The American Vision: Modern Times, California Edition

Chapter 2: Growth and Conflict

Student Web Activity

"Remember the Alamo"

During the mid-1800s, most Americans embraced the idea of Manifest Destiny. The nation set its sights on California, Oregon, and Texas in its quest to expand its boundaries to the Pacific Ocean. Many Americans emigrated to Texas, then a part of Mexico, during the 1820s. By the early 1830s, tensions between Texas settlers and the Mexican government had reached the boiling point, and Texas declared its independence. One of the most historic battles of the ensuing war began on February 23, 1835, as about 150 Texas volunteers led by William B. Travis prepared to defend a San Antonio fort-the Alamo-against Mexican General Santa Anna's vastly superior army. The events of the following 13 days would motivate Texan revolutionaries as they carried on the fight for-and ultimately won-Texas's independence. Discover the facts of the battle by visiting this exhibit from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Destination Title: The Battle of the Alamo

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Start at The Battle of the Alamo Web site.

  • Browse through the site, taking notes as you go. Make sure to read the related topics listed at the bottom of the page.

Read through the information, and then answer the following questions.

Characterize the people who defended the Alamo.
How did Texans disagree about the strategic value of the Alamo?
According to his letter, why was Travis willing to defend the fort with his life?
In Santa Anna's opinion, why did the battle turn so bloody?
Books, poetry, movies, and songs have popularized the battle of the Alamo and made American heroes of those who defended the fort. As a class discuss why the battle of the Alamo captured the imagination of the American people. Then write a summary of your class discussion.
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