The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958

rhe lni0 of Coahuila and Zelas
CHARLES A. BACARISSE
STUDENTS of Texas history agree that the union of Coahuila
and Texas, as one state in the Mexican nation, was a major
cause of the mutual mistrust that bred the Texas Revolu-
tion. It is, therefore, of some interest to ask how the two provinces
were joined. Can it be said that the union was a happy one that
became uneasy because of the Anglo-American element intro-
duced? Or, was the union forced from the beginning, and if so,
what were the pressures that worked to create such an explosive
situation?
The story of how the short-lived Mexican empire was changed
to a federal republic is the immediate background for the ques-
tions under discussion and also contains the explanation of how
Texas first acquired a separate provincial government. The Plan
of Casa Mata, of February 1, 1823, cleverly called for the election
of a new national congress, the reconsideration of Emperor
Agustin de Iturbide's role in the national future, and the as-
sumption of control of each province by its own provincial depu-
tation.1 By accepting the Plan of Casa Mata the people took all
sovereign power from Iturbide's central government and placed it
in the care of eighteen separate provincial deputations. These
regional administrative bodies were first established in Mexico
by the Spanish Constitution of 1812. The provincial deputations
functioned spasmodically and were continued after Mexican sep-
aration from Spain. Composed of at least seven deputies, indirectly
elected by the people, and presided over by a political chief who
served as an executive officer for the province, these organizations
were exercising important functions when the Plan of Casa Mata
was issued. They had power to collect taxes, supervise municipal-
ities, raise and outfit militia; they were the body to select deputies
to any new national congress.
Fearing the type of national congress that would be elected by
iNettie L. Benson, "The Plan of Casa Mata," Hispanic American Historical
Review, XXV, 45-56.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed December 25, 2014.