The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 42
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
42 Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
affairs. Isolationists, those who maintained traditional reservations about
U.S. involvement in European concerns, along with pacifists in Texas,
those who refused to participate in the military because of their beliefs,
exercised considerable influence over public policy involvement in "Old
World" affairs. In contrast, Texans felt more self-assured when the ques-
tion of intervention involved Mexico and countries in Central and South
America. Years of prolonged outcries by Texas newspaper editors and
politicians critical of the Mexican government and "Mexican bandits"
during the years of that nation's revolution overrode concerns of neutral-
ity. The state's influential daily newspapers, which carefully measured
their responses to the wartime activities of the European powers, demon-
strated no such aversion to military conflict in their discussions of the
U.S.-Mexico border. Between 1915 and 1917, the Mexican Revolution
played a major role in swaying public opinion in Texas away from isola-
tion and toward the notion that military escalation and intervention-
even war-were viable solutions to international conflicts. But, as one
Texas editor lamented in 1916 regarding the nation's military readiness,
"we are not even prepared to undertake a punitive expedition into a
weak and war-ridden country on short notice."1
As the wartime actions of the European combatants grabbed banner
headlines in the nation's newspapers, the violence from the Mexican
Revolution competed as a regular front-page feature-especially in the
American Southwest. Mexico's nationalist revolt, which began in 1910,
made a particularly dramatic impression on Texas residents and public
officials. The internal conflict south of the Rio Grande often overshad-
owed events in Europe, especially when the violence involved American
citizens and spilled into Texas. Unrest along the Mexican border led
Texans of all persuasions to call for Washington's intervention and the
placement of federal troops along the international border. Texas news-
papers' sensationalist coverage of pivotal events associated with the
Mexican Revolution resulted in an increased sense of insecurity and bel-
ligerence in the border state and the rest of the Southwest. These events
included the Plan of San Diego, Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New
Mexico, and a steady stream of stories about attacks on Americans and
their property. The eventual revelation of alleged German assistance to
Mexico in the Zimmermann telegram in early 1917 served as an affirma-
tion of Texas editors' calls for preparedness and intervention. The expo-
sure of Zimmermann's offer to return to Mexico lands lost to the United
Houston Chronzcle, Mar. 16, 1916. While the Mexican Revolution and its legacy have
received considerable analysis by historians in Mexico and the United States, there is a lack of
historical analysis on public attitudes toward the revolution in Texas and the American
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/50/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.