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So, that Texas Revolution thing...

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by SamFisher, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    So, I just read a biography of David Crockett, "Lion of the West" and the last few chapters were about his passage to, and eventual demise at, the Alamo and such. And it's the first time i've actually read a bunch of stuff on the Texas Revolution since 7th grade.

    In any event, a lot of the stuff about the Heroes of the Texas Revolution is, on further review, unflattering and a lot different than what I learned in elementary schools (I knew this before but didn't really get to it till now)....a few things:

    1) The vast majority of anglo Texas settlers were illegal aliens, in theory (irony meter..),

    2) maintenance of slavery was a huge motivating factor for the break with Mexico (you could argue this was just pretextual for eventual independence...but they were pretty damned serious about keeping their slaves)

    3) Huge swathes of that era of Texas settlers themselves, especially the mythologized heros, consisted of folks who had gone to Texas due to debt (Crockett), being outlaws/indicted, abandoning their families (Crockett/travis), to trade slaves (Travis/Bowie) or other somehwat ignoble means, including the heroes. Sam Houston may be the lone exception, best summed up as an ostracized drunk who had an affinity for Native Americans.

    This is a pretty crappy pattern of facts evn viewed in the context of the times. Not of course, that this is meant to pump Santa Ana and the Mexican gov't, but viewed with the whole "pro-slavery" thing going, the Texas revolution seems sort of a lot like a small version of the Civil War with the rebels winning.
     
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  2. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Local history teachers are actually quite good about conceding all of this stuff by junior high, Old Three Hundred and GTT are actually all part of the whole motley crue mythology. People seem to not notice that the bigger southern states are disproportionately black (>12%), so you're going to have enough teachers, students and administrators around to ensure an accurate telling. The problem is showing the John Wayne, Stacy Keach, Sam Elliot and now Dennis Quaid movie versions on a constant loop, knowing damn well that most of us kids will only pay attention to that.
     
  3. Raven

    Raven Member

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    The defenders of the Alamo were heroes.
     
  4. greenhippos

    greenhippos Member

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    So you're saying you're pro-slavery eh?
     
  5. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    It was technically insubordinate and strategically flawed - thought not nearly as dumb as Santa Ana travelling with his troops - and Travis just seems to have had some personal stuff going on.
     
  6. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    Jon Stewart interviewed Michael Wallis a while back. Pretty good interview.

    <table style='font:11px arial; color:#333; background-color:#f5f5f5' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='512' height='340'><tbody><tr style='background-color:#e5e5e5' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;'><a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com'>The Daily Show With Jon Stewart</a></td><td style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; text-align:right; font-weight:bold;'>Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c</td></tr><tr style='height:14px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'><a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-11-2011/michael-wallis'>Michael Wallis</a></td></tr><tr style='height:14px; background-color:#353535' valign='middle'><td colspan='2' style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; width:512px; overflow:hidden; text-align:right'><a target='_blank' style='color:#96deff; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/'>www.thedailyshow.com</a></td></tr><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><embed style='display:block' src='http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:394506' width='512' height='288' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' wmode='window' allowFullscreen='true' flashvars='autoPlay=false' allowscriptaccess='always' allownetworking='all' bgcolor='#000000'></embed></td></tr><tr style='height:18px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><table style='margin:0px; text-align:center' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='100%' height='100%'><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/'>Daily Show Full Episodes</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.indecisionforever.com/'>Political Humor & Satire Blog</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow'>The Daily Show on Facebook</a></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table>
     
  7. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Are you saying that we should have surrended in 1812, or let Cornwallis have everything south of Pennsylvania?
     
  8. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    i actually finished that book last week. i thought the author made an interesting point that many who went to the alamo were anti-jackson/whigs/houston-haters - he kind of implied that crockett's hatred of jackson lead him to his death.

    crockett clearly did not know what he was getting into - he came to start a new life, get some land and maybe even become the george washington of texas. he was a political outcast back in the u.s. and texas was a place to make a new start. he volunteered for duty, but going out to the alamo was almost more like a political campaign. he and many others who went out there thought the war was over. crockett had bigger goals in mind than needlessly dying in some crumbling mission. lucky for houston - his biggest political opponents were wiped out at the alamo and goliad.

    in december of 1835 about 500 rebels were able to lay siege to bexar and the alamo w/ about 1200 mexican troops. and when they stormed the town they were able to take it in 3 days w/ minimal casualties. so the idea that they could turn around and w/ 200 dudes hold off thousands was stupid and arrogant - "we can whup them greasers 1 to 10". the smart thing to do would have been to blow it up and move east of the colorado, where all the anglo settlements were. houston had actually ordered just that and bowie and travis refused orders.

    texas falling into anglo control was inevitable. spain and mexico had 300 years and were never able to properly settle tejas - at the time of the revolution there were only 5,000 hispanics in the state. nobody wanted to live here. too far away from mexico and too many hostile indians. the anglos, on the other hand, were aggressively expanding and land-hungry. not saying its right, but you cant stop whats a' comming...no country for old men yo.

    the thing where mexico might have a legitimate complaint is over the boundary - it had always been the nueces river and after independence the texans said it was the rio grande.
     
  9. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    History is always written by winners.

    Texas won. Hence, Texas history according to Texans is therefore the correct version. Santa Ana was a horrible man and those revolutionaries were heroes. End of story.
     
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  10. Raven

    Raven Member

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    With that kind of deductive reasoning, you should work at Fox News.
     
  11. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    if you can get ahold of the de la pena diary "with santa anna in texas" check it out - interesting take from the other side. very unflattering portrait of santa anna. he was criminally negligent towards his troops - total lack of any support/supplies/battle-field hospitals.

    texian illiad is another good one - focus is more on the military history of the revolution. same author wrote a really quirky book on early houston history called texian macabre too.

    duel of eagles is a really entertaining read - its a more irreverent take on the revolution, w/ accusations of houston using opium, details of bowie illegal slave smuggling and travis getting it on w/ whores. ive read this book 5 or 6 times in the 12 years or so that ive owned it.
     
  12. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    In a free, literate society such as ours, winners only get the Cliffs notes and made-for-TV movies.
     
  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Sounds like an interesting book and will have to read it sometime. I had heard about some of that before. Anyway the reality of historical figures is always more complex than the mythology that later springs up about them. I don't think that necessarily should diminish the importance of what those people accomplished. For instance pretty much everyone knows the failings of Thomas Jefferson yet that doesn't keep us from considering him a great man.
     
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  14. greenhippos

    greenhippos Member

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    Are you saying that reasons behind Texas independence = American independence? :confused:
     
  15. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
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  16. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    One of Sam Houston's great-great grand-nieces lives in my town. Also Daniel Boone X. What a place!
     
  17. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    There are no heroes.

    Period.
     
  18. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    Not surprised that history overlooked some of the day to day warts...hell if Germany would have won WW2, Hitler would have been written as a saint.

    DD
     
  19. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    Gotta disagree with this. I guess it depends on the school.
     
  20. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Disagree.
     

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