Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The Way Politics Should Be...!
In the days long ago, when Texians decided to get something done...they didn't fool around!
The following little bit of Texas history (thanks to Wikipedia) seemed appropriate, being as how today is Texas Independence Day! It shows just how things can be done if the need and desire is great enough!
The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the
Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the text.
In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution. Within Texas, many struggled with the question of whether Texians were fighting for independence from Mexico or the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, which offered greater freedoms than the dictatorship of current president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836. This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico. Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-the-Brazos on February 28.
The convention was convened on March 1 with Richard Ellis as president. The delegates selected a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence; the committee was led by George Childress and also included Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney. The committee submitted its draft within a mere 24 hours, leading historians to speculate that Childress had written much of it before his arrival at the Convention.
The declaration was approved on March 2 with no debate. Based primarily on the writings of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the declaration proclaimed that the Mexican government "ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived" and complained about "arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny". The declaration officially established the Republic of Texas.
Among others, the declaration mentions the following reasons for the separation:
* The 1824 Constitution of Mexico establishing a federal republic had been usurped and changed into a centralist military dictatorship under Antonio López de Santa Anna.
* The Mexican government had invited settlers to Texas and promised them constitutional liberty and republican government, but then reneged on these guarantees.
* Texas was in union with the Mexican state of Coahuila as Coahuila y Tejas, with the capital in distant Saltillo, and thus the affairs of Texas were decided at a great distance from the province and in the Spanish language.
* Political rights to which the settlers had previously been accustomed, such as the right to keep and bear arms and the right to trial by jury, were denied.
* No system of public education had been established.
* The settlers were not allowed freedom of religion.
Based upon the United States Declaration of Independence, the Texas Declaration also contains many memorable expressions of American political principles:
* "the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen."
* "our arms ... are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."
Did you notice the time line here? Delegates show up February 28, the convention is convened on March 1, a committee has a Declaration drafted in 24 hours, and the Declaration is adopted the next day with no debate!
Now, that's the way things should be done in Washington! No frills, no arguments, no pork barrel politics, just plain ol' "get-it-done" ethics! Talk about the Good Old Days!
Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen. Happy Birthday Texas!