They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the historic battles and legends that forged the state’s independence. In this four-part history, learn about Texas icons like Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, as well as bloody battles fought at the Alamo, Goliad and the final showdown at San Jancinto.
History of Texas Part I: Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas is recognized as one of the most popular theme park companies in the United States. But the name represents more than just thrills and rides. The six flags are from the sovereign nations that once few their flags over Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the United States
When most people think about the history of Texas, they start with the Alamo in San Antonio — but Texas history began hundreds of years prior to that pivotal event. It began when Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca washed up on the shores of what is now Galveston Island in 1528.
History of Texas Part II: The Battle for Independence
The battle for Texas independence spanned many years and famous battles, including the Battle of the Alamo and Goliad Massacre. The final showdown — the Battle of San Jancinto — took only 18 minutes and saw only six Texans killed compared to 600 Mexican soldiers. Another 700 were captured.
An hour after the carnage, Santa Anna himself was captured and brought before General Sam Houston. The general’s men called for execution, but Houston had something else in mind: Victory and independence for the Republic of Texas, with Santa Anna signing a treaty to end hostilities.
The 18-minute battle remains one of the greatest military victories in world history. With it, the proud Republic of Texas was born.
History of Texas Part III: Sam Houston
Texas history could ever be complete without covering Sam Houston, one of the most complex and fascinating characters in American history. Born in Virginia in 1793, Houston would become the only American to serve as the governor of two separate states, a congressman, a senator and the president of a sovereign nation — the Republic of Texas. Revered for his military service under Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 and as the general who would defeat Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, Houston fell out of favor when he refused to secede with southern states during the Civil War era. History would eventually right the wrongs done to his legacy and prove his judgment correct. Today, Sam Houston remains a beloved and giant figure in Texas history.
History of Texas Part IV: Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie
Two men that made an enormous impact in Texas history were Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. While both were in Texas a short time, they’re contributions were many.
A fierce outdoorsman and war hero, Crockett would be elected to three terms in the United States Congress, representing his district in Tennessee. He was so committed to the principled use of taxpayer money that he voted “no” to giving $100,000 in federal funds to a Navy hero’s widow. The vote made Crockett so unpopular that he lost his bid for reelection, famously proclaiming, You can all go to hell. I’m going to Texas. Crockett was welcomed in Texas with open arms.
Famous for his fights, wounds and weapons, Jim Bowie and his his nine-and-a-quarter-inch long, one-and-a-half-inch wide knife would become the namesake for the “bowie knife.” After experiencing a family tragedy, Bowie decided to join the fight for independence and defend the Alamo. During the 13-day siege, Bowie became gravely ill and bedridden. When Mexican troops stormed the mission, Bowie is said to have emptied his guns into the soldiers entering his room before they bayoneted him. Both Davy Crockett and James Bowie died at the Battle of the Alamo, defending Texas independence until the very end.
Listen to all serials at glennbeck.com/serials.