Sins of Omission

Remember the Texas Revolution

“Chicano Studies” departments at American universities portray the Battle of the Alamo as the triumph of the lawful rulers of Texas over a rowdy, drunken band of illegal aliens.  Such a portrayal has a delicious irony to it, though it is mostly false.  Almost always omitted from the Chicano version of events are several unsettling facts: Spain had established only a few settlements in Texas, and those few were clustered in a small portion of the province; the Americans were invited to settle in Texas because the Mexicans were scarcely holding their own against marauding Indians and the economy was stagnant; San Antonio, the provincial capitol, was a crude village of log and mud huts with no more than 800 people; there were only some 3,500 Mexicans in the whole of Texas, and, by 1830, Americans outnumbered them five to one; Santa Ana was despised by many, if not most, of the Mexicans in Texas.

In 1821, Moses Austin was granted 200,000 acres of land in Texas for a colony of Americans.  Dying of pneumonia before he could take action, the venture was left in the hands of his son, Stephen, who got the grant increased to millions of acres and attracted Americans—first, by the dozens; then, by the hundreds—to the province.  The Spanish governor of Texas, Antonio de Martinez, could not have been more pleased; he was now becoming governor of something more than an isolated, struggling, and crude...

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