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536Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters. Second, the regional character of colonial Mexico was reinforced by the wars, which created local caudillos and set the stage for the divisive federalism that quickly replaced Iturbide's empire. Third, Henderson argues that Iturbide, while not perfect, has been unjusdy maligned bodi in his time (he was executed in Tamaulipas after returning to Mexico from exile) and subsequendy by historians and nationalists who raised the failed leaders of the early conflicts to the status of heroes. Ultimately, the creation of heroworship , the protection of the privileged position of the Catholic Church, or the replacement of monarchy with a federal republic could not overcome the inherent divisions in Mexican society. None of die arguments above is new. The substantial literature on the early national period that has arisen in recent times is fully cited in the extensive "suggestions for further reading." What is refreshing is the mention in a brief survey such as this of die Texas connection to the Mexican independence movement. Both of the major revolutionary episodes, the 1811 brief overthrow of the royalist governor and the bloodier and more destructive 1812-13 Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition , are covered. Also, Texas is discussed as the staging ground for Francisco Xavier Mina's 1817 failed invasion of Mexico. Unfortunately, the insurgency in the rest of the northern provinces is given short shrift, which makes an understanding of context of the revolt one of the book's weaknesses. The Mexican Wars ofIndependence provides a solid ifsomewhat uneven treatment ofa very complicated process, the repercussions ofwhich survived the Revolution of 1910 and, some would argue, continue to this day. Scholars will want to take advantage of the extensive suggestions for further reading, but students and the general public will understand this period in Texas history a lot better as a result of reading Henderson's work. Texas State University—San MarcosJesús F. de la Teja The Seventh Star ofthe Confederacy: Texas during the Civil War. Edited by Kenneth W. Howell. (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2009. Pp. 362. Illustrations, notes, index. ISBN 9781574412598, $34.95 cloth.) The Seventh Star ofthe Confederacy is a collection of essays that examine the military , social, economic, and political conditions in Texas in the years leading up to and during the American Civil War. Edited by historian Kenneth W. Howell, this work covers broadly the years 1850 through the end of the war in 1865 and sheds new light on the myriad ways Texans "experienced" the Civil War, both on the batdefield and at home. Number Ten in the War and the Southwest Series, The Seventh Star includes seventeen essays written by well-known Texas historians Alwyn Barr, James Smallwood, Charles Spurlin, and Bruce Glasrud, among many others. Organized topically, the anthology is divided into four parts: "A Historical Overview ofTexas and the Civil War," "The Time for Compromise Has Passed," "In Sight of My Enemy," and "Political, Social, and Cultural Life during die War." Texas historians will no doubt be familiar with many of the topics covered, including the Batde of the Nueces (chapter six), die Union occupation of Galves- 2Oio Book Reviews537 ton (chapter seven), and die role of the Texas Cavalry in the Red River Campaign (chapter eleven) . The essays covering military topics are particularly strong. But even those familiar with the material are sure to find something new in each of the essays in the collection. For example, in "The Knights of the Golden Circle in Texas" (chapter four), Linda S. Hudson introduces readers to the "Military Degree Knights" and the important role these low-ranking men played in bringing about secession and ensuring the surrender of Federal forces in the state before the outbreak of the war. Previously thought to be a secretive, shadowy organization , die Knights that emerge from Hudson's detailed research are anything but. On the contrary, Hudson demonstrates the relative openness of the organization and its influence on all facets ofTexas politics. In "A Sacred Charge upon Our Hands" (chapter fourteen), Vicky Betts analyzes the many ways the government and citizenry ofTexas attempted to ease the extreme difficulties faced by families of Confederate soldiers. The...


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