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Mexicans In The United States Essay

3692 words - 15 pages

Mexicans in the United States
Missing Works Cited

In attempting to discuss the history of Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans and their experiences in the United States, an economic analysis may provide the best interpretation for their failure to achieve the status of first class citizens. This difficulty in achieving equality of citizenship is deeply rooted in both the economic self-interest of the Anglo-Americans, as well as their inherent perception of Otherness in Chicanos. This paper will explain the importance of this history and its context in the American framework. Beginning with the Chicano experience of the precolonial period and continuing through the Mexican-American war, analyzing particularly the Mercantilist policy which guided the colonization, alongside the principles of self-interest which carried many Anglos to Texas resulting in the war. Following, will be a close study of the period between the signing of the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo and the Second World War which was strongly defined by the Anglo capitalist industrialization of the early 20th century, and its subsequent effect on the development of the Chicano condition. It will then culminate with the Chicano resistance movements starting after the Second World War to the present with emphasis on such events as the Grape Strike of Cesar Chavez in 1968 which brought national recognition to the Chicano situation largely through economic means. In light of the satirical revisionist comedies of Teatro Campesino, "Los Vendidos" a short play by Luis Valdez will bring a conclusive view of the experience the Mexican-Americans endured according to one of their own.

The Latin@ population in the U.S. is growing exponentially, "Nearly two-thirds of Latin@s in the U.S. are of Mexican descent" (Vargas xv) and based on that fact their history and experience must be understood by Americans today. This large representative body of Chicanos in our country would lead most to believe that we, as American citizens would have a good general sense of their history. However in class discussion and our repeated ignorance of the condition Chicanos experienced through our nations history it is clear that there is much to be learned about this group. In an attempt to organize their history from an economic standpoint, it can be dually noted that through our country's rush to modernize we often sacrifice sound development programs in the regions often occupied by Chicanos. This lack of development programming, comes at the expense of our minority groups. Through their history in this nation, "Powerful interests have succeeded in keeping the Mexican the most underpaid and most oppressed worker so that they [the Americans] will always have a surplus of cheap labor" (Vargas 341)

A concurrent theme throughout this section of this piece will be Manifest Destiny. The term implies the mentality assumed by conquerors to justify the complete subjugation and absorption of...

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