On March 2, 1836, Texas’ founding fathers declared independence from Mexico because that government had “ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people.”
Despite the resolute tone of the Declaration, the future appeared bleak for the cause of liberty in the Lone Star State. The Alamo fell just a few days later, and the revolution suffered more set-backs than wins.
Yet just seven weeks later, on April 21, 1836, independence declared became independence achieved when the outnumbered and outgunned Texians defeated Gen. Santa Anna’s soldiers on the fields of San Jacinto. Our forefathers’ passion for self-governance carried the day, won the war and secured independence.
A decade later, Texas voluntarily entered the United States following an overwhelming vote of the people. As a once sovereign nation, Texas stands unique in the Union as the only state to enter not by conquest or purchase, but by an act of will.
Our state’s strength in the 21st Century has not been an accident, but rather the result of a purposeful application of our founders’ devotion to life, liberty and property. If we want to remain strong, we must not allow that commitment slide.
One of the courageous men to sign the Declaration was José Antonio Navarro; he never stopped believing in the promise of Texas. When captured by Mexican forces in an 1841 dispute, he was given the chance to renounce Texas. He refused.
“I will die for that which I firmly believe, for I know it is just and right. One life is a small price for a cause so great. As I fought, so shall I be willing to die. I will never forsake Texas and her cause. I am her son.”
If Texas is to be successful in the years ahead, we must reject the cowardice of those who would foist upon us the failed policies of big government. We must boldly proclaim liberty with every breath, and work for it with all our might.
As Texas’ founding fathers put it in their Declaration, we as their heirs must continually pursue liberty and self-governance “fearlessly and confidently”.