636 Southwestern Historical Quarterly April
minority of lower clergy favored independence. When independence was finally
achieved in 1821 all but a few Spanish clerics (most were born in Mexico) ac-
cepted separation and the federalist republican Constitution of 1824.
Clerics were acquainted with Enlightenment thought and used its vocabulary
not only to defend its interests but also to counter liberalism's insistence on indi-
vidualism and antitraditionalism. What mattered most to the Church was that
Catholicism be guaranteed and defended. No longer under Spain, clerics could
complain of the anticlericalism of the Bourbons in such actions as exiling the Je-
suits. They could now brag that Providence and the Virgin of Guadalupe guided
leaders to create a new nation made up of the chosen people of God.
The Church began from a strong position since the federal Constitution of
1824 recognized Catholicism as the only religion. But it had to deal with Jalisco
and other state liberals who desired an immediate, radical transformation. They
insisted on religious tolerance, tried to force the sale of church properties, elimi-
nate cathedral chapters, tithes, monasteries and convents, religious schools,
celibacy, the clergy's legal immunity from taxes and civil courts, and clerical in-
volvement in politics. Most importantly, liberals desired to make the church sub-
ordinate to the state. The author demonstrates that contrary to general belief,
conservatives did not oppose change but thought that a concordat and a gradual
approach were essential to avoid the dissolution of society. Human reason alone
was insufficient to organize society and set goals. Liberals, the author posits, ar-
gued from principles and the experiences of the United States and northern Eu-
rope, forgetting how different Mexico was. He questions the view that Mexico
was "unavoidably polarized between an obscurantist Church and a popularly
supported liberalism" (p. 189). This excellent translation provides much to mull
over, particularly in this age of attempts to change theocratic societies.
Laredo, Texas Jos6 Roberto Juirez
Texas Mountains. Text by Joe Nick Patoski, photographs by Laurence Parent.
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001oo. Pp. 156. Photographs, map, ap-
pendix, acknowledgments. ISBN 0-292-76592-4. $39-95, cloth.)
The mountains of West Texas feature prominently in the enduring Lone Star
myth. This is the country that the rest of the world envisions when it conjures up
romantic images of Texas: cowboys, cacti, rugged mountain ranges, and breath-
taking sunsets that fill the wide-open sky. In reality, most of the state does not re-
semble this western stereotype. The region of Texas that best fits the bill can be
found west of the Pecos River. It is here that the state's tallest peaks, varying in
height from 7,000 to 8,ooo feet, are located, in the Davis, Chisos, and
Guadalupe Mountains. Numerous other lesser-sized ranges also dot the trans-
Pecos landscape, from the New Mexico state line south to the Big Bend.
Texas Mountains, laid out in a coffee-table-book format, is an overview of the
various mountain ranges that comprise West Texas. The work is stylistically
reminiscent of 198os The Guadalupe Mountains of Texas, also published by Uni-
versity of Texas Press, which features a similar photographer-writer arrange-
ment (Michael Allender and Alan Tennant). Laurence Parent and Joe Nick
Patoski's Texas Mountains is at once both a natural and a social history of the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed June 29, 2015.