After the collapse of the Roman Empire the rise of the Spaniards were the next most influential group on history.
As the Spanish united the country and defeated the Moors (Muslims) out of Spain they embraced Catholicism and began to clear the country of Jews and Muslims.
Christopher Columbus- from Genoa came to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for funding.
The Columbus Expedition- with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria had him land somewhere in the Bahamas, effectively discovering the New World.
The First Peoples.
It is believed that they are descendants from nomads that came over a land bridge from Asia.
The first great civilizations developed n the lowlands of southern Vera Cruz and Tabasco.
All pre-Columbian people had advanced agriculture techniques and architecture that had more precision than Europe at that time.
Incas, Mayans, Aztecs were all great civilizations that grew in their prospective areas with extra ordinary accomplishments.
Upon arrival the Conquistadores saw the natives as children of god – although respected they saw them as young and ignorant and felt they had to save them with Christianity.
Soon found themselves conquered and converted by explorers like Cortez. Disease and warfare left these great civilizations weak and submissive.
Mexico began to resemble two worlds, that of the old and new and a fusion of ideas and lives began.
The Spanish Frontier
Chapter 2: 1521-1821
As the Spanish began to settle the New World they began to shape the culture by marrying the natives. Their offspring became known as Mestizas.
Spanish conquest pushed northward. Explorers and priests did the initial work.
Driven by a search for gold, silver and a passageway to the East.
They began pushing into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Alta California.
A string of settlements often near rivers or Indian Pueblos sprung up.
The missions that were set up played a smaller role in settlement, but many found the great cities we know today in California.
Often settlers found themselves battling the hostile Indians. Later they also found themselves encroached upon by other old world settlers.
The settlers found a hard life. But often old world laws carried over. Many of those favored women who could own land or a business, drink or gamble.
The imposed caste system by Spain becomes blurred, but there is a class of haves and have nots.
Spanish exploration ended around the time of settlement of Alta California as the Spanish Empire was slowly loosing it’s reign.
American Manifest Destiny began to influence and later stop settlement of the Southwest.
The Mexican Far North Chapter 3: 1821-1848
The collapse of the Spanish Empire due to it’s financial and military losses encouraged independence.
Mexico developed out of the need for protection from the hostile Indian Nations.
Rich in natural resources, it soon found itself mismanaged.
The Texas revolt in 1836, when Gen. Santa Ana and his army attacked the Alamo.
This began a string of events that led to the Anglo- Austin to come to power in Texas and hope to join the U.S.
The U.S. was in the middle of a dispute that would become the American Civil War and the entry of Texas was postponed.
Many Mexicans felt that this was an ultimate betrayal and felt it had been designed by the U.S. government.
Mexican American War
The Mexican War of 1847 –
U.S. Government actions forced Mexico to defend itself and in turn allowed the congress to declare war in defense.
The war was a manipulation that resulted in the loss and surrender of vast lands across the southwest. California, New Mexico and Texas were all lost.
This loss would demoralize the Mexican nation for years to come and damage relations with the U.S.A.
The American Southwest Chapter 4: 1848-1900
The Anglo invasion quickly out numbered the New Spanish in the area.
Ranches were for the most part reclaimed from the Mexicans due to lack of deeds or other paperwork that the government circumnavigated around.
The discovery of gold further pushed the New Spaniards down the economic ladder as racial prejudice saw them pushed out of gold strikes.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgos and the Gadsden Purchase left the Mexican settlers part of the new U.S.
The Hispanic elite’s power waned as railroads realigned fortunes and more Anglos moved in.
Overall racial agreement was present here more than other areas of integration.
The Great Migration Chapter 5: 1900-1930
The Mexican Revolution violence was spilling North and many fled to the U.S. for safety and work.
The Mexican Government made choices that benefited few and helped profits of foreign investors.
Diaz begins his rule.
In the first 3 decades of the 20 th century it is estimated that over 1 million Mexicans entered the U.S.
Many came with no intention of staying, quite different from other immigrant groups at the time.
A series of laws excluding other ethnic groups made it easier to turn a blind eye to Mexicans immigrating to fill needed labor positions.
Mexican-American War Aftermath
A growing discontent within the Mexican people
From 1821 to 1876 the Mexican presidency changed hands 75 times.
Many left for better economic fortunes.
This time period seriously repressed the Mexican people and hurt their drive and ambition.
A growing distrust of the U.S. and its laws developed.
