Spanish America Essay, Research Paper
THE CONQUEST AND COLONIZATION OF THE SOUTHWEST
1 Legacy of hate: The conquest of Mexico’s northwest
A. The invasion of Texas-Not all the Anglo-Americans favored the conflict. Eugene C. Barker states that the immediate cause of the war was “ the overthrow of the nominal republic by Santa Anna and the substitution of centralized oligarchy” which allegedly would have centralized Mexican control. Texas history is a mixture of selected fact and generalized myth. Historians admit that smugglers were upset with Mexico’s enforcement of her import laws.
B. The invasion of Mexico- In the mid-1840s, Mexico was again the target. The expansion and capitalist development moved together. The two Mexican wars gave U.S. commerce, industry, mining, agriculture, and stockraising. The truth is that the Pacific Coast belonged to the commercial empire that the United States was already building in that ocean.
C. The rationale for conquest- the Polk-Stockton Intrigue, Americans have found it rather more difficult than other peoples to deal rationally with their wars. Many Anglo-Americans historians have attempted to dismiss it simply as a “bad war”, Which took place during the era of Manifest Destiny.
D. The myth of a nonviolent nation- most studies on the Mexican –American war dwell on the causes and results of the war, and dealing with war strategy. Mexicans attitude toward Anglo-Americans has been influenced by the war and vice-versa.
E. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo- By late 1847 the war was almost at an end. Scott’s defeat of Santa Anna in a hard fought battle at Churubusco put Anglo –Americans at the gates of Mexico City. Although Mexicans fought valiantly, the battle left 4,000 dead, with another 3,00 prisoners. February 2, 1848 the Mexicans ratified the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo, with Mexico accepting the Rio Grande as the Texas border and ceding the Southwest.
2 Remember the Alamo: The colonization of Texas
A. The creation of a Dominant Class- Before 1848, the valley of the Rio Grande supported many thousands of cattle. Commerce between the people on both sides of the river bound them together. As technological changes took place in the regions economy, class divisions became more marked within the Mexican community; the upper class more often aligned themselves with the new elite. In many cases the rich Mexicans became brokers for the ruling elite and helped control the Mexican masses.
B. Politics of Gender- Social relations between Mexicans and the dominant society became more rigid with the passage of time. Intermarriage between the native aristocracy and the white ruling elite was not uncommon; both because of lack of white woman and for control of the native population.
C. Controlling Mexicans- the railroad played a key role in the economic development of San Antonio after the Civil War. The railroad encouraged the development of cattle trade and brought tourist to the city. Newspaper accounts inflamed residents, spreading rumors that Mexicans had armed themselves.
D. Divide and Conquer- In August 1894, Blacks attacked Mexicans at Beeville, Texas. Mexicans were brought there to drive down wages of blacks and to create a labor surplus. The federal government encouraged this antagonism by stationing black soldiers in Mexican areas.
E. The Historian as an Agent of Social Control- Texas had a history of violence. This brought terror toward the Mexicans since they didn’t have the same protection under the law. In South Texas, Mexicans outnumbered the North American, latter controlled politics and the land.
F. The Revolt of “Cheno” Cortina- Mexicans did not accept North American rule and they hardly felt like liberated people. They called them greasers and denied them the opportunity to acquire property, to excerise political control over their own lives, and to maintain their rights within the society. But many took to the road.
G. The People’s Revolt- The El Paso Salt War of 1877 is an example of the people’s revolt. Mexicans in the country banded together along lines of race and class taking direct action in the response to the political chicanery of foreigners. It was a class struggle against the rich, powerful gringo establishment.
3 Freedom in a Cage: The colonization of New Mexico
A. The Distortion of History- We are white too! Many New Mexicans have historically found security in believing that they assimilated into Anglo-American culture and that they effectively participate in the democratic process. In order to survive economically, many descendants of the original New Mexican settlers found it easy to separate themselves from Mexicans who arrived at the turn of the 20th century. And they called themselves Hispanos.
B. The Myth of the Bloodless Conquest- Another myth is that Mew Mexicans peacefully joined the Anglo nation an “became a willing enclave of the United States.” By this sleight of hand New Mexicans are not seen as victims and, consequently, the enemies of the Anglo-Americans, but rather their willing friends. No one liked the thought of the U.S. invading his or her land.
C. The Land Grab- Land, New Mexico’s basic resource, was at heart of the Pueblo Indians grievances against the Spaniards. The Santa Fe Ring’s power rested in its control of the territorial bureaucracy.
