50 Events That Shaped Latino History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic [2 Vols] 1440837627, 9781440837623

What are the historical events most key to shaping Latino culture? This book provides detailed and broad coverage of the

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50 Events That Shaped Latino History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic [2 Vols]
 1440837627,  9781440837623

Table of contents :
......Page 1
Title Page
......Page 4
......Page 5
......Page 6
Preface......Page 10
Acknowledgments......Page 14
Introduction......Page 16
Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE......Page 24
Spanish Colonization of the Americas, 1492–1898
......Page 40
Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521
......Page 59
Pueblo Revolt of 1680
......Page 77
Latin American Independence, 1810–1898......Page 98
Anglo-American Colonization of Northern Mexico, 1820–1846
......Page 119
Texas Independence, 1835–1836
......Page 139
U.S.-Mexican War, 1846–1848......Page 156
Cuban Wars of Independence,
1868–1898......Page 175
Settlement of Ybor City, 1885–1930
......Page 195
War, 1898......Page 219
Caribbean Migration to New York City, 1870s–1920s
......Page 248
Insular Cases, 1901–1922......Page 268
The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921
......Page 285
Texas Revolt, 1915
......Page 304
Rise of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, 1922–1954
......Page 318
Founding of LULAC, 1929......Page 336
Mexican Repatriation, 1930–1935
......Page 352
Birth of Latin Jazz, 1930s–1940s
......Page 367
Labor Activism during the Great Depression, 1930–1939
......Page 387
World War II, 1939–1945......Page 406
The Bracero Program, 1942–1964
......Page 423
Mendez v. Westminster, 1945–1947
......Page 440
Operation Bootstrap and Puerto Rican Migration, 1948–1964
......Page 457
The Cuban Revolution, 1953–1959
......Page 472
Destruction of Chavez Ravine, 1953–1959
......Page 490
Hernandez v. Texas, 1954
......Page 504
Operation Wetback, 1954
......Page 523
The Chicano Movement, 1960s–1970s......Page 540
Chicana Feminist Movement, 1960s–1970s
......Page 559
Urban Uprisings, 1960s–1970s
......Page 579
Fall of the Trujillo Dictatorship and Dominican Migration, 1961–1990s
......Page 595
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
......Page 614
Delano Grape Strike and the United Farm Workers Movement, 1965–1970
......Page 631
Founding of the Young Lords, 1968–1972
......Page 648
Formation of Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Latino/a Studies Programs,
1968–1974......Page 664
Gay Rights Movement, 1969–1990
......Page 683
Central American Civil Wars and Migration, 1970s–1980s
......Page 700
Lau v. Nichols, 1973–1974......Page 718
Founding of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 1976
......Page 734
The Sanctuary Movement, 1980s......Page 752
Mariel Boatlift, 1980
......Page 777
Immigration Reform and Control Act, 1986
......Page 792
Founding of Univision, 1987
......Page 815
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1994
......Page 828
California’s Proposition 187, 1994
......Page 847
Latin Explosion in Popular Music, 1990s
......Page 869
Election and Appointment of Latinos in the 21st Century, 2000–Present
......Page 888
Immigrant Rights Marches of 2006
......Page 908
Miranda’s Debut on Broadway, 2008–2015......Page 922
Recommended Resources
......Page 946
About the Editor and Contributors......Page 954
Index......Page 962

Citation preview

50 Events That S­ haped Latino History

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50 Events That ­Shaped Latino History An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic

Volume 1 Volume 2 Lilia Fernández, Editor

Copyright © 2018 by ABC-­CLIO, LLC All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other­wise, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-­in-­Publication Data Names: Fernández, Lilia, editor. Title: 50 events that shaped Latino history : an encyclopedia of the American   mosaic / Lilia Fernandez, editor. Other titles: Fifty events that shaped Latino history Description: Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, 2018. | Includes index. |   Identifiers: LCCN 2017038050 (print) | LCCN 2017042419 (ebook) |   ISBN 9781440837630 (ebook) | ISBN 9781440849039 (vol. 1 : alk. paper) |   ISBN 9781440849046 (vol. 2 : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781440837623 (set) Subjects: LCSH: Hispanic Americans—History—Encyclopedias. Classification: LCC E184.S75 (ebook) | LCC E184.S75 A615 2018 (print) |   DDC 973/.0468—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017038050 ISBN: 978-1-4408-3762-3 (set) 978-1-4408-4903-9 (vol. 1) 978-1-4408-4904-6 (vol. 2) 978-1-4408-3763-0 (ebook) 22 21 20 19 18   1 2 3 4 5 This book is also available as an eBook. Greenwood An Imprint of ABC-­CLIO, LLC ABC-­CLIO, LLC 130 Cremona Drive, P.O. Box 1911 Santa Barbara, California 93116​-1­ 911 www.abc​-­clio​.­com This book is printed on acid-­free paper Manufactured in the United States of Amer­ic­ a


Preface ix Acknowl­edgments


Introduction xv Lilia Fernández VOLUME 1 1  Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810 Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE Spencer Tyce

1 1

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 Cameron D. Jones


Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 Spencer Tyce


Pueblo Revolt of 1680 Cameron D. Jones


2  Changing Flags, 1810–1846 Latin American In­de­pen­dence, 1810–1898 Mauricio Espinoza Anglo-­American Colonization of Northern Mexico, 1820–1846 Erika Pérez Texas In­de­pen­dence, 1835–1836 Kris Klein Hernández

75 75 96 116

3  Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 U.S.-Mexican War, 1846–1848 Maria E. Montoya v

133 133

vi | Contents

Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence, 1868–1898 Sitela Alvarez


Settlement of Ybor City, 1885–1930 Sarah McNamara


Spanish-­American War, 1898 Bonnie A. Lucero


Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City, 1870s–1920s William Noseworthy


4 Immigration, World War I, and Community Formation, 1900–1929 245 Insular Cases, 1901–1922 245 Gabriel Mayora The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921 Lilia Fernández


Texas Revolt, 1915 Trinidad Gonzales


Rise of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, 1922–1954 Margaret Power


5 ­Great Depression and Repatriation, 1929–1941 Founding of LULAC, 1929 Trinidad Gonzales

313 313

Mexican Repatriation, 1930–1935 Delia Fernández


Birth of Latin Jazz, 1930s–1940s Bobby Sanabria


­ abor Activism during the ­Great Depression, 1930–1939 L Salvador Zárate


6  World War II and Postwar Migrations, 1941–1959 World War II, 1939–1945 Jesus “Jesse” Esparza and Laura Lee Oviedo

383 383

The Bracero Program, 1942–1964 Maria L. Quintana


Mendez v. Westminster, 1945–1947 David-­James Gonzales


Contents | vii

Operation Bootstrap and Puerto Rican Migration, 1948–1964 Delia Fernández


The Cuban Revolution, 1953–1959 Mauricio Castro


Destruction of Chavez Ravine, 1953–1959 Ronald W. Lopez


Hernandez v. Texas, 1954 Lisa Y. Ramos


Operation Wetback, 1954 Daniel Morales


VOLUME 2 7 Social Movements and Growing Po­liti­cal Power, 1960s–1979 The Chicano Movement, 1960s–1970s Oliver A. Rosales

