U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-30-2009, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas/ Sewanee, Tennessee
43 posts, read 71,284 times
Reputation: 47

Advertisements

I had to move this from the Politics and other Controversies forum. Hopefully this is more suitable. The history lesson is for you to better understand where the Texan ideology comes from and to appreciate it.


I am tired of people coming to Texas, Austin to be specific, and trying to change the tradition. Not everyone, but a good majority just flat out complain about the great state of Texas. If you do not like it, do not change it, just leave. Please do not try and change Texas into another homogenous state. Texas is unique and us Texans would like it to stay that way. I am going to try and give you a brief history lesson to help better understand the Texan ideology. This ideology is how our culture has successfully shaped and proliferated.

Texas happens to be one of the most, if not the most, modern states in the Union. This is a product of the history and hard work of the past that has shed light and meaning on the generations of the future. Texas and the Texans have proliferated through change and modernization without losing their self-image. This in itself may be the Texas culture and the reason why so many do not understand the state and its people. This idea is just a subcategory to what makes Texas what it is. Texas is a complex state. A state spread across five distinct geographical regions, each with their own economies and life styles. Although the differences are many, the Texan culture remains the same, a culture that is shaped through history. The fact is Texans have suffered history on their own soil.

The growth of Texas under the ownership of Mexico is the foundation for the Texan ideology. It is amazing how actions 180 years ago have so drastically shaped a single geographic area. The Independence of Texas has many parallels to that of the United States. This extraordinary story is what created the Texan culture. When Mexico won its independence from Spain, they encouraged settlement in the isolated area of Texas by the Americans. Some Americans came down as criminals on the run, some with ambitions to start a family, but all to find a new life. Whatever the reason was, Texas was a land seekers utopia. The Americans were given land and allowed to set up local communities. The colonies out in Texas were completely isolated from Mexico and the United States, thus the people were left to govern themselves. The land was rich in natural resources but heavily settled by dangerous Native Americans. The local colonies had to provide for their own food, security, and politics. The Mexican government still tried to implement laws and taxes, it has just hard to d it on such a isolated geographic area. One observer wrote this about the colonies, “[these Americans] brought with them here, as household gods, their own first lesson in politics, morals, religion, and business, and they wished to not to unlearn those lessons to learn others.” In other words, no one came with the intentions of becoming a Mexican national. Most of the Texians at the time did not even know Spanish. The settlers were not taught Mexican customs or the language because the schools were ran by the colonist who started them in the first place. As the Texians grew in number the Mexicans began to worry. These are the words spoken to the Mexican congress on the situation with the new settlers: “Mexicans! Watch closely, for you know all too well the Anglo-Saxon greed for territory. We have generously granted land to these Nordics; they made their homes with us, but their hearts are with their native land. We are continually in civil wars and revolutions; we are weak, and we know it- and they know it also. They may conspire with the United States to take Texas from us. From this time, be on your guard!” By 1834 an estimated 30,000 Americans lived in Texas, compared to only 7,000 Mexicans. The difference between the cultures was the pink elephant in the room. Problems continued to escalate. Mexico did not protect Freedom of Religion, imposed heavy taxes on the settlers, and imprisoned plantation owners who did not grow their assigned crops. As the number of Texans grew, Mexican president and general, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, tried to take away more rights from the colonist. Outrage broke out in Texas, causing a reaction in Mexico. With the Texans, the war was inevitable. Regardless of their size Texas was ready to fight. The war was pretty slanted, 30,000 Texans versus millions of Mexicans. At this time Mexico was not a major power but they were a considerable one. The history book Lone Star describes the situation perfectly. “As European observers pointed out, [Mexico] was hardly inferior in population or resources to the United States. It possessed a vastly larger and more experienced army.” The Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, wrote to his sister in New Orleans on the upcoming clash between Texas and Mexico. His aim was for a great migration of Americans into the state. He did not care how they got there, just as long as Americans came. With enough Southerners in the state of Texas, Austin did not have to worry much about Santa Anna and his Mexican army. Stephen Austin called out to Texans to gather their arms: “War is our only resource. There is no other remedy. We must defend out rights, ourselves, and our country by force of arms.” (Stephen F. Austin, 1835) Austin’s call to arms united almost the entire population.

