Albeit, what is the main problem with the way Texas history is taught today? The clear answer is that mainstream Texas history at all levels tends to pigeonhole Texas history into three distinct eras: Spanish colonial, Mexican Republic, and Republic/State of Texas. Worse, as presented in the classroom, the first two eras are not connected to the third (Texas history). Such an approach implies that the people who lived during the first two eras have disappeared and thus are treated as detached (unconnected) parts of mainstream Texas history. The fact is that the descendants of the Spanish Mexican people who lived in the first two eras (pioneer settlers who founded Texas) are still here today in the form of Mexican-descent Texans. Regrettably, generations of Mexican-descent Texas students have been treated as
foreigners in their own homeland. They know little of their ancestors’ history.
What are some lessons that a more open discussion of Texas history will provide Texas children? Below is a partial list of topics that especially Mexican-descent children in South Texas must discover, study, and get to know their impact on (help or hurt) Spanish Mexican people of the U.S. Southwest:
(l) The First Texas Independence occurred on April 6, 1813; (2) The 1836 Battles of the Álamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto are part of a chronological chapter in
Mexico’s history, not the U.S. Mexico didn’t lose Texas, Sout
h Texas, & Southwest until 1848; (3) They must learn that in Texas in 1836, the Anglo immigrants from the U.S. were the aggressors, not General Santa Anna; and (4) they must learn that the name Álamo refers to the Presidio (no longer exists) and not to Mission San Antonio, sister mission to San José, San Juan, Concepción, and Espada.
(5) The real story as to how the U.S. “won” the west by following El Camino Real routes; (6) learn about “Borderlands” families that were split in two in 1848 as a
result of the U.S. Mexico War; and (7) for high school and college students, develop lessons on the Mutualista Movement, Jovita Idar, LULAC, Mexican-descent military veterans; Dr. Hector P. Garcia and the American GI Forum, The Class Apart (1954 Supreme Court Decision - Hernandez v. Texas), 1964 Civil Rights Act, etc.. Other aspects of little-known early Texas history facts that Texas students must know in higher grades: (a) The Black Legend (Leyenda Negra); (b) Manifest Destiny; (c) Learn why and how U.S. encroachment into the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi Valley and the Northwest