In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain and established a Mexican Republic with a Federal Constitution.
In 1833, Santa Anna was elected President of Mexico and soon he began demanding higher taxes and seizing the people’s guns.
Santa Ana then decided the people were not capable of ruling themselves, so he rejected the Constitution, dissolved the Congress, declared himself dictator and used the military to defeat his opponents.
Santa Anna wrote to the U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett:
“A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty…a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.”
Santa Anna punished States not submitting to his centralized government, such as: San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, and Coahuila y Tejas.
In Zacatecas, Santa Anna defeated Francisco Garcia, took 3,000 prisoners and let his army ransack the city for two days.
Federal General José Antonio Mexía marched from New Orleans to Tampico, but Santa Anna defeated him and executed every prisoner, as he later executed more than 350 prisoners at the Goliad Massacre.
The New York Post editorialized that if Santa Anna:
“…had treated the vanquished with moderation and generosity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to awaken that general sympathy for the people of Texas which now impels so many adventurous and ardent spirits to throng to the aid of their brethren.”
General Santa Anna arrived at Old Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar.
His troops, eventually numbering 1,800, flew the blood-red flag of no quarter, signifying that all those captured would be killed.
The Texan and Tejano defenders, numbering between 182-257, responded by firing their cannon.
The first fatality of the Battle of the Alamo was the next day, FEBRUARY 24, 1836.
In a total of “13 days of glory at the Alamo,” all of the defenders were killed, including William Travis, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and those who surrendered were executed. Santa Anna burned their corpses.
The few survivors included Susanna Dickinson, her baby, and Travis’ servant.
The people of Texas agreed upon a Declaration of Independence, which stated
“General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna…having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers, as the cruel alternative, either abandon our homes…or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny… He denies us the right of worshiping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience.”