What I know about myself.

What I know about us.

About Texas the story not told.


Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mid 19th century

Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mid 19th century


When Santa Anna the leader of the Mexican people was captured, he was on his own he had no one to help him.  We can imagine that he did not sign the declaration of Texas Independence willingly.  He had to be coerced.  He also knew that there would be consequences in Mexico if he capitulated without a struggle.  After all, this was the murderer of the defenders of the Alamo.  He knew his goose was cooked.  Trees, horses and rope were readily available as an omen of what was looming.  The threat of hanging was a real threat to Santa Anna.  In reality, the threat of hanging was like water boarding.  You really, really think you are going to die, but you are not.  Santa Anna was far more valuable alive than dead to the Texans.  Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco granting Texas its independence.  The Mexican Congress rejected the peace treaty because Santa Anna was a prisoner.  The rationale of course was that Santa Anna could not represent Mexico while a prisoner.  Santa Anna was also deposed as the leader of Mexico.   

The treaty between Texas and Mexico was never ratified.  There is some similarity between Texas Independence and the American Civil War.  The Southern states of which Texas was one declared their independence from the other United States.  We all know the response by Lincoln four years of civil war that left hundreds of thousands of dead.  Mexico had the same option to bring Texas under Mexican control, attack Texas.  Mexico however was militarily very weak and the threat of intervention from the United States was enough for Mexico to keep its distance from Texas.  Mexico never having recognized Texas as independent, Texas was never a republic.  When the United States annexed Texas, it annexed a piece of Mexican territory.  

Texas and the rest of the territory extending to California did not become independent because the US was the decisive victor in the Mexican American War.  The victory was certainly a major factor.  The major factor was the 15 Million Dollar offer for all the land.  Acceptance of the offer sealed the deal.  Again, Mexico did not have to sign.  Then it would have probably lost the 15 Million Dollars and the land.  Mexico was in dire need of money and it did not have the military strength to hold on to the claim so selling the land was a good deal.


Getting rid of Mexicans in the US is not new.  The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ratified by Congress attempted to remove American citizenship to Tejanos living in Texas.  Deportation has been the most effective way to send Mexican back, legally and illegally.  There is a lot of truth to the Cheech Marin movie “Born in East LA”.  The US and Mexico did conjure up and contrived an agreement that would “repatriate” Mexicans, those here legally and illegally and those of American citizenship back to Mexico.  That program came during WWI because of the need for manpower to work the fields and to carry rifles during WWII.  Attempts to deport Mexicans have been at best superficial because they do the work that no one else wants to do for cheap wages.  



Quien Soy?  Mas bien, Quien Somos??


The end of the Mexican Revolution did not end the northern migration of Mexicans.  Thousands more came, legally and illegally.  America was still the land of milk and honey, something that was in short supply in Mexico.  Many came not to make life better for themselves but so their children could have opportunities denied them in Mexico.  The Mexican presence in Texas was well established by the 1940’s.  


 “…Los Primeros For Worenos. Asi fue.  Como dice el Professor Cuellar, Fort Worth es Mexicano…”


 Los Primeros For Worenos. Asi fue.  Como dice el Professor Cuellar, Fort Worth es Mexicano. Tejanos may not have been equal to their conquistadores, but they were allowed to vote and participate in the political process somewhat .Who were granted American citizenship and were immediately available to vote. The first bulk of Mexican immigrants came between 1910 and 1920.  This first group shared in some characteristics, they were all Mexican, they spoke Spanish, and most were Catholic.  This first wave did not pose a threat to the Anglo political establishment because they could not vote and they were a source of cheap labor.    Some became naturalized American citizens, most did not.  It would be the first generation of “los hijos de los primeros emigrantes” that would be able to vote roughly 1931 to 1941.  Many attended public schools and became educated.  This first generation those born between 1910 and 1920 voters had no vote ethic and even if they voted they had one choice, Democrat.  These Mexicanos were part of the Great Generation that fought in WWII.  They attained voting age between 1930 and 1940.  The second generation, those born between 1930 and 1940 were fully assimilated into the White Anglo Saxon Protestant Culture and were more inclined to attend and finish school in enough numbers to significantly alter the political landscape of Tarrant County.  Once they started to vote they were sought after.


The continued flow of legal and illegal immigration from Mexico was augmented by thousands of legal and illegal immigrants from Central America starting in the 1970’s.  In Texas, the number of Hispanics not of Tejano-Mexican origin is over 30%.  Over the next two or three generations we will all be of Hispanic origin as Hispanics intermarry with each other and other ethnic groups.  The Tejano, Tejano-Mexicano and Hispanic may someday be a part of history and we will all be called Americans.


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