Hollywood Vs. History: The Alamo
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Hollywood vs. History: The Alamo
The Alamo was one of the most astounding and critical battles of our country. Its men were ruthless in their bravery and love of their country. Their mission for independence lives on in the hearts of all Americans today. Their legacy lives on forever and their courageous souls are still in the heart of the people of the lone star state. This is the story of bravery, love, tyranny, and liberty. This is the story of the Alamo
The battle of the Alamo only spanned an approximate 13 days yet its a very critical battle in winning the independence of Texas and helping expand the United States to the west. There were many small conflicts that led up to this battle but it all started as white settlers started migrating to Texas. In the early 1820s after the Texas Revolution, Texas is a vast land sparsely populated and controlled by Mexico but not readily protected. The Mexican government began encouraging white settlers to come to Texas and start a new life so that they may help protect and populate it. For a small amount of money, settlers were given a fresh start and the fertile land of Texas. For this the Mexican government wanted the new settlers to agree to a few terms. These were, to become Roman Catholic, become a Mexican citizen, and not to hold any slaves. The whites agreed to these conditions and began settling
Jim Bowie was one of these settlers; he came to Texas to make a profit. Jim Bowie is best known to have built the bowie knife but even more so to have fought in the Alamo. Jim Bowie married a rich politician who is actually the sister of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was the new leader of Mexico; after he was put into power he proclaimed himself a dictator and abolished the Mexican constitution. As the Texan settlements prospered whites began breaking the codes and started smuggling in slaves. When the Mexican government was alerted of this they became furious. Meanwhile the whites began to seek independence from Mexico and shape Texas into a republic. They were joined in their beliefs by the Tejanos, a native tribe of Texas who also have been under Mexican rule.
In Stephen Austin a famous Empessario approached the Mexicans in Mexico City and pleaded for Texas independence. The Mexican government refused and even set up a law called the April 6, 1830 law, which stated that no more whites can settle in Texas and that they cannot recreate an American life in Texas. Settlers began forming militias and one such militia was set up in an abandoned missionary called the Alamo. But what really started the fighting was in December of 1835 when Santa Annas brother in law General “Cos” surrenders in a fight to retrieve cannons from the Texans. Cos is made of promise never to attack the federalists again or take up arms against the people of the Texan republic. This left a blemish on Santa Annas families name and he sought to redeem his families glory by once and for all putting those Texans in place and showing them who their real leader is.
In January of 1836 about 145 Texans were fortified in the soft walls of the Alamo also known as Cottonwood. Some of the important people here were lieutenant Colonel William Berret Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crocket. Meanwhile Santa Anna drove his troops into Texas in the dead of winter to level the Alamo. They arrived and began their siege on February 23. Fighting Ensued for about 13 days with minimum casualties. But on the 13th day of battle March 6, 1836 Santa Anna ordered a surprise attack from all sides in the dead of night. All defenders of the Alamo died that night.
Many a time has Hollywood skewed the difference between reality and fantasy, exaggerating the truth and placing heavy importance on the myths. A recent historical movie was made about the Alamo. This movie though very historically accurate was different from the documentary; I will compare the two and show the differences. The movie was very good at illustrating key points. Also it was good at showing feelings between characters that was not always clear in the documentary.
In the movie you could see the difference in personality between Travis and Bowie. Bowie was a rugged man that was into drinking and telling jokes and socializing with his buddies. Travis on the other hand was an educated and successful man, a little arrogant at times but also very passionate to his people and his cause. Both were very compelling men but Bowie tended to get more respect from his fellow soldier that Travis did, this was especially shown in the beginning of the movie where Bowie asked whether the soldiers wanted to be under his command or under Travis.
Davy Crocket is an important Character in both the documentary and the movie. But many a time he has been shown to be more of a hero than he was. In many retellings of the story it was told that Davy was the last man alive and that he went down waving his rifle and killing Mexicans around him, this was not the case since he actually surrendered and was captured by the Mexicans. This was shown