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Texas Revolution & Republic

Mexico gained its independence from Spain and soon was facing revolutions in its own borders. One of those areas was the northern province of Tejas. Americans had been encouraged to colonize these lands but as the federal government in Mexico City demanded more from them the colonists resisted. Mexico had numerous other provinces under rebellion in the late 1820s and early 1830s and it wasn’t till 1835 that they could turn their full attention on their northern countrymen. The Texas Revolution turned to armed conflict rapidly and numerous pitched battles and sieges occurred in 1835 and 1836 with a large loss of life on both sides. The battle of San Jacinto, in April 1836, however, resulted in complete victory for the Texans and confirmed the independence they had declared in March. For the next nine years, Texas was an independent republic, hoping to join the expanding United States. During this period, Texas continued to ward off Mexican and Indian incursions while consolidating its gains throughout the territory. The U.S. decision to annex Texas in 1845 led to another war with Mexico.

Timeline 1835 - 1846 (Background Information 1820–1846)
Grades 6–12
Characters 38
Number of Timeline Events 187
Duration 2 weeks to 1 semester

$10.00$5.00 / Student

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Sample Timeline Events
(February 1, 1836 to April 21, 1836)

Elections in Texas for Independence Convention!

(February 1, 1836)

In settlements throughout the province, voting is conducted to elect delegates to a convention to consider independence from Mexico.

A New Commander at the Alamo!

(February 11, 1836)

JC Neill departs the Alamo because of a family illness. In his stead, he appoints William Barrett Travis as commander of the garrison. Travis had arrived on February 3, five days before David Crockett and his Volunteers. On the 14th, Travis and Bowie agree on a joint command of the Alamo's forces.

Fannin Takes Command at Goliad!

(February 12, 1836)

James Fannin receives command of all the Texas volunteer troops gathering at Goliad. He receives news of the approaching Mexican Army and prepares for battle.

Santa Anna's Army Arrives at San Antonio de Bexar!

(February 23, 1836)

Having crossed the Rio Grande on February 16, the powerful Mexican Army arrives in the town of Bexar one week later. On this day, while still awaiting more of his army to arrive, Santa Anna begins artillery fire on Travis' defenders and commences the siege of the Alamo. Travis has been writing for a week, pleading for more men and supplies.

Samuel Colt Patents His Revolver!

(February 25, 1836)

In Paterson, New Jersey, a young 22 year-old inventor named Samuel Colt patents his revolving-breech-loading, folder-trigger firearm. The company performs poorly until 1847 when the Texas Rangers purchase 1,000 revolver pistols and the company becomes a major arms dealer. It also is one of the first to use interchangeable parts and take advantage of assembly-line processes.

Relief Attempts for the Alamo All Fail!

(February 25, 1836)

Several bodies of Texan troops, from Goliad, Gonzales and other garrisons, attempt to move towards San Antonio, but are turned back by the Mexican Army. One group, The Gonzales Company of Mounted Volunteers, does get through on March 1. James Bonham gets back inside the Alamo on March 3rd and tells Travis that Fannin is not coming with his large force.

Texas Independence Declared!

(March 2, 1836)

The Convention meets at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1st and George Childress brings forth a written declaration of independence. On the 2nd, the delegates sign the declaration and Texas is an independent nation. David Burnet is elected interim president. On March 4th, Sam Houston is appointed commander of all Texas forces, regular and volunteer. This is welcome to the general, as the split between the two had hindered for months his ability to raise a regular army.

The Alamo Falls! All Defenders Killed!

(March 6, 1836)

Santa Anna holds a council of war on the 4th to plan the final assault. The Mexicans cease artillery fire on the 5th as General Juan Valentin Amador forms the army for the attack. On the 6th, the Mexicans surge forward, breach the walls, and carry the defenses. They kill all the defenders, some 175-200 men, including the leaders Travis, Bowie and Crockett. Several civilians survive and are released. The Texan commander, Colonel William Barret Travis, had sent out a letter on February 24th explaining why his men stayed and fought against such overwhelming odds. Respond in character to this event (in an essay of about 150 words), describing how you reacted to this news and what your thoughts and feelings are moving forward from it. After posting this response to your timeline, write an in-character comment on at least two other characters' pages about the event. Finally, comment on at least two other characters' written responses to this event.

The Race is on! The Runaway Scrape Begins!

