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War along the Border

The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities

Edited by Arnoldo De León

Publication Year: 2011

In 1910 Francisco Madero, in exile in San Antonio, Texas, launched a revolution that changed the face of Mexico. The conflict also unleashed violence and instigated political actions that kept that nation unsettled for more than a decade. As in other major uprisings around the world, the revolution’s effects were not contained within the borders of the embattled country. Indeed, the Mexican Revolution touched communities on the Texas side of the Rio Grande from Brownsville to El Paso. Fleeing refugees swelled the populations of South Texas towns and villages and introduced nationalist activity as exiles and refugees sought to extend moral, financial, and even military aid to those they supported in Mexico. Raiders from Mexico clashed with Texas ranchers over livestock and property, and bystanders as well as partisans died in the conflict. One hundred years later, Mexico celebrated the memory of the revolution, and scholars in Mexico and the United States sought to understand the effects of the violence on their own communities. War along the Border, edited by noted Tejano scholar Arnoldo De León, is the result of an important conference hosted by the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies. Scholars contributing to this volume consider topics ranging from the effects of the Mexican Revolution on Tejano and African American communities to its impact on Texas’ economy and agriculture. Other essays consider the ways that Mexican Americans north of the border affected the course of the revolution itself. The work collected in this important book not only recaps the scholarship done to date but also suggests fruitful lines for future inquiry. War along the Border suggests new ways of looking at a watershed moment in Mexican American history and reaffirms the trans-national scope of Texas history.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: University of Houston Series in Mexican American Studies, Sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies

Title Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Mexican American communities in the United States owe much to la frontera. The Texas– Mexico border has given people on both its sides the distinctive style of music known as conjunto, led to the making of delectable Tex- Mex dishes, kept popular the vaquero style of dress, acted as an arena where ...

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pp. 1-7

In late 1910, a fateful revolution burst forth in Mexico. Today, some observers tout the uprising as matching in scope the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Chinese Revolution of 1949, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Revolution of 1910, now a century past, continues to fascinate ...

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Beyond Borders: Causes and Consequences of the Mexican Revolution

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pp. 8-30

The Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 was the first successful revolution of the twentieth century. It was also the most enigmatic. It overthrew a dictatorship, but unlike other major revolutions such as the Russian, Chinese, or Cuban, no unified ideology directed it. No vanguard party seized power and implemented ...

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The Mexican Revolution's Impact on Tejano Communities: The Historiographic Record

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pp. 31-55

Works on the topic of the Mexican Revolution and how it affected communities on the Texas side of the Rio Grande do not occupy much space in Tejano history bibliographies today. Several reasons might explain this lacuna. For one thing, the time span seems too narrow for historians to study, extending ...

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La Rinchada: Revolution, Revenge, and the Rangers, 1910– 1920

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pp. 56-106

The Mexican Revolution spilled violently into Texas in 1915 with the Plan de San Diego. The Plan drew from a common well of revolutionary ideology and involved uniformed officers from Mexico’s revolutionary factions. The Plan mobilized hundreds, if not thousands, of Tejanos in a swirling war of resistance ...

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The Mexican Revolution, Revolución de Texas, and Matanza de 1915

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pp. 107-133

The headline in the Brownsville Herald for October 18, 1915, announced the U.S. government’s intention to recognize Venustiano Carranza, the First Chief of the Mexican Constitutional forces, as Mexico’s legitimate leader the following day. At 10:45 p.m. that night, a band of México Texano and Mexicano ...

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The El Paso Race Riot of 1916

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pp. 134-155

Their bodies lay stripped nearly naked and strewn about the train like fallen leaves. Pools of blood marked their final resting place. This sketched the scene near the Cusihuiriáchic (Cusi) Mines in Santa Ysabel, Chihuahua. Seventeen1 American engineers, travelling on the Mexican Northwestern Railroad to their ...

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The Mexican Revolution and the Women of El México de Afuera, the Pan American Round Table, and the Cruz Azul Mexicana

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pp. 156-175

The role of El México de Afuera exiles in the history of San Antonio is critical to understanding the character of the city’s diverse Latino population today. To the uninformed, political terminology can sometimes be misleading. Among those steeped in the experiences of México and Texas at the turn of the twentieth century ...

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Women's Labor and Activism in the Greater Mexican Borderlands, 1910-1930

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pp. 176-204

The ideology of cooperativismo,1 access to arable land, worker rights, and dignity were some of the principles that guided much of the revolutionary agenda in the years leading up to the 1910 Mexican Revolution. In the greater northern borderlands extending from central Nuevo León to northern Tamaulipas ...

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Salt of the Earth: The Immigrant Experience of Gerónimo Treviño

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pp. 205-226

“They tried to warn them, ‘Look out—Indians!’ But it was too late. I guess one of them was deaf and the other one couldn’t see,” the old man half- joked, wide- eyed and gesturing to make his point to the gaggle of kids gathered at his feet. “Anyway, the Indians killed those two mexicanos who were working ...

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Sleuthing Immigrant Origins: Felix Tijerina and His Mexican Revolution Roots

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pp. 227-250

When Felix Tijerina died on September 4, 1965, at age sixty, he was widely viewed as the most esteemed and influential Mexican American resident of Houston, Texas, and a much heralded citizen of the state. Businessman, civic leader, and nationally recognized advocate of Mexican American education, ...

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"The Population is Overwhelmingly Mexican; Most of It Is in Sympathy with the Revolution..."

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pp. 251-275

The waters of the Rio Grande ran swiftly during the month of December 1913. The small ranching community of Ojinaga lay dormant that winter and the mountains in the background overpowered the landscape. Occasionally, a passerby, a merchant perhaps, crossed the river into Mexico, momentarily interrupting ...

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Smugglers in Dangerous Times: Revolution and Communities in the Tejano Borderlands

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pp. 276-291

Late in December 1910, Deputy U.S. Customs Collector Luke Dowe wrote his superiors of a troubling problem he faced in his efforts to prevent illegal arms smuggling on the border. Dowe complained that “ninety- nine percent of the Mexican population residing along the Texas border are in sympathy with the ...

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Eureka!: The Mexican Revolution in African American Context, 1910– 1920

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pp. 292-309

“Good Lord!” exclaimed President Woodrow Wilson when his secretary of state, Robert Lansing, told him about the “authentic” evidence of a German- Mexican plot that was uncovered by British authorities concerning the “Zimmerman Telegram” of 1917. In the midst of World War I, this telegram ...

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Understanding Greater Revolutionary Mexico

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pp. 310-317

As Mexico commemorates the centennial of the Mexican Revolution and historians look back to understand that turbulent time, renewed attention to the impact of the conflict on ethnic Mexicans living on the American side has connected with larger analytical and methodological questions.1 The works by the ...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 319-322

About the Contributors

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pp. 323-325


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pp. 327-345

E-ISBN-13: 9781603445696
E-ISBN-10: 1603445692
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603445245
Print-ISBN-10: 1603445242

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 8 b&w photos. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: University of Houston Series in Mexican American Studies, Sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 794925303
MUSE Marc Record: Download for War along the Border

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Texas -- History -- 1846-1950 -- Congresses.
  • Mexican American women -- Texas -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Mexican Americans -- Texas -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- Social aspects -- Congresses.
  • Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- African Americans -- Congresses.
  • Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- Refugees -- Texas -- Congresses.
  • Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- Mexican Americans -- Congresses.
  • Mexican-American Border Region -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
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