Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans

Overview

In Revolution in Texas Benjamin Johnson tells the little-known story of one of the most intense and protracted episodes of racial violence in United States history. In 1915, against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, the uprising that would become known as the Plan de San Diego began with a series of raids by ethnic Mexicans on ranches and railroads. Local violence quickly erupted into a regional rebellion. In response, vigilante groups and the Texas Rangers staged an even bloodier counterinsurgency, ...
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Overview

In Revolution in Texas Benjamin Johnson tells the little-known story of one of the most intense and protracted episodes of racial violence in United States history. In 1915, against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, the uprising that would become known as the Plan de San Diego began with a series of raids by ethnic Mexicans on ranches and railroads. Local violence quickly erupted into a regional rebellion. In response, vigilante groups and the Texas Rangers staged an even bloodier counterinsurgency, culminating in forcible relocations and mass executions.

Faced with the overwhelming forces arrayed against it, the uprising eventually collapsed. But, as Johnson demonstrates, the rebellion resonated for decades in American history. Convinced of the futility of using force to protect themselves against racial discrimination and economic oppression, many Mexican Americans elected to seek protection as American citizens with equal access to rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In 1915, the Mexican revolution spilled over into south Texas in the guise of a rebellion against Anglo domination and discrimination known as the Plan de San Diego. Drawing on archives and collections on both sides of the border, Johnson (history, Southern Methodist Univ.) explains how the coming of the railroad opened up the lower Rio Grande Valley to agricultural development and brought the discriminatory measures common in other parts of the South, thus upsetting the Tejano social order. His careful analysis of the resulting violence and its brutal suppression by vigilantes and the Texas Rangers, as well as the cooperation between the U.S. and Mexican governments to end cross-border attacks, shows how the Tejanos began to think of themselves as Americans and work for the restoration of their rights, an effort that continues to this day. This well-written account is accessible to lay readers as well as scholars and is recommended for all libraries in Texas as well as collections on the borderlands, Hispanics, and the West.-Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300094251
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: The Lamar Series in Western History
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Heber Johnson is assistant professor of history at Southern Methodist University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Conquest 7
2 Trouble in Mind 38
3 The Promise of the Revolution 55
4 Rebellion 71
5 Repression 108
6 Citizenship at War 144
7 Legacies 176
Afterword 206
App High Tide of the Plan de San Diego, August-September 1915 213
Notes 215
Acknowledgments 243
Index 247
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    another view

    The 'Plan de San Diego' as written was a blatantly racist document advocating indiscriminate violence against peaceful citizens. Until the turn of the Twentieth Century the total population of the Lower Rio Grande Valley was sparse. This is the period in which irrigation farming on an extensive scale was introduced to the area, subsequently encouraging large numbers of migrant laborers from Mexico to enter and find work in the fields. They are among those the 'Plan' was intended to incite. However, the resultant murders and destruction can be directly assigned to groups of Mexican raiders crossing the Rio Grande, and lawless local citizens like Luis de la Rosa. Texan retribution was violent, and at times misdirected and unjust. As in any multiethnic society, there has always been racial discrimination in this region, and no ethnic group has a monopoly on it. But it must be understood that the immigration of Anglo-Americans into this particular part of Texas was not primarily Southern, as in the rest of the State, but from the mid-western United States. Those late arrivals from the north proved to be no different than anyone else in their societal perspectives.

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