The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 382
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ico's territory would be absorbed until "only an insignificant part
is left." Her destiny would be "similar to the sad lot of Poland."40
Tornel added a new and chilling dimension to the Mexican's fear
of his northern neighbor. In their arrogant treatment of Gorostiza,
their obvious violation of Mexican territorial rights, in numerous
statements by their officials and in their press, Tornel saw ample evi-
dence that Americans looked upon Mexicans as inferior beings, who
therefore had no rights that an American need respect. The implica-
tion was awful. The Indian, whom the Americans also considered
inferior, had seen his civilization destroyed; did the same end await
Mexico?' The question was to torture Mexicans for years.
In 1840 Manuel de Gorostiza, still smarting from his treatment
at the hands of the Americans in 1836, expressed sentiments similar
to Tornel's. Some Mexicans, he observed, felt that Texas and "its
deserts" were not worth fighting for. But they were wrong, because
an independent Texas would bring the contemptible American fron-
tiersman still nearer to the Mexican heartland. These frontiersmen
were "precursors of immorality and pillage," but they were less dan-
gerous than the immoral and designing Americans who followed them
into newly acquired regions. For that reason Mexicans must realize
that they stood in danger of losing not only Texas but also, "sooner
or later," their "nationality." To Gorostiza, the struggle for Texas
was a contest "of race, of religion, and of customs.""
The Texas question, then, encompassed all of the elements that
caused Mexicans to fear and mistrust their northern neighbor. It
confirmed suspicions that Americans would resort to intrigue and
even exercise force to acquire Mexican territory. The United States,
by allowing its troops to enter an area which Mexicans considered
theirs, established a pattern of military intervention in the affairs
of its Latin neighbors that was to recur periodically for a hundred
years and more. From the supercilious treatment accorded them
by the government and people of the United States, Mexicans began
to sense that Americans considered them inferior, lacking rights and
undeserving of respect. Perhaps by taking these matters into account
one may better understand why Mexicans clung so tenaciously to
the illusory hope of recovering Texas.
"Ibid., 295, 326.
42Manuel Eduardo de Gorostiza, Dictamen leido el 3 de Junio de x84o en el Consejo
de Gobierno, sobre la cuestidn de Tejas (Mexico, 1844).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/216/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.