Remembering the Alamo and San Antonio

Oh a relic of Anglo imperialism visited by over 3 million fanny packers a year. The Alamo was our first stop in San Antonio. Here we heard the well versed story of David Crockett and James Bowie, fighting to their death with 189 other brave men and 14 other women and children who were spared by Santa Ana in order to tell the story to the rest of Texas. With little attention paid to what some would say reasons behind the battle (President Polk’s desire to expand US territory, despite borders already set in the Louisiana Purchase) we left the Alamo a little confused as to what exactly happen in this historic spot. It could also have been the tight crowds and less than conciliative syntax used (phrases like “belligerent Indians” and “angelic Anglos” [sic]) which confused us and made this stop a quickie.

From here  we plunged on over to see some of the mission grounds established by Spain and more specifically Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús. These grounds were used in the 1700-1800s in an attempt to spread christianity and Spain’s borders. The many churches and huge buildings on the Mission grounds were built by indigenous populations (hmm… Pharaoh labor?). But along with the word of God, these Missionaries also brought disease and deception to the indigenous population. With over 80% of the indigenous peoples who came in contact with these conquistadors  losing their lives. We again left this spot uncertain as to what really happen. 

Many of our questions about San Antonio’s history were answered in a simple essay written by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was arrested for refusing to pay 6 years worth of poll taxes, because of his strong stance  against slavery and the Mexican-American war. His essay Civil Disobedience describes his beliefs about about the war, America and slavery. From reading his essay we were better able to understand American sentiment towards the Mexican-American war at the time.         

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