There are two important battles that shaped the war, and eventually the culture and swagger of Texas. The Battle of the Alamo, a Texan loss, and the Battle of San Jacinto, a Texan victory. At the Alamo the Texan army held off Santa Anna’s army and caused them to retreat back towards Mexico. The men of the Alamo were heavily outnumbered. William B. Travis sent a messenger off to gather more help. Santa Anna returned a day latter with 2,400 Mexican troops. The 200 Texans held off the Mexican army for as long as possible. The Mexicans finally scaled the walls of the Alamo and executed every single person remaining in the Texas army. In the end, the 200 Texans had killed 500-600 Mexicans (within weeks of the fight the battle had been compared to the Greek stand at the Battle of Thermopylae). A few hours after the battle the new Texas provisional government received word of their loss at the Alamo. General Sam Houston gathered his troops and held a council of war. Despite the Mexican casualties at the Alamo, Mexican soldiers in Texas still outnumbered Texan soldiers 6 to 1. A majority of the Texan officers favored waiting for the eventual assassination of Santa Anna. Houston was concerned that Santa Anna may use this extra time to gather his scattered army from around the state and Mexico. With his army of 900 men, he decided to attack Santa Anna and his camp of 1,500 head on. The Texan army headed straight towards the Mexican camp on the Texas gulf. Sam Houston personally led the army through the high grassy plains. As they approached a clearing to the Mexican camp the Texans charged forwarded shouting, “Remember the Alamo!” The battle lasted all of 18 minutes. The Texans killed 630 Mexicans, wounded 208, and captured 730 others. The Texans suffered 2 casualties. Most importantly, Santa Anna had been captured.

The balance of power in Texas has turned. The joy from this could not be said more gracefully then Mrs. Terrell, a colonist waiting anxiously for the battles to end. “Towards sunset, a women on the outskirts of the camp began to clap her hands and shout ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah!’ Those about her thought her mad, but following her wild gestures, they saw one of the Hardings, of Liberty, riding for life towards the camp, his horse covered with foam, and he was waiving his hat and shouting, ‘San Jacinto! San Jacinto! The Mexicans are whipped and Santa Anna a prisoner!’ The scene that followed beggars description. People embraced, laughed and wept and prayed, all in one breath. As the moon rose over the vast, flower-decked prairie, the soft southern wind carried peace to tired hearts and grateful slumber”. The war ended in May of 1836. Santa Anna signed the Treaty of Velasco, which stated he would withdraw his troops from Texas and lobby the Mexican government to recognize the new republic. In the end, the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands recognized Texas as its own republic.

This amazing feat for liberty, the uncanny ability to carry on against all odds, the brotherhood of a few taking down the giant, has been passed down from generation to generation. This is why there is something different and special about Texas. Texas is a state with heart, a state with mind. A state with chemistry formed through independence. The culture of Texas is derived from the history. The history produced pride, tradition, and loyalty.
Texas lasted as a republic for ten years. The state finally joined the Union for its best interest. Texas was in heavy debt from the war with Mexico and pressure from the United States. In 1845 Texas was annexed and became the 28th state of the United States of America. During this time there was period of rapid growth. Demographics show the immigration to Texas was strictly southern. By 1880 the state was made up of Alabamans, Mississippians, Louisianans, Georgians, and Tennesseans. The 1850 census recorded 213,000 people living in Texas.

In 1861 South Carolina seceded from the Union. 30% of Texas was slaves and the cotton trade fueled the economy. Texas quickly followed the lead of South Carolina and seceded with a majority 90% vote. The vote was 166-7. Other than South Carolina, this was the highest percentage of approval then any other Confederate State. The people who remained Unionist or neutral were noticeably of northern or foreign birth. The Confederacy was thrilled to have Texas on their side. They were not large in population, but their ideological faith made up for it. Confederate General Robert Richardson said this of the men from Texas: “There was tremendous tradition in Texas, that young men should join the colors in any crisis. When the flag was raised…the response by any historical standard, was phenomenal.” General Richardson asked for 20 companies of infantry in late summer of 1861, “for service in Virginia, the enlistment to be the period of the war.” Texas answered the call with 32 companies showing up. The 1860 census shows there were 92,000 white men between the ages of 18-45 in the state of Texas. Somewhere between 60,000-70,000 men saw service. When the first companies of Texans reached Richmond, the Confederate president Jefferson Davis greeted them with these words: “Texans! The troops of other states have their reputations to gain, but the sons of the defenders of the Alamo have theirs to maintain. I am assured that you will be faithful to the trust.” The Texan mentality was nationally and globally recognized. Although there was not much glory in the War Between the States, the Texans did have one feat acclaimed to them. At the Battle of Sabine Pass in Texas, 46 Texan Confederate soldiers held off 4,000 Union soldiers. The military victory over such overwhelming odds resulted in the Confederate Congress passing a special resolution of recognition and the Confederate president Jefferson Davis proclaiming: “Sabine Pass will stand, perhaps for all time, as the greatest military victory in the history of the world.” Texas once again held their own ground against defying odds. In the war they were expected to perform well, the Texans did just that.

