Filibuster (settler)

From Academic Kids

For the legislative tactic, see filibuster (legislative tactic).


Filibuster is the historical name, used predominantly in the 19th century, for private individuals who settled in foreign states with the intent of eventually overthrowing the existing government. The term is almost always applied to Anglo-American settlers in Latin America.

The two most notable examples of the "filibustering" were the successful Anglo-American settlement of Texas and the failed campaigns by William Walker.

The filibustering of Texas was accomplished by gradual settlement over more than three decades, during which Texas was a part of the Spanish Empire and later of Mexico. It culminated in the successful Texas Revolution of 1836. Later in the 1850s, William Walker attempted to duplicate the success of the Texans with a quicker strategy involving himself at the head of a private mercenary army. In 1853, he unsuccessfully attempted to stage an insurrection in the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. Later he was hired as a mercenary by one of the factions in a civil war in Nicaragua. In 1856 he declared himself commander of the country's army and soon after President of the Republic. After attempting to take control of the rest of Central America he was defeated and eventually executed.

The term filibuster and the variant freebooter are also applied more generally to individuals who attack foreign lands or interests for financial gain, without authority from their own government. (See also pirate.)

External links

  • Texas A & M Univ. (http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/filibusters.htm) site on filibustering
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