PolTexCW at PolTexCW at
Thu Apr 5 04:32:20 UTC 2001

In a message dated 4/4/1 9:05:26 PM, dlwhite at writes:

<<  I think it was more than that.  But be that as it may, there could
have been what I call a "rolling assimilation", whereby the earlier
assmilees aid in assimilating the later assimilees.  For example, in America
a great many Germans have wound up "Anglicizing" (or Americanizing) more
recent immigrants.  (This is especially true in parts of Texas, where once
upon a time the predominant white population was German.  It used to be
assumed in San Antonio that anyone who was not a Mexican was a German.  Yes,
to some extent the Mexican were there first, but their assimilation, which
is what is relevant, was often later.  But I digress.) >>

This is raises an interesting point, albeit inadvertently, which is, I
believe,  quite relevant to any discussion of population movements in
antiquity.  That is, before the Mexican government solicited German and
American colonization in Texas there were few Mexicans in Texas outside of
San Antonio and a few other outposts. These colonies were encouraged because
while the Mexican government was nominally in control of the territory it was
in fact controlled - and populated  -  by the Comanche, Apache, Tonkawa and
other tribes, who - especially the Comanche - raided as far south as
Guatamala.  The colonies were desired as a buffer against these raids in the
hopes that they would allow the peaceful development of northern Mexico.  The
many toponyms in Texas of Spanish origin reflect not a widespread Mexican
population of the area but rather the works of the most punctilious Spanish
bureaucracy which the Mexican government inherited and which were handed down
to the government of Texas and later the United States in the form of maps,
land grants and other writings. There are relatively few toponyms of Indian
origin because the Comanche did not have a Department of Geographic Survey.
That is, the toponyms do not reflect either ethnographic or linguistic
dominance but rather bureaucratic efficiency.

Although this all occurred within the last two centuries and a plethora of
primary and secondary sources is readily available to substantiate these
matters, it is widely  assumed, even among historians who should know better,
that  Texas was "Mexican" - before the "Anglo" "Conquest", in the sense that
it was widely populated by bearers of "Mexican" culture and language. The
introduction of the significant component of the population of Texas of
Mexican origin was only made possible by the American, German, Polish and
other colonists which eliminated the threat of Indian depredations.

This should, perhaps, suggest a caveat when assigning ethnographic dominance
to a region, removed from us by two millennia, on the basis of received

John Biskupski

More information about the Indo-european mailing list