The war was over in 1865 and Texas was admitted back into the Union in 1870 (the last state). During reconstruction, one great change in Texas was the emergence of churches. This upbringing is viewed as one of the most important cultural and social forces behind the Texas frontier. Church gathering in Texas were not like they are today. People gathered with families and friends beneath trees and spent the whole day socializing, picnicking, and just having a good time. At this point Texans have already immersed themselves in loyalty, tradition, and fortitude. The Texans possessed the character and upbringing to win a revolution, now it was time to bring about change in their favor. The plantation age was over and it was time to change. Texas, like the rest of the south, was about two generation behind the north in development. Texas still had an economy that was property-oriented. In 1875 around 4/5 of Texans still lived on farms, the era of the industrial revolution drastically changed this over the next 40 years.

In 1850 there were 213,000 people, by 1900 Texas housed 3 million individuals. In 1901 oil was struck at Spindletop in the southeast town of Beaumont. The “geyser” of oil blew over 150 feet in the hair at a rate of 100,000 barrels a day. This brought people from all over the country to Texas looking for oil. Spindletop produced over 72 million barrels over the next ten years. The 10,000 inhabitants of Beaumont tripled over the next three months and eventually rose to sprawling city of 50,000 people. By the end of 1902, over 600 new companies had formed and 285 wells were active. Eventually petroleum was found under a majority of Texas counties. The finding of oil separated Texas economically from the rest of the Confederate states, who were still struggling for the most part. Industrialization took place and major metropolitan areas began to form. By 1920 the population of Texas reached 4 million. The oil in Texas shaped social structures and politics within the state. By 1928, Texas led all states in oil production, producing more than a quarter billion barrels. In some ways oil changed Texas; in others it kept it the same. In 1955 nearly $500,000,000 was paid to farmers and landowners in rentals and royalties to the minerals. Other natural resources contributed to Texas’s growth. Sulfur, salt, limestone, oyster shell, gypsum, talc, and helium were all huge markets in Texas. Texas produced 80% of the worlds sulfur supply and 25% of the nations total minerals. Still though, every form of Texas industry came from the land, even the education system. The ownership of property was seen as the greatest possession one could have. It seemed though a family would be more proud if their son grew up to own 100,000 acres of land than to become a Doctor or something to that nature. “The practical outweighed the conceptual; things were more important than ideas; education was to fit children to society, not change them…the Texas education system, and the Texas mind, produced superb trial lawyer, good soldiers, keen politicians, excellent ranchers and businessmen.” Even Texas Governor John Connally preached this same idea. He said, “The Texas education system does not prepare Texans to compete in an increasingly conceptual and technical industrial society in the greater nation.”

By 1960 the population of Texas reached 10 million. With the spread of the automobile so came the growth of city centers. By this time on, history played a very small role in the changing state. The history of Texas had been branded into the hearts of Texans. The history of Texas, as far back as the Alamo, had shaped the people and culture of Texas, and would continue to do so. From this point forward the Texas economy shaped the state. Economic development hit Texas like the plague, but in a good way. By 1990 Texas housed 17 million people. The first words on the moon were Houston. Texas produced two Presidents, Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush. Texas surpassed New York and population and gained seats in the Electoral College. The computer industry swept in and made people rich in Austin like Spindletop did to the oil business. Austin, the “silicon valley of the South”, provided 0ver 100,000 well paying high tech jobs. Folks from all over the nation and world moved to Texas. Since 1990 Texas has provided 30% of new jobs in the whole United States. Today if you go down to Texas and ask them about an economic depression they’ll think you are talking about the election of Obama and his plan to raise taxes (not really but just figuratively speaking). There are more Fortune 500 companies in Texas then any other state and Texas continues to be the number one exporting state in the country.

Texas and Texans are changing and evolving, but necessary the same way other states are changing and evolving. The Texan is still in the native citizen. This is what makes Texas so modern. They have changed with the norms of society and proliferated but have not turned into one homogenous “California” culture.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-30-2009, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,989 posts, read 12,296,513 times
Reputation: 4354
I am tired of people coming to Texas, Austin to be specific, and trying to change the tradition. Not everyone, but a good majority just flat out complain about the great state of Texas. If you do not like it, do not change it, just leave. Please do not try and change Texas into another homogenous state. Texas is unique and us Texans would like it to stay that way. I am going to try and give you a brief history lesson to help better understand the Texan ideology. This ideology is how our culture has successfully shaped and proliferated.

