The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 533
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Notes and Documents
The Mexican Press of 1836
and the Battle of the Alamo
MICHAEL P. COSTELOE*
THE FIRST REACTIONS OF THE MEXICAN PRESS TO THE NEWS OF THE
battle of the Alamo were of jubilation, tempered only by some
modest expressions of regret at the apparently heavy loss of life. Most
newspapers in Mexico City and the provinces carried reports and edi-
torials on the event during the final ten days of March, 1836, but the
early euphoria at what was portrayed initially as a magnificent victory
for Mexican arms and valor was by no means unanimous. Questions
soon began to be asked as to the true military nature of the battle and
its real value in the campaign against the Texas rebels, and it became
clear that rival political factions were seeking to hail or decry the victory
for their own purposes. Public knowledge of the battle, therefore, de-
pended on the partial picture given by the country's highly polemical
and politicized press. Against a brief explanatory background of Mex-
ico's internal political situation, this article examines how the Alamo
was presented to Mexicans in the months of March and April, 1836.
The hero or villain of the hour, of course, was Gen. Antonio L6pez
de Santa Anna. His position in Mexico in the months preceding the
Alamo was secure. Since his return to the presidency after his third
leave of absence and the removal of the liberal vice-president Valentin
G6mez Farias in the spring of 1834, he had dominated the country ei-
* Michael P. Costeloe is professor of Hispanic and Latin American studies at the University of
Bristol. Among his several books on nineteenth-century Mexico are Church Wealth in Mexico: A
Study of the "Juzgado de Capellanids" in the Archbashopric of Mexico, 18oo-1856 (1967) and La pr-
mera repfiblica federal de Mixaco (1824-1835): Un estudzo de los partzdos politicos en el Mixaco indepen-
dzente (1975) His most recent book is Response to Revolution Imperial Spain and the Spanish Ameri-
can Revolutions, 1810-184o (1986), and he is currently working on Mexican history during the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/605/?rotate=270: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.