D. The Santa Fe Ring- The ring controlled the governor and the most of the officeholders in the territory and was supported by Max Frost, editor of the Mew Mexican. An influx of newcomers and capital formalized and extended the range of the North American elite and the ricos, with the creation of a network of speculators.
E. The Lincoln County War- The causes of the Lincoln County War were similar to those in the Colfax County. This controversy indirectly involved the Santa Fe Ring, centering on one of its smaller satellites and its challengers. The power roles were led by the Anglo-Americans one Republican and other Democrate. It has often been portrayed as a personal feud or as a cattle or range war.
F. The Americanization of the Catholic Church- The Roman Catholic Church, the most important institution to New Mexicans directly touched their lives from cradle to grave. Soon after the church limited its functions to strictly spiritual matters. Antonio Jose Martinez was a strong leader in the church.
G. The Resistance- The 1880s saw increased opposition to land encrachments. Mexicans suffered from the impact of the railroad, private contractors stripped the timber from the land. So by the middle of the decade, Mexicans organized the association of the Brotherhood for the Protection of the rights and Privileges of the People of New Mexico, whose stated purpose was to free New Mexico from corrupt politicians and monopolies.
H. The End of the Frontier- The Santa Fe Ring’s heyday lasted from 1865 to 1885. Government corruption, warfare, and political favoritism all marred these years. Drew national attention to the lawlessness in New Mexico forced changes.
4 Sonora Invaded: The Occupation of Arizona
A. Building a Myth- The major portion of the Mesilla Valley was in northern Sonora, aka Arizona. The United States did not want it solely for the purpose of a southern railway route. The main attraction was the Mesilla’s mineral wealth.
B. Euroamerican Colonialism- Until 1863, Arizona was a frontier of New Mexico isolated from Santa Fe by hundreds of miles of deserts, mountains, and apache land. Arizona’s geographical isolation presented a barrier to its economic development. Capitalists needed cheap labor and inexpensive transportation.
C. The Polarization of Society- Relations between the Apache and North Americans gradually deteriorated. Self-government did not reach Arizona. From the beginning, Anglo-Americans in Arizona formed a privileged class. Mining was big and required large capital investments.
D. Ending the Frontier- After the Civil War, machine politics became popular in Arizona. The Federal Ring, centered in Tucson. The ring brought limited prosperity, and by the 1870s, Tucson as well as the rest of Arizona culturally became Anglo.
E. The Industrializing of Arizona- With the arrival of the railroad, opportunity for upward mobility became more restricted, and as Arizona became more industrialized, many small Mexican businesses could not compete. Racism toward Mexicans increased with the end of the Apache threat. Mexicans more frequently became scapegoats for societal problems.
F. Nativism and La Liga Protectora Latina- At the state constitutional convention in Phoenix on October 10,1910, Labor organizers demanded the limitation of aliens because, according to them, alien labor offered unfavorable competition, drove wages down, and stiffed union organization. At the convention labor leaders introduced resolution to exclude non-English speaking persons from mine working jobs forcing mines to employ 80% U.S. citizens.
5 California Lost: America for Anglo-Americans
A. The Conquest- In 1821 California became part of the Mexican republic. Mexico trades and immigration polices, and thereafter the number of foreigners entering the province increased. During the first years the mission principally benefited from the new trade. Rancho system was contributed to the growth
B. The Occupation- The occupation relied almost on the marketplace and the transaction of capital. Before the conquest the California economy had just begun to enter the international marketplace.
C. The Changing of Elites- Capitulation at Monterey exposed Mexican workers to higher levels of Exploitation. The lower class mestizes and mulattoes joined the Indians in this labor pool. In the northern part of the state, the gold rush made them instant minorities. While in the southern part they remained the majority for the next 20 years. The gold rush established a pattern of North American- Mexican relations.
D. The Legitimation of Violence- Vigilante mobs set the tone for a kaleidoscopic series of violent experiences for Mexicans and Latin Americans. The most flagrant act of vigilantism happened at downieville in 1851, when after a kangaroo trail, a mob lynched a Mexican woman they called Juanita. She was the first woman hanged in California.
E. Currents of Resistance- From 1855 through 1859 El Clamor Publico was published in Los Angles by Ramirez. 1859 the paper went out of business.
F. The Underclass- The railroad Substantially changed social relations in California. Mexicans were affected in obvious ways. Over the next three decades Mexicans played the role of a small and politically insignificant minority. Mexican labor made a transition from pastoral occupations to menial wage work.
