In my last blog post, I mentioned that Texans have an attitude, and mused where that might have come from. Of course, I don’t know the answer, but I have my suspicions. So, I go to the dictionary for a clue. Attitude is defined as meaning manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing. Interesting to note that the word Attitude has a French origin, coined around 1670, a few years before Spain ran the French out of Texas. Ummm!
Oh, I almost forgot; the Synonym for Attitude is Position, meaning a condition with reference to place; location; situation. So, I think we have it. A Texas attitude is a reflection of thinking, or feeling (and showing through actions) just how different a Texan is from everyone else. Superior? Not necessarily, (but it sometimes comes out that way).
I will bet that the six flags, which have flown over Texas in the past 494 years, have been an influence on that attitude. Your average Texan – by my observation – is proud of his history and is generally aware of the impact antiquity plays. Another word for it might be Culture. The average citizen of Southern California would not be as informed.
Aware of French colonization efforts, Spain reestablished its territorial claims in 1690 and the French abandoned their five years of occupation. The Spain left a deep impact on Texas. Spanish language provided the names for many of the rivers, towns, and counties that currently exist, and Spanish architectural concepts still thrive in buildings like the Alamo. Having a revered historical landmark in the center of the second largest city in the state makes the remembering easier for residents of San Antonio, but then every Texan, statewide, knows the importance of that 1836 heroic battle. The old mission chapel is an official Texas State Shrine. Certainly, that must be a factor in the Texan attitude.
So, Spain lost Texas in the 1821 War of Independence to Mexico, who lost Texas to The Republic of Texas in 1836. Because of Sam Houston’s efforts, Texas was admitted into the Union as the 28th state in 1845. Then came the Civil War in 1861 and Texas declared its session and joined the Confederate States of America. We all know how well that went. The Texas holiday Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Federal troops arrived in Texas. The Stars and Stripes were raised over Austin a few days later.
Did you see it: One of the elements of attitude? With the exception of Houston’s salesmanship, each of the flags was changed by a war. I’m told by some of the “older guys” that war does change people: those on the front-lines, families whose home is overrun by the opposition troops, or loved ones, lonely and sick with fear and grief. War changes you.
Next time; where a new Texan sees attitude in daily life.