On March 2, 1836, Texas’ founding fathers declared independence from Mexico. In those early days, things looked pretty bleak. The Alamo fell just a few days later, and the revolution suffered more setbacks than wins.

Yet just a few 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. Their passion 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 the union not by conquest or purchase, but by an act of will.

Our state’s strength in the 21st century is not 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 cannot let that commitment slide.

As the great Texas patriot Sam Houston once put it, “Govern wisely, and as little as possible.”

If we want Texas 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. As our founding fathers put it in their Declaration of Independence from Mexico, we as their heirs must continually pursue freedom and independence “fearlessly and confidently.”

Happy independence day, Texas!

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."