THE CEMENTING OF AN UNDERCLASS: THE MEXICAN IN THE UNITED STATES
6 The Building of the Southwest: Mexican Labor, 1900-1930
A. Background to the Migration North from Mexico, to 1910-The first U.S. industrial revolution spread to agriculture in the Southwest by the 1859’s with McCormick’s machine reaping grain in fields that had once belonged to the Mexicans. Mining bonanzas attracted may Anglos. Railroad interest laid track linking west and west, greatly increasing, the development of interests of the Southwest. The Southwest supplied raw materials for the East.
B. Nativist Reactions to the Mexican Migration, 1910-1920-By 1920 the population of Mexico reached 15.16 million. In that year, at least 382,002 persons of Mexican extraction lived in the US. In 1913 primarily due to an economic depression, the commissioner sounded the alarm, indicating that Mexicans might become a public charge. The Mexican Revolution intensified discrimination against immigrants. From the beginning of the conflict, in 1910 U.S. corporations and persons doing business in Mexican called for military intervention.
C. Mexican Workers, 1910-1920 – Production in the Southwest conditioned the work experience and settlement patterns of Mexican workers. Because the region was underdeveloped, it needed large armies of migrants or casual workers – for instance, for ranching, agriculture, railroad work, irrigation construction, and other pick and shovel labor. When they moved to the Southeast they did not have the advantage of the labor organization. The labor was also affected the many who went to the United States.
D. Mexicans Move to the City: the 1920s – Dramatic changes occurred during this time that affected all labor. North American quickly shifted to the cities as the immigration from Europe slowed. During the 20’s nearly 20 million North American left the farm for the city. Mechanization all contributed to the large harvest, which increased demand for temporary labor. The new immigration policy kept unskilled workers out of the country, encouraging the immigration of skilled workers. Mexicans also became very urbanized during this time. San Antonio and Los Angeles were favorite destinations. Religious refugees also joined the exile community. These refugees were mostly middle and upper class in contract to the majority of those who worked as laborers.
E. Mexican labor in the 1920s – In 1921 California producers formed the Valley Fruit Growers of San Joaquin County as well as a labor bureau in Arizona, the Arizona Cotton Growers Assn, just to name a few. Railroads paid Mexicans the lowest industrial salaries ranging from 35cents to 39 cents an hour. Packing houses were higher at 45 to 47 cents, while in steel they earned 45 t0 50 cents. In the plants management Blacks and Mexicans were played against each other. In agricultural areas the White planted, irrigated, and cultivated, while Mexicans did heavier work of weeding, hoeing, thinning, and topping. The labor struggles of the 1920’s proved that Mexicans were neither tractable nor docile. A marked rise in the consciousness of Mexican workers took place.
F. Greasers Go Home: Mexican Immigration, the 1920s – Opposition to Mexican immigration came to a head in the 1920s. Reaction toward Mexicans intensified, as their numbers became larger. Industrialist imported Mexicans to work in the mills of Chicago – first as an army of reserve labor and then as strikebreakers. In 1921 when the Depression came the bottom fell out of the economy their was heavy unemployment. During the times of prosperity the Mexicans created hostility but in a time of crises the Mexicans became the scapegoats for the failure of the U.S. economy. Nativist efforts to restrict the entry of southern and eastern Europeans bore fruit with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1921. Many wanted to include Mexicans in the provisions of the act. Things had changed by 1929 and the migration of Mexicans to the United States had considerably slowed down due to the fact that growers and other industrialists joined forces with the department of Sate, Agriculture and Interior and formed a solid front to overwhelm restriction heading off the passage to a bill placing Mexicans on a quota.
7 Mexican American Communities in the Making: The Depression Years
A. The Nativist Deportations of the 1930s – After the stock market crash job opportunities dried up and nativism resurfaced with renewed vigor. Even though legal migration slowed down to a minimum during the Great Depression, undocumented Mexicans continue to arrive continuously. Mexicans were unwanted and Euroamentican authorities shipped over 500,000 back to Mexico. A hysterical public treated even Mexican Americans, who were citizens as aliens. At the start of the 1930’s just fewer than 55 % lived in urban centers. Migration to the cities quickened during the next 10 years, as opportunities in agriculture dried up, with farmers hiring white over the Mexicans in California. In Texas the farmer relied heavily on the Mexicans to depress wages even furthers.
