The Alamo, called initially Misión San Antonio de Valero, is a monument located in present-day San Antonio, Texas. It was originally a Franciscan Mission constructed by Roman Catholic missionaries in 1718 and later abandoned. The 1936 Battle of the Alamo between Mexicans and Texians was fought at this location. Today, in addition to the ancient buildings, the site has statues and artifacts for citizens to get an insight into the past. The Alamo is a landmark site where Texas’ rich history is documented.
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Before 1836, Texas was a part of Mexico, and the laws instituted in Mexico also applied to Texas. At the time, Mexico was giving out land to its people, which attracted many people to move to Texas. Some people even converted to Catholicism and became Mexican citizens to get land. They relocated to Texas, where they used slave labor to make money from the cotton industry. Since slavery was illegal in Mexico, the government imposed restrictions on Texian immigrants (Otfinoski, 2019). The Mexican government also wanted to curb the high rate of immigration into Texas. Annoyed by the Mexican rule over Texas, the people of Texas pursued independence from Mexico. Mexico’s president, Antonio López de Santa Anna, did not want to grant Texas independence to be its state. Consequently, a series of conflicts began in the Mexico-Texas region, which culminated in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.
The Battle of the Alamo was led by President Santa Anna and his vast troops. They surrounded the Alamo Mission, which was defended by a small number of Texians under the command of Colonels William Barrett Travis and James Bowie. Another important figure in this battle was David Crockett, who was a frontiersman. Before the battle, the Texians fortified the Alamo with artillery, such as cannons. Despite their preparedness and their willingness to fight for independence, the Texian defenders were outnumbered by the Mexican troops (Otfinoski, 2019). The Battle of the Alamo, which happened on March 6, 1836, lasted for about ninety minutes and resulted in the death of two-hundred defenders.
Today, the Alamo commemorates the people who died in the fight for Texas’ freedom. The Alamo comprises several buildings, such as the long barracks, the church, and the corral. The long barrack is a two-story building that was originally a convent but later provided cover to the defenders. Outside the long barrack is a sixteen-pounder cannon, which was brought to Texas in 1817 and later used in the Battle of the Alamo (Visit the Alamo, n.d.). The corral is found behind the long barracks and provided it with extra protection during the battle. The church is the strongest building at the Alamo, and it was used as a command center for artillery. The church is also a shrine and memorial for Alamo defenders. There are other buildings at the Alamo, but these were the most significant.
In addition to buildings, the Alamo has statues of the heroes of the Texas Revolution. There are statues of William Barrett Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett, who are the three most famous heroes of the war. The sculpture trail also has statues of other historical figures, such as John William Smith, Juan Nepomuceno, and Susannah and Angelina Dickinson (Visit the Alamo, n.d.). These statues pay tribute to the key people who shaped Texas’ history.
The Alamo also has artifacts from early nineteenth-century Texas. One of the artifacts is Travis’ ring, which he placed on Angelina Dickinson, one of the few survivors of the battle. Other artifacts found at the Alamo include Crockett’s vest, Bowie’s knife, a typical Texian soldier uniform, and a Mexican army uniform (Visit the Alamo, n.d.). The artifacts give a deeper insight into the battle since they are personal items from the conflict. Additionally, there are history guides that explain in detail the events leading to the Battle of the Alamo. They also give demonstrations that depict the events that happened. For instance, they explain the different types of cannons and their uses in the 19th century. Overall, the Alamo is lively because of the artifacts and the historians.
I chose the Alamo because of its historical significance to Texas. The rich history of Texas is preserved on this site. Although I live in Texas, I had never visited the site before. I decided to visit the Alamo to get a better understanding of the Battle of the Alamo. I saw and touched some of the cannons used in the battle. I also understood how the site was strategically located to defend itself from invaders. Additionally, the tour was interesting because I interacted with guides who explained everything. I think that if the Texian defenders were more in number, they could have defeated the Mexicans. Nevertheless, I appreciated the zeal with which they fought the battle. Their great sacrifice embodies the American spirit and helped in the efforts for Texas to become part of the US. Visiting the Alamo was a moment of enlightenment that motivated me to learn more about America’s history.
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Otfinoski, S. (2019). The Battle of the Alamo: Texans under siege. Capstone Press
Visit the Alamo. (n.d.). The Alamo. Web.