The Depression Chapter 6: 1930 -1940
After the economic collapse of the Great Depression and later Dust Bowl migration, Mexicans were targets for Anglo Americans.
They had to fight the stereo –type of being dirty, lazy, and violent that sprung up after the Mexican American war and fanned by American media.
Repatriation to Mexico began to push out many illegal immigrants and also the ones that could not show documentation that may have been born here.
A growing self awareness began the labor movement to protect it’s citizens.
Some found allies with communist idealists since they were the only ones open to helping or accepting Mexicans into their labor movements.
The days of the silent hard worker were coming to an end.
The depression was a catalyst in the urban push, especially in the Southwest.
Mexican barrios began on the outside of major population centers – East Los Angeles for example.
The barrios provided a sense of community, but also led to inner city strife and poverty.
The Second World War and Its Aftermath Chapter 7: 1940-1965
Many Mexicans joined the armed services during WWII and Korea as a way to show pride in their new land, gain an economic advantage and show that they are macho.
Many were very valiant and some were recognized, it remained a disproportionate number that were sacrificed compared to other ethnic groups.
While U.S. GIs were off at war, workers were needed in factories, railroads, mines, and in agriculture.
U.S. began the Bracero temporary worker program, even though it was a legal program it really served big business better than the average citizen.
Illegal immigration continued.
Chicano women took a deeper role in the workforce.
Gang violence and the image of the “greaser” is beginning to take root in some communities.
Zoot Suit period with the Pachuco gang wearing baggy high-waisted pants and a feathered hat.
The first generation of American born Chicanos begins to influence cities as they begin to cement roots while holding onto culture and tradition of the old country.
The Chicano Movement Chapter 8: 1965-1975
Consisted of hundreds of organizations focusing on a variety of issues.
The key organization representing their perspective was undoubtedly the United Farm Workers (UFW) led by Cesar Chavez.
No mainstream leader developed to champion all their causes as Martin Luther King Jr. had become for Black America.
Chicano Student Movement
By 1970 the Chicano movement was increasingly dominated by young people.
Focused on the problems they experienced at these educational institutions.
Students were heavily committed to the idea of cultural regeneration- glorification of the homeland.
Students also became very focused on the growing sentiment against the Vietnam War and the large numbers of Chicanos serving with little recognition and seemingly disproportionate numbers to other groups.
The Chicana Movement
Around 1970 a new force began to surface in the community- feminism.
They found themselves often worse off than their male comrades.
The movement began to be divided into two categories – “loyalists” and “feminists.”
Welfare rights, child care, sexual discrimination in employment, abortion and birth control were all heated topics.
Goodbye to Aztlan Chapter 9: 1975-1994
Mexicanos maintained a high profile in American society after the 1970s.
Bilingualism and affirmative action.
Hispanics saw an enormous increase of 61% between 1970 and 1980. And another 53% between 1980 and 1990.
A resurgence in Mexican Immigration and the challenges it brought with it.
An increased main stream political interest develops.
Catholic Church makes a resurgence as the number of religious decline. The church becomes involved in bigger issues of Mexican interest like immigration policy.
Evangelical religions that promote a closer relationship with Jesus become more popular since they relate to Mexican cultural issues on a daily basis.
The second wave of Chicano feminists begins
The first wave was seen as too academic and had a lesbian influence/bias.
Women begin to find a voice in culture and in politics.
We see a movement away from being just Chicano to being empowered Latinas, as the culture begins to merge with other Hispanic influences.
The Hispanic Challenge Chapter 10:1994-Present
A new wave of Nativism sprung up in the mid 1990s and appears to be cyclical in turn with the strength of the economy.
The debate over illegal migration continues and no temporary worker program or amnesty for those already here illegally exists.
Discrimination is rising and most reforms are tied to security measures that have been debated since 9/11 as the war on terrorism.
Mexicans are moving to new areas previous untouched by their culture in an effort to fill more jobs.
Most legal residents still have some ties to their old country and many send back remittances.
A stronger Mexican middle class is developing. It is beginning to embrace other protestant religions and become more involved in politics.
A shift to the Republican party is beginning, since both groups share more traditional conservative values.
In the last 10 years Mexicans have made great impressions on the culture.
Mexican food and culture are prevalent throughout the United States.
Mexican stories are becoming a part of television and film and many Mexican American actors are becoming more famous.
Mexico dominates the U.S. world of boxing and has many major players in baseball and soccer.
Spanish language media – newspapers, TV, and Internet are all widely available.
Mexican music and pop stars have become part of the American culture.