The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 79
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Book Reviews and Notices.
his colony, and the responsibilities undertaken by him in carrying
out the scheme. "The final decree conferring the grant gave Austin
authority under direct responsibility to the Governor of Texas and
the general commandant of the Eastern Internal Provinces to
organize the colony into a body of militia commanded by himself;
to administer justice and to preserve good order and tranquillity."
How crude and unorganized were the social and political conditions
under which such a grant could emanate from a government or be
carried out among a people. We hear much of "one man power,"
but seldom do we find a more ultra example of centralization of
authority than here. Austin was the sole depository of all mili-
tary authority and at the same time were united in him full legis-
lative, judicial, and executive jurisdictions, subject only to his re-
sponsibility to the distant government. The reviewer most heartily
concurs in the opinion expressed by the deputation of Nuevo Leon,
Coahuila, and Texas, that Austin needed no help from them as
"his powers under the decree of the general government were
ample." The people with whom Austin had to deal as colonists
were accustomed to self-government, and Austin knew their genius
and temper; so, while he kept general supervision and reserved
authority in himself for use in emergencies, he exercised most of
this "ample power" by cooperating with and supplementing the
efforts at local self-government which the colonists were ever put-
ting forth in their several communities.
The book gives quite clearly the numerous and widely variant
causes which led to the Texas Revolution and deals in a very
interesting way with that unique period in our history. The inci-
dents of the Consultation of 1835, which desired to secede from
Coahuila, but remain in the Mexican Republic, are quite graphi-
cally portrayed. And the story of that remarkable example of a
"house divided against itself," the provisional government, and
the war of words among its members is clearly told. The conven-
tion of 1836, and its permanent work come in for a due share of
praise, but the author does not think much of the scheme of the
government ad interim, a plan whose single element of strength
was found in the provision that its powers should be determined
by a majority vote of its own members. The stirring military
events of the Revolution are given in a most rational way, special
emphasis being laid on the fall of the Alamo and the heroism
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904, periodical, 1904; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101030/m1/83/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.