Anglo-Saxonism in Texas history

On the Occidental Dissent blog, I came across this excerpt from a book called Race and Manifest Destiny, by Reginald Horsman:

 “The Texas Revolution was from its beginnings interpreted in the United States and among Americans in Texas as a racial clash, not simply a revolt against unjust government or tyranny. Thomas Hart Benton said that the Texas revolt “has illustrated the Anglo-Saxon character, and given it new titles to the respect and admiration of the world. It shows that liberty, justice, valour – moral, physical, and intellectual power – discriminate that race wherever it goes.” Benton asked “old England” to rejoice that distant Texas streams had seen the exploits of “a people sprung from their loins, and carrying their language, laws and customs, their magna charta [sic]and all its glorious privileges, into new regions and far distant climes.”

In his two terms as president of Texas, Sam Houston consistently thought of the struggle in his region as one between a glorious Anglo-Saxon race and an inferior Mexican rabble. Victory for the Texans and the Americans in the Southwest would mean that large areas of the world were to be brought under the rule of a race that could make best use of them. Houston was less imbued with the harsh scientific racial theories that carried most Americans before them in the 1840s than with the romantic exaltation of the Saxons given by Sir Walter Scott and his followers.

Houston’s inaugural address in 1836 contrasted the harsh, uncivilized warfare of the Mexicans with the more human conduct of the Texans. He conjured up a vision of the civilized world proudly contemplating “conduct which reflected so much glory on the Anglo-Saxon race.” The idea of the Anglo-Saxons as the living embodiment of the chivalric ideal always fascinated Houston; the Mexicans were “the base invader” fleeing from “Anglo-Saxon chivalry.” In fighting Mexico the Texans were struggling to disarm tyranny, to overthrow oppression, and create representative government: “With these principles we will march across the Rio Grande, and … ere the banner of Mexico shall triumphantly float upon the banks of the Sabine, the Texian standard of the single star, borne by the Anglo-Saxon race, shall display its bright folds in Liberty’s triumph, on the isthmus of Darien.”

While conceiving of the Texas Revolution as that of a freedom-loving Anglo-Saxon race rising up to throw off the bonds of tyranny imposed by a foreign despot, Houston was also fully convinced of the inevitability of the general American Anglo-Saxon expansion. To him “the genius as well as the excitability” of the American people impelled them to war. “Their love of dominion,” he said, “and the extension of their territorial limits, also, is equal to that of Rome in the last ages of the Commonwealth and the first of the Caesars.” The people of the United States, he argued, were convinced that the North American continent had been bestowed on them, and if necessary they would take it by force. He told one correspondent in 1844 that there was no need to be concerned about the population said to occupy the vast area from the 29th to the 46th latitude on the Pacific: “They will, like the Indian race yield to the advance of the North American population …”

I haven’t read the book; it isn’t available for reading online, apparently, but I get the impression that Horsman believes that the growing racial consciousness amongst Anglo-Saxonist Americans was not a good or valid thing.

For liberals and blank-slate egalitarians, of course it is a bad thing in their minds, because in their absolutist dogma, everyone is basically the same, ‘diversity’ notwithstanding, and everyone does have — must have — equal potential in every area of life. Any idea that conflicts with this dogma is “malevolent”, as this reviewer of the book says.

The writer of this summary of Horsman’s book seems to share that opinion.

Horsman portrays the growth of a racial ideology in terms of justifying the expansion of the United States and its tremendous exploitation and suffering it cased other people.”

Evidently Horsman is another blank-slate egalitarian rather than an objective scholar.

Those biased views notwithstanding,  my point in posting the excerpt is to illustrate the fact that yes, Anglo-Saxon-descended settlers were the predominant group in Texas in the early days of the American colonies there, as in the rest of the South with some rare exceptions. And if I belabor this point, it’s because conflicting ideas have become more popular, so that the plain facts are being denied. Truth matters. There is no valid reason for the continual re-writing of history with the aim of diminishing or outright denying the role played by Anglo-Saxon settlers.

 

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