Texas and Mexico

The world probably has a terrible impression of Texas and Texans based on the much televised border conflict. If you’ve never been here you may assume that Texans hate Mexico and Mexicans. This is completely untrue. Without Mexico, Texas would be just another state! While there are many cultures, including Czech, German, French, and others,  that make up the rich heritage , customs, and culture of Texas, I think it’s fair to say that Mexico is the most obvious influence statewide.  Even our name came from the Spanish spelling of a Caddo word, Tejas. Name a few favorite Texas foods and it’s easy to see that they were brought in from Mexico,  such as tacos, fajitas, guacamole, and margaritas. Many names of towns, counties,  cities, and roads are Spanish names, especially in South and West Texas. Texas ranches , horses, cattle, and rodeos were heavily influenced by Mexican vaqueros . Texans and Mexicans have intermarried and interacted and lived together for many years before and after Texas became an official part of the United States in 1845. We share a colorful history including some good and bad events during the time Texas was becoming populated and fighting the battle over who would be in charge. You can learn all about our blended culture and traditions here.

The land now called Texas was first governed by Spain and then Mexico. It was mostly populated by indigenous peoples, what we knew as Indians when I went to school. But then Mexico started offering land grants to populate the land. The rush was soon on to grab cheap land and eventually there were a lot of settlers and they wanted to control their own lives and not all be Catholics and own slaves, things that the Mexican government did not approve of. This meant that they sent soldiers to crack down on the independent-minded settlers and made a new policy to stop new Americans from coming.  People rebelled, armies clashed, soldiers and citizens died, and then Texas became it’s own country in 1836. That’s just a very brief snippet of the colorful and bloody drama that went on between 1821 and 1845. Texas history makes great reading.

I don’t want to write a whole book on the ups and downs of Texas history, the library is full of them, but I want to tell the world that Texas does not hate Mexico. In fact we depend on each other like neighbors do. I hope the current federal government doesn’t ruin our relationship. Because I love tacos and Latino music and my many Mexican-American friends. And good neighbors are important .

 

6 comments

  1. The Mexican influence is one of my favorite things about our state. I love hearing Spanish mixed in with English (common in southwest Texas), I love the food, and I love our hispanic friends. My son and I bought our dinner from the local Spanish market yesterday (homemade tortillas!), and my daughter is at a quincianera as I type this.

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