Lino García Jr., For the Express-News
Updated 11:10 p.m., Thursday, September 13, 2012
When Captain Hernán Cortés landed in México in 1519, he immediately claimed the land as a Spanish possession, starting the colonization that lasted from 1521 until 1821. There were, however, certain abuses by the Spaniards that concerned citizens of Mexico and the Tejanos. The time was ready for some type of action that developed into the independence movement headed by Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla of the Parish of Dolores Hidalgo.
By the year 1810, unrest had swept New Spain. Tejanos also felt ignored by the Spanish crown, their rights sometimes abused, and property such as cattle decreed as owned by the Spanish crown. The ideas of freedom during the French Revolution of 1789 promoted by Rousseau, Montesquieu and Voltaire arrived in New Spain, and these ideas impacted Padre Hidalgo and his associates. Individuals spoke of being free from Spain, and eventually all of this led to “El Grito” of September 1810 that resonated throughout Texas.
At dawn on Sept. 16, 1810, the residents of the Dolores Hidalgo answered Hidalgo's call for independence from the forces of Spain. The “mestizo” (mixed Indian and Spanish), the Indian and “Criollos” (of Spanish heritage, but born in America) started the independence movement, and after winning a few skirmishes against Spanish forces, Hidalgo and his group were defeated near Guadalajara and forced to retreat, and the independence movement he advocated was defeated momentarily. Mexico would have to wait until 1821 when its citizens and the Tejanos would be free from Spanish rule. Therefore, not only Mexico and its people were freed from the mother country, but so were the Tejanos, many of whom had fought in two rebellions on Texas soil — “the de las Casas Revolt of 1811” in San Antonio and the “Battle of Medina of 1813” close to this city, where almost 1,000 Tejanos perished in support of Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his “ El Grito”; these two rebellions culminated in the sentiment and framework of the battle of the Alamo in 1836.
Let us now connect the historical dots. The French Revolution of 1789 and the ideas of freedom arrived in New Spain setting the stage for “El Grito” on Sept. 16, 1810, (Mexican independence from Spain) leading to two Tejano skirmishes in support of “El Grito”: the de las Casas Revolt of 1811 and the Battle of Medina in 1813, all leading to the battle of the Alamo of 1836. That is why in Texas “El Grito” is celebrated as part of the seamless Pre-1836 Colonial Spanish Texas History.
Lino García Jr. is an eighth generation Tejano with ancestral Spanish Land Grants dating to 1767 on Texas soil.