(March 11, 1836)

General Houston receives Travis' March 3rd cry for reinforcements on the 8th and immediately set out with his staff for Gonzales. He arrives on the 11th, discovers the fall of the Alamo and the strength of the Mexican Army. He also finds that thousands of Texas civilians are fleeing the advancing force under Santa Anna, fearing massacres and reprisals for their rebellion. Houston orders the Texas military to retreat northward, protecting the civilian columns. The Texans burn their own towns as they withdraw, pursued by the Mexicans.

Fannin's Men Massacred at Goliad!

(March 27, 1836)

Having surrendered after the battle of Coleto on the 20th, Fannin and his nearly 400 Texans are shot at point blank range by Mexican troops. The area commander, General Urrea, had attempted to disregard the orders to shoot the prisoners. Santa Anna bypasses Urrea and has the commander at Goliad execute the Texans, in accord with the Mexican Congress decision that rebels be treated as pirates and shot.

President Burnet Makes a Close Escape!

(April 12, 1836)

The Runaway Scrape continues as the Texans flee north and east. Sam Houston has Wiley Martin, Juan Seguin and Mosley Baker act as a rear guard to delay the Mexicans. The advance guard of the Mexican Army nearly captures Burnet and his cabinet. Meanwhile, Santa Anna and Sam Houston cross the Brazos River on the same day.

The Texan Army Returns to the Fight!

(April 1836)

Sam Houston and the Texas Army arrive near Harrisburg and find the Mexican Army under Santa Anna encamped there, having arrived on the 15th. The two sides send out patrols and minor skirmishing and maneuvering occurs for several days. Santa Anna rests his troops on the 20th and prepares to attack the Texans on the 22nd.

Victory Secured! The Battle of San Jacinto!

(April 21, 1836)

In the late afternoon, shouting "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" 900 Texans attack 1400 Mexicans in a savage assault. In a very short period over 600 Mexicans are killed and the remainder of Santa Anna's army is wounded and/or captured. The Texans lose only 9 men killed. Santa Anna is captured the following day and negotiations for independence begin. Respond in character to this event (in an essay of about 150 words), describing how you reacted to this news and what your thoughts and feelings are moving forward from it. After posting this response to your timeline, write an in-character comment on at least two other characters' pages about the event. Finally, comment on at least two other characters' written responses to this event.

Unit Personas

1. Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly 20. Jose Antonio Navarro
2. Anson Jones 21. Juan N Seguin
3. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna 22. Lorenzo de Zavala
4. Ben McCulloch 23. Margaret Theresa Robertson Wright
5. Bowles 24. Martin Perfecto de Cos
6. Edward Burleson 25. Mary Ann Adams Maverick
7. Edwin W. Moore 26. Mirabeau B. Lamar
8. Emily Austin Perry 27. Peta Nocona
9. Emily West 28. Rachel Parker Plummer
10. Gail Borden Jr 29. Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor
11. George C. Childress 30. Robert Justus Kleberg
12. Greenbury Logan 31. Robert M. Williamson
13. James K. Polk 32. Sam Houston
14. James W. Fannin, Jr. 33. Stephen F. Austin
15. Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long 34. Susanna Dickinson
16. Jesse Chisholm 35. Thomas Jefferson Rusk
17. Johann Friedrich Ernst 36. Vicente Cordova
18. John 'Jack' Coffee Hays 37. William B. Travis
19. John Neely Bryan 38. William Goyens

Each Discourse unit provides an interactive, social media platform and accompanying curriculum to create a collaborative and entertaining educational experience.

Each unit includes the following:

  • Unit overview
  • 30-40 characters for students to role-play
  • Timeline Events that not only focus on the relevant events of the unit in study, but also encompass the cultural and broader events of the time period, thus providing context for the unit
  • Breaking News events with original source documents
  • Profile information about each character (teacher only)
  • Page for students to determine their relationships to each other character in the unit (auto-graded)
  • Period-relevant items for students to Like or Dislike based on their character (auto-graded)
  • Opportunity for students to create events and send private messages while role-playing their character
  • Advertisements appropriate for the time period; some include original video or music
  • Grading matrix for the role-playing (auto-completed as applicable)
  • A game-like trophy system that awards student progress
  • Teacher product instructions
  • Student use instructions
  • Teachers have access to the Discourse unit and students’ work for one year after the initial set-up date.
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