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NCJ Number: 66706 Find in a Library
Title: GUNPOWDER JUSTICE - A REASSESSMENT OF THE TEXAS RANGERS
Author(s): J SAMORA; J BERNAL; A PENA
Corporate Author: University of Notre Dame Press
Publicity Manager
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Sale Source: University of Notre Dame Press
Publicity Manager
P.O. Box L
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF THE CHANGING CHARACTER AND FUNCTIONS OF THE TEXAS RANGERS, THIS BOOK TRACES THE RANGERS' HISTORY FROM ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN 1823 TO THE PRESENT AND EXPOSES ITS TRADITIONAL RUTHLESSNESS.
Abstract: IN ORDER TO APPRECIATE THE SPECIAL STATUS AND FUNCTION OF THE TEXAS RANGER TODAY, THIS HISTORY POINTS OUT THE CULTURAL, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ATTITUDINAL FACTORS OF THE 19TH CENTURY THAT CREATED THE TEXAS RANGERS WERE AND THAT CONTINUE TODAY IN TEXAS SOCIETY. THE RANGERS ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED TO PROTECT THE FRONTIER FROM INDIAN AND MEXICAN RAIDERS, PROTECTING INTERESTS OF WHITE PROPERTY OWNERS AND ACTING AS A FORCE FACILITATING EXPANSION OF U.S. BORDERS. BY 1881, THEY HAD LOST THEIR RATIONALE FOR EXISTENCE. WITH THE THREAT OF INDIANS REMOVED AND THE MEXICANS SUBDUED, THE RANGERS BECAME A KIND OF STATE POLICE. HOWEVER, THEY HAD DIFFICULTY IN COOPERATING WITH OTHER STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. THEY WERE, UNLIKE THE OTHER AGENCIES, UNACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC. DURING THE U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER SKIRMISHES OF THE EARLY 1900'S AND DURING WORLD WAR II, RANGERS ACTED AS A SORT OF PARAMILITARY FORCE. THEIR RUTHLESSNESS, CORRUPTION, AND POLITICAL PATRONAGE LED TO THEIR REORGANIZATION IN 1935 UNDER THE LAW THAT CREATED THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. THIS REORGANIZATION GREATLY REDUCED THEIR POWER AND FUNCTION. SINCE THAT TIME THE RANGERS HAVE CONTINUED AS A CONSERVATIVE AND ELITE GROUP, INTERFERING WITH THE RIGHTS OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN VOTERS AND PICKETING FARM WORKERS IN THE 1960'S AND 70'S. BECAUSE OF THE RANGERS' FREQUENT VIOLATIONS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES AND BECAUSE THEIR POWERS ARE DUPLICATED BY OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE RANGERS BE ABOLISHED AS AN ANACHRONISM IN A CIVILIZED SOCIETY. A BIBLIOGRAPHY INCLUDES BOOKS, ARTICLES, GOVERNMENT REPORTS, NEWSPAPERS, INTERVIEWS, AND UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL. (MFE)
Index Term(s): State police; Texas
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66706

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