Civil War in Texas Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Texas in the Civil War

The American Civil War was a monumental conflict in American history. The conflict was brewing for a long time, as southern and northern states argued over the role of the federal government and the extent of state rights. The debate erupted into an outright war with the election of Abraham Lincoln. Seven southern states formed the Confederacy as before the inauguration of President Lincoln. The issue of states' rights originates with the debate of slavery. Runaway slaves would escape the south and head to northern states where they would be deemed free, however, Southern states argued that they were still slaves and wanted a return of their property (Baum 1998). The main issue at hand is what rights extended beyond a state. Southern states naturally supported the stance that citizens of every state could take their property anywhere within the United States, in this case slaves, while Northern states rejected this idea. This cultural divide effected national politics, and the election of a Northerner who opposed the expansion of slavery, was the last straw for the South. In this conflict, one of the major states to side with the South was Texas. Texas declared secession from the United States on February 1, 1861 and joined the Confederacy on March 2nd, 1861 (Baum 1998).

After the election of Abraham Lincoln, the general opinion in the South was that they were better off seceding from the union. While other states held conventions to discuss the matter of secession, Texas' convention was delayed because of Sam Houston. Sam Houston actually supported the Union and refused to even speak about secession until he realized citizens were willing to act without his consent. The legislature met in 1861 and voted to uphold the legality of whatever actions were decided upon. By January 28th, an ordinance was created listing the grievances, stating that the federal government had failed to protect the lives and property of Texans and blaming the North for the same failures as the federal government (Bell 2005). When the legislature convened to vote on the matter of secession only one voted no, James Webb Throckmorton. It is interesting to note, that while Throckmorton opposed secession he still served his state and rose to the rank of brigadier-general in the Confederate army (Buenger 1984). After Texas when it declared its support for the Confederacy replaced Sam Houston, who refused to swear his allegiance to the Confederacy. Texas made its position clear, as to why it was declaring for South, by issuing a declaration.…

Sources Used in Document:


Baum, D. (1998). The shattering of Texas unionism: Politics in the Lone Star state during the Civil War era. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Bell F. Walter. (2005). Civil War Texas: A Review of the Historical Literature. Southwestern Historical Quarterly. 109(2), 204-232.

Buenger, W.L. (1984). Secession and the Union in Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press.

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