Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday, Texas

Happy Independence Day, y'all.

Today I'll be up at Washington-on-the-Brazos with my girls celebrating the 177th birthday of the Lone Star State. On March 2, 1836 delegates met in a white house overlooking the Brazos River and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence while the Alamo was still under siege.

Four days later, shortly after dawn, the Alamo would fall and the defenders of the mission were all executed (unless you believe that the Mexican army took Davey Crockett and others prisoner). A month and a half later the Texans defeated Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto and the Republic of Texas was born.

According to the official history we're taught, the Texans wanted to be free of the long, oppressive arm of Santa Ana. The Texans felt that the government in Mexico was violating its agreement to let the Texans do what they wished north of the Rio Grande.

The reality of the situation was just a tad bit different. The Texans, you see, were really concerned about the future of slavery. In Mexico proper slavery was illegal. The Catholic Church felt that holding others in bondage wasn't a very Christian thing to do. Yes, there were disputes over taxes and the like, but the war itself was fueled by the desire of the wealthy elites to preserve their "peculiar" institution.

Happy Birthday, just the same.

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