- In this guide, I will be covering the various ways to roleplay as a Texan. As with all forms of roleplay, you are always free to roleplay however you'd like. This guide will cover some of the more stereotypical side of Texans, along with the various regions within the state that has a reputation that's larger than life.
The first part of this guide will be a little history lesson, allowing you to see what drives the reputation of "loud and proud" Texans. If you aren't interested in a crash course of Texan history, feel free to skip to the second part of this guide.
The second part of this guide will cover the various types of Texan that exist, and some ways you can incorporate them into your roleplay and development!
- In the early 1500's, Spanish Conquistadors made their first landfall on the land that is now known as Texas. Within the next 300 years, Texas would find itself claimed by five different countries. Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the United States of America.
Texas quickly became a haven for Spanish Missions, focused on converting the various natives that roamed the Lone Star State. It was one of these missions that served as a launching pad for the Texas revolution, eventually leading to the independence of Texas and the formation of the Republic of Texas in 1836.
In the early to mid 1800's, thousands of American immigrants began migrating to the newly founded nation of Mexico. The newly established Mexican States began banning the immigration of Americans to Mexican Texas, as well as began enforcing laws to prohibit slavery, and tax and tariff the Americans living within the Mexican Texas borders.
The unrest this caused turned violent on October 2, 1835 at the Battle of Gonzalez. The dispute was over something that Texans to this day covet, a weapon. The Mexican army was on their way to retake a small cannon that had been seized by the Texans. The Texans adopted created and flew a flag that is still famous today, the Gonzalez flag which bares an image of a cannon with the phrase "COME AND TAKE IT".
In response to the Texas separatist movement, then El Presidente of the United Mexican States decided it was time to act. On October 27th, 1836 President Santa Anna and 6,000 Mexican troops marched towards modern day San Antonio towards what is now known as The Alamo. During this time, Generals of Mexico also marched up the coast of Texas, defeating the Texas resistance and leading to the Goliad Massacre, when over 300 prisoners of war were executed by the Mexican Army.
While the coastal Texans were being attacked, Santa Anna and his 6,000 troops successfully overran the Mexican Mission of the Alamo, overtaking 200 Texans, most famous of which is Davy Crockett. Upon overtaking the Alamo, the Mexican Army executed all prisoners that were inside. This execution sparked the battle cry that Texans to this day know well, "Remember the Alamo!"
Facing defeat and possible execution, Texans fled far East in an attempt to regather and avoid the Mexican Army onslaught. After a short time various settlers joined the Texas army, and while being led by General Sam Houston, the Texas Army took to the offensive against the Mexicans.
The Texan Army attacked Santa Anna near modern day Houston at the battle of San Jacinto, capturing Santa Anna and forcing him to sign a treaty, officially establishing the nation of the Republic of Texas.
Within the next ten years, the Republic would struggle with continued Mexican skirmishes, nasty internal politics, and would face a major financial crisis. On the 28th of February 1845, the United States Congress approved the annexation of Texas, creating the 28th state of The United States of America. This would draw the United States into a war with Mexico, eventually leading to the capture of Santa Anna, and eventually the acquisition of various states, including California.
- Within Texas resides various ethnicities and sub-cultures. Each region of Texas comes with it's own way of doing things. Instead of typing out the differences here, I'm going to show you a video that does a pretty darn good job of explaining the various regions of Texas. The video below is from the critically acclaimed movie, Bernie. (Which takes place in East Texas)
Now I'm going to break down the different parts of Texas for you!
North Texas: Commonly referred to as "The Metroplex" "DFW" or "Dallas/Fort Worth". This part of Texas has one of the largest population densities in the United States. Most people from North Texas wouldn't be considered your stereotypical "cowboy Texans", not to say that they don't exist. North Texas is largely suburban, and can be considered more affluential than the rest of Texas.
Central Texas: Central Texas is home to beautiful lakes, gorgeous landscape, and the capital of Texas, Austin. Austin is known for it's phrase "Keep Austin Weird". Austin, unlike the rest of Texas is largely liberal, and anti-consertivie. Stereotypically, Austin produces the hipsters that live in Texas. Need a good latte? Go to Austin. Want to move your new tech startup to Texas? Go to Austin.