517 517

Chicana Feminist Movement, 1960s–1970s Leticia Rose Wiggins


Urban Uprisings, 1960s–1970s Pedro Amaury Regalado


Fall of the Trujillo Dictatorship and Dominican Migration, 1961–1990s Danielle Nicole Grevious and Lilia Fernández


Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 Maysan Haydar


Delano Grape Strike and the United Farm Workers Movement, 1965–1970 608 Luis H. Moreno Founding of the Young Lords, 1968–1972 Lilia Fernández


Formation of Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Latino/a Studies Programs, 1968–1974 641 Sarajaneé Davis Gay Rights Movement, 1969–1990 Gabriel Mayora


Central American Civil Wars and Migration, 1970s–1980s Susan E. Montgomery


viii | Contents

Lau v. Nichols, 1973–1974 Jonathan T. Hernandez


Founding of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 1976 Walter Wilson


8  The Conservative Tide and Pro­gress amid Backlash, 1980–2000 729 The Sanctuary Movement, 1980s 729 Felipe Hinojosa Mariel Boatlift, 1980 Mauricio Castro


Immigration Reform and Control Act, 1986 Lisa Michelle Paulin


Founding of Univision, 1987 Jillian M. Báez


North American ­Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1994 Lilia Fernández


California’s Proposition 187, 1994 Justin D. García


Latin Explosion in Popu­lar ­Music, 1990s Jillian M. Báez and Michelle M. Rivera


9  Latinos in the New Millennium, 2000–­Present Election and Appointment of Latinos in the 21st ­Century, 2000–­Present Walter Wilson

865 865

Immigrant Rights Marches of 2006 Amalia Pallares


Lin-­Manuel Miranda’s Debut on Broadway, 2008–2015 Gabriel Mayora


Recommended Resources


About the Editor and Contributors


Index 939


The first ­people whom we might call Latino or Hispanic ­today inhabited the continental United States long before the arrival of British colonists in the Amer­i­cas. Although the terms Latino and Hispanic are relatively recent inventions, they describe a population that was born out of the colonial encounters between Spaniards and other Eu­ro­pe­ans, Africans, and the indigenous ­peoples of the Amer­i­cas. When Christopher Columbus and his Spanish fleet first set foot on the island they named “Hispaniola” (present-­day Dominican Republic and Haiti), they unleashed a colossal demographic amalgamation—at times by choice but frequently by force— of ­these vari­ous populations from disparate parts of the globe. Latinos are thus understood to be ­people of varying degrees of African, indigenous, and Eu­ro­pean descent. The Eu­ro­pean ele­ment of that heritage generally refers specifically to Spanish, though in some cases also Portuguese, ancestry. ­There are vari­ous debates over how inclusive the terms Latino or Hispanic should be. Some argue that ­people who live in Spain (and perhaps have never lived in the Amer­i­cas) should be incorporated ­under this umbrella. ­Others suggest that the labels should not be limited to Spanish-­speaking ­people, but should also include the Portuguese, French, Dutch, and even English-­speaking colonies of Latin Amer­ i­ca and the Ca­rib­bean. Still o­ thers point out that limiting the bound­aries of this group to Spanish speakers leaves out ­those who speak indigenous languages in Spain’s former colonies and may not speak Spanish at all. ­Needless to say, the discussion is ongoing and constantly evolving. Latinos and their history are incredibly diverse, complicated, and ever-­changing, depending on who is narrating the story. ­Because this story’s founding moment begins in the former Spanish colonies of the Amer­i­cas, Latino history is necessarily transnational, meaning it transcends national geopo­liti­cal bound­aries and stretches beyond the continental United States to the Amer­i­cas more broadly—­ Mexico, the Ca­rib­bean, Central Amer­i­ca, and South Amer­i­ca. Taking a cue from Cuban in­de­pen­dence leader Jose Martí and o­ thers who have defined the Amer­i­cas as a collection of interrelated, interdependent nations, this publication approaches ix

x | Preface

the subject of Latino history as one that spans América—­the entire hemisphere—­ rather than only the United States of Amer­i­ca. In other words, the stories told ­here do not stop at the U.S.-­Mexico border, but rather extend to many places farther south. ­These two volumes do not cover ­every single event in the past that has been significant to the history of Latinos in the United States ­today. Certainly, ­there ­were difficult editorial choices to make, and not all the pivotal moments of this collective past have made it into ­these pages. Nonetheless, we have tried to capture at least some of the most noteworthy happenings over the past five centuries.

Features 50 Events That S­ haped Latino History is a comprehensive reference account of selected events. Nearly e­ very entry includes t­ hese features: (1) a chronology to put the event into context with its time period; (2) an essay that describes the event; (3) short sidebars of in­ter­est­ing or significant topics related to the event; (4) biographies of notable p­ eople related to the event, often allowing a more personal look into the experiences of ­those who influenced its history; (5) excerpts from official documents, letters, and other primary sources to bring the events to life; and (6) further reading for references to relevant and impor­tant sources.

Subjects 50 Events That ­Shaped Latino History is designed to be an authoritative and comprehensive resource with detailed information on a vast array of topics, including: • Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) empire • Latin American in­de­pen­dence • The U.S.-­Mexican War • Anglo colonization of northern Mexico • The Mexican Revolution and immigration • Ca­rib­bean migration to New York City • The Bracero Program • The fall of the Trujillo dictatorship and Dominican migration • Central American civil wars and migration • The Chicana feminist movement • Founding of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus • The Mariel boatlift • The North American F ­ ree Trade Agreement (NAFTA) • Immigrant rights marches of 2006

Preface | xi

Some of the entries capture events that occurred over a span of only a few days, weeks, or months (like the Mariel boatlift), but had a lasting impact. O ­ thers w ­ ere more extended events that took years to play out (like Latin American in­de­pen­dence strug­gles). All of t­hese moments, however, have played formative roles in shaping the pres­ent status of Latinos in the United States. Since the 1960s, more than 40 million foreigners have made their way to the United States, and nearly half of ­those individuals have hailed from Latin Amer­ i­ca. Indeed, Latinos have had a tremendous impact on the nation over the past five decades—on its politics, its culture, its entertainment, and even its diet. 50 Events That ­Shaped Latino History draws on a critical theoretical premise about what has prompted that enormous migration from the south: the role that the United States has played in Latin Amer­i­ca. As journalist Juan Gonzalez informs us in Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in Amer­i­ca (2011), “U.S. economic and po­liti­cal domination over Latin Amer­i­ca has always been—­and continues to be—­the under­lying reason for the massive Latino presence ­here. . . . ​[Latinos in the United States] are the unintended harvest of the U.S. empire.” In other words, the Latino population in the United States has grown so dramatically in the late 20th ­century ­because of American influence, control, and intervention in the economies and po­liti­cal affairs of its neighbors to the south. As readers turn the pages, they ­will discover how t­ hese dynamics have unfolded over the past several centuries. They ­will also take away another impor­tant lesson, which renowned historian Vicki L. Ruiz once pronounced in her 2006 presidential address at the Organ­ization of American Historians annual meeting: that Latino history is American history.

