Friday, April 28, 2006

Texas not Stolen from Mexico, but liberated from Mexico by Mexicans

This is the flag that flew over the Alamo:




You will note that this is not the Lone Star flag, but looks an aweful lot like the Mexican flag. There is a simple reason for this. The Texas Revolution was a revolution of Mexican citizens, who revolted against the take over of the Mexican government by a dictator. The reason it has the date 1824, was that this was the date of the Mexican constitution that had been caste aside by Santa Anna.



Antonio López de Santa Anna


Texas was not the only part of Mexico to revolt against Santa Ann... just the only part that successfully revolted against him.

Most of the settlers in Texas -- particularly in East Texas -- were Anglos who were allowed to settle in Texas so long as they converted to Catholicism, and learned Spanish. Anglo settlers were brought in to Texas to do the jobs that most Mexicans would not do... such as fight Indians, East Texas mosquitoes, and roaches. However, there were also many of Mexican ancestry.

Among the heros of the Texas Revolution are numbered Juan Nepomuceno Seguin, for whom a city in Texas is named.



Lt. Col. Juan Seguin


Other Texas Patriots include:
Lorenzo de Zavala, the First Vice-President of the Repulic of Texas, and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence:





Jose Antonio Navarro, who also signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, was a senator in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, and went to advocate the secession of Texas from the US in 1861 -- with all four of his sons serving in the army of the Confederate States of America, two achieving the rank of Captain:






Jose Francisco Ruiz, who signed the Texas Declaration of Indepedence as well, and was a senator in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas:





Update:

My friend Samm Almaguer takes issue with my post, and states:

"Whatever the failings of Santa Ana, there is no excuse for citizens who collude with foreigners to wage war against their own country!"

I would respond by pointing out that there was not much foreign help in the Texas Revolution. Most of those fighting were citizens of Mexico. I would also point out that there was much more collaboration with foreigners in the American Revolution, where the Americans fought side-by-side with French troops, and were aided by the French Navy... whereas whatever help came from America came in the form of individual Americans who came to Texas to help fight the Revolution.

I would also point out that Texas was only part of Mexico for a period of about 10 years. Prior to that, it was part of Spain. However, even that was mostly in name only. Most of Texas was in the hands of Indians, and there was not much of a Spanish or Mexican presence in most of the State.

As for how it is that Texas wound up in the United States, Texas was an independent Republic for almost as long as it was part of Mexico. Texas had reason to fear a new Mexican invasion, and it was interested in the protection of the United States. And America had a functional democracy, and Mexico didn't. Texas petitioned the United States for years before it was accepted as a State. This then led to the Mexican American War.

One has to remember that prior to that war, the last war fought by the US military was the war of 1812... which did not go particularly well. Washington D.C. was burned to the ground. Our leaders were forced to flee. We won the war in the sense that we remained independent, but our military did not fare particularly well in most of the battled. The US resisted accepting Texas as a state in large part out of a concern for the reaction of Mexico. It was not obvious that the US would come out on top against the professional military of Mexico.

Mexico then attacked American troops along the Texas border, and then it was on, as they say. Thanks to the establishment of West Point after the war of 1812, our military came off in this war quite well... but again, no one could have been too confident that this would have been the result going into the war.

As a result of this war, initiated by Mexico, Mexico lost the rest of the Southwest. But the US did not initiate the war, and Mexico got the short end of the stick as a result of its attacking the United States. The United States had taken over all of nothern Mexico and Mexico City. We gave these parts of Mexico back, and paid Mexico 15 million dollars for the Southwest (not including Texas, which was already a State at this time), and assumed another 3.25 million dollars in debt that it owed to American citizens, at the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. This treaty was ratified by both governments.

Those who argue that states belong to Mexico should ask why it is that Mexicans come to America. Mexico is a country rich in natural resources, and has people who are hard working. However, what America has that Mexico doesn't have is a government that is not corrupt to the core. That is why property in California is very expensive, and property in Baja California isn't... even though there is little difference in the land itself.

I am all for Mexicans who here legally taking their part in the American dream. However, the only thing that holds all Americans together is loyalty to the ideals of America. Those who wave Mexican flags, but demand American rights, should either go back to Mexico, and make it a country worth staying in, or wave American Flags and commit themselves to this country. If we do not have a common loyalty America, we will end up killing each other as the various tribes in America all fight for their own interests.

America not only has a right to control its border, but in the post-9/11 world, we have absolutely no choice but to do so. Also, as one who is married to a legal immigrant, and knows many other legal residents who came to this country through the proper legal channels, I can tell you that those who have gone through those channels do not believe it is fair for people to jump ahead of the line, make their own rules, and then demand citizenship. Either we should throw open the borders to the world... which would destroy this country, or we should have immigration policies that apply equally across the board.