Teaser 14 - The History of the Confederation of Texas

In real history, one of the key reasons that the Republic of Texas was unable to remain an independent nation was its lack of a strong economic base. By resolving that problem, our alternative history was able to keep Texas sovereign, thus making it the oldest of the four primary nations we explore in Steamscapes: North America. Of all the nations on the continent, it is second in age only to the country from which it won its independence, Mexico. However, even without crippling debt, Texas still experiences growing pains:

Part 5 – The Confederation of Texas

Texas, meanwhile, was thriving economically, but running into new troubles politically. The country that had previously consisted almost entirely of former English colonials now included substantial populations of French traders and Mexican farmers, in addition to some lingering clusters of Navajo and Pueblo Indians, although the bulk of those tribes had already begun migrating north into Louisiana after hearing about the Texan treatment of the Cherokee. These newly-added groups did not strongly identify themselves as "Texans," and expressed frequent discontent with Austin. This unrest was exacerbated by President Houston's retirement at the end of his third term and subsequent replacement by the much less charismatic Peter Hansborough Bell. For two years, President Bell tried to appease everyone by offering limited autonomy to the Arizona and Orleans regions but no representation in Congress. By spring of 1853, it was clear that this appeasement was doing little to relieve tensions, and a new idea was needed. Bell was voted out and Elisha M. Pease was elected as President, promising to resolve the conflicts once and for all.

President Pease had a radical plan, and many throughout the Republic resisted it. However, as a native of Connecticut, Pease had substantial ties to the Colonial Government, and this helped him to persuade many of the English Texans to go along. Pease had decided to gather a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the Texas Constitution in a more inclusive manner. He planned to rename the country to the "Confederation of Texas," which would be divided into five states: Arizona, New Mexico, North Chihuahua, East Texas, and New Orleans. This would offer more equal representation to the different ethnic populations. Although there were some specifics to iron out, Pease was able to convince most of the Convention that his plan would be successful. The new Texas Constitution was signed on April 21st, 1853, in honor of the Battle of San Jacinto.