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As with all proj­ects of this magnitude, it took the concerted efforts of many p­ eople to bring this to completion. First, thanks go to the contributors for their dedicated research, excellent writing, meeting of deadlines, patience awaiting revisions, and overall cooperation through what has been a lengthy pro­cess. Thanks also to Kim Kennedy-­White for inviting me to help produce this work. It has provided me with many unexpected rewards and ­great satisfaction. My sincerest thanks go to the indefatigable, amazing, and heroic Jane Glenn, the development editor who shepherded this enormous proj­ect to the submission stage. She demonstrated such patience and grace in dealing with my delays, answering my constant queries, and cheering me along. She also brought much-­needed humor to what could be at times a painstaking, tedious, and bewildering pro­cess. I also owe my gratitude to the entire editorial and production team who worked tirelessly to bring this publication to press. Thanks as well to The Ohio State University and the History Department, which I called home ­until 2016. The administration and my colleagues provided me ­great resources during my years at the university. Danielle Grevious served as a very capable research assistant on this proj­ect. Since 2016 I have enjoyed the support of the departments of Latino and Ca­rib­bean Studies and History at Rutgers University. Special thanks go to my research assistants Amy Castillo and Aziel Rosado, and to my editorial assistant, Lissette Flores. All three provided outstanding support. I thank my f­ amily also for their love and support. Fi­nally, I reserve my greatest appreciation for Juan Gonzalez. Though we have shared only the last few years together, and our time has been filled with challenges and transitions, I am grateful for ­every day that we have had. He has imparted invaluable lessons that have made me much wiser. He lived through and helped make some of the history in t­hese pages and has taught me an enormous amount about the current po­liti­cal moment in which we are living and the alternative world we might imagine. I trea­sure his intellectually stimulating conversation, as well as his kindness, patience, humility, and enduring love. xiii

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Introduction Lilia Fernández

Historians debate when Latino history begins and how far back they should start narrating events. For our purposes, we start with the indigenous ­peoples of the Amer­ i­cas, and the Spanish explorers who first came into contact with them, as the colonization pro­cess unleashed the demographic transformations that would produce the populations we call “Latinos” ­today. We then trace the events that followed in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The 20th ­century understandably has the greatest amount of coverage, as this period has been more thoroughly researched than any other and it is most familiar to us ­because it is the recent past. Overall, the events are classified into nine distinct periods.

Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810 Before the arrival of the Spanish in the area that would become known as “the Amer­ i­cas,” dozens of native civilizations and hundreds of tribes inhabited the long stretch of continent from the northernmost reaches of the hemi­sphere to its southernmost point. The Olmec, Zapotec, and other p­ eoples lived in the territory that Eu­ro­pe­ans described as “Mesoamerica”: what is now present-­day Mexico. The Maya also had a rich civilization that traced its beginnings back centuries before the Spanish first entered their lands. The Mexica (Aztecs), however, ­rose to power much more recently, only a few hundred years before Hernán Cortés’s arrival in 1519, and they had managed to exert their force over many smaller tribes in Central Mexico. When Cortés approached their capital city, Tenochtitlán, the Tlaxcalan p­ eople, who had long chafed u­ nder Aztec rule, w ­ ere willing to help defeat the empire. While native ­peoples accommodated the presence of Spanish colonizers, who usually took over by force, many revolted and rejected Spanish domination. In present-­day New Mexico, the Pueblo did just that, successfully expelling the colonizers and keeping them at bay for a dozen years.


xvi | Introduction

Changing Flags, 1810–1846 By the 19th ­century, colonial subjects in the region from Central Amer­i­ca through the present-­day U.S. Southwest (known as New Spain) had grown weary of what they perceived as an overbearing Spanish crown, which ruled from afar, imposed high taxes, and favored t­hose born in Spain over the Spanish-­descended population in the colonies. ­These criollos (creoles), as they w ­ ere called, initiated the spark that led to in­de­pen­dence from Spain. They would have the support of many indigenous, African, and mixed-­race inhabitants who had fared even worse in colonial society and w ­ ere generally relegated to the bottom of the social, po­liti­cal, and economic hierarchies. For Mexicans, however, their hard-­won in­de­pen­dence would soon be challenged. First, Anglo colonizers and their Tejano sympathizers in the Mexican state of Texas would rise up in revolt against Mexico’s central government. Then the United States provoked war with Mexico by sending U.S. troops into disputed territory and initiating a military contest that would eventually result in Mexico losing half of its territory and vast tracts of mineral wealth and arable land.

Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 ­ fter the end of the war with Mexico, Americans quickly began moving westward to A colonize the United States’ newly acquired territory. Americans had in fact lived in the region prior to the war, when that area had still been part of Mexico. ­After the war, however, the number of Americans flooding the region grew dramatically. While the region was changing flags, however, in the Ca­rib­bean, Cubans and Puerto Ricans remained ­under Spanish colonial rule and dreamed of in­de­pen­dence. As freedom fighters launched their campaigns, some fled po­liti­cal persecution and sought refuge in the United States. O ­ thers saw commercial opportunities in relocating their business operations to the rapidly rising economic power­house. This period marked the beginning of the Cuban-­American presence in South Florida, for example, long before the arrival of Castro-­era exiles. In 1898, the United States went to war against Spain, ostensibly to help liberate Cuba’s p­ eople from Spanish tyranny and oppression. In the end, however, just as the United States had expanded its landmass on the continent, it soon acquired two new islands in the Ca­rib­bean and more in the Pacific.

Immigration, World War I, and Community Formation, 1900–1929 While the United States determined what to do with its new Ca­rib­bean possessions, the question of Puerto Ricans’ ­legal status emerged. Would the island’s residents be made U.S. citizens? Would the island become a state as other territories in the Southwest had become? And ­were the bound­aries between nations permanently

Introduction | xvii

settled? The early 20th ­century in fact revealed that the United States’ fate remained closely tied to that of its neighbors to the south. Along the Texas-­Mexico border, for example, Tejanos (Mexican Americans) started uprisings and insurgencies against Anglo domination and the vio­lence and brutality of the Texas Rangers. Meanwhile, in Mexico, Mexicans had grown impatient with the 35-­year dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz and ­were swept up by the stirrings of revolution. Both the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish-­American War and subsequent po­liti­cal turmoil in the Ca­rib­bean set off the first large waves of migration to the mainland United States. ­These migrations would lay the foundation for ­later waves of immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico in cities like San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

­Great Depression and Repatriation, 1929–1941 Life in the U.S. Southwest proved challenging for Mexican Americans in the early de­cades of the 20th ­century, even as they or­ga­nized themselves into civic groups to challenge discrimination and assert their po­liti­cal rights as Americans. During the ­Great Depression, however, many Mexican Americans learned that American citizenship did not fully protect them. Nearly half a million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-­born ­children w ­ ere deported or coercively repatriated to Mexico during the economic crisis. Despite this widespread persecution, however, many Latinos persisted in their new communities. Cubans and Puerto Ricans in New York City created a flourishing cultural re­nais­sance of ­music, politics, and culture. ­There, in Tampa, and throughout the Southwest, Latino workers also joined other Americans during the Depression in dramatic efforts to defend ­labor rights. In Puerto Rico, ­those who longed for in­de­pen­dence and an end to colonial rule launched a nationalist campaign that would challenge the United States’ authority.