I hear you on the growth of Texas, especially Austin and Central Texas/Hill Country. As one who grew up in and lived in West Texas until very recently, the influx of so many people is not necessarily a good thing. When Midland boomed/busted/repeat cycle, we had plenty of outsiders who moved there.

All many of them did was complain about how it was not like "back home." The constant criticism got so OLD...and when I asked them to please either shut up or leave, they didn't have much to say. They were there for the economy and jobs, just like they are today. There is nothing wrong with that, per se, but hearing about how they hated the mindset, politics and things in general every day was just wearing.

Austin was a great little city 30 years ago. It's horrible now because of all the traffic, development, wall-to-wall people and strain on the infrastructure.

But...we're 23 million and counting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: A Land Not So Far Away
3,583 posts, read 1,450,756 times
Reputation: 5035
Unique? How about the friendliness of people in this state? Sounds unique to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: North Dallas/West Campus, Austin
1,562 posts, read 2,736,149 times
Reputation: 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
Unique? How about the friendliness of people in this state? Sounds unique to me.
I think that's a more Southern thing than uniquely Texan thing, but it's something I'm damn proud of.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Slaughter Creek, Travis County
1,184 posts, read 2,502,635 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy4017 View Post
Austin was a great little city 30 years ago. It's horrible now because of all the traffic, development, wall-to-wall people and strain on the infrastructure.
I'll respectfully disagree Cathy. Sure our community has grown and our roads are not the best, but we still have a very laid back attitude in South Austin, people are friendly, and we all pretty much get along. Just because the town has grown does not mean that it's horrible. That's a pretty harsh word for someone who appears to be an occassional visitor. Finally, my family was raised here and we're pretty happy calling Austin home.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,989 posts, read 12,296,513 times
Reputation: 4354
Quote:
Originally Posted by car957 View Post
I'll respectfully disagree Cathy. Sure our community has grown and our roads are not the best, but we still have a very laid back attitude in South Austin, people are friendly, and we all pretty much get along. Just because the town has grown does not mean that it's horrible. That's a pretty harsh word for someone who appears to be an occassional visitor. Finally, my family was raised here and we're pretty happy calling Austin home.
Sorry--Ok, maybe I was a little harsh, and maybe I should have used a better adjective. How about overcrowded?

Sis has lived in the Austin area for over 30 years, and is also a SWTSU (now Texas State University) grad, so I do get down there from time to time. As a native Texan, I know that Austin is a friendly city, but it really isn't what it was all of those years ago. It's still a beautiful city and still has a lot to offer, but I just regret seeing all of the traffic and so much growth. It was so much easier to get around in during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Even Sis, who lives south of and outside of Austin, dreads going into town because of the traffic madhouse.

I feel the same way about El Paso, which is also a unique city, but it, too, was so much better 30+ years ago before it got so BIG.

I guess I just don't like to see Texas get so huge, population-wise, but it is what it is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 01:56 PM
 
384 posts, read 1,060,710 times
Reputation: 117
Quote:
Sis has lived in the Austin area for over 30 years, and is also a SWTSU (now Texas State University) grad, so I do get down there from time to time.
I'm curious to read your opinion on how Texas State and San Marcos have changed, for better or worse or just plain different, in that time frame ?
My brother joined the faculty there in 2007 and loves it, but neither of us had ever visited central TX prior to 2007.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Slaughter Creek, Travis County
1,184 posts, read 2,502,635 times
Reputation: 925
Cathy,

I thought that's what you meant and no offense was taken. Let me give you my historical perspective:

When I was a child I used to go to Lake Texoma every summer for a month. I can remember driving up IH-35 and Waco only had four exits, two exits in Temple, and one exit in Belton. The split at Hillsboro was just that - not the monstrosity and permanent TEXDOT 30 year project. I also remember driving up Highway 75 N through Dallas and I always laughed because Plano had a population of 4,000.

Now, I can count more exits that towns and the population has grown. Waco was overpasses and Plano has about 200K. Has it been bad? In certain ways, yes, and we've talked about those issues. Has it made improvements? Sure - we have more jobs, the growth has helped my property value, and my services are improved. Living in South Austin, I never need to take MoPac or IH-35 to travel to downtown and I can take the "back way" into the Airport, so I feel fortunate that I considered travel around Austin when I purchased this house (and hoepfully my last house).

