College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)


Carey M. Roberts


Mexico, First Republic, Federalism, Constitution of 1824, Anna, Benson


History | Political Science


Traditional historiography characterizes the period directly following Mexico's independence as one during which the adoption of federalism divided a previously united and uniformed country. Anglo-American settlers in Texas sought to remove the territory from Mexican control by exploiting the resultant political turmoil. This exploitation eventually led to the Texas revolt of 1835, its independence as a republic, and, ultimately, statehood within the United States. The recent focus on Mexico's provincial history challenges this narrative by illustrating that independence did not result in a unified nation. On the contrary, comprising multiple provinces with varying interests, the region's Provincial Deputations adopted federalism as a means of uniting under a federalist national government. Furthermore, Mexico's political turmoil resulted from centralists attempting to undermine the federalist political order. This attack on federalism culminated with the dictatorship of Antonio de Lopez de Santa Anna, who, in 1835, replaced the federal republic with a highly centralized republic controlled by Mexico City. Forces under Santa Anna's command violently suppressed all opposition to the new order until Texas became the last bastion of Mexican federalism and Anglo-American Texans its last defenders.