World War II and Postwar Migrations, 1941–1959 World War II brought a new set of opportunities and challenges as Latinos went off to war, served on the home front, or gained access to highly paid defense jobs. Moreover, the United States’ dependence on ­labor from Latin Amer­i­ca also became apparent at this time. American officials enlisted both the Mexican and Puerto Rican governments to recruit thousands of workers during World War II to work the nation’s agricultural fields, canning factories, and railroads, to help keep the nation ­running smoothly in the effort to defeat the Axis powers. Still, Mexican Americans ­were particularly disappointed to learn, when they came home, that prejudice and discrimination against them persisted in the Southwest. Thus, they turned to the courts to challenge segregation in public schools and discrimination on juries.

xviii | Introduction

New challenges appeared in the mid-20th ­century, however. Urban renewal began to displace many working-­class and poor populations in inner cities as bulldozers demolished deteriorated housing for newer, upscale buildings and public facilities such as stadiums, concert halls, and universities. ­After World War II, the Bracero Program introduced a growing number of undocumented Mexican immigrants who became the subject of increased public scrutiny. By 1954, they w ­ ere the target of massive deportation campaigns. More than 1 million immigrants w ­ ere forcefully deported to Mexico by the mid-1950s. Meanwhile, as the United States expelled unauthorized Mexican immigrants, it soon began welcoming other Spanish-­ speaking immigrants: Cubans. The Communist takeover of Cuba, through a revolution led by Fidel Castro, would change the face of Miami, and the relationship between Latinos and the U.S. federal government, forever. The arrival of thousands of Cuban refugees represented a new wave of Latino mi­grants in the United States, one that was much more welcome and accommodated than any other.

Social Movements and Growing Po­liti­cal Power, 1960s–1979 By the 1960s, growing social unrest and po­liti­cal upheaval had reached many parts of the United States and all corners of the globe. In the United States, immigration policy underwent dramatic liberal reform meant to end discriminatory quotas by country of origin. Although the new policy was an improvement for many immigrant groups, it in fact signaled the first time in U.S. history that immigrants from Mexico or Latin Amer­i­ca ­were subjected to quotas. Ironically, however, the new laws also prioritized f­amily reunification, thus encouraging subsequent waves of Latin American immigrants e­ ager to join f­amily members already living in the country. The new policies also coincided with major po­liti­cal turmoil and civil wars in the Dominican Republic and Central Amer­ic­ a. ­These upheavals, in which the United States in fact played a critical role, would create a new population of Latinos in the United States for the first time: Dominicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans. At the same time, young Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, inspired by the civil rights, ­women’s, and anti-­war movements, and committed as well to social justice and democracy, joined numerous campaigns. Americans from California to New ­England learned about and supported the United Farm Workers grape boycott. Mexican American youth, inspired by the cultural production and po­liti­cal energy of the era, took up the terms Chicano and Chicana to identify themselves as socially conscious young p­ eople proud of their ethnic identity. Gay and lesbian Latinos and Latinas and w ­ omen also marched and or­ga­nized around issues of sexuality and gender discrimination and called for equality for gays, lesbians, transgender ­people, and w ­ omen.

Introduction | xix

While some protested in the streets, ­others waged b­ attles on college campuses. Latino students at universities around the country held sit-­ins, or­ga­nized protests, and used other efforts to open up universities to students of color and to demand that the country’s higher education institutions better reflect the racial and ethnic mosaic of the nation. This led to the creation of Chicano, Boricua, and Latino Studies programs around the country. Meanwhile, in public K-12 education, a Supreme Court ruling on bilingual education had dramatic implications for Spanish-­speaking school c­ hildren, among o­ thers. ­Whether voluntarily or by force, the United States was reckoning with its increasingly multicultural population. This became evident even in the highest halls of power, as Latinos entered the United States House of Representatives and began to or­ga­nize themselves as a Hispanic caucus.

The Conservative Tide and Pro­gress amid Backlash, 1980–2000 The social movements of the 1960s and 1970s produced tangible results by the 1980s. More Latino students ­were attending college. Some had broken down the discriminatory barriers to employment in some sectors, the media, and even popu­ lar culture. The visibility of Latinos grew in t­ hese de­cades with the expansion of Spanish-­language media, including the first Spanish-­language tele­vi­sion stations in the 1970s. ­These signaled Latinos’ growing po­liti­cal and economic power in the country. New immigration crises, however, presented challenges yet again. A new wave of Cuban refugees threatened the pro­gress and favorable status that Cuban Americans had enjoyed. The earlier waves of exiles had established themselves successfully in Miami and other cities; resumed their professional lives; and become “model minorities,” examples of how hard work paid off and how anyone could achieve the American dream. Cubans of the Mariel Boatlift, however, began tarnishing that image. In the case of Central Americans, the violent civil wars in their countries spurred tens of thousands of ­people to seek refuge in the United States and elsewhere. ­Because of past and recent immigration policies, however, many could not get authorization to enter the country legally. In response, religious communities created a sanctuary network to clandestinely move refugees to safety. Immigration reform in 1986 would make significant changes to the nation’s policies, however, and make it even more difficult for ­future immigrants from Mexico or Latin Amer­i­ca to enter the United States legally, leading eventually to an immigration crisis at the turn of the ­century. This, in concert with a new regional ­free trade agreement, led to increased backlash against Mexican and Latino immigrants. Ironically, at the same time that Latinos became hypervisible in the public sphere as “illegal immigrants,” they also drew more positive attention as producers

xx | Introduction

of popu­lar culture. The ­music and movie industries in par­tic­u­lar sought to capitalize on the popularity of Latino performers and launched several global pop superstars at the end of the ­century.

Latinos in the New Millennium, 2000–­Present In the first two de­cades of the 21st ­century the rightful place of Latinos in U.S. society has continued to spark debate and pres­ent dilemmas. ­Because of f­ ree trade and immigration enforcement policies, by 2006, the nation faced an unauthorized immigrant population of nearly 12 million p­ eople. The overwhelming majority was estimated to come from Mexico and Latin Amer­i­ca. In response to restrictive and punitive legislative proposals, however, immigrants from many dif­fer­ent backgrounds (not just Latinos), their allies, and religious communities came together to or­ga­nize and defend the ­human rights of undocumented immigrants. Si­mul­ta­neously, newly elected and appointed officials, in the nation’s capital and beyond, demonstrated Latinos’ growing po­liti­cal power and the recognition by mainstream leaders that the Latino vote represents an impor­tant part of the nation’s ­future. ­These years have witnessed many historical firsts, including the appointment of a Latina (Puerto Rican) Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. In popu­lar culture, Latinos have continued to earn fame for their role in entertainment, the media, and professional sports. Perhaps none has been more successful than New York-­born Puerto Rican playwright, Lin-­Manuel Miranda, whose hit Broadway musical Hamilton has broken box office rec­ords. While Americans contemplate their history, the question of who Americans are, and who gets to be an American t­ oday, Miranda has brought to the stage a quin­tes­sen­tial American story of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding ­Fathers—­but he has added a twist: he cast the leading roles with African American and Latino actors and wrote the story as a hip-­hop musical. This hybrid blending of Latino art, culture, and creativity with the history of Americans’ po­liti­cal heritage and traditions captures the integration of Latinos into the nation’s fabric. ­These 50 events mark just some of the most significant cultural, economic, and po­liti­cal contributions Latinos have made to the United States, from the 16th ­century to the pres­ent. From ­these pages, it is hoped that readers ­will take away the lesson that Latino history is deeply embedded in the history of the United States and that it is an integral component of the nation’s past.

