Ask @fortheloveoftexas:

How do you think the outcome of the fight affected the rest of the U.S?

Texas historians have argued that the long siege of the Alamo had two major effects: (1) it convinced the colonists that Santa Anna intended to destroy them, giving them no choice but to declare independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836; and (2) it held up Santa Anna's army long enough for the Texian army to regroup under Sam Houston, to whom the interim government gave full command of the army on March 3. Probably the biggest effect of the Alamo on the U.S., consequently, was the Texas declaration of independence itself, which modeled closely the American Declaration of Independence and aimed to enlist the U.S. on the Texian side. General Houston also knew that his close friend and mentor, President Andrew Jackson, had sent U.S. troops close to the Sabine River, which runs between Texas and Louisiana. In late March, as Texian forces retreated to the east in the wake of the Alamo and Goliad disasters, U.S. Army General Edmund Gaines prepared his forces for a possible conflict with Santa Anna and the Mexican army and played up the rumor that the Mexican army was inciting the local Indian tribes to attack Americans. Houston knew that with American troops in the border area, he could continue to retreat further east with hopes of bringing them into the conflict.

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Why did you choose the Alamo to write about?

You absolutely can't write a Texas history book and leave out the Alamo -- it might be against the law!

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How did you find all of the resources?

Old-fashioned research. No Wikipedia here. The library, my friend, is the answer. There are no short-cuts when it comes to research. Surprisingly, much of T.R. Fehrenbach's late 60's -early 80's work is still very relevant. Not so surprising is that there have been new historical discoveries. For instance, in our book about the colonists, 2006 research revealed that not all Paleo-Americans came to North
America via the land-bridge between Asia and present day Alaska, some arrived by boat. Look in the back of the For the Love of Texas books and see the extra-long bibliography. You can feel very safe that these books were thoroughly researched (no research assistant on this project!)

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The illustrations are very good, how did you get hooked up with Chris Gruszka?

Betsy worked on the Don't Mess with Texas campaign. One part of the campaign features the Litter Force, superhero cartoons who "blast the trash". Chris created those characters and Betsy was impressed. The For the Love of Texas manuscripts included notes for the aim of the illustrations. Chris nailed every single illustration and there was very little revision on his original ideas -- that never happens! Chris just got it, and he was a prince to work with. L.U.C.K.Y.

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Why do you think the Alamo was so important?

What happened at the Battle of the Alamo?
Well, the Battle of the Alamo took place from February 28 to March 6, 1836. Travis and Bowie, with 250 men, held the Alamo against approximately 2,000 of Santa Anna’s soldiers. Travis and Bowie intended to hold until reinforcements arrived, unaware that none would be forthcoming. Ultimately, their tiny garrison was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Mexican army. It was a costly victory for Santa Anna, however. In taking the Alamo, he lost around 600 soldiers. Furthermore, the battle became a later rallying point for Texans.
(Get ready, here's a fun new term to throw around. No doubt using this argument, your teacher is going to be impressed.)
The term “Pyrrhic victory” comes from the Greek historian, Plutarch. He wrote about the third-century BCE Greek victories over the Romans that left the Greeks so weakened that they lost the war. Keep that in mind and let's look at the Alamo. We always think about the Alamo from a Texas perspective. It was a big deal and we brag about the heroic sacrifice of 250 invaluable men against overwhelming odds. It makes a good story. What did the Mexicans think about it? From their perspective, the Alamo was a big victory that eliminated a substantial proportion of the Texas army's manpower. In fact, the harsh whipping started the Runaway Scrape. Remember? Thousands of settlers fled toward Louisiana in an effort to escape Santa Anna’s approaching army. At this point in the war, it looked like the jig was up for the Texians, and Houston’s only plan was to get to the Louisiana border as fast as he could in hopes of drawing an American army into the fight. His men, using the Alamo massacre as a rallying cry, had other ideas and turned off toward San Jacinto, but most Texians (including the interim government) thought they would be slaughtered just like the defenders of the Alamo. We now know that the Alamo was something of a Pyrrhic victory for Santa Anna, but it did not appear that way at the time. The point is that the Alamo battle created a story that became legend after the fact -- it seems like it was inevitable, but nothing in history is inevitable.
I think the Alamo is important because of its historical significance (what we say in the first paragraph) and because it illustrates how Texas history has been written "backwards" through the heroic defense of the Alamo. It looked like a disaster at the time, and anything but heroic--that came after the fact. What do you think?

