Texas and the West


What follows is a multi-part series on how Texas became a state, some of the important personalities involved, and eventually how the United States acquired most of the states not included in the Louisiana Purchase. I believe that it would do a great disservice to all that transpired in the years 1835-1848 to simply write about them piecemeal.

I have been remiss in my normal amount of posts because this project quickly grew out of control. How can you explain the Battle of the Alamo without a lengthy explanation of the political chameleon that was Santa Anna, or the larger than life Davy Crockett? How can you discuss the battle but not explain the after effects, or even what brought us to that point in the first place?

I hope you enjoy the next two weeks as much as I enjoyed writing about them.



Antietam- The Bloodiest Battle in US History

antietam sunken road

Depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you’re from depends on whether you were taught that September 17, 1862 was the Battle of Antietam of the Battle of Sharpsburg. The Union preferred to name the battlefields off of the nearest named object, which in this case was the creek that Lee had used as a defensive barrier. The Confederates preferred to name theirs after the nearest town, which was Sharpsburg, Maryland. Does it matter? Depends on which side you want to take. No one won the battle. The only reason why you hear it as Antietam more often was because the Yankees won. #HistoryIsWrittenByTheVictor That one single day would end up deciding the victor of the entire war… it would just take two and a half years for everyone to realize it.

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Manhattan- A Capitalist Story


Manhattan is one of the most recognizable pieces of American real estate. Most of the time when you see a picture of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan is in the background. Times Square? Manhattan. Central Park? Manhattan. Ghostbusters 2 marched the Statue of Liberty through Manhattan like a fat kid on a mission to find a purple Jell-O Bundt cake. The borough is the epitome of the concrete jungle used to describe a city- towering pillars of concrete built on top of an island that is partially manmade. #ProbablyGarbage #WaitThatsWhatJerseyIsFor The fastest way to get around is the subway system that reeks of coffee and hobo urine. Battery Park on the south side has crazy old bag ladies that call 12-year-old tourists “assholes”. #TrueStory #MySon The story of Manhattan is, in a way, the story of the US- rip off the locals, make money on the backs of immigrants, and persevering at all costs.

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Rangers Lead The Way


If you’ve seen the movie Blackhawk Down, you are undoubtedly familiar with the 75th Ranger Regiment. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t bother, read the book, then watch the movie. You’ll probably understand why everyone who read the book was ticked off at the movie. #LookingAtYouRidleyScott The Rangers have been involved in a number of high profile engagements, such as Somalia, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. They can trace their lineage back to before the Revolutionary War, to a provincial company of infantry in New Hampshire that so impressed the British that they were adopted in almost immediately and quickly become the scouts for the British Army in the Seven Years War. #French&IndianWarToYouHeathens

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The Black Samurai


When you hear the word “samurai,” many people have a stereotype that the envision: knights with weird, Asiatic armor and a strict warrior code called bushido. Some think of seppuku, the ritualistic suicide that samurai would commit in under to regain their families honor. #SoEmo #OriginalCutters #TooDeep The common thread when they stereotype a samurai is always that of an Asian, and no one envisions an African. #CallTheEqualOpportunityRep

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April Fool’s Day


Commonly celebrated on the first day of April, it is a day where you can’t trust anyone. People will lie, cheat and deceive each other for a cheap laugh, so basically it’s like every other day only with an excuse. The origins of the day as “April Fool’s Day” is, like most things in history, highly disputed. #MyDoctorateIsBiggerThanYours

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Istanbul: Used and abused


The area where Istanbul sits has been continuously settled for around three millennia, starting with the Thracians. The Thracians only did three things of note: 1) They built a town on the Bosporus Straits that would be influential on the western world throughout recorded history 2) They were mentioned in the Iliad as allies of Troy #BadMovieBrad and 3) They taught people the power of mounting your enemies head on a stick. #OnASteeck

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