A Century of Chicano History: Empire, Nations, and Migration

A Century of Chicano History: Empire, Nations, and Migration

A Century of Chicano History: Empire, Nations, and Migration

A Century of Chicano History: Empire, Nations, and Migration

Synopsis

In the best traditions of U.S. critical scholarship from Beard to Genovese and beyond, this book offers a definitive account of the interdependent histories of the U.S. and Mexico as well as the making of the Chicano population in America while providing a history of 20th Century Mexico and its cultural interactions with the US. By employing a neo-Marxist approach, the authors skillfully link history to contemporary issues, emphasizing the overlooked significance of late 19th and 20th century U.S. economic expansionism to European in the formation of the Mexican community. By doing so, the reader offers a timely and significant revision of the of the origins of the increasing Mexican-American population of the United States, illuminating the deep connection between US domination over Mexico-demanding attention to the past, present, and future course of Chicano history.

Excerpt

This book explores the origins of the increasing Mexican-American population of the United States. We show how more than a century of economic domination of the United States over Mexico continues to produce economic and social dislocations, which are at the root of the mass northward migration of Mexicans to the United States, a constant wellspring of the Chicano population.

This work itself has been in the making for the past ten years. In the early 1990s, dissatisfied with the one-sided, culture-based approach of much of Chicano historiography, we set out to review and critique that body of writing. In addition, we sought to identify economic-historic structures as a guide to contextualize Chicano social and cultural history. After a prolonged period of manuscript revisions, we published an article, appearing in the Pacific Historical Review in 1994, that presented three main arguments. The first was that Spanish and Mexican society in the pre-1848 U.S. Southwest possessed a feudalistic character. Second, the dating of the beginning of Chicano history to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 was without merit, as it avoided the significant break between one historical event—the demise of the old Spanish and Mexican rule in the area—and the rise of a new, separate in time, migration-based population more than fifty years later. Third, the urban emphasis on much of twentieth-century Chicano historiography responded to what was au courant in the U.S. academy, rather than being in synch with the predominantly rural character of the Chicano population during the first twothirds of the twentieth century.

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