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How much time did it take you to write the book?

What a great question! FOREVER is the short answer. Jk. George did the research, and he is an amazing and organized scholar. What takes normal people months to do, he can do in a week. He has laser focus and doesn't do things like Internet surf or text random messages. He's a working machine. (Fun fact is that George is a full-time attorney, 3/4 time English professor at University of Texas, and is preparing to defend his dissertation for his SECOND Ph.d -- and he has four children with whom he spends many hours throwing the football, helping with homework, and listening to elementary, middle and graduate school woes.) After the research, then came the writing and editing (and editing and editing). Three years passed between the time the books were written and when they hit the market. Finding the right publisher was no easy task. We didn't have an agent, which is an unheard of thing in the publishing world, but these Texas books are "regional" and required a special publisher (History Press). Conservatively about 750 hours of work went into these books. Considering that for each book purchased, the authors make approximately .80 each. This means that 187,500 books need to be sold to pay for the author's time. Since the books came out in August, 6,000 books have been sold. This is all to say that writing the books was a labor of love. It was FANTASTIC fun and the authors love working together on projects. Some people camp or sail as hobbies, the Christian family writes books. Look for more books in the series...

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Karankawa Indians?

Thanks for the question. Back in the day, along the gulf coast of Texas lived the Karankawa, a relatively tall tribe – their men towered over six-feet-tall, which was really tall compared to other Native Peoples and Europeans. The Karankawa practiced ritual cannibalism, as did many of other coastal tribes. “Ritual” cannibalism means the Karankawa didn’t cook other humans for dinner on a regular basis, but they did eat parts of their enemy’s bodies because they believed if they did, then the dead person’s strength would pass on to them. If the Karankawa captured you as their enemy, they would probably tie you up, dance around you, cut off a piece of your flesh, cook it over the fire, and then eat it in front of you. Not a pleasant thought.
The Karankawa pierced their nipples and chins with bamboo sticks, heavily tattooed themselves, and nursed their children until around the age of twelve (uh, that would be the age of a 6th or 7th grader.) But, that’s not all. To combat the nasty local mosquitoes, the Karankawa smeared their bodies with alligator “grease”, shark liver oil and mud. From all accounts, these folks smelled pretty bad. In fact, the early colonists record that the smell of the Karankawa made them sick to their stomachs. If you have visited the Texas coast lately, you will know the mosquitoes are still really bad, and even to this day you might be tempted to smear alligator innards over your body to keep them away.

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What are the 4 periods

Paleo Indian

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What is the capital of Texas.


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who was bob bullock

Bob Bullock (1929-1999) was the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Texas, serving from 1991-1999. Born in Hillsboro, Bullock attended Texas Tech University, received a law degree from Baylor University School of Law, and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. In 1956 Bullock was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served two two-year terms. He practiced law for several years, was appointed to the Texas Historical Commission in 1963, became a Texas assistant attorney general, and served on the staff of Governor Preston Smith. Governor Smith appointed Bullock as Secretary of State in 1971. In 1974 Bullock was elected to the office of Comptroller of Public Accounts, the state's tax collector and chief budget officer. He served in that office until 1990, when voters elected him as Lieutenant Governor. Bullock died in 1999, less than a year after leaving office.

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About For the Love of Texas:

Need help on Texas History or want to know about the book? Ask away!