In this Critical Mission Assignment you will need to write an essay of no less than 500 words regarding the leadership qualities of Juan Nepomuceno Seguin after watching a video simply entitled Seguin. (Yes, its dated but at least it stars Edward James Olmos) Juan Nepomuceno Seguin, an often unsung and unheralded leader in the Texas Revolution, raised an army to fight the Mexican forces of Santa Ana at the Alamo. Feel free to use your textbook as an additional resource. You will need to upload your paper as an attachment.
Seguin (Links to an external site.)
Your task is to watch the film and evaluate the decision of Seguin to join the revolution in order to fight for an independent Texas. He is arguably one of the most tragic figures in Texas History as he remarked later A native of San Antonio de Bexar, I find myself now persecuted . . . a stranger in my own land . . . the land I sought to defend . . . You may take any position as long as you support your argument. Few students in Texas enter a history classroom without a preconceived view of the Alamo and the struggle for Independence.
The Seguin family was a prominent Tejano family at the time of the revolution and had long promoted regional interests with Mexico City. At the outbreak of fighting, Juan Seguin was mayor of San Antonio and a large landowner. Nevertheless, following the beginning of legal American immigration in 1822 to Texas under the direction of Stephen F. Austin and others, the native Tejano population increasingly became outnumbered by newcomers. For example, on the eve of fighting the Tejano population numbered about 5000 compared to 30,000 recent Anglo arrivals. Of the 187 Alamo defenders, 2/3 had been in Texas less than six months and even fewer than at least a decade. To complicate matters, most Tejanos found themselves caught between two cultural identities and their loyalty questioned. While the film portrays the wealthy Seguin as representative of most Tejanos, in reality most non-Anglos sided with Mexico or simply took no part.
Consider the position of Seguin and that of other men of privilege. Why did they support Federalist policies over Centralist ones? Did Seguin have valid reasons to fight for independence? What forces shaped his political views? Mexico, like the United States, was also a republic with its own partisan legislature which could block needed reforms, or create political gridlock. Often times these reforms threatened economic position and political influence. For example, the population of Coahuila vastly outnumbered Texas and diminished the influence of Anglos as part of Tejas y Coahuila. When confronted with entrenched opposition whose cause you deem counter to political interest, what measures justify bold action? The Law of 1830, a major factor in creating the political unrest that led to revolution, initially abolished the legal status of slavery which the Spanish and later Mexican governments had earlier allowed. Did an ever expanding cotton economy and slavery play a part in rebellion? What were Seguins views on slavery? Explore his relationship with Anglo men of prominence and privilege.