Mexicanos, Second Edition
A History of Mexicans in the United States
Publication Year: 2009
Newly revised and updated, Mexicanos tells the rich and vibrant story of Mexicans in the United States. Emerging from the ruins of Aztec civilization and from centuries of Spanish contact with indigenous people, Mexican culture followed the Spanish colonial frontier northward and put its distinctive mark on what became the southwestern United States. Shaped by their Indian and Spanish ancestors, deeply influenced by Catholicism, and tempered by an often difficult existence, Mexicans continue to play an important role in U.S. society, even as the dominant Anglo culture strives to assimilate them. Thorough and balanced, Mexicanos makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the Mexican population of the United States—a growing minority who are a vital presence in 21st-century America.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I continue to be in the debt of all those friends and colleagues who contributed their time and effort to the first edition of Mexicanos. In addition, I wish to thank the many individuals—some of them repeat offenders—who aided me in updating this new edition. These include professors Elizabeth Coonrod Martínez, California State University...
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Today the systematic study of Mexicanos in the United States is known as Chicana/o studies.1 Its genesis is to be found in the turbulent decade spanning the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Mexican American students at California and Texas colleges and universities, inspired by the tenets of Chicanismo, hence calling themselves Chicanos, initiated...
1 Spaniards and Native Americans, Prehistory–1521
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Mexican American is a term devoid of meaning before 1848. The number of Mexicans residing in the United States before the Mexican Cession was negligible. Yet it would be a mistake to begin this history with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, for the roots of Mexican American history are buried in the distant past. In order to understand the people...
2 The Spanish Frontier, 1521–1821
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On 12 July 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner (1861–1932), a young professor from Wisconsin, gave a scholarly presentation entitled “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” at the annual convention of the American Historical Association in Chicago. The most influential work ever written by a U.S. historian, this seminal essay proposed...
3 The Mexican Far North, 1821–1848
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The Mexican period of Southwest History was very brief, lasting from 1821, when Mexico achieved its independence from Spain, to 1848, when the fledgling republic lost its northern territories to the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.1 The most fateful trend in the Far North during this period was the continuing influx, in ever increasing numbers, of norteamericanos. Beset with a multitude...
4 The American Southwest, 1848–1900
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Chicano historians have tended to neglect the second half of the nineteenth century. When they began their work in the late 1960s, this period was generally viewed as a hiatus between two much more promising epochs: the age of Mexican sovereignty before and the decades of massive Mexican immigration afterward. It was the latter period, the twentieth...
5 The Great Migration, 1900–1930
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The dominant theme of Mexican American history in the twentieth century was immigration. With the one exception of the 1930s, every decade witnessed a substantial increase in the number of Mexican immigrants entering the United States, and there is little reason to believe that this movement will be stemmed in the near future. The first major push of immigrants occurred during the first three decades of the twentieth...
6 The Depression, 1930–1940
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The 1930s was a decade of economic hardship for the United States. All segments of the American population suffered from the shrinking job market. Mexicanos were no exception. Material deprivation was only part of the story. Prior to this decade, anti-Mexican sentiment had been on the rise, but in many parts of the country “the Mexican...
7 The Second World War and Its Aftermath, 1940–1965
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In the annals of American history, the Second World War was probably not as momentous in its consequences for many Americans as had been the Great War a generation before, but such is not the case for Mexicanos in this country. World War II altered life in the Mexicano community profoundly. Its heaviest impact was on the nascent middle...
8 The Chicano Movement, 1965–1975
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The decade comprising the midsixties to the midseventies was a period of extraordinary ferment in the Mexicano communities of the United States. Fateful social changes were in the air. Immigration from Mexico, for example, increased markedly, a trend that tended to push many of the older residents of the Southwest into other parts of the country. The most memorable changes, though, were political and psychological...
9 Goodbye to Aztlán, 1975–1994
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The political generation that emerged in barrios after the mid-1970s, labeled by Chicano historians the Post-Chicano Generation—or the Hispanic Generation, given its more conservative nature—lived in a time of rapid and confusing change. Most Chicano scholars, swayed by the high expectations of the preceding decade, have tended to be critical...
10 The Hispanic Challenge, 1994–Present
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Unlike other social scientists, historians approach the study of contemporary events with some trepidation.1 While the factual record may be relatively clear, it is difficult to interpret significant trends. Nevertheless, in this chapter an attempt will be made to discover these major currents after 1994 as they relate to Mexicanos in the United States. Since the mid-1990s, a general awareness of Mexican-origin people, who presently represent...
Appendix A. National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholars of the Year
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Appendix B. Hispanic American Medal of Honor Recipients
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Appendix C. Mexican American Historical Novels
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Select Bibliography of Works since 1985
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About the Author
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Manuel G. Gonzales is Professor of History at Diablo Valley College. A specialist in both modern Europe and the American Southwest, he has been a visiting professor of Chicano history in the ethnic studies department at the University of California, Berkeley....
Page Count: 424
Publication Year: 2009
Edition: Second Edition