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View Poll Results: Fort Worth natives do you consider Fort Worth to be a Western or Southern City?
Southern 7 33.33%
Western 14 66.67%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypocore View Post
While there were slaves owned here, as there were in most states of the south (note-not of the west) I've got plenty of relatives who picked cotton in the cotton fields, including my maternal grandmother and none of them were black. So, it wasn't just a certain skin color who worked those fields in Texas.
Right on the mark, Hypo. Well said!

As it is, I am only one generation removed from those whose livelihood depended on cotton. Whether it be chopping, picking, or ginning. For all its legend in Hollywood "western movies" (which I enjoy as much as anyone), the average Texan was not a cowboy, but a small tenant famer, and cotton was still the staple of how most of our kinfolk made their living. The movie "Places in the Heart" was a much better representation of life in Texas than was "Lonesome Dove"...

Quote:
We're just not a one size fits all kind of state............
No, we are Texas. And all us Texans know that Texas is Texas. Essentially and basically Southern...but Texas. Which is something very different and unique in many ways!

Last edited by TexasReb; 06-18-2009 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,897 posts, read 4,359,302 times
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Ft Worth looks and feels very Southern. If FW had the towering loblolly pines of the Southeast for ambience, it'd be the spittin' image of certain areas within Atlanta and Charlotte. I just don't see how having a Cowtown equals being Western. Wasn't there cattle and horse farms in the South?

I do believe Texas is Texas, and has developed into it's own unique culture derived primarily from Southern, Western, Midwestern and Mexican influences.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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Fort Worth is surely "where the West begins."

Geographically speaking, the trees of the DFW metroplex westward are much smaller than trees east of the Metroplex, extending into the undisputed South. Such small, stubby trees are a feature of the West. Additionally, many fields of grass here are dry and have a yellowish hue, another feature of the West.

The climate of DFW is overall Western. While the area does receive bouts of humidity, most of the year DFW is quite dry. Many summers you would keel over waiting for a drop of rain. In the South, rain is very plentiful during the summer months, and the humidity is consistently high throughout the entirety summer. The winter months are quite dry as well, and experience much wilder temperature swings than areas in the South.

The cattle culture, large Mexican population, frontier attitude, and wide open spaces are all Western features, as well.

To me, there is really nothing that makes DFW southern. Sweet Tea availability? You can get sweet tea pretty much anywhere in the country these days. Accents? People in DFW sound nothing like people in Mississippi, or even Louisiana. Civil War history? Civil War battles were fought as far west as Arizona. No one would even dare say that Arizona is a southern state. Jim Crow laws? There were Jim Crow laws all over.

Fort Worth is most surely a Western town.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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Speaking as a Texan and Tarrant county resident--I consider myself much more a Westerner than a Southerner...and I have plenty of family in Georgia and believe me we are a totally different kettle of fish

my relatives picked cotten as well and they were not AA--
most people in TX during the early days of the Republic and Civil War era did not own slaves--many of them were basically slaves themselves after the Civil War until after WWII because of the share-cropper era where they were working land on shares and usually came out the worst of it...while cowboys might always have prided themselves on owing nobody nothing in the sense that they worked for their bed/grub/wages...they rarely earned enough to move up the food chain and become independent landowners as the Kings and Slaughters and others did...
most people in TX were working stiffs in one way or another but they had their independence--to walk off--if nothing else--

the cattle culture of the west is totally different than a cattle operation of the south--
land in the South was too expensive to be use for large scale cattle operations where thousands of acres were used just for grazing--it was for cultivation
free range cattle (and horses) on open land is a hallmark of western culture and still one that is hotly debated in states that have access to those lands--Texas does not really employ free range now because there is not the same type of govt land like in Montana or Wyoming or colorado--but it used to be done...and there are still wild mustangs in Tx I believe--as there are in other states...
I don't think you can say that those factors exhisted in states like South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama or other southern ones as they have in the West...those states became FARMING states different type of cattle/horse operations...
TX has cattle/horse operations that are fenced--King Ranch has more fence line than the boundary of Rhode Island I believe--but the culture was different--
no cattle drives like the Chisolm Trail ones in Mississippi or Virginia

and even when I have lived out of state I have always considered myself a Texan--
all I can say is the movies and most of the novels written about this state carry an iconography of the West vs the South...
point taken about Places in the Heart--but I will counter with The Last Picture Show--definitely Western --
Texas is big enough for more than one culture I guess--

the fact that we are a Gulf state has more to do with our climate than our mindset since New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Arizona and any other states you might consider western ones certainly don't adjoin the Gulf

