Mexican American Past and History
Question One: The Impact the Course has had in My Understanding of Mexican American History
The Mexican Americans’ story inextricably correlates to the fortunes of the U.S. itself. Before 1854, a considerable chunk of the Western U.S. including much of California, Arizona. Nevada, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah were part of Mexico. Through land purchases and war treaties, roughly 100000 Mexican came under the U.S. jurisdiction (Haynes & Wintz, 2016). In what was initially their land, these mew Americans were exposed to racial discrimination and other problems like low wages, lynching, and loss of property. By 1890 more than 75000 Mexicans were drown to the U.S. by the need for cheap labor. Additionally consequent to the Mexican Revolution that occurred in the 1920s, a massive wave of Mexican immigrants went to the U.S. to seek safety. The course has greatly enhanced my understanding of different aspects of Mexican Americans like factors that motivate their long-standing migration to the U.S., their experiences in the 19th and 20th century, challenges they have faced and their future in the U.S.
Concerning the experiences of Mexicans in the U.S., I have realized that Many Mexican-Americans, especially those residing in the southwestern states did not cross the border because a large portion of the American Southwest was initially found in the Mexican territory. Many people living in that area trace their residency in the U.S. from the mid-19th century and earlier (Haynes & Wintz, 2016). Texas was part of Mexico before it gained its independence in the 1830s and joined the U.S. in 1845. Mexico resented Texas independence, creating tensions which led to the U.S.-Mexican War that lasted between 1846 and 1848. The war ended with the establishment of the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty.
Pursuing the course has enabled me to understand the challenges faced by Mexican Americans in the U.S. Mexicans were treated brutally by the Anglo-Americans in the 19th and 20th century. Many incidences of oppression and racial discrimination were witnessed as Mexican Americans were exposed to hatred and violence. A perfect example can be derived from the 1931 incident whereby Mexican Americans were arrested in Los Angeles by police officers and dragged into vehicles for deportation (Martinez, 2018). In the incidents, immigration officers detained more than 400 Mexican-Americans and deported them to Mexico without considering their migration status or citizenship.