South Texas: South Texas touches the border with Mexico and has a larger hispanic population than the rest of Texas does. South Texas starts at San Antonio and cascades down to Brownsville, Texas. As a bastion of hispanic culture and customs, South Texas is the perfect place to learn all about the definition of "Tex-Mex".
West Texas: West Texas is home to the 90 mile per hour speed limits, El Paso, and lots and lots of ranches. Folks from West Texas stereotypically have a very strong "Texas Accent" and is home to the famous dialect "New Mexican English", which is quite different than the accent you'll hear in East Texas. This is the home of the Texan Cowboy.
The Texas Panhandle: Home to places such as Amarillo, and Happy Texas. In the winter they get snow, and uh...they border New Mexico and Oklahoma?
East Texas: Home of the Honeysuckles bloomin'. When you think East Texas, think stereotypical Texas Twang, Fishin' all day, and fixin' to go to the Walmart. East Texas is home to beautiful, tall, greeneries and pine trees. East Texas has a much smaller population than it's neighbor North Texas, and is known for its hospitality and charm.
The Texas Coast: Home to places like Houston, Corpus Christi, the Padre Islands, the Texas Coast has plenty of infrastructure, oil, and diverse people from all around the world. Houston is a common destination for many refugees coming into Texas, as well as being the headquarters of NASA.
- With common phrases like "Don't mess with Texas" and "Everything is bigger in Texas", Texans can often be quite proud of their state and it's history. When roleplaying as a Texan, you have a multitude of options for your characters backstory. Are you going to be a cowboy from a ranch in South Texas? Are you a millionaire playboy from DFW? The options are limitless, but here are a few pointers from someone who has grown up a Texan for most of his life.
Texans are usually quite conservative. Not to say you must roleplay that way, but by large Texans are extremely opposed to liberal ideals such as gun control laws, mandatory education laws, abortion, and a large Federal Government. While lots of Texans love a good Barbecue and enjoy hunting, fishing, and any other outdoor activity you can think of, there are also those who don't fit the stereotypical "mold" placed upon them.
For instance, I live in Dallas. I've lived in Texas for 20 of my 22 years on this planet and if you were to meet me in the middle of the street, you'd have no clue I was from Texas! We aren't all gun slinging cowboys who are hell bent on taking down a Democrat in the White House. Texas is a very large, diverse place with people from all walks of life! But chances are, if you're determined to be a Texan IC, you are probably looking for the cowpoke kinda Texan.
When speaking with a Texas Twang, you might say shorten your words, and drop things such as the letter "G". For instance, when saying "Fixing To", a common southern phrase meaning, "about to", one might drop the "G", leaving it "Fixin' to". Got it?
Another popular Texan word is the word "Ya'll", meaning "You all". IC this could look like, "I told ya'll, I ain't fixin' to drive down to the store if they ain't got no beer!" See? It's easy, drop letters, add letters, it's all up to you! Below I've included a video of what the Texan Twang might sound like in real life.
Now we've covered the accent, the political and cultural beliefs, and now let's cover the Texan way of life! Depending on where you're from in Texas, you might follow a different way of life or culture, but one thing remains the same. Texans pride them selves on being happy go lucky, and quite friendly in general. The word "Texas" comes from a caddo word, "tejas", meaning "ally" or "friend". Friendliness is something that you'll find abundantly in Texas. From strangers giving you a smile and a nod when passing, to holding open doors for strangers as a regular expectation, Texans are quite friendly and polite people who genuinely love living out the friendly, Texan reputation.
- Whether you're interested in roleplaying a Texan, or just want to know more about the Lone Star State, I hope this small guide can be of service to you, and help your efforts towards developing a Texan IC. If you have any questions or comments about Texas, Texans, or Southern culture, please don't hesitate to message me and chat it up, I love talking about the state that I'm from! If you see something that needs to be corrected in this guide, or something you believe that should be added, send me a forum PM and I'll make sure to get to it as quick as possible. Thanks again, and ya'll take care now, ya' hear?