Last edited by loves2read; 06-19-2009 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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All good points, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by texastim View Post
Fort Worth is surely "where the West begins."
Yes, it is. Yet, St. Louis touts itself as the "Gateway to the West"...but that doesn't translate into that one is leaving the Midwest. Only that they were leaving the "East". That was really the designation the original Ft. Worth slogan was intended to impart. Not leaving "the South' per se, but the East.

Quote:
Geographically speaking, the trees of the DFW metroplex westward are much smaller than trees east of the Metroplex, extending into the undisputed South. Such small, stubby trees are a feature of the West. Additionally, many fields of grass here are dry and have a yellowish hue, another feature of the West.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, certainly from about Ft. Worth westward, the topography is nothing like the forested South (i.e. Southeast in this instance). However, what if one was travelling west to east? The Rocky Mountain West (and even interior Southwest) contains many topographical (including pines) that Texas lacks. If anything, many of the features of western Texas are more typical of the Plains, not the true West. And no one would seriously consider Texas part of the "Plains Midwest".

Physical topography is not a good indicator of historic nor cultural affiliation in terms of being grouped with a region.

Quote:
The climate of DFW is overall Western. While the area does receive bouts of humidity, most of the year DFW is quite dry. Many summers you would keel over waiting for a drop of rain. In the South, rain is very plentiful during the summer months, and the humidity is consistently high throughout the entirety summer. The winter months are quite dry as well, and experience much wilder temperature swings than areas in the South.
The relative humidity of most of Texas doesn't fall under 50% in most months. Most is classified as humid sub-tropical. Very different from the West. This map is sorta small, but the features can be made out:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...eMap_World.png

As to Texas itself:

The Climate of Texas (http://www.met.tamu.edu/osc/TXclimat.htm - broken link)

Quote:
The cattle culture, large Mexican population, frontier attitude, and wide open spaces are all Western features, as well.
With all due respect, I think what is being done is blurring distinctions with the West as an era and of post-bellum settlement (as opposed to the East) with being the "West" as a region with deep historic and cultural affinity.

Wide-open spaces are certainly not a feature of the huge Rocky Mountain West. The large Mexican population in Texas is comparatively recent (and much of it illegal), not at all similar to that indigenous from the beginning of statehood in New Mexico and Arizona. The cattle culture is really more of a post Civil War thing, and its "grounds" were the Plains, not the true West. And Texas cowboys were mostly influenced by the "drover tradition" of the Old South, far as that goes.

The "frontier attitude" aspect of course is right on target. The qualification though is that the same is found in western parts of the Midwest. This is one of the reasons that just as there is a "division" to be made between the Midwest of the "East" (i.e, Great Lakes, Indiana, Ohio, etc) and the "Plains Midwest" (i.e, Kansas, Nebraska, etc)? So does the same exist with the South. That is, there is the "eastern South" (consisting of most of the other former Confederate states and border areas) and a "western South (i.e. most of Texas and goodly parts of Oklahoma). Yet? The two sets of "twins" in both cases are more connected -- respectively -- with each other than with the true West. That is, just as Ohio is more connected to Kansas in terms of history and culture and settlement patterns, so is Texas more with Arkansas and Alabama. Much more so than either is with Arizona or Colorado.

Quote:
Accents? People in DFW sound nothing like people in Mississippi, or even Louisiana.
Of course, lots of this has to do with the high number of northern transplants to that area...

But so far as the basic point, it can also be said that people in Tennessee sound nothing like people in Mississippi. Far as that goes, the speech of people in south Alabama is much different than that in the mountain northern part. Coastal Georgia and South Carolina differ from all. So does south Louisiana and NW Arkansas.

Point is, there is no such thing as a single uniform Southern accent. However, the general dialect and idiom spoken by the majority of native Texans is one of many sub-dialects known broadly as "Southern American English". Linguistically speaking a "Texas accent" is just as much "Southern" as any...

Quote:
Civil War history? Civil War battles were fought as far west as Arizona. No one would even dare say that Arizona is a southern state. Jim Crow laws? There were Jim Crow laws all over.
Hardly the same thing on "Civil War" battles. The battle fought at Glorietta Pass was largely by Texans -- in official CSA units -- attempting to claim the territory for the Confederacy and block Union attempts to invade Texas from the west. While I agree that where battles were fought matters little, which side and to what degree a state made to side with, is. And Texas was very much a Confederate state (one of the original seven). And monuments and holidays are extensive throughout. Something not at all typical of the West.

As to the Jim Crow laws? I think we all agree it wasn't pleasant, and I will be the first to argue that the biggest difference in northern and western segregation as opposed to Southern was that the South was just much less hypocritical about it all. With that said though, as concerns the topic, while segregation was common all over the country (and I would even say much more extensive in the North and West), the so-called "Jim Crow" laws were pretty much a Southern phenomenon, so described and in terminology used. Another aspect is that they more involved a de-jure as opposed to de-facto component...

Quote:
Fort Worth is most surely a Western town.
Fort Worth is a "western" city. It is also a Southern city. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is the "western South"...as is most of Texas.

Last edited by TexasReb; 06-19-2009 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:44 PM
 
Location: 78747
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"Cowtown" = ranching = western
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobert View Post
"Cowtown" = ranching = western
Texas cowboy = Southern roots = Southern

So what is your point?

"Cowtowns" were also very much a part of historic Kansas (Wichita, Abilene, etc)...does that make them more historically and culturally connected with the West of the Rocky Moutains than it does the Midwest?

Last edited by TexasReb; 06-19-2009 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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tough question. It's like asking: is a townhouse a house or a condo?
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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A townhouse is neither a HOUSE (separate single family residence) nor a CONDO d(dwelling where people own the interior and the association owns the exterior in a multi-complex)

we have actually been to Abilene KS--and there is an historic town tied to the Western image--certainly not to anything southern or mid-western...
so I say go for it--make yourself into a Western state if you want...
colorado certainly owns as much to its history/success with its ties to the agriculture business and sugar beets as it does to the Mountain Man image or ranching

Texas Reb--you should know better
The only SOUTHERN roots a Texas Cowboy has would be from south of the Rio Grande--
everything about the cowboy is derived from Mexican vaqueros--certainly not any cowboy wannabe from Georgia or Virginia that might have herded stock around...
1880 TX cowboy
Google Image Result for http://www.old-picture.com/old-west/pictures/Cowboy.jpg
the hat--sombrero--wide brimmed and deep to use for your horse's water bucket, and shade for the afternoon siesta and while working cattle...
the boots very different from those used in the East/South--those heels were more flat and boots themselves were shorter
spurs--
chaps--to deal with the brasada with its thorns
saddle very different from what was common in the south--high, wide horn and raised rear edge
even the horses used were a different breed as were the cattle that normally were allowed to range free...most strains of eastern/southern cattle were not strong enough to forage for themselves in the wild or defend themselves from critters they faces when living wild--their only hope was to intermingle with longhorns...
once ranchers started to fence in their acres and use internal fencing to coordinate herd movement and bring in hay for sustained feeding cows could get beefier vs range-ier--
that is where the term rangy come from...something hard, lean, wiry, muscular vs built for comfort

But I asked my husband this question this afternoon and he said SOUTHERN--I was so surprised--and he is native Texican as well...but he also asked what feature of Texas I wanted to know about...so he too sees that Texas has many parts and some of them are certainly more West than South
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Texas
62 posts, read 264,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Texas cowboy = Southern roots = Southern

So what is your point?

"Cowtowns" were also very much a part of historic Kansas (Wichita, Abilene, etc)...does that make them more historically and culturally connected with the West of the Rocky Moutains than it does the Midwest?


I didn't think there was a right or a wrong answer to the topic.

Remember, all of Texas was that waste land way out West that no-one in the rest of the US wanted...the South had a chance to claim it and never did.
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