War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities

War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities

War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities

War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

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 Spanish and English blend, and ultimately has created a syncretic Chicano identity. Due to cultural and historic influences, Mexican American communities throughout the United States annually observe some of Mexico’s epochal events, among them the day on which the Virgen de Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego (December 12), the day on which Mexico declared independence from Spain (the Diez y Seis de Septiembre), and the day in 1862 when Mexican forces inflicted a defeat on the French army at Puebla (the Cinco de Mayo). In the year 2010, numerous Mexican American communities in Texas, and indeed nationally, commemorated the hundredth anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. Unfortunately, scholarship at times does not give deserved attention to aspects of these historic episodes. To our knowledge, for instance, War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities represents the first treatment of how the Mexican Revolution of 1910 affected the economic, cultural, and political climate of Mexican Americans in Texas. What the essays . . .

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