Political disruption, the flight from poverty, and the promise of better prospects
Political disruption, the flight from poverty, and the promise of better prospects
There are traditions that are unique, and at the same time, these characterize the history that the Mexican Americans who live in the US as opposed to those of the other ethno linguistic groups or purely ethnic groups. In essence, this is a people that have been conquered. It must be known that this conquering took place in the classical era, after that the US prevailed in the Mexican- American war that took place from 1846 to 1848. Following this, the US then took to carving out the American Southwest. This made the US be in a position to inherit close to 80,000 Mexicans.
More trouble set in for the Mexicans, courtesy of the fact that the US continually contravened the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty that existed between the Mexicans and the Americans. Although the Treaty had assured the Mexicans of all their rights being upheld as citizens, yet, the Mexicans failed to benefit from the treaty, given the fact that Mexicans to a great extent forfeited their rights. For instance, the Mexicans ceded away their land together with their political rights at the hands of Americans. Ways in which Mexican immigrants and Dust Bowl refugees forged a place for themselves in Early twentieth-century California The Mexicans and the Dust Bowl refugees made a palace for themselves in the primordial times of the twentieth century.
The measures that these groups took so as to make a niche for themselves have been discussed forthwith. Their backgrounds The phrase Dust Bowl refers to the US prairie states that underwent ecological and economic devastations during the 1930s. It is also known well that the problems were also experienced by the same group during the 1950s. It is held by historians such as Monroy (2000 P 99) who point out that the problems could be traced back to the First World War.
This is a time that saw wheat prices soar. This led to the needs of the Allied Troops also being adjusted upwards. This type of affairs compelled the farmers to step up their efforts in growing more wheat in the prairie states by plowing and seeding these same areas. Some of these states were Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. These states in the times past were purely grazing grounds. Impediments they faced It is true that when the dust bowl struck the US, it sparked a mass exodus from the states that were affected to California, with these states being Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, among others.
This led to the scramble over the little resources that were there in California. The situation became so tense to an extent that those who had escaped to California were not welcome there. The backlash from the Californians against the new immigrants eventually culminated into bad blood between the two parties. Conflicts between the two also materialized. There are a lot of impediments that the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl faced while attempting to establish a place for themselves in the earliest 20th century. In most cases, the problem was that they were not technologically endowed the way their invaders the Americans were.
In the first place, the Americans had superior weapons such as guns and gunpowder. This state of affairs made the Mexicans very susceptible, as guns had the potency to extirpate the lives of the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl by tens of thousands. All these factors that were pegged on military might of the Americans forced the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl into capitulation. At the same time, the Americans carried out the incursion into the land that was being occupied by the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl by employing the use of large animals such as horses.
It is held by Gregory (2002 p 122) that the Mexicans and the aborigines who had been living in the US had never seen these huge animals. It is held that these large animals placed the invaders at the vintage point at the expense of the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl, as this allowed the Americans to move with swiftness. On the other hand, there are historians who point out categorically that the socio- cultural practices and beliefs also contributed as setback to the Mexicans as well in the bid to establish a place for themselves in California in the 20th century.
These historians point out at the streams of myths and legends that the Mexicans had at the time of the invasion. An example of these is the Legends of the Quetzal Qoatel that talked of an imminent coming of a deity. This left a gap for the invaders to manipulate the legend by usurping the place of this god. This definitely made the Mexicans and the neighbouring communities to submit easily, thinking that the invaders were the agents of the deities and the deity itself.
The mythical beliefs that the Mexicans held about the cosmological elements did also make things a little bit easier for the Mexicans and the Dust Bowl. It is also true that the Dust Bowls also underwent a lot of setbacks due to the environmental challenges at the time. For instance, since the areas that were being used for grazing wilted, there were spates of plummeted output in agricultural produce. Livestock in large numbers shriveled in size and lost their lives. The fact that the soil remained unprotected only made the situation worse as most of these states succumbed to soil erosion and drought.
This challenge of soil erosion was epitomized in 1934 when strong winds blew away into clouds, the fertile soil into huge clouds. The situation recurred in the next succeeding years during the months of December and May. The actions they took to overcome these impediments There are many measures that the Mexicans took so as to overcome the setbacks that stood on their way, in the bid to establish their settlements in the California in the early times of the 20th century. For instance, the Mexicans tried as dexterously hard as they could, to consolidate their political and economic might.
This was done by carrying out and maintaining the Southwest trading between the Americans and the Mexicans. This was done at a time when the interests of the East were still held in high esteem prior to the takeover. At the time, the Britons and the Europeans had coexisted with and also intermarried with these Mexicans. Kenneth (2002 p 145) says that based on the fact that there was a transition in the US rule, and the inception of the gold rush, there arose the military strength to bring into subdue and expunge the Indian tribes and the increase in the population.
The increase on the population at the same time bolstered the chances for the merchants, farmers, livestock raisers, and transportation companies. This protracted heavy economic activities engaged the British the Mexican and the European entrepreneurs. As mentioned before, there are those who tried to solve these problems by shifting to areas that are very conducive in supporting human life, courtesy of the being free from the actions and the devastations of the Dust Bowl.
At the same time, there are those who employed the use of positive measures to tackle the problem that was at hand. For instance, there are those who took to documenting the plight of the refugees. To this effect, in 1935, there was a photographer, Dorothy Lange by the name, who apart from carrying opt the documentary, also faithfully stuck to the cause of the California State Emergency Relief Administration, Rural Division (SERA), a unit that existed as a section of the performed under the aegis of the Administration of the Federal Relief.
In almost the same wavelength, this group also conducted research activities on pertinent matters such as soil erosion and conservation, the most ideal farming methodologies that were to be carried out. There were cases whereby there was also the ratification of the seemingly offensive measures in the attempt to reverse the situation and to thwart the looming cases of overpopulation in California.
For instance, the police chief in Los Angeles in a similar effort, dispatched a contingency of 125 policemen who were to carry out the roles of a bouncers along the Californian borders with an overall intention of turning away the migrants or the bum brigade who were also known as the “undesirables”. The move was only nipped in the bud when the general public began to question the way in which funds were being dispensed in this project. The success and limits of their adaptation There are constraints and successes that were experienced by the Mexicans and other immigrants who were trying to get to California.
In the first case, after getting to California, the situation did not get better automatically. The crops that were being grown in California were very different from the ones that were being grown in other regions. This means that the first issue that they were to grapple with is learning painfully that some crops did not fair well in some regions, getting new seeds and new farming and tilling techniques, the need and cost to learn new techniques, and competition that was stemming from the skilled Californian aborigines.
There are historians who also point out that on arriving California, the immigrants found that the farmland was being monopolized at the hands of large corporate farms. This situation prevented the immigrants from acquiring land for cultivation. The above situation led to a profound economic chasm between the immigrants and the land owners as the former appeared to have and access more land. Conclusion It can therefore be seen clearly that the American history is full of inconsistencies just like any other country’s history.
Perhaps the most memorable legacy that the US history has bequeathed the world is the fact that it later came to assimilate all the ethnic groups that it met in the Americas. This was epitomized when both the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments placed all men and women on the pedestal, irrespective of religion, race, color or sex. It is on this backdrop that the US is not only a mosaic of many states, but a conglomeration of different races. Thus, US unity totally exemplifies the strength and unity in diversity maxim than any other nation on planet earth.
Subject: Ethnic groups,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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