Heritage, 2011, Volume 2 Page: 19
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
l"iTis !!nr s marks the It, i th anniirEirsrirI of the
Texas Iterolution. Fortunate l. th I.las 2* yiear.
hare seen a proliferation of ner" scholarship on
ren n topics related to Tereas independenee...Iss
fiet. fl ture, historians mally look autl k at the .years
from I19 S to 2011 as a golden agqe whe the Texas
Ie lolation moued front the world of poplar en-
ire into the realm of real history.
Anniversaries allow us to examine how histori-
cal events have been interpreted. Two major
commemorative events honoring the Texas
Revolution have since passed, and this year
Texans celebrate a third. In 1936, the Lone
Star State observed its 100th year of independence from
Mexico. Occurring during the Great Depression, the need
to bolster the public's spirit dictated that the event would
be positive, festive, and full of heroes. The patriotic theme
was reinforced by world events during the next 50 years.
But the social upheavals that characterized the late 1960s
cast doubts on the concept of heroism, a central issue of
the Alamo story. By 1986, major cracks had developed
in the traditional story of the Alamo as historians ques-
tioned such sacred topics as Crockett's death and Tra-
vis' line in the sand. Although most Texans celebrated
the sesquicentennial, it was clear that Texas history
faced serious challenges.
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Texas Rev-
olution. Fortunately, the last 25 years have seen a prolifera-
tion of new scholarship on many topics related to Texas
independence (see sidebar on page 21 for further reading op-
portunities). In fact, future historians may look back at the
years from 1986 to 2011 as a golden age when the Texas
Revolution moved from the world of popular culture into
the realm of real history.
The addition of context, re-examining the uprising
within an expanded historical timeline, has been one of
the greatest changes in the interpretation to the Texas
Revolution. Historians have returned to an analysis once
popular prior to 1936. Early 20th-century scholars con-
tended that the Texas Revolution was an event that oc-
curred within a larger, ongoing Mexican civil war. These
authors explained that Mexicans split into two competing
factions soon after gaining independence from Spain. The
Federalists favored a system of governing whereby power
was shared by or divided between local and national enti-
ties. Centralists desired a Mexico City-based government
with exclusive authority over state and national affairs. For
decades, Mexico experienced political turmoil as the two
groups fought for supremacy. President Antonio L6pez de
Santa Anna rose to power in 1833 as a champion of Fed-
eralism, but once in office, he abandoned his former prin-
ciples and embraced Centralist ideals. His action sparked
a series of revolts, including the rebellion in Texas. What
began in Texas as a movement to oust Santa Anna, restore
the Federalist system, and gain separate statehood for
the territory within the Mexican nation, ultimately led
to a fight for independence and the formation of the
Republic of Texas.
The role of colonization in contributing to the Texas
Revolution is another area that has undergone further con-
sideration. Historians are working to clarify its influence
on the uprising against Mexico. Spain used immigration
to populate this vital frontier region; this practice con-
tinued under Mexican rule, establishing colonization
as a national policy. Government authorities wanted
Texas populated and counted on the influx of outsiders
to achieve this goal. Mexican law required that land
agents, or empresarios, screen applicants to make sure
that only people of good character settled in the un-
tamed territory. Immigrants were required to become
law-abiding Mexican citizens and convert to Catholi-
cism. In a scenario that has a modern-day counterpart,
the sheer number of people who came to Texas (legally
and illegally) overwhelmed the system and rendered it
unenforceable. From 1823 through 1828, the number of
American citizens in Texas jumped from just a handful
Volume 2 2011 I TEXASHERITAGE 19
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 Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 2, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254221/m1/21/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.