Chicano Mid-Term

Chicano Mid-Term - Rodrigo Navarrete November 4 2007 Isabel...

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Rodrigo Navarrete November 4, 2007 Isabel Porras We do not want the people of Mexico, either as citizens or subjects. All we want is a portion of territory, which they nominally hold, either uninhabited or, where inhabited at all, sparsely so, and with a population which would soon recede.” [Michigan senator Lewis Cass, 1847] These are the words that destined the Chicano/Mexican/Latino community in the Southwest. Following the conclusion of the Mexican-American war and the consequent signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexicans found themselves struggling to re-establish an identity in a land which became foreign seemingly overnight. Mestizos were already lacking a true identity, given their mixed-race backgrounds, and the conditions of the time made finding and capturing an honest identity nigh-impossible. They were forced to give up land, hard-pressed to change their ways of living, and obligated to live under new laws and regulations. Sound familiar? Let’s travel back in time, fly through the history books of the Americas, and arrive at a time and location where Native Americans were being treated in an all- too similar manner, culminating in the near-elimination --and complete decimation-- of native tribe populations across the entire American plate. Just like the natives of times before, Mexicans found themselves facing an overwhelming power. Unlike the natives before them, however, the Mexicans found a way to band together in order to preserve the little sense of history they had left, to join each other hand in hand to fight for cultural equality, and to maintain what little bit of home and familiarity they had left; that is what we call the Chicano movement-- a movement that owes its roots to the various forms of colonization and their adverse effects on the earliest of Chicanos and Mestizos.
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The underlying theme in James A. Sandos’s Between Crucifix and Lance suggests that the Chicano community has been unfavorably affected by various forms of colonialism, those being frontier processes known as “…species-shifting, boundary-setting, state-forming, land- taking, market-making, and self-shaping” (Sandos 199). These six synchronized processes altered the frontier beyond any recognizable state, thus creating a state of chaos for all of those involved; henceforth, the Latin community became entangled in a web of intricate problems and issues which posed them against the Americans, including, but not limited to, the Texas Rangers. This series of events has been written in history in a way as to portray Mexicans/Chicanos as
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Chicano Mid-Term - Rodrigo Navarrete November 4 2007 Isabel...

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