A Note on Terminology Throughout this text we use the term Latino to simplify and keep consistent what are rather complex and fluctuating labels. Some individuals ­favor the term Hispanic

Introduction | xxi

for a variety of dif­fer­ent reasons. The heated debates over which of t­hese is most appropriate have raged on for de­cades. We have chosen to use primarily Latino throughout most of this publication, although Hispanic also appears in some entries where it is historically accurate. De­cades ago, feminist scholars raised the critique that the gendered nature of the term Latino, which ends in an “o” and thus signals a male or masculine form, ignores or diminishes the existence of w ­ omen as members of the population. As a result, the terms Latino/a or Latina/o came into popu­lar usage as well, as a way to be more gender inclusive and recognize ­women and ­those gendered as female. Since then, writers and scholars have continued to experiment with other ideas and language. As of the publication of this text, some have begun using the label Latinx to reflect an even greater degree of gender fluidity, inclusivity, and an acknowledgement of LGBT or queer ­people and identities. This most recent iteration is still being debated among academics, writers, and po­liti­cal leaders. In sum, the labels that ­people use remain highly contested, contextually dependent, and constantly shifting. For the sake of simplicity and consistency, we have chosen to use Latino with an “o” throughout. While we recognize the gender limitations and exclusions that this Spanish-­language word pres­ents, we hope that the content in ­these pages reflects our effort to include the histories and contributions of ­women, LGBT populations, and ­others who have been marginalized or overlooked in historical narratives.

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1 Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810

Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE Spencer Tyce

Chronology 10,000 BCE North American tribal groups develop stone tools and weapons. 7500 BCE

Drought eliminates big game animals such as mammoths, forcing Mesoamerican tribal groups to hunt smaller animals and adopt plants, seafood, nuts, and berries into their diets.

5000 BCE

North American cultures domesticate plants and develop agricultural techniques.

1200 BCE

The Olmec culture begins to thrive on the Mexican Gulf Coast. Po­liti­cal, cultural, and social advances evolve into systems that are shared by Mesoamerican cultures for the following two millennia.

500 BCE

The Zapotecs, an Olmec-­influenced society based out of Monte Albán in modern-­day Oaxaca, begin to thrive. The Zapotecs are one of the first Mesoamerican groups to institute colonization policies in the region so as to spread their po­liti­cal and cultural power.

400 BCE

The decline of the Olmec culture leads to the temporary end of widespread Mesoamerican trade and religious rituals. Other groups begin to adopt the cultural traits that the Olmecs had introduced to Mesoamerica, such as po­liti­cal structures, solar and religious calendar systems, advanced engineering, and the construction of buildings. 1

2 | Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810

100 BCE

The city-­state of Teotihuacán (near modern-­day Mexico City) dominates the po­liti­cal, religious, and economic cultures of Mesoamerica. Commercial networks connect the Valley of Mexico with the Gulf Coast, Central Amer­i­ca, and the northern frontiers of Mesoamerica, spreading cultural traits as well as trade goods.

250 CE

Beginning of what archaeologists call the Maya Classic Period. Although the Maya had been in the southern lowlands of Mesoamerica as early as 400 BCE, the Classic Maya develop advanced building proj­ects, cosmology, astronomy, agricultural techniques, writing, and artistic skills. Culturally and eco­nom­ically connected, the Maya did not form an empire like the Mexica (Aztecs). The Maya developed in­de­pen­dent city-­states that competed for resources and po­liti­ cal power.

292 CE

Earliest date inscribed within the city of Tikal, a Classic Maya center of more than 50,000 ­people. Tikal’s pyramids, access to fresh ­water, and cultural development make it one of the most impor­tant cities within the Classic Maya world.

500 CE

Zapotec cities and economic centers begin to develop on their own and break away from the central authorities of Monte Albán. The Zapotec culture remains intact, kept alive through po­liti­cal alliances and marriages through the 16th ­century.

650 CE

Though supporting a population of some 150,000 at its height, Teotihuacán diminishes in importance. The city’s inhabitants leave for a variety of reasons, including vio­lence, famine, and lack of w ­ ater. The city is virtually abandoned within 100 years.

750 CE

The Classic Maya suffer multiple social crises due to drought, famine, and the environmental repercussions of slash-­and-­burn farming and forest felling. Common ­people rebel against po­liti­cal and religious officials when leaders prove in­effec­tive in addressing t­hese prob­lems. Vio­lence appears to have been common, but most conflict occurred at the local level. Some cities suffer invasion from northern competitors, whereas ­others fight over ­water and farmland access. This is recognized as the end of the Classic Period.

800 CE

Invaders of the Puebla area destroy Cholula, a religious center connected culturally to Teotihuacán. The city had boasted the largest pyramid in the Amer­i­cas—­a ­temple to Quetzalcoatl—­that was even larger than Egypt’s G ­ reat Pyramid of Giza.

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900 CE

Classic Maya sites such as Tikal, Palenque, and Copán are abandoned. Local vio­lence and invaders from the north lead to the end of or­ga­nized society in the lowlands. Refugees flee to the Yucatán, Central Amer­i­ca, or into less developed regions of Mesoamerica.

968 CE

Toltecs, a northern Mesoamerican group that migrated into the Valley of Mexico during the ninth c­ entury, found the city of Tula. Their culture thrives through the obsidian trade.

1000 CE

The Mixtecs, inhabitants of the western Mesoamerican mountains, begin to practice highly advanced metallurgy skills.

1100 CE

Yucatec Mayan cities, prob­ably influenced by Toltec traders, begin to re­create ele­ments of central Mexico. Building proj­ects and my­thol­ ogy share more in common with groups from the Valley of Mexico than with ethnic Maya traits. The pyramid at Chichén Itzá is a notable example of this similarity.

1244 CE

The Mexica p­ eople from northern Mesoamerica begin to invade the Valley of Mexico.

1325 CE

The Mexica are driven to the frontiers of the Valley of Mexico by stronger groups. They start a settlement, Tenochtitlán, on a swampy island in the ­middle of Lake Texcoco. This remains their capital ­until the arrival of Eu­ro­pe­ans.

1440 CE

Tenochtitlán is the most power­ful city in the region and the Mexica dominate the po­liti­cal world of the Valley of Mexico. Much of this power comes ­under the rule of Moctezuma I, who consolidates power through diplomacy and conquest.

1502 CE

Moctezuma II is selected as the Mexica’s emperor. The Mexica (Aztec) Empire stretches across most of central Mesoamerica.

