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The history of the United States of America remains to be among the most interesting histories in across the globe. One of the factors that has contributed to this history remaining to be a rich history is the fact that the United States of America was not ‘united’ initially and each state was on its own. However, in search of independence from the British colonists, many States in this nation came together and formed a coalition that would later on deliver independence to them. As a result of this, there are different history stories that each State has in regard to fighting for independence. Among these States is Texas who fought for its independence from the Mexico way back in 1936.
The dramatic history of the State of Texas is well remembered in a monument that was built between 1936 and 1939 as these Texan people sought to commemorate their history fight for independence from Mexico and its army. According to Briaud et al. (2007), San Jacinto Monument was built to commemorate the fallen heroes who fought hard for deliverance of this state from the cruelty of the Mexican army in 1836, a hundred years later (p.1337-1342). The victory of the Texan army came after the defeat of this army by the Mexican army at Alamo. While is remembered and commemorated among the Texan, the victory at San Jacinto did not secure independence for this State alone but also for other States that were along the Mexican border (1337-1339).
The war between Texas and the Mexican army began when the President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna devised military strategies with an aim of securing Texas and bring to the jurisdiction of the Mexican constitution. Therefore, led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican army marched against General Sam Houston of the Texas army. The Mexican army, being well trained and equipped, terrorized the Texan army especially at Alamo where most of the Texan soldiers were massacred by the Mexican due to their lack of critical military skills and lack of the necessary supplies. Yet this massacre did not dishearten the Texan army. Instead, led by General Houston, this army sought out for ways in which they could revenge against the Mexican army for their fellow soldiers who had died at Goliad and the fall of Alamo. Therefore, this army formulated a strategy under which they would find a battleground where they would have a comparative advantage over the Mexicans (Clemons, 2000, p.23-28).
Therefore, when General Houston received reports that General Santa Anna, the President of Mexico had separated himself from the main Mexican army, General Houston thought that his time for victory had come. Therefore, with about 820 men against General Santa Anna’s 750 men, he crossed the bank of Buffalo Bayou, captured the supplies of the Mexicans at the ferry, which then was plundered by his army and used for their supplies arrived at the vicinity of San Jacinto. On realizing that they had been ambushed by General Houston’s army which was slightly larger than his, General Santa Anna built fortification and hope for support from the rest of the army. The military strategies that were used by General Houston differed greatly from those used by General Santa Anna. While General Santa Anna kept his men on watch all night thing that he would be attacked at n9ight, General Houston allowed his men to take rest throughout. This proved to be a detrimental decision to them as these men were already tired (Clemons, 2000, p.25-30).
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On April 21st, 1836, General Houston and his men attacked the Mexican and defeated them terribly. However, General Santa Anna managed to escape in a bid to rejoin the larger Mexican army. Yet his plans did not succeed as General Houston’s men followed and captured him before he could reach the larger Mexican army. His capture played an important role in ending the war between the Texan army and the Mexican army. After this defeat and his capture, General Santa Anna asked his army to retreat from the Texan territories and signed a peace treaty that granted Texas and other States along the Mexican border their independence. San Jacinto therefore remained an important site for the people of Texas. It is valued to them as a place where they fought and received their freedom and therefore independence from the Mexican army (Clemons, 2000, p.23-25).
Therefore, to commemorate this victory, the war veterans proposed that there was need to maintain the status of San Jacinto as one of the most important places in Texas, as this was the actual place where they were totally freed from Mexican Army terror. This was with an aim of preserving this site and commemorating this war that is famously known as the Battle of San Jacinto. The land of San Jacinto was initially privately owned. However, after the Battle of San Jacinto, efforts were made to secure it by purchasing it from its owner, after which the Texan Veterans Association proposed that it was important for them to preserve history of their victory and honor their men who shed their blood in this place in revenge for their fellow men of Goliad Massacre and the fall of Alamo that had previously been terrorized by the Mexican army under the leadership of General Santa Anna, who was also the president of Mexico. Therefore, the Texan Veterans Association was able to secure funds to begin building this monument. This was after a long period of plea from the veterans themselves and their children who believed that their lives and the lives of the forefathers had been put at risk in fighting for independence of Texas (Woolfolk, 1957, p.38-43).
Through the help of the Secretary of Commerce in President Roosevelt’s administration, Jesse H. Jones, the State of Texas was able to receive funding from the United States government and this nearly coincided with 100-year anniversary of commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto. As a result, while San Jacinto monument was built specifically in honor of men who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and in honor of their victory that secured this State its independence, San Jacinto Monument also marks 100 years after this battle, i.e. the celebration of 100 years after the independence of Texas (Singleton, 1940, p.673-678).
The actual building of San Jacinto Monument begun in 1936 and went all the way to 1939. The actual design for this monument was produced by architect engineer Robert J. Cummins, Alfred C. Finn, and Jesse H. Jones whose origin was in Houston, Texas. The monument stands at 570 feet tall and occupying 125 square feet and stands on 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic. It is important for one to understand that whereas this monument was costly to the people of Texas and the American government in general, the historical and cultural value attached to it cannot in any way be compared to the costs that were involved in building. It is also important to note that this tower, apart from representing the memories of the people of Texas in their fight for freedom, it is also recorded to be the tallest monument in the world, superseding the Washington tower (Bullen, 1938, p.421-426).
The battle for independence among the Texans remains to be one of the historic events that are greatly valued among them and among the people of the United States in general. While there are cases whereby this event has been overshadowed by the general independence of the United States, the activities that took place in Texas in their fight for independence cannot be, in any way be ignored. Therefore, the building of the San Jacinto monument is not only of great significance to the Texas people, veterans and their families, but also to the United States since if such a battle may not have been won, Texas may have been considered as the territory of Mexico today.
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