The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 322
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Significantly, at the same time that Huddle's and McArdle's paint-
ings, Ney's statues, and the memorials to Texas Revolution and Civil
War heroes appeared at the new Capitol, a number of organizations,
such as the Texas State Historical Association, the United Daughters of
the Confederacy, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, were or-
ganized in the state to study and preserve the region's history. Their
appearance suggests what other social and economic factors also attest:
that Texas, like the rest of the nation, was undergoing a major reorien-
tation at the turn of the century. The commercialization of its agricul-
ture, the movement toward industrialization, and the emerging domi-
nance of urban over rural areas threatened the regional identity that
many believed the state's founding fathers had tried to construct. Yet,
at the same time, these developments promised an affluence that few
members of the earlier generations had enjoyed. In that context, it is
not surprising that the dominant culture gave visual expression to the
ideal of the brave and self-reliant Texan. By showing "the rising gener-
ation the kind of men their fathers were," the Anglo-Texans who com-
missioned and sometimes created the art at the Texas Capitol were not
only commemorating the past to instruct present and future Texans-
they were also, perhaps, using the past to mediate the ambiguous and
contradictory nature of their present experience.o
40 Austin Daily Statesman, June 27, 1907 (quotation). For information on the social and politi-
cal context of the 189os, see Alwyn Barr, Reconstruction to Reform: Texas Politics, 1876-1906
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971); for a discussion of the function of mythology and
tradition in a conflicted culture, see Benedict, "Myth," and Eric Hobsbawm, "Introduction: In-
venting Traditions," in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition
(Cambridge: Cambridge Umniversity Press, 1983), 1-14.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/360/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.