The Republic of the Rio Grande was an independent nation that insurgents against the Central Mexican Government sought to establish in northern Mexico. The rebellion lasted from January 17 to November 6, 1840 and the Republic of the Rio Grande was never officially recognized; unlike their northern cousins, Texas, they never succeeded in their independence.

Red is The Republic, pink is disputed territories

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Theoretically the land that the Republic operates could support it and like Texas, their rebellion could succeed, but how? What is the smallest change I can make to Mexico's history to allow for this republic to exist?

  • $\begingroup$ I think this question is borderline but I wouldn't be voting to close myself. Perhaps if you gave some criteria as to how the smallness of a change is measured that would help. Also some context might be nice too, is this for an alternate history? Something a time traveller is doing? etc. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


That chunk of land you specified there is empty desert. Or, at least it was in 1840. Monterrey had only about 15,000 people at that time, the whole state of Nuevo Leon probably not much more. Mexico on the other hand had around 7 million people (fig 5) with probably a million in the Valley of Mexico (the capital)

Without people or income, and so close to the rest of Mexico, there is no chance the Rio Grande gets free. Nuevo Leon is mostly desert and not exactly a great place for colonization. There is no gold, no coffee or sugar plantations, no million of Indians to enslave, etc. There was no reason for the Spanish to be there.

Therefore, the minimum change is that Nuevo Leon and the site of Monterrey were colonized by another nation. Maybe the Genoese, Venetians, or Neapolitans? Long live Italian Fiume Grande (=big river = rio grande)! Or maybe the Swedish skip out on the Delaware river (too cold!) and go for the dry subtropical complete opposite of native Sweden. Long live Nysverige (New Sweden) and its capital Kunderberg (King's mountain = Monterrey)!


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