As to San Marcos, I still consider it a nice college town, almost like a smaller version of College Station (this is only a perspective of the town culture and is not meant to offend or upset any TAMU students or grads). It's growth has made a lot of improvements to the community.

When growth returns (and it will) the big issue for the I-35 corridor from Austin to San Antonio is going to be water in Kyle, Buda, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Schertz, Selma and all points in between. This area already has annual water rationing - the problem is their reliance on the Edwards Aquifer. They need a lake and pipeline system to support future growth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,989 posts, read 12,296,513 times
Reputation: 4354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alatex View Post
I'm curious to read your opinion on how Texas State and San Marcos have changed, for better or worse or just plain different, in that time frame ?
My brother joined the faculty there in 2007 and loves it, but neither of us had ever visited central TX prior to 2007.
I haven't been to Texas State itself since Sis graduated back in the 1970s, so I can't say.

San Marcos has grown a LOT since those days, and it has increased traffic and such, just like Austin, but of course is much smaller. It's not quite the little college town that it was 30 years ago.

I guess the best way I can explain it is contrast what once was and what is now.

I used to get a feeling of going from one place to the other, with distinct separations between towns. San Marcos and South Austin are changing so fast. As developments continue to sprawl, I am sure that it will all run together before long.

As I was driving from Dripping Springs to Buda, I was just shocked at the incredible growth in only 5 years or so. New roads, shopping centers, subdivisions...just everywhere. Wimberly, Kyle, Dripping Springs, Buda...all small towns that are just growing like weeds. Even on the little narrow one-lane backroads I took from Dripping Springs--there were more residences and more traffic along the route.

I guess when you go 3-5 years between visits, you notice everything more.

I just thought that DS and vicinity had grown--then we went to Central Market and other points in Austin.

Lordy! Even on weekday afternoons......people, people, people, and cars, cars, cars. It just overwhelms me, and I guess it's because I'm just not used to it, and probably never will be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,989 posts, read 12,296,513 times
Reputation: 4354
Quote:
Originally Posted by car957 View Post
Cathy,

I thought that's what you meant and no offense was taken. Let me give you my historical perspective:

When I was a child I used to go to Lake Texoma every summer for a month. I can remember driving up IH-35 and Waco only had four exits, two exits in Temple, and one exit in Belton. The split at Hillsboro was just that - not the monstrosity and permanent TEXDOT 30 year project. I also remember driving up Highway 75 N through Dallas and I always laughed because Plano had a population of 4,000.

Now, I can count more exits that towns and the population has grown. Waco was overpasses and Plano has about 200K. Has it been bad? In certain ways, yes, and we've talked about those issues. Has it made improvements? Sure - we have more jobs, the growth has helped my property value, and my services are improved. Living in South Austin, I never need to take MoPac or IH-35 to travel to downtown and I can take the "back way" into the Airport, so I feel fortunate that I considered travel around Austin when I purchased this house (and hoepfully my last house).

As to San Marcos, I still consider it a nice college town, almost like a smaller version of College Station (this is only a perspective of the town culture and is not meant to offend or upset any TAMU students or grads). It's growth has made a lot of improvements to the community.

When growth returns (and it will) the big issue for the I-35 corridor from Austin to San Antonio is going to be water in Kyle, Buda, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Schertz, Selma and all points in between. This area already has annual water rationing - the problem is their reliance on the Edwards Aquifer. They need a lake and pipeline system to support future growth.
Water is the biggest issue, for sure. You have apparently watched everything grow up around you, and that makes for quite a different perspective. Growth is good for the reasons you mentioned--jobs, services, et al.

It's also bad in many ways. Austin and vicinity are in the middle of a drought, with water rationing--who in the world would have thought that would happen? It's not the norm, as your usual rainfall is 36 or more inches a year. The area is learning to live with something that those of us in West Texas always have--drought and high fire danger. It's worse in the Hill Country because of all the thick underbrush and dry tinder.

The more the population grows, the more stress on the aquifer, and the greater danger of fire spreading in drought-stricken residential areas. Add to that the typically large water-hungry lawns and gardens--not a pretty picture for the future.

And yes, growth will return. It seems like the whole world wants to move to Austin and the Texas Hill Country--Lake Travis has attracted many, and the surrounding towns can't help but grow.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Hill Country--but I liked its smaller version better.

Mo-Pac gives me nightmares.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top