MEXICANOSA HISTORY OF MEXICANS IN THEUNITED STATESBY MANUEL G. GONZALES Emily Ortega Assignment 9
CHAPTER 1 PREHISTORY- 1521SPANIARDS AND NATIVE AMERICANS
BEFORE CONQUEST It is believed that Native Americans originally came from an Asian tribe that crossed over to the American continent and then traveled downward. There is much evidence to support this through artifacts, studies on blood types, and linguistic analysis It is believed that the Native Americans were more diverse in cultures that Europe. There was an estimated 6 million people throughout South Mexico alone before Columbus reached it. These people lived in a more advanced society than earlier historians gave them credit for.
THE CONQUEST Cortez arrived at the same time the Aztecs prophesied their Messiah figure would return. Suspecting them of being gods, the native let them into their village, where Cortez gained the leader’s, Moctezuma, trust and used him as a hostage to extort treasure from the natives. Moctezuma was fatally injured and the Spaniards fled in the night. The Spaniards are able to defeat the natives with help from rivals of the Aztecs, as well as their superior technology and use of the
INFLUENCES ON THE MEXICAN CULTURE Mexicans are predominately mestizos, or a product of mixed race. They are of both Native American and European decent and their culture has been influenced by both. “… the Mexicans’ entire life is steeped in Indian culture- the family, love, friendship, attitudes, toward one’s father and mother, popular legends, the form of civility and life in common, the vision of death and sex, work and festivity”- Octavio Paz The Spanish imprint on Mexican culture is not just race, but also language and Religion.
NORTHERN SETTLEMENTS Through the 16th century there were many attempts the find the legendary gold of the new world. These failed explorations laid the trails to what would become the northern colonies. New Mexico was the first area Spanish settlers (pobladores) occupied. There was a perceived threat of western expansion by the British. Texas was settled as a response the French colony of New Orleans and their pelt trade. California was explored for it’s coastal ports and potential trade with China. Many Catholic missions were also established to minister to
LIFE ON THE FRONTIER The family, always A democratic ideal was near the core of developed on the frontier Spanish life, became as a result of the even more important in common, rough the hostile, isolated existence. There wasn’t north. much difference between Women played an the rich and poor. important role on the frontier because the Aggressive Indians also necessity or their labor many the cooperation of as well as their normal the family and community domestic duties. units absolutely necessary.
THE NATIVES The first category of natives were the Pueblos, who were more peaceful, allowing trade, conversion and intermarriage possible. The second group were indios barbaros consisting of nomadic, pillaging tribes who were often
1821-1848 Chapter 3 THE MEXICAN FAR NORTH Mexican Independanceto The Mexican War
MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE Independence was gained in 1821 by conservatives in Mexico who feared being under a new “atheist” regime in New Spain. It came after more than 10 years of political turmoil, and decades of discontent based on social inequities.
NORTHERN MEXICO The period before and after Independence was politically confusing for the whole nation, but there was not much violence in the northern areas. California and Texas were areas Anglos emigrated to, mostly for economic reasons like ranching and gold mining. The racism shown toward Mexicans by Anglos would echo their relationship for years.
THE WAR OF 1847 Racism and Manifest The war lasted from May Destiny, the idea that to November but there America was fated to be were some tough battles a continental in the northern cities nation, were main Monterrey and Buena reasons the U.S. stated Vista. the war. President Polk wanted The final battle was led California and Texas so by General Scott who he inaccurately said arrived by sea and Mexican troops had fired followed the same path on American troops in as Cortez himself Texas.
MISTREATMENT OF NEW CITIZENS Mexicans in the areas won by American in the war were discriminated against, exploited, and had their rights denied, which was in violation of the Treaty of Hidalgo. Land ownership was the worst abuse. The Land Act of 1851 required Spanish and Mexican land grantees to provide a deed with almost perfect boundaries. The fact that most couldn’t speak English and were poor, except for their land, didn’t help out their situation at all.
ANGLO-MEXICAN RELATIONS Racial Tensions were high in California and Texas, where most of the Anglos has moved from the east. Initial Mexican fortune in the gold mines accounts for Anglos’ racism and exclusion New Mexico didn’t see much Anglo immigration, so the social order and cultural ties to the Old Country remained the same. Arizona saw the best Mexican-Anglo relations. They lived peacefully, with business cooperation and intermarriage being more common.
MEXICAN REACTIONS Bandits, the first and Mutualistas (mutual-aid most popular being societies) gave general Joaquin Marietta, were social services to, and inspiring figures in protected the rights Mexican-American of, Mexicans living in the southwest. Culture.
REASONS FOR MIGRATION There were many reasons why Mexicans started and continued to emigrate. Financial motives tend to be the most pervasive over time. The southwest had many opportunities for immigrants, especially in the mining, railroad maintenance and agriculture businesses. The Revolution of 1910 is a major reason for Mexican immigration during this period.
