the 20th century okay, its oil reserves will have it punching above its weight. Assuming Texas has retained the old Mexican/Spanish treatment of oil and minerals, all that oil belongs to the state. That oil wealth is not so overwhelming as to make Texas irresistible as a US target, but it's plenty good for Texas to beef up its self defense capacity. The US will certainly seek to meddle in Texas affairs, though, given how big of an influence it will have on global oil markets. The US will probably implement price and production controls as in OTL, and again as in OTL that will lead to an oil smuggling boom. You could see America militarizing their border, and *Texas using oil revenues to head towards a social democracy type set-up, with both factors further clamping down on American immigration. If there's something similar to OTL's Great War, or really any kind of American-German conflict, that would also keep relations frosty.

A lot of good points here.
I was thinking that to boost German immigration to Texas, it would probably be higher than OTL as either a German-speaking territory in Mexico or an independent German state because, I think that it may be more attractive to some German potential immigrants because of that. The net effect would be to bleed off some German immigration that would have OTL gone to other parts of the US to Texas instead. Since the US received *so* many German immigrants, even a small fraction could easily double or triple the immigration from Central Europe to Texas in the big immigration years from 1860-1920.

I think 1848 is an excellent event to spur more German immigration to Texas, seeing as it had a similar effect for the US OTL at least briefly. I guess also ensuring the Adelsverein doesn't go bankrupt could also help at first, but I'd imagine that other sponsors of immigration or groups will quickly come to be responsible for the majority of immigrants from Germany to Texas- it will be an eclectic mix. I know of one religiously-inspired migration to Texas which is that of the Sorbian Lutherans, who travelled to the area around modern Serbin, TX after they refused to join the Evangelical church in Germany which combined Lutherans and Calvinists.

I assumed an eventual independence for Texas too, whenever it became more feasible with Mexico in disarray and Texas a bit more populated. I think the US is a major problem though for this TL. It was my instinct that the Civil War may be postponed without Texas' annexation. Any Mexican war I think might endanger Texas greatly as well, depending on the specifics of the fighting and what territory is ceded.

If we are already talking about Texas surviving into the 1870s/1880s as German though, having become independent from Mexico, I think another interesting topic of discussion is what kind of diplomatic relations it will have with Germany or whatever nations are in Germany- maybe at that point Texas can be finally secured under European protection.
 

Deleted member 148213

Regardless... it is a better alternative than Anglo-American Protestants with bigger loyalty to the US than to Mexico. The Irish are Catholic, desperate and helps to secure remote lands you own but don't control much.
But there was actual OTL immigration and interest in Texas from Germany in the 1830s, 1840s, and beyond, whereas most Irish that would eventually be in Texas only went there by way of immigrating to the US first- few became farmers in the US anyway, so what exactly would they be doing in Texas?
 
