Remembering the Forgotten War
The Enduring Legacies of the U.S.-Mexican War
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote
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The pursuit of collective memory has been a fascinating journey, one that has taken me throughout the United States and Mexico. Many kind and generous people on both sides of the border have assisted me along the way. At the University of Utah, Robert Goldberg has devoted considerable energy to this project, and I am thankful...
A Note on Perspectives
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Like many authors writing about the U.S.– Mexican War, I am faced with the “American” dilemma. Much to the dismay of the many other nations that share the American continents, residents of the United States have long monopolized the term to describe themselves...
Introduction: Of War and Soccer
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The clatter of iron horse shoes on cobblestone echoed through the darkened streets of Mexico City on the morning of September 14, 1847, as U.S. troops cautiously moved toward the great central plaza. The Mexican government had abandoned the capital hours earlier...
1. Victory and Dissolution: The United States, 1848–1865&
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On June 25, 1848, the Unitarian minister Theodore Parker took the stage at the famous Melodeon Theater in Boston. Word had arrived a few days earlier declaring that the U.S. Congress had ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially ending...
2. In the Shadow of Defeat: Mexico, 1848–1866
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In December 1847 fi fteen Mexican military officers met in Santiago de Querétaro, north of Mexico City, to organize a select association. After the American occupation of the capital, Querétaro served briefl y as the interim seat of Mexican government...
3. Old Soldiers and New Wars: The United States, 1866–1895
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In 1884 Ulysses S. Grant retired from public life to write his memoirs. This final endeavor was a race against time as throat cancer steadily closed off his airway. Poor financial investments had left Grant impoverished, and his manuscript offered him a last...
4. Creating Heroes: Mexico, 1867–1920
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On an August eve ning in 1871 nine men gathered at the famous Concordia restaurant in Mexico City. As officers in Mexico’s army, some of these gentlemen had helped free their nation from French occupation in 1867. More important, these veteran soldiers were distinguished alumni of the Military College and, twenty- four...
5. Empire and Exclusion: The United States, 1896–1929
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On a spring afternoon in 1904 the eighty- four- year- old Daniel Gould Burr arrived at the city fairgrounds in Paris, Illinois. Bedecked in the regalia of a U.S.– Mexican War veteran, the frail man took a seat under some nearby trees. At an appointed hour he rose to his feet and read aloud the roster of Company H of the Fourth Regiment...
6. Rituals of the State: Mexico, 1921–1952
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On October 12, 1921, the president of Mexico, Álvaro Obregón, appointed José Vasconcelos minister of the newly created Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP). As a young, idealistic attorney and writer who belonged to a group of revolutionaries known as the Ateneo de la Juventud (Athenaeum of Youth), Vasconcelos was a natural choice...
7. Good Neighbors and Bad Blood: The United States, 1930–1965
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On February 26, 1931, dozens of law enforcement officers surrounded a park in Los Angeles known as La Placita. In a meticulously planned operation they corralled approximately four hundred people who had been enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the sun. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents lined up the detainees...
8. Resisting the Gringos: Mexico, 1953–1989
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On September 13, 1953, President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines of Mexico officiated at the commemoration of the Boy Heroes held at the newly dedicated Altar to the Fatherland in Chapultepec Park. Curious visitors crowded around the towering stone pillars and marveled at the crypt that enshrined the bones of the beloved cadets...
9. Contesting American Pasts: The United States, 1966–1989
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On April 1, 1967, a dragline construction crew in Brownsville busily excavated a new home site along the scenic Resaca de la Palma. As a large load of soil dropped from the steel bucket, a worker noticed human bones spilling out onto the ground. While modern residents of the city enjoyed the natural beauty of the oxbow lake...
10. Remembrance and Free Trade: The United States and Mexico, 1990–2008
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On May 22, 1990, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari addressed the Mexican Senate. Standing beneath a gold- lettered motto that read, La Patria es Primero (The Fatherland Is First), he proclaimed that Mexico would seek “free trade with the United States and Canada...
Conclusion: Putting the Skeletons to Rest
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In 2009 Walter Plitt labored earnestly on a new project involving the U.S.– Mexican War. Mexican officials had recently announced that they had uncovered the graves of U.S. soldiers near Monterrey, Nuevo León. Plitt proposed that the United States exchange the Mexican skeletons found at Resaca de la Palma in 1967 for the newly unearthed...
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About the Author, Back Cover
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Michael Scott Van Wagenen is an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University, where he teaches courses in public history. He is the author of The Texas Republic and the Mormon Kingdom of God and co- editor...
Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 30 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Public History in Historical Perspective