1519 CE

Eu­ro­pean invaders, including Hernán Cortés, land on the eastern coast of the Mexica Empire.

Narrative Mesoamerica saw the rise of multiple civilizations that spanned the time from the beginnings of Asiatic nomads migrating into North Amer­i­ca to the mass arrival of Eu­ro­pe­ans in the Amer­i­cas in the 15th ­century. Archeologists, historians, and other scholars have spent lifetimes attempting to uncover the details of the many cultures that flourished in the region during this period. While ­there is no complete picture

4 | Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810

The Olmec culture (1200 BCE) was one of many early Mesoamerican cultures that influenced ­future civilizations, such as the Maya and Aztecs. (Steve Estvanik​/­Dreamstime​.­com)

as yet, t­here is a new discovery or interpretation nearly e­ very year that better illustrates the complex, colorful world of Mesoamerica’s indigenous history. Many of ­these civilizations ­adopted po­liti­cal, social, cultural, and artistic traits from one another. Cultures and civilizations in decline do not simply vanish, but rather adapt to new pressures or blend into emerging socie­ties. The history of the indigenous ­peoples of Mesoamerica is one of adaptation and consolidation. Archaeologists believe that ­humans crossed the Bering Strait that connected North Amer­ic­ a to Asia by 10,000 BCE. Evidence suggests that ­human settlement existed in the Valley of Mexico—­the central region of Mesoamerica—as early as 9000 BCE. Most ­humans lived in small tribal communities, travelling throughout the area b­ ehind herds of big game like mammoth. Over time, t­ hese groups deci­ded to devote more energy to remaining in one area by building permanent settlements from which to hunt smaller prey or cultivate wild plants such as maize or squash. As ­these settlements prospered, Mesoamericans began to structure themselves

Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE | 5

differently, allocating resources and responsibility to specific individuals, trading with neighboring settlements, expressing themselves artistically, and considering how the spiritual world affected the ­human world. Artifacts uncovered at settlements like Tlatilco, a valley city founded in 1300 BCE, suggest that its inhabitants w ­ ere interested in the dichotomies between good and evil, elites and commoners, men and ­women, and ­humans and animals. One of the earliest cultures to leave a lasting impression on Mesoamerican civilization was that of the Olmecs. They established three major cities in the Gulf Coast region as early as 1500 BCE. From ­these central locations, the Olmecs exerted their cultural influence over smaller towns and settlements in the area, spreading their po­liti­cal, economic, and religious systems to ­others. The Olmecs created a calendar system that not only recognized the dif­fer­ent planting seasons, but also incorporated religious ele­ments to ensure that deities w ­ ere properly venerated. This calendar was essential for h­ uman sacrifice, a practice that became common in Mesoamerica and the Valley of Mexico, in par­tic­u­lar. ­Because h­ uman sacrifice was a ritual practice, specific places and individuals became associated with t­ hese events: The Olmecs built several large pyramids and ceremonial centers where they could perform ­these religious ceremonies. Specialists in religion and cosmology, essentially serving as priests, directed the ritual based on their reading of the calendar and other ­factors. The priests ­were thought to maintain contact between the h­ uman and the super­natural worlds, and could explore or solve any prob­lem or phenomenon. As the Olmecs’ civilization progressed, the priests and elite members of society gained considerable influence over society and the daily lives of common ­people. It was common in the history of Mesoamerica’s indigenous civilizations for po­liti­cal and cultural influences of cities and regions to diminish over a period of time, rather than for cultures to dis­appear quickly. Eventually, the decline of influential regions forced p­ eople to find alternate sources of po­liti­cal, cultural, and economic authority. Olmec culture was one of many that dissolved and reformed as new socie­ties arose in Mesoamerica. Sometime around 500 BCE, the Olmecs began to decline as a major power. Their culture did not collapse or dis­appear, but the influence of the major Olmec centers waned and became less impor­tant than that of other areas of the region. ­People still lived in the Olmec centers by 400 BCE, but they ­were part of dif­fer­ent po­liti­cal and trade networks. Nevertheless, scholars can still see the Olmec cultural heritage in the oft-­used calendar system, building techniques, and social stratification that became part of Maya, Toltec, and Nahua culture. By 1000 BCE, several groups w ­ ere competing for power in central Mesoamerica, replicating Olmec building and artisanal techniques as early as 600 BCE. ­These groups continued to develop for the next few centuries ­until the establishment of a major city west of the g­ reat lake in the Valley of Mexico. By 100 CE, the ­great city of Teotihuacán had become a thriving metropolis. With a population of

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80,000 and growing, the city boasted massive pyramids, multiple city centers, a defensive force, and a network of subservient towns and cities beyond its own territory. The ­great city’s zenith was close to 500 CE, when the population may have been 150,000 and the city itself took up more than 7 square miles, making it one of the largest metropolises in the world at that time. With its vassal towns and settlements, the entire population ­under Teotihuacán’s control may have been as large as 1 million p­ eople. Teotihuacán came to prominence in the valley for a number of reasons. Abundant rainfall in the first few centuries of the Common Era prob­ably gave the ­people of the Valley of Mexico a surplus of w ­ ater and the desire to create reservoir systems. The w ­ ater also helped spur the agricultural economy. Maize was grown in extraordinary quantities and was part of the daily diet for the majority of individuals in the region. The Valley is essentially the remains of an ancient volcano, so obsidian—­volcanic glass that is formed by rapidly cooled lava—­was plentiful. Obsidian can be crafted into tools with razor-­like blades and points. Weapons, hunting tools, and farming implements with obsidian blades ­were essential for keeping communities safe and well fed. Thus, Teotihuacán thrived due to its control over the obsidian trade and its skilled craftspeople. This economic superiority forced competing economic and po­liti­cal centers to submit to Teotihuacán’s authority. ­People from all over the region worked to maintain the power of the ­great city, even if they ­were not tied to it ethnically or culturally. Obsidian workshops in Teotihuacán and surrounding towns suggest that as much as 10 ­percent of the population of the city worked to keep the flow of obsidian tools in heavy circulation. Teotihuacán also spread its cultural power, not just its economic resources. The large pyramids and ceremonial centers had an impor­tant religious purpose: to serve the gods and perform ­human sacrifice when it was needed. The central deity in Teotihuacán was Tlaloc, a god that represented fertility and rebirth. Although the main city considered Tlaloc to be the most impor­tant god, satellite cities and towns began to reject Tlaloc in f­ avor of the feathered serpent god, known ­later as Quetzalcoatl. The feathered serpent god is common in Mesoamerican history, with depictions as early as the Olmec period. Teotihuacán even had a t­emple devoted to this deity. It is unclear why the Teotihuacán borderlands began to devote more time and energy to pleasing the feathered serpent god, but ­after Teotihuacán’s decline, the followers of the feathered serpent god remained devout well into the era of Eu­ro­pean contact. Sometime around 650 CE, Teotihuacán was set ablaze—by whom and why remains a mystery. Many of the monuments ­were destroyed, artistic creations ­were defaced, and the two g­ reat pyramids ­were burned. While ­there is no evidence of mass death, the remnants of fire and destruction suggest a significant level of disorder in the city. Evidence suggests that roughly 100  years a­ fter this event, the