A lot of good points here.
I was thinking that to boost German immigration to Texas, it would probably be higher than OTL as either a German-speaking territory in Mexico or an independent German state because, I think that it may be more attractive to some German potential immigrants because of that. The net effect would be to bleed off some German immigration that would have OTL gone to other parts of the US to Texas instead. Since the US received *so* many German immigrants, even a small fraction could easily double or triple the immigration from Central Europe to Texas in the big immigration years from 1860-1920.
If the US ends up in a situation where it has a lot of tension with Germany, and has a German-speaking state on its borders, maybe there's more of a widespread anti-German sentiment. There are some threads to pull there - at the dawn of the nation, Ben Franklin was writing about how the German hordes would dumb down America and exterminate the English language. Germans were also targeted by prohibition advocates, because of their association with beer and the number of German brewers. Maybe the anti-slavery Texans send volunteers to fight the south in the civil war. Kind of creates a feedback loop of Germans leaving the US for Texas, making American Germans increasingly thought of as foreign and of questionable loyalty, causing further discrimination. Considering OTL communities were speaking German into the 20th century, that's a constant drip-feed of America-to-Texas emigrants for some time.
I assumed an eventual independence for Texas too, whenever it became more feasible with Mexico in disarray and Texas a bit more populated. I think the US is a major problem though for this TL. It was my instinct that the Civil War may be postponed without Texas' annexation. Any Mexican war I think might endanger Texas greatly as well, depending on the specifics of the fighting and what territory is ceded.
I feel like there's kind of a sweet spot both of those wars would need to hit, as far as timing. You'd want Texas to be independent of Mexico when war breaks out with the US (because if they got it, they wouldn't let it go), and on reasonably firm footing. Maybe there's a period where the pendulum in Mexico swings back towards federalism/local rule - after Santa Anna is deposed? - giving institutions time to develop, and then goes back hard the other way, with some radical centralizing autocrat trying to consolidate power. As in the 30s, you see uprisings in Texas, North Mexico, the Yucatán. The gold rush in California could just be kicking off, and the bumptious alt-49ers jump in and declare independence as well. The US looks on in glee and gets ready to pick up the pieces - but while Texas does fairly well and secures some foreign recognition, the smaller California revolt gets absolutely crushed, with prejudice. Maybe an alternate 'black bean lottery,' as that seems to really capture the imagination. The US is outraged, one thing leads to another, and it's war. The US either recognizes or ignores Texas - when casting itself as the liberator and defender of rights, it's hard to just roll over a newly declared republic, or to take it from Mexico in the peace negotiations. I guess the idea is, if it comes to fighting with Mexico for California (gold, Pacific access) versus fighting with Texas for Texas, the former is more attractive.

The OTL Mexican-American War wasn't the walkover it gets portrayed as, so with different prep and leaders Mexico puts up a decent fight, the whole thing takes several years to wrap up. But when California is admitted under its revolutionary constitution which bans slavery, it sets off a chain reaction that leads to an earlier American civil war. It probably shakes out the same, but the earlier it happens the better it goes for the south - lower northern population, less industrialization, less infrastructure to move men. Between the two wars, it could end up with close to a solid decade of war for the US, with a weary population, finances in the toilet, and war hero presidents who are tired of seeing people get butchered. That buys some time for Texas to get up and running.
If we are already talking about Texas surviving into the 1870s/1880s as German though, having become independent from Mexico, I think another interesting topic of discussion is what kind of diplomatic relations it will have with Germany or whatever nations are in Germany- maybe at that point Texas can be finally secured under European protection.
Maybe the relationship of France and Quebec could be a model here. They don't really have strategic interests that overlap, but the ties are still there. This might also have interesting effects on the psyches of the American and German people and governments. Germany never really a colony or offshoot nation like this - something like Canada, where the linguistic, ethnic, cultural etc. of the mother nation takes root so firmly. Maybe it makes Germany/Germans think shoot, maybe we have a chance at this colony game. Some crackpot German filibustering in Central or South America? Or more moves in the Pacific? Equally, maybe this deranges the US government with fear of German encroachment, leading to more bellicose responses to things like the Samoan crisis.
 

Deleted member 148213

If the US ends up in a situation where it has a lot of tension with Germany, and has a German-speaking state on its borders, maybe there's more of a widespread anti-German sentiment. There are some threads to pull there - at the dawn of the nation, Ben Franklin was writing about how the German hordes would dumb down America and exterminate the English language. Germans were also targeted by prohibition advocates, because of their association with beer and the number of German brewers. Maybe the anti-slavery Texans send volunteers to fight the south in the civil war. Kind of creates a feedback loop of Germans leaving the US for Texas, making American Germans increasingly thought of as foreign and of questionable loyalty, causing further discrimination. Considering OTL communities were speaking German into the 20th century, that's a constant drip-feed of America-to-Texas emigrants for some time.

