Treaty of Velasco: Meaning, History, Causes & Effects

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Treaty of Velasco | History & Summary

Treaty of Velasco: Agreement signed in 1836 that established the withdrawal of Mexican troops from the rebellious state of Texas.

What was the Treaty of Velasco?

The Treaty of Velasco was an agreement signed on May 14, 1836, which established the withdrawal of Mexican troops from the State of Texas, which had proclaimed its independence on March 2 of that same year.

It was signed in the Port of Velasco, Texas, after the battle of San Jacinta, in which the Mexican president, Antonio López de Santa Anna, was taken prisoner by the Texan rebels.

The signing of the Treaty of Velasco did not put an end to the confrontation between the Mexican army and the Texas independence troops, since the Mexican Congress refused to recognize it and declared Texas in a state of rebellion.

In 1845, the United States annexed Texas. This resulted in the beginning of a war between Mexico and the United States that lasted until 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, in which the definitive limits between the two countries were established.

portrait of López de Santa Anna

Portrait of Antonio López de Santa Anna, arrested after the Battle of San Jacinto and forced to sign the Treaty of Velasco. Portrait of the late nineteenth century by Carlos Paris.

What did the Treaty of Velasco Establish?

The Velasco Treaty, signed by López de Santa Anna and Texas President David G. Burnet, established the following:

  • The withdrawal of Mexican troops to the south of the Rio Grande do Norte or Rio Grande.
  • The commitment made by López de Santa Anna that his troops would not invade Texas again.
  • The return by the Mexican army of all property and slaves that had been confiscated during the war.
  • The liberation of the prisoners of both sides.
  • The commitment made by Texas not to attack the retreating Mexican troops.
  • The dispatch of General Santa Anna to the port of Veracruz when the government of Texas saw fit.

Causes and Effects of the Treaty of Treaty

Cause of the Treaty of Velasco

Among the main causes of the signing of the Treaty of Velasco, the following can be highlighted:

  • The proclamation of Texas Independence by the Texan settlers. They opposed the loss of political autonomy established by the Mexican Constitution of 1836.
  • The invasion of Texas territory by a Mexican army commanded by Antonio López de Santa Anna.
  • The defeat of the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto, during which López de Santa Anna and his General Staff were taken prisoner by the Texans.
  • The support given by the government of the United States to the Independence of Texas, with the intention of later absorbing the new independent State.

Consequences of the Treaty of Velasco

The main consequences of the signing of the Velasco’s Treaty were the following:

  • The loss of authority of President López de Santa Anna, who was repudiated and removed by the Mexican Congress and replaced by Anastasio Bustamante.
  • The dispatch of López de Santa Anna to Washington, where in January 1837 he met with President Andrew Jackson, who demanded that he respect the Independence of Texas.
  • The refusal of the Mexican Congress to ratify the Velasco Treaty and recognize the Independence of Texas, on the grounds that it had been signed under illegal duress.
  • The continuity of hostilities between Texas and Mexico, which again invaded Texan territory in March and September 1842.
  • The annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. This triggered a war between Mexico and the United States that lasted until 1848. After its defeat, Mexico was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which it had to cede Texas, New Mexico and the California to the United States.

Signatories of the Treaty of Velasco

The signatories of the Treaty of Velasco were the following:

  • David G. Burnet (1788-1870): Texan politician and military man, responsible for the custody of López de Santa Anna and negotiator of the Treaty of Velasco. He was part of the independent government of Texas.
  • Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876): Mexican politician and military man. He was president and commander of the Mexican army during the war against Texas. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of San Jacinto while taking a nap. Later, he was forced to sign the Treaty of Velasco and sent to the United States.
  • Bailey Hardeman (1795-1836): Texas Secretary of the Treasury, and member of the first independent government of the Texas state.
  • James Collinsworth (1806-1838): Acting Secretary of State of Texas, who later became the Supreme Court of that State.
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