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Who Was Quetzalcoatl? The depiction of a feathered serpent began to appear in inscriptions, art, and building designs during the first ­century of the Common Era. Thought to have originated in Teotihuacán, the deity Quetzalcoatl represented dif­fer­ent ­things to dif­fer­ent cultures and times within Mesoamerica. To the residents of Teotihuacán, Quetzalcoatl was a symbol for the passage of time, fertility, and even the bright light of Venus. The Maya, who made contact with central Mesoamerica on regular occasions, ­adopted the deity as well. Some Maya groups associated the plumed snake god with ­water and the afterlife, whereas ­others recognized Quetzalcoatl as a symbol of their po­liti­cal power. The Toltecs and Mexica (Aztecs) also worshipped the deity as the creator of humanity. Scholars have long fought over the prob­lem of how to interpret multiple myths and beliefs about Quetzalcoatl. One prob­lem associated with the god is that Toltec my­thol­ogy tells of a g­ reat king who shared the same name and perhaps the same powers as the god itself. In many instances, it is difficult to separate the deity from the king. Inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico forced the king-­god to abandon his home and flee to the far reaches of the world: the Yucatán. The king-­god re­created his home at Chichén Itzá and vowed to return to the Valley one day. Other Nahua cultures celebrated the deity of Quetzalcoatl who, like the king-­god, fled the valley for the Yucatán. The cults of Quetzalcoatl thrived in central Mesoamerica and may have played a part in the conquest of the Mexica empire. Years ­after Hernán Cortés captured Tenochtitlán, Mexica scribes wrote the history of the conquest and suggested that the state fell b­ ecause the ­people and their ruler, Moctezuma II, believed that Cortés was Quetzalcoatl returning to his home. Thinking their god was returning, the Mexica allowed the Eu­ro­pe­ans to enter their city unopposed, leading to the destruction of the empire. Most scholars reject this explanation. While the two Quetzalcoatl repre­sen­ta­tions may have existed in the religious and cultural traditions of Mesoamerica, t­here is no evidence to suggest that the indigenous p­ eoples of Mesoamerica believed the Eu­ro­pe­ ans to be gods of any kind (Restall, 2004, pp. 112–116; Townsend, 2003, pp. 659–687; Florescano, 1999, pp. 7–23). residents of Teotihuacán began to leave the city for neighboring areas. A g­ reat pre-­ Columbian metropolis surrounded by a network of submissive cities and towns soon became a large religious center populated only by a few priests, encircled by a growing cluster of city-­states with no strong ties to Teotihuacán. Art from this period shows armies and specialized warriors, suggesting a new era of vio­lence and

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po­liti­cal power that shifted quite rapidly. A lack of w ­ ater may have been a f­ actor as well, as drought ravaged the Valley between 500–650 CE. Two centuries ­after the fires that devastated Teotihuacán, the city was virtually abandoned ­because it was unable to provide ser­vices such as defense, food, and religious guidance. The population left in search of other communities that could better provide for its needs. During the significant cultural developments in central Mesoamerica, parallel developments ­were occurring in the southern frontiers of the Yucatán peninsula in the southern highlands and lowlands. From 900 BCE to 200 BCE, multiple ceremonial centers appeared, drawing from Olmec styles and o­ thers emerging from the southern regions of Mesoamerica and Central Amer­i­ca. The p­ eople who lived in and around ­these centers, the Maya, moved into the region as early as 2000 BCE, but physical evidence supporting agricultural and po­liti­cal development in the region is minimal. What is known is that by 600 BCE, Maya development was substantial and rivaled most Mesoamerican cultures in po­liti­cal, cultural, and economic complexity. Despite the earlier development, scholars describe the period between 200 CE to 800 CE as the Classic Maya period. During the Classic period, the Maya built and maintained multiple city-­states in what is now modern-­day Guatemala, Belize, and the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. Although many of the city-­states formed alliances with one another and engaged in vicious warfare with each other at times, t­ here is no evidence of a “Maya empire.” Rather, the Maya world during the Classic period was one of city-­states engaging in trade, agriculture, politics, and religious development in localized regions. At the head of ­these city-­states ­were holy lords who ­were responsible for carry­ing out the religious rituals that directed daily life and maintained the social order in the cities. ­These lords held positions of high status ­because the Maya believed they could communicate with the gods. To maintain this line of communication, the holy lords required certain materials to practice their rituals. Obsidian, sting ray spines, jade, intricate feathers, and goods from as far away as northern Mesoamerica and Teotihuacán ­were required for religious ceremonies. Without t­hese goods, the ceremonies could not be completed, potentially bringing bad fortune and setting off pos­si­ble calamity. In this way, the holy lords and secular elites ­were able to accumulate high-­ value goods through the trade networks in order to fuel religious ceremonies that maintained their lofty place in the social hierarchy. This came with a significant caveat, however. If rituals did not appear to be effective in pleasing the gods, the common ­people eventually turned against their elites and religious officials, upsetting the social order. Like the Olmecs, the Maya utilized an intricate calendar that tracked both secular and religious time. The religious calendar was a cycle of 260 days with 13 numbered days coordinated with 20 named days. Each day variation within the religious calendar was linked to a par­tic­u­lar deity, and c­ hildren born or decisions

Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE | 9

made on a par­tic­u­lar day would have astrological meaning. The secular calendar had a 365-­day cycle comprised of 20 days within 18 months. At the end of the year was a special 5-­day month, which was considered to be unlucky. The Maya encouraged their c­ hildren not to make special plans or carry out work during ­these days. ­Because the two calendars used separate counting systems, dates would repeat once ­every 52 years. ­These calendar systems allowed for such a highly accurate counting of dates that scholars have determined that Maya calendar systems count from a par­tic­u­lar date in time: August 11, 3114 BCE, the day when the Maya gods created the h­ uman race from maize (Coe, 1992, pp. 61–62). In the ninth ­century and leading in to the tenth, the Classic Maya cities and ceremonial centers declined in importance and power. Some cities appeared to have been attacked by foreign invaders from the north. Entire cities w ­ ere consumed by fire and g­ reat monuments w ­ ere destroyed. Other cities appear to have suffered from the aftereffects of a g­ reat drought that rocked the region. As the holy lords of t­ hese ­great cities demanded luxury goods to maintain rain and good health, the lack of ­water and proliferation of disease signaled to common p­ eople that the holy lords ­were no longer in the good f­ avor of the gods. Entire populations abandoned their cities for better, more hospitable lands. Other Maya cities suffered from environmental catastrophes such as mudslides and nutrient-­deprived farmland. It is a mystery where all of the Maya went, but they did not dis­appear and their civilization did not collapse. Many moved northeast, deeper into the Yucatán, while o­ thers dispersed into other parts of Mesoamerica (Demarest, 2004, pp. 246–276; Webster, 2002, pp. 327–348). In the 10th ­century, multiple ethnic groups from the northern frontier of Mesoamerica fought their way south into the Valley of Mexico. From t­hese initial migrations, the Toltecs emerged as one of the strongest groups in terms of military power. By 968 CE, the Toltecs had moved into the Valley and established themselves near Lake Texcoco, where they founded a city known as Tula. ­There, the Toltecs mirrored the actions of the city-­state of Teotihuacán centuries before them by taking over the obsidian trade that reached the Yucatán. They also created a strong religious culture, and instituted an aggressive building program that made Tula one of the finest cities in Mesoamerica. Quetzalcoatl was one of the Toltecs’ main deities, but by the 11th ­century, another deity had risen to ­favor: Tezcotlipoca, a god that demanded more rigorous h­ uman sacrifice than ever before. Tezcotlipoca’s rise also happened during a period of drought and famine in the valley, which might explain Quetzalcoatl’s decline in cultural power. Although the city-­state of Tula had welcomed northern Mesoamerican groups in an effort to build its power base and expand throughout the Valley of Mexico, the lack of w ­ ater and food forced groups to fight one another for control of resources and authority. Northern invaders and localized vio­lence brought down

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Maya Writing: Deciphering a Forgotten Language System Written language can be identified as being symbolic, syllabic, or alphabetic. Alphabetic language is ­simple to understand, as certain characters represent specific sounds. Syllabic languages are more complicated, such as the Cherokee language, which uses characters to represent the more than 80 dif­fer­ent syllable sounds a Cherokee speaker uses in speech. Symbolic languages, such as Japa­nese and Chinese, often use specific characters to represent words and sometimes sounds. The Classic Maya language appears to be similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics, a system of symbols that represent specific ideas or words. When Eu­ro­pe­ans arrived in the New World, it took them some effort to understand the basics of how to read and write the Maya glyphs. Diego de Landa, a Spanish priest who worked in the Yucatán in the ­middle of the 16th ­century, tried to write an alphabetic equivalent of the Maya glyphs. Though his early efforts at understanding the written Mayan language ­were impressive, he did not fully understand the complexity of the language. As a result, the true extent of what Mayan glyphs meant continued to be a mystery. In the early 19th  ­century, the subject of Mayan glyph decipherment became popu­lar again, thanks in large part to work that was being done to decode Egyptian glyphs. Despite this renewed interest, ­there w ­ ere few significant advances in the subject over the next c­ entury. Only a­ fter exhaustive research, trial and error, and international cooperation ­were scholars able to understand that the glyphs used by Maya scribes during the Classic Period are much more sophisticated than Egyptian glyphs. The Classic Maya glyphs are a combination of both syllable and vowel sounds, and symbols are used to depict specific words. Scribes could write a word using a symbol for the word, using symbols for specific sounds that made up the word, or a combination of both. What confused modern scholars was the fact that Maya writers did not always use the same symbols and sounds for the same word. Scribes could use dif­fer­ent vowel and syllable glyphs, or design new glyphs that added artistic complexity to their work. Literate Mayans appeared to have celebrated this textual complexity, but ­later epigraphers, scholars, and even the descendants of the Maya themselves strug­gled to make sense of the signs. Once 20th-­century scholars understood the level of artistic variation, the decipherment of ancient Maya language progressed much faster. ­These discoveries opened the doors to understanding much of the lost history and culture of the Maya ­people (Coe, 1992, pp. 13–33, 237–243).

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Tula’s government in 1150 CE, scattering the Toltecs into smaller po­liti­cal and ethnic groups throughout the region. In the Yucatán, the Post-­Classic Maya still thrived, but in a much dif­fer­ent system. The po­liti­cal organ­ization was not based on Classic Maya holy lords. Rather, the Yucatec Maya ­adopted a system of chieftains who controlled city-­states with a separate religious authority. Many cities of the Yucatec Maya w ­ ere established well before the 10th ­century. Chichén Itzá, one of the economic and po­liti­cal centers in the Yucatec Maya world, for example, may have had close contact with Toltec traders, as pyramid and artistic designs resemble t­hose in the Valley of Mexico. Around the same time that Tula fell, so did Chichén Itzá. It remained a popu­lar religious site, but it was not a major po­liti­cal center. The Yucatec Maya built several significant settlements in the region, some boasting populations in the tens of thousands. Like other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya saw trade as essential for establishing po­liti­cal and cultural power. Maya traders travelled throughout the Yucatán, central Mesoamerica, and even the Ca­rib­bean island of Cuba and beyond to the east. It was on one of t­ hese voyages, scholars believe, that Yucatec traders encountered Eu­ro­pe­ans in 1502 CE. Without Tula in control, a power vacuum appeared in central Mesoamerica in the 12th ­century. Many dif­fer­ent city-­states existed and even more ethnic groups vied for power and f­ avor with old inhabitants of the Valley and newer ones coming in from the north. One of the newest arrivals to the region at this time ­were the Mexica. The Mexica grew in importance during this troublesome period ­because they ­were willing to serve as mercenaries for vari­ous city-­states in the region. They fought well, but their religious practices and devotion to ­human sacrifice made many ethnic groups in the area uncomfortable. ­These groups drove the Mexica away from the populated areas of the Valley onto a swampy island in Lake Texcoco, where they founded their city Tenochtitlán in 1325 CE. The Mexica worked quickly to create a highly intricate island with roads to the mainland, floating agricultural terraces, and other innovations. The Mexica w ­ ere also po­liti­cally savvy, and formed a co­ali­tion with other city-­states around the lake. In 1440 CE, Moctezuma I spent much of his reign as leader of the Mexica conquering weaker city-­states to the north and south. By building his own power and profiting from vassal states, the Mexica soon overpowered their co­ali­tion allies. They now had an empire, but it was not strong. The Mexica, l­ ater called Aztecs by scholars, held power by forcing weaker or rebellious regions of central Mesoamerica to submit to their much stronger, well-­ trained armies. In 1502 CE, Moctezuma II came to power. He controlled an empire of several hundred city-­states, ruled over a vast trade network, and was able to mobilize several skilled armies throughout the valley. Still, his power only worked if ­those groups and city-­states followed ­orders and obeyed him. Mexica armies or their

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allies regularly confronted less enthusiastic allies to convince them that following the rule of Tenochtitlán was in every­one’s best interests. In 1519 CE, with the arrival of Eu­ro­pe­ans on the Gulf Coast shores, Moctezuma II faced a familiar theme in Mesoamerican history: the threat of invaders and the possibility of his civilization’s decline in power. Maya settlements violently resisted Eu­ro­pean conquest expeditions and Catholic missionary endeavors through the 16th ­century. Despite aggressive policies from both secular and ecclesiastical officials, many Maya communities remained po­liti­cally and culturally in­de­pen­dent of Eu­ro­pean power. Time and Eu­ro­pean po­liti­ cal consolidation eventually wore down Maya strongholds in the Yucatán. By the late 1690s, no Maya settlements remained ­free from Spanish colonial domination. Culturally, however, the Maya continued to speak their own language, celebrate community events, and practice traditional religious ceremonies, albeit in secret. ­After being subjugated by the Spanish empire, most Mayan p­ eople w ­ ere relegated to the lowest rungs of colonial society. They w ­ ere often forced to perform ­labor for Spanish overseers, ­were dislocated from valuable farming lands, and ­were brutally punished for opposing Spanish authority. Throughout the 19th ­century, Mayