SAN ANTONIO – Way before the Battle of the Alamo or Battle of San Jacinto, Tejanos were actively trying to gain their independence and become a free republic.
By 1778, San Antonio had become the Capitol of Texas and Tejanos were thriving in ranching and government. During this time the “Age of Enlightenment” is taking place in Europe and revolutionary movements had begun in the New England colonies. This led to Tejanos wanting their own identity and freedoms.
“They feel a sense of need to have their own ways to think about their own government and their own freedoms and free from a monarchy rule which wasn’t providing them with a lot of help,” TexasTejano.com historian Rudi Rodriguez said.
Tejanos would then lead their own revolution but it came with a lot of sacrifices.
A minor revolt would take place in 1810 but fail. Three years later a militia group would try again and was successful in overtaking the Spanish Army in San Antonio and declared Texas a Republic in 1813.
That victory would be short-lived as the Spanish Army came back in full force which led to the Battle of Medina just south of San Antonio that same year.
“More lives are lost there than all the battles in Texas, and it’s a very bloody fight,” Rodriguez said. “They (Tejanos) had a tremendous loss. I think that point is lost in our coverage of Texas history and the revolution.”
After that loss, the Spanish Army would take over San Antonio again and leave the Tejano community scarred for many years.