B. Mexican American Rural Labor – New Deal programs in the 1930’s, which were to help agriculture, had a negative impact on Mexican workers. The displacement of owners and sharecroppers contributed to the swelling of the ranks of rural labor. A series of strikes of unprecedented scope and intensity throughout the country caused the Mexican workers to suffer greatly from the restructuring which took place in the southwest in which production became concentrated in the hands of a few.
C. Mexican American Farm Workers’ Revolt – Given the industrialization of agriculture, the exploitation of Mexican labor, and the abuses of the contract labor system, conflict would have occurred without the depression; the events of 1929 merely intensified the struggle. Farm industrialists determined to make up their losses. They fixed wages as low as possible. In California, wages went from 35 – 50 cents an hour in 1931 to 15 to 16 cents an hours by mid-1933. Once again, Mexicans became angry strikers. There were several strikes so violent it led to killing. After the strike was settled, with the states intervention, it was decided to raise the rate of the workers to 80 cent per hour.
D. Mexican American Urban Labor – Los Angeles’s mixed farm and industrial economy encouraged the movement of workers to the city. In the mid-1930’s, 13,549 farms operated in the county, with hundreds of thousands acres devoted to agriculture. Competition between the AFL and CIP helped in the unionization of Chicanos in other cities and regions. Prior to 1937, the AFL cared little for unskilled minorities or women workers. It became less discriminative; however, given the successes of the CIP, whose industrial unionism was more attractive to Chinanos then the AFL’s craft orientation.
E. The Mexican American Miners’ Revolt – Gallup, New Mexico, was one of the first mining districts of predominately Mexican workers to rebel. The depression had hit the area severely, and, by August 1933, 2,000 minters were reduced to a two to three day workweek. Unions that promoted policies of ethnic and racial equality attracted Mexicans. The Mexicans concentrated themselves in limited industries. The CIP was essential in the building a strong Mexican American labor movement. Independent unions simply did not have sufficient muscle against the giant corporations.
F. Survival in a Failed Utopia: Chicanos in the City – The Mexicans’ struggle for survival was not limited to immigration and/or labor. The 1930’s saw increased urbanization among Mexicans in the U.S. Many new cities comers shifted from the rural Southwest to places like San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Chicago where they formed barrios that reflected the personalities of those cities. Adjustments to the new environment were difficult and increased numbers generated tensions as new and old competed for space.
8 World War 11 and the “Happy Days”: Chicano Communities under Siege
A. World War 11 and the Chicano – Many Chicano soldiers felt they experienced betrayal because of the racism at home. They were treated as second class citizens. Mexicans earned more medals of honor than any other ethnic or racial group in WWII.
B. The Spy Game – During WWII, police authorities sought to strengthen social control of the barrios and spied extensively on the Mexican community. Despite its thoroughgoing scrutiny of the Chicano activities FBI reports did not uncover any evidence of Mexican American disloyalty. Basically it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
C. Mexican American Workers: The War Years – WWII did not end job discrimination and few Mexicans were employed even in defense industries. Fewer were in supervisory positions.
D. Managing the Flow of Labor
E. Keeping America Pure – Historically, Congress has passed immigration laws to control ideas and to protect the hegemony of the white race. The McCarran-Walter Act, which reflected this ideology, provided the mechanism for political control of naturalized citizens and laid the foundation for a police state. It was passed in 1952 over President Truman’s veto. He protested that it created a group of second-class citizens by distinguishing between native and naturalized citizens. This act also intimidated Mexican trade unionists.
F. Against All Odds: Continued Labor Struggles
G. Politics of the G.I. Generation – The GI bill encouraged the suburbanization of the Chicano middle class. However there was much racism and indifference. Veterans often became frustrated by the Veterans Administration because they did not receive their benefits on time.
H. Post-World War 11 Human Rights Struggles – The struggle for civil and human rights was intense during this period. The defacto exclusion of Mexicans from public facilities, schools, trade unions, juries, and voting as common in many section of the country. The Mendez v. Westminster School District declared the segregation of Mexican children unconstitutional.
I. Bulldozers in the Barrios – During the 1950’s urban removal menaced Mexicanos. By 1963, 609,000 people nationally had been uprooted as a consequence of urban renewal, two-thirds of who were minority group members. For Chicanos, Los Angeles was the proto-type, but other cities mirrored its experiences.
9 Goodbye America: The Chicano in the 1960s
A. A Profile: San Antonio Chicanos, 1960-1965 – During the first half of the 1950’s, a decade of rapid change, the struggle for civil rights led to public recognition of poverty and forced the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to sponsor programs intended to mollify the Black masses. The Black-white confrontation produced a whirlwind of events that caused Mexican American and other minorities to escalate demands for similar human rights and political gains.
