Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Remember The Alamo

The Alamo or even its battle cry "Remember The Alamo" are not only known in the United States, but thanks to movies by and with John Wayne in 1960 and a historical more accurate version in 2004 helmed by Ron Howard, almost all over the world. It depicts part of the Texas Revolution or in other words the fight for independence for an area then owned by Mexico. The former mission, then fortress "The Alamo" is the most visited tourist attraction in the Lone Star state.

Before Mexico's independence in 1821, the Spanish ventured from Mexico all the way into today's Wyoming. On their way North in what they called New Spain, they built missions for the purpose of spreading Catholicism as well as the Spanish way of living and therefore obedience to the crown, among the indigenous inhabitants of the land. One of these missions was named San Antonio de Valero, built by Franciscan monks east of the San Antonio River around 1724.

In 1793 the mission was secularized, the land around given to Spanish settlers. The former mission was fortified and became a military fortress to defend the presidio of Bejar (also Bexar). A military company stationed at the fortress was called "La Compañía de Alamo de Parras" and over the years the company name became the name of the fortress, now known as the Alamo.

European settlers (mostly Anglo Americans) started to move into the area and settle down mostly under the federalist rules of the Spanish governor in charge. After Mexico's independence and the later rise of military general become president and then dictator, Antonio López de Santa Anna, the self proclaimed "Napoleon of the West," people started to rise up and form their own independent republics, even in today's heartland of Mexico. The Republic of Texas being the only one that succeeded.

In December of 1935 "Texians" took over the Alamo fortress and sent the Mexican troops South. Santa Anna was enraged and called for the execution of all the "pirates" that opposed his rule. With a large army he headed North, put a 13 day siege onto the Alamo and finally beat and slaughtered the undermanned occupants of the fortress on March 6, 1836. The battle cry was born and a new formed Texan army under Sam Houston followed Santa Anna and beat him in April of the same year in the Battle of San Jacinto. Santa Anna was captured and only released with the condition that the new Republic of Texas was granted its independence.

Before joining the Union (USA) in 1945, Texas was an independent republic for nine years;  the only US state to have been its own "country." A renovation and revitalization program for the whole Alamo complex is in its planning stages, a master plan and public hearings are supposed to take place in early 2017.


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