Convention of 1832

The Convention of 1832 was the first political gathering of colonists in Mexican Texas. Delegates sought reforms from the Mexican government and hoped to quell the widespread belief that settlers in Texas wished to secede from Mexico. The convention was the first in a series of unsuccessful attempts at political negotiation that eventually led to the Texas Revolution. Under the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, Texas was denied independent statehood and merged into the new state Coahuila y Tejas. After growing suspicious that the United States government would attempt to seize Texas by force, in 1830 Mexican President Anastasio Bustamante signed a series of highly unpopular laws restricting immigration and calling for customs duty enforcement. Tensions erupted in June 1832, when Texas residents systematically expelled all Mexican troops from eastern Texas. The lack of military oversight emboldened the colonists to increase their political activity. On October 1, 1832, 55 political delegates met at San Felipe de Austin to petition for changes in the governance of Texas. Notably absent was any representation from San Antonio de Béxar, where many of the native Mexican settlers (Tejanos) lived. The delegates elected Stephen F. Austin, a highly respected empresario, as president of the convention. Delegates passed a series of resolutions requesting, among other things, a repeal of the immigration restrictions, a three-year exclusion from custom duties enforcement, permission to form an armed militia and independent statehood. They also voted themselves the power to call future conventions. Before the petition could be delivered to Mexico City, the political chief of Texas, Ramón Músquiz, ruled that the convention was illegal and annulled the resolutions. In a compromise, the ayuntamiento (city council) of San Antonio de Béxar drafted a new petition with similar language to the convention resolutions and submitted it through proper legal channels. Músquiz forwarded the new document to the Mexican Congress.

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