Call for Papers: 2023


What made the Republic of Texas different from the United States—or Mexico? For nearly a decade after the 1836 battle of San Jacinto, the republic struggled to survive on its own with a constitutional government modeled after the government of the United States. Influenced by the Southern U.S. roots of most of its residents, the Mexican character of its southern frontier and San Antonio de Bexar, its largest town, the presence of indigenous peoples along its western frontier, and a minority of enslaved people of African descent, the Lone Star Republic relied on cotton economics, generous land policies to encourage American immigration, loans and inflated currency, and creative diplomacy to maintain itself afloat. In 1845, independence ended when Texas negotiated a unique form of annexation that allowed the republic to transition into the 28th state in the Union.

The 2023 San Jacinto Symposium theme aims to encourage historic scholarship exploring whether the republic era made Texas distinctive and, if so, how this distinctiveness was manifested in the republic’s politics, government, finances, diplomacy, laws, military defense, economy, and social life.

Possible speaker topics include, by way of example: exploration of the validity of the W. R. Hogan thesis of Texans as “rampant individualists”; the distinctiveness of slavery in a region bordering an antislavery neighbor; attitudes and policies toward Native Americans vis-a-vis Mexico and the United States; the military dimension, both on land and sea, of defending the republic under the republic’s financial constraints; the development of a distinctive legal structure drawing on Spanish-Mexican and English-American law; and the debate between Lamar’s vision of a Texas Empire and Houston’s Unionism.

About the Symposium

The Battle of San Jacinto Symposium is an annual program sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association with support from the San Jacinto Battleground Association and others to showcase cutting edge historic research on topics relating to the 1836 battle of San Jacinto, the 1821-1835 Mexican colonial period, the 1835-1836 Texas Revolution, and the 1836-1845 Republic of Texas period. The Symposium started in 2001 with each year’s event featuring a specific historic theme.

The 2023 Symposium will be a one-day event held in Houston during April 2023 (exact date and place has not yet been set). The Symposium will feature a moderator and five to six speakers, each of whom will have 35 to 40 minutes. Although the format of individual presentations is open, the committee strongly encourages the use of PowerPoint presentations. A Q&A session will be featured at the end of the day.

Selection of speakers will be the responsibility of the TSHA San Jacinto Symposium Speakers Committee. Speakers will be selected at the sole discretion of the Committee and may be invited. All decisions of the Committee will be final.

All presentations will be recorded for later use by TSHA.

Proposals must be received by TSHA no later than July 15, 2022. The chosen papers will be announced by September 30, 2022.

Please send your proposal, consisting of a title, approximately 200-word precis, and one-page c.v./resume (in Word of PDF format) by July 15, 2022, to:

Electronically at: San Jacinto Symposium Committee at [email protected]

Or by regular mail to:

Texas State Historical Association
PO Box 5428
Austin, TX 78763