B. North from Texas – The migration of Chicanos to the Midwest continued in the 1960s where farm production was undergoing a transformation. In the 1960s the cost of automation decreased. Government research grants cut the cost of the machinery, and the cost of food production decreased while profits increased.
C. The Mexican Connection: Un Pueblo, Una Lucha – The migration itself had multiple effects on the Chicano. First, after WWII a marked trend toward assimilation had occurred and many Mexican American parents refused to teach their children Spanish. Rather than a rejection of Mexican heritage, cultural nationalism created a renaissance in Mexican consciousness.
D. The Road to Delano: Creating a Movement- Many Chicano have incorrectly labeled the second half of the 1960s as the birth of the Chicano movement. By the mid-1960s traditional groups such as LULAC and the G.I. Forum along with recently formed political groups such as MAPA and PASSO, were challenged. Cesar Chavez gave the Chicano movement a national leader. He was the only Mexican American to be recognized by the mainstream civil rights and antiwar movements.
E. Echoes of Delano – Texas remained a union organizer’s nightmare. Its long border ensured growers access to a constant and abundant supply of cheap labor. Efforts to unionize farm workers had been literally stomped to death by the overt misuse of the Texan Rangers, the local courts, and the right-to-work laws.
F. The Legitimation of Protest – The civil rights movement and the ghetto revolts of the mid- 1960s greatly affected the direction of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the subsequent war on poverty. The act emphasized education and training jobs: Job corps, Neighborhood Youth Corps, work-study and community action programs.
G. The Day of the Heros – The 1960s produced heroes at every level of protest, from Joan Baez, to Che Cuevara, to Stokeley Carmichael, to Herbert Marcuse. With the growth of nationalism, it was natural for Mexican Americans to identify leaders who best expressed their frustrations. During the late 60s Chicanos for a brief time had heroes that were legitimated by them and not the state.
H. On the Eve of the Storm – In the second half of the 60s authorities at all levels of government tightened up on dissidents. They moved to control so-called “revolutionaries.” As a consequence, everyone of color became suspect.
I. Chicanos Under Siege-The war in Southeast Asia propelled militancy in the Chicano barrios. The Vietnam War united Mexicans and moved even the middle class and flag-waving groups like the Forum to the left. In Los Angeles, community-police relations polarized even before the moratorium on August 29, 1970, a major anti-Vietnam demonstration. A casualty was news reporter Ruben Salazar.6
J. The Provocateurs
K. After the Smoke Cleared- In spite of real change for most North Americans, Chicanos had made very little progress. The importance of activist, youth, and grass-roots organizations declined after this point. The 1970s restored to the middle class its hegemony over the movement. The 1970s would witness the emergence of the business and professional classes in the Mexican American community and the return of the brokers.
10 The Age of the Brokers: The New Hispanics
A. In Search of Aztlan –
B. Sin Fronteras(Without Borders)
C. The Celebration of Success: The Legitimation of a Broker Class- Organizational and leadership changes occurred in the Chicano community by the mid-70s. Brokers as such are not new. Clearly LULAC and the American G.I. Forum had received heavy government funding since the 1960s. In 1964, LULAC and the Forum began administering the Service, Employment, and Redevelopment Agency (SER). LULAC and the Forum obtained these grants because of their Washington connections.
D. Education: Inventing an American Tradition- U.S. education’s began with the invention of the myth that it is equally open to all North Americans, a myth that is rooted in the Euroamerican belief that North America is the land of opportunity and that if someone fails to make it, the fault is his or her own. Within the Euroamerican schools, class struggle is regulated; society is neatly stratified. By the end of the decade, an all out war had been declared against bilingual education and educational quality.
E. A Challenge to Male Domination – Chicano awareness of the oppressive effects of sexism increased. Mexican women took leadership roles in most groups.
F. The Dialectics of Space: Communities Under Siege
G. Justice USA
11 The Age of the Brokers: The Rambo Years
A. The Celebration of Success, Hispanic Style
B. Sal Si Puedes(“Get Out If You Can”)
C. The Urban Nightmare
D. The Catholic Church: A Counterhegemonic Force?
E. Final Portrait: the Rambo Years
F. Defending the American Way
G. Central America: Another Vientam
H. The Decline of the Blue-Collar Sector and its Impact on Chicanos