THE REVOLUTION OF 1910 Began as a political Many people left to revolt, but soon escape the rising turned into a full violence and political social turmoil in revolt, affecting Mexico, most were politics, economics, liberals. and culture.
THE IMMIGRANT They came because even though there would be discrimination, they wouldn’t be as oppressed. They got in by hiring guides, coyotes, and then got jobs through contratistas, intermediaries for the Mexican laborers and their employers. The urban Mexican had more contact with whites and therefore more discrimination. Rural Mexicans tended to live together in small communities, so they were safer from outside factors.
BARRIOS Mexicans entering the cities usually moved to neighborhoods with a Mexican culture and other Mexicans. Chain migration is when a person first immigrates to an area to secure a job and home, then another person from their family comes, then another and so on. The existence of minority communities allowed people to make the journey with more ease.
THE ECONOMY Many poor immigrants who were barely getting by before the economic crash were forced to repatriate back to Mexico. Anglos were now competing with Mexicans for low-paying jobs, driving their pay down farther. Both mining and railroads, Mexicans’ second and third most important industries were forced to make major cut backs.
AGITATION Agriculture was hit by the depression as well. Labor strikes were used in the decades preceding the depression but during this era is when union striking became common. In 1933, 37 strikes involving 45,000 people occurred in California.
1940-1965 Chapter 7THE SECOND WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH
MAINSTREAM AMERICANOS Mexicans were quick to volunteer for World War II. In the military, Latinos were simply counted as whites, which seems like a good thing, yet doesn’t allow for accurate numbers. It was seen as one of their only opportunities to climb the socioeconomic ladder. Mexicans were also overrepresented during the war because of their innate cultural machoism. War was seen as a great way for a man to
PROBLEMS AT HOME Working mothers were not uncommon among immigrants. During the war years many women also got jobs because the men were overseas. This trend, urbanization and gangs broke down the idealized social unit of the Mexican family. Zoot Suiters, or pachucos, were young men in gangs, alienated in and out of
THE WORKERS The Bracero Program brought Mexicans into the United States to do work, while most men were fighting overseas. It ran from 1942 to 1964. Undocumented workers also came to the U.S. in huge numbers as the economy picked up. Both groups of workers were treated and paid poorly, but as it was still an improvement on their usual conditions and wages they kept competing.
CHICANOISM The Chicano movement prided themselves on their ethnic roots and deemphasized assimilation. Indigenismo was the glorification of the motherland and their Indian heritage, a trend more popular among students. Some activists went as far as to call for separation of the Chicanos and the creation for their own homeland here in the Southwest.
TRIPLE MINORITIES Woman in the Chicano movement were commonly disregarded, like in other civil rights movements. They formed their own groups which dealt with Chicano issues as well as their unique issues as women. Because they were women, usually poor and Mexican they experienced discrimination on three different fronts.
WORKER AND STUDENT MOVEMENTS Cesar Chavez became the most famous Chicano activist after leading effective strikes and boycotts in California for field workers. Students in California achieved bi-lingual education as well as Chicano studies departments and making the nation more aware of their plight.
NAFTA The North American Free Trade Agreement was suppose to bolster up the Mexican economy by providing jobs manufacturing for Americans. It was suppose to give alleviate immigration, which had been increasing dramatically, by giving Mexicans jobs and reasons to stay in their own homeland. It did the opposite, making the poor poorer and the rich richer. This causes much more social strife and encourages more immigration.
UNFULFILLED PROMISE The Chicano movement made them think their political power would continue to grow. However, the enthusiasm of the movement burned out, leaving minimal gains in politics and society. Economically, a small middle-class began to emerge and families began to move to the suburbs. The resistance to change had been to great and the movement why have overestimated its ability.
THE CHICANO RENAISSANCE This period of negligible socioeconomic changes do stand out as a period of great cultural and artistic achievement. Literature is the most important of these advances, a popular poem being I am Joaquin/Yo soy Joaquin, by Corky Gonzalez.
NEW IMMIGRANTS Like older immigrants they come to escape violence in Mexico, recently from drug cartels. There are about 12 million Mexican immigrants in the country and another 12 million Mexicans counted as undocumented immigrants.
AMERICAN RESPONSE Americans, especially since 9/11 have responded to the huge influx of immigrants with racism and scapegoating. Republicans have passed laws at both the state and federal levels which make it hard to exist. Both parties say they want to reform immigration policy but neither want to upset big business Racists groups have also cropped up, including the Minutemen and Riders USA, with
A GROWING ELECTORATE Grassroots movements have erupted do to the racist legislation dealing with immigration. Hundreds of thousands of people take to the street every May to demonstrate for immigrant rights. George Bush was able to appeal to the Latino community’s socially conservative side, helping him win in Texas and the presidency. Renewed Latino support of Democrats, including Barack Obama, show that the Latino vote is becoming ever more important