I feel like there's kind of a sweet spot both of those wars would need to hit, as far as timing. You'd want Texas to be independent of Mexico when war breaks out with the US (because if they got it, they wouldn't let it go), and on reasonably firm footing. Maybe there's a period where the pendulum in Mexico swings back towards federalism/local rule - after Santa Anna is deposed? - giving institutions time to develop, and then goes back hard the other way, with some radical centralizing autocrat trying to consolidate power. As in the 30s, you see uprisings in Texas, North Mexico, the Yucatán. The gold rush in California could just be kicking off, and the bumptious alt-49ers jump in and declare independence as well. The US looks on in glee and gets ready to pick up the pieces - but while Texas does fairly well and secures some foreign recognition, the smaller California revolt gets absolutely crushed, with prejudice. Maybe an alternate 'black bean lottery,' as that seems to really capture the imagination. The US is outraged, one thing leads to another, and it's war. The US either recognizes or ignores Texas - when casting itself as the liberator and defender of rights, it's hard to just roll over a newly declared republic, or to take it from Mexico in the peace negotiations. I guess the idea is, if it comes to fighting with Mexico for California (gold, Pacific access) versus fighting with Texas for Texas, the former is more attractive.

The OTL Mexican-American War wasn't the walkover it gets portrayed as, so with different prep and leaders Mexico puts up a decent fight, the whole thing takes several years to wrap up. But when California is admitted under its revolutionary constitution which bans slavery, it sets off a chain reaction that leads to an earlier American civil war. It probably shakes out the same, but the earlier it happens the better it goes for the south - lower northern population, less industrialization, less infrastructure to move men. Between the two wars, it could end up with close to a solid decade of war for the US, with a weary population, finances in the toilet, and war hero presidents who are tired of seeing people get butchered. That buys some time for Texas to get up and running.

Maybe the relationship of France and Quebec could be a model here. They don't really have strategic interests that overlap, but the ties are still there. This might also have interesting effects on the psyches of the American and German people and governments. Germany never really a colony or offshoot nation like this - something like Canada, where the linguistic, ethnic, cultural etc. of the mother nation takes root so firmly. Maybe it makes Germany/Germans think shoot, maybe we have a chance at this colony game. Some crackpot German filibustering in Central or South America? Or more moves in the Pacific? Equally, maybe this deranges the US government with fear of German encroachment, leading to more bellicose responses to things like the Samoan crisis.
So this would require the end of Santa Anna's reign post-1836 but contemporaneous with the ATL gold rush in your opinion?

Maybe it would be possible to have Texas break away during the war with Mexico. Just another alternative.

It's also good to mention that if Texas is not involved in any US civil war, it will recieve a larger share of Central European immigrants in that timeframe. Also, its anti-slavery stance is likely to win it some respect from the north.

Have we butterflied the French adventures in Mexico?

Furthermore, I think the discovery of oil in Texas will ultimately transform its strategic role. Going into the 20th century, a German speaking nation friendly with the alt German Empire on the borders of the US is certainly going to worry them. I expect anti-German sentiment to run even more ridiculously high than OTL- and of course it was in large part OTL anti-German sentiment that turned German-Americans from a large and well established immigrant group that maintained much of their culture in 1910 to a silent and culturally irrelevant ethnic group in the US.

I am also thinking about some alt-demographic figures, may post later.
 
Why? Countries don't usually want to attract poor people. Most of the German immigrants to Texas OTL were middle class in Germany.
Because people are capital. Mexico wasn't looking for investors in Texas, they needed farmers, and workers. They also needed people willing to fight to drive the Comanches back. People with money tend to stay where they are, and are even less likely to immigrate to a place where they have to fight for survival.
 

Deleted member 148213

Because people are capital. Mexico wasn't looking for investors in Texas, they needed farmers, and workers. They also needed people willing to fight to drive the Comanches back. People with money tend to stay where they are, and are even less likely to immigrate to a place where they have to fight for survival.
This is actually completely untrue. It takes money to immigrate to another country- sure the rich are not immigrating, but the poorest cannot do so either. These Germans that settled Texas OTL were not investors- they were mostly successful farmers, though many more intellectual types did immigrate as well; see the settlement of German Jews in Boerne, and the attempted Humanistic colony of Latium.
 
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