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Old 03-29-2012, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastFerrari View Post
Texas was its own country

Texas is football meca

Texas belonged to 6 different countries

Texas is home to the largest pair of boots, drum lol
Vermont and Hawaii were both independent countries for longer than Texas, so that can't be a basis for Texas being unique. As to belonging to 6 different countries, the French claim never amounted to anything really, ten other states were part of the Confederacy, and 49 others are part of the USA. As already pointed out, the period of independence isn't unique either. The territory now occupied by several American states once belonged to Spain and/or Mexico.

The fact is, it's all attitudinal on the part of Texans. The place may objectively be no more or less unique than any other state, all of which have their own regional and local cultures, as well as cultural and geographical diversity (even true of the little State in which I now live). The uniqueness of Texas, I'd submit, is more a state of mind than anything else, a strong conviction, yet a conviction that is arguably not substantiated by objective reality.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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Tejano music. It's a mixture of (1) Mexican folk, (2) C&W/Texas, and (3) German folk.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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But polka rhythm music is played in the interior of Mexico and not just in Texas. Sorry, I don't see that Tejano is clearly different from an analogous style of music south of the Rio Grande, apart from being played by Hispanic Texans rather than by native Mexicans.

I'm actually not trying to shoot down everything, but there's much that isn't entirely unique. One thing I thought of is Texas caviar -- a salad or garnish made from black eyed peas, diced jalapenos, a bit of onion and a vinegar and oil dressing, often eaten on New Years. Well, the eating of black eyed peas on New Years is a widespread Southern custom, but the dish called Texas Caviar is perhaps a unique Texas variation and obviously has a TexMex input -- sort of a fusion between pico de gallo and Southern black eyed peas. This does get to the historical depth and breadth of Hispanic-Mexican/Tejano culture in Texas, with the city of San Antonio being perhaps the jewel in the crown in that regard. So you have this particular confluence of American Southern and Mexican-American cultures. It's so broad and so longstanding that it's somewhat difficult to totally pin down to tangibles IMO.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:59 AM
 
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Chopped and Screwed music.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
What customs, foods, speech, mannerisms do you find unique to natives of the Lone Star State, that you do not find in other Southern states or the US in general? Are there many?
This is a great topic/thread.

I only hope it doesn't open up that old can of worms about Texas being Southern or not. I happen to believe and have good reason to think that Texas is essentially a Southern state. Part of the Southern constellation even if not -- because of its unique history and size and cultural variations -- completely in and of the classic South.

BUT...that is a topic that has been so done to death that even the proverbial dead horse is probably sick and tired of getting beaten! LOL

But to answer, IMHO? And plunge ahead and damn the torpedoes (to quote a yankee admiral) LOL.....?

Here are several things I can think of right off the bat that distinguish us a bit from our southeastern first cousins:

1. Texans tend to be much more "into" 'Texas Pride' as opposed to "Southern Pride".

2. Unlike the other Southern states, Texas has a unique history, especially in the aspect it was once a soveriegn nation in its own right.

3. BBQ in Texas is usually beef, not pork! LOL

4. Texas is too damn BIG (as my late friend, AcidMan, said, may he RIP), to be totally and completely Southern!. Essentially? Yes. Totally? No.

5. Topography.

This is superficial, IMHO, but yet, it is a fact: At least 2/3 of Texas does not resemble the wooded and forested southeast; much less the "moonlight and magnolias Gone With the Wind", South" Of course, most of the upper states South (i.e. Arkansas, Tennessee, etc) doesn't either...but we are talking about Texas. LOL Anyway, far East Texas is part of it (Deep South)...but not much elsewhere in the state. As a whole, if the standard of "Southern" is to be the above traits? Most of Texas doesn't fit. It would be more "Plains Midwest".

6. Texas has a post-bellum history that is -- in many ways -- in stark contrast to the "Old South." Although it remained "king", it was the cowboy and cattle that iconed (if that is a word! LOL), Texas. The image of Texas is the cowboy and cattle, not cotton and ranching, not farming...

With all that said though....?

The generalized things that MAKE Texas Southern...or at least more Southern than anything else...?

1. The accent/dialect/idiom is Southern American English, and confirmed by linguistic experts. I have a standing bet that if a Texan were to go "Up North" or "Out West", and never say were s/he was from? Then the speech alone would peg them as from "down South".

2. The history of the Confederacy, Reconstruction...and later residual affects that put Texas into the political "Solid South." It extended into the Civil Rights era, and continues today, in lots of ways. The yellow dog democrats became the Blue Dog democrats and "Boll Weevils" in tadem with the rest of the South. And the "Democrats for Nixon" started in Texas, with former gov. John Connally. In this regard, historically and politically, Texas is Southern.

3. Food! This is totally dominated by Southern traditions. Even Tex-Mex contains Southern aspects. So does chili. Frying food, black-eyed peas, chicken fried steak. BBQ? Even if beef most of the time -- is dominated by a southeastern style of slow smoking and all. Nothing at all like the Midwest, Northeast, or Far West.

4. Settlement patterns -- This one should not even be debated. It is a concrete fact that about 85% of those who settled Texas were from the southeastern United States -- both before and after the War. They brought with them their history, attitudes, and culture; it didn't stop when they crossed the Sabine River.

5. The Southern Baptist Church being the overwhelming majority of the Protestant membership. Much in contrast to the SW states or the midwestern states above Oklahoma (which is one of the strongest SB states of all, per capita). Related? The second largest demomination was "Southern" Methodist. SMU university is a living institution to the fact. It later consolidated into the "United" Methodist Church, of course...

6. Stereotypes aside? Texas was built on cotton, not cattle, if such a ranking is used. The average Texan was a pioneer from the southeast and that was what he knew how to do. Plant and grow cotton. The Rancher got the glory and wealth...but white gold was (and in many ways still is), the essence of the formation of Texas.

7. The Texas cowboy -- despite multi-culture color -- was the direct decendent of the droving tradition of the Old South, not the Mexican vaquero. It is a seperate thread, but, in brief, it started with the fall of Vicksburg during the War Between the States, and goes from there. Bottom line is, again, the average Texas cowboy was a Southerner with Southern attitudes. Take that as one will... LOL

OK...to sum it up? I guess I violated my own admonishion. I didn't mean -- I promise -- to revive this same old never to be settled subject. It can't be settled, because there is no final answer to begin with (pun/parodox intended! LOL).

So? Let me hit myself in the head a bit...and go make some ham and grits! LOL

Last edited by TexasReb; 03-31-2012 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Tejano music. It's a mixture of (1) Mexican folk, (2) C&W/Texas, and (3) German folk.
Tejano also has a strong resemblance to zydeco as well.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:49 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
The uniqueness of Texas, I'd submit, is more a state of mind than anything else, a strong conviction, yet a conviction that is arguably not substantiated by objective reality.
You said it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairobi View Post
Tejano also has a strong resemblance to zydeco as well.
Very much so! However, I think it's more a case of parallel evolution than direct relationship (unless you go back to the overall continental European roots of all these genres).
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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RE: TexasReb --Yes, Southern Baptists are ubiquitous in both Texas and the rest of the South, from Virginia on down. However, I don't think the name Southern Methodist University really denotes anything other than geography; it doesn't denote a sub-denomination of Methodism. What is now the United Methodist Church is largely the successor of the previous main national Methodist body, the Methodist Episcopal Church (on older UMC buildings you will often see cornerstones or other inscriptions denoting "M. E. Church" (as in First M. E. Church, or St Paul's M. E. Church, etc). It is true that there was a separate Methodist Church - South Conference for a little less than a hundred years, ending with a merger in 1939 that created a body simply called "The Methodist Church" (which in turn merged in the 1950s with the United Evangelical Brethren Church to form the UMC). The South Conference, which was formed in 1844, represented not just differences over the issue of slavery but also of the role of the laity. The latter issue also caused the temporary formation of another body called the Methodist Protestant Church (you occasionally run onto this designation on old church buildings as well).

It is true that the founding of SMU dates from 1911 and hence pre-merger. However, its Methodist origins and present identity can't accurately be equated to some sort of distinctive Methodism of the American South. It really isn't analogous to the peculiarly Southern Baptist identity of a place like Baylor.

At least three other Methodist universities and colleges, all founded in the 19th Century, have geographical place names: Northwestern University (in Ohio - part of the old Northwest Territory), Southwestern University (in Georgetown, TX), and Southwestern College (in Kansas).

The UMC and the previous MEC are and were very diverse since they function(ed) essentially as the generic American protestant church par excellence. Even though there are a set of canons for the national Church (the Book of Discipline), the social attitudes and type of churchmanship you find in Methodist congregations varies significantly from place to place and region to region. University Methodist in Austin, TX is both very socially liberal/progressive and very liturgical; First Methodist, Ralls, TX probably not so much. You might contrast this with the Southern Baptists, who have never reunited with the other main Baptist bodies in the USA and for whom the original differences over slavery have hardened into what amounts to denominational differences on social issues (notwithstanding the principle of congregational autonomy).

So, in summation, I disagree with the premise that there is a distinctive Southern Methodism. It is only a general truism that all protestant churches and their jurisdictions in the South tend to be more conservative than their counterparts in many other parts of the country.

Last edited by doctorjef; 03-31-2012 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Down the road a bit
556 posts, read 1,440,520 times
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Unique to Texas would be the lingering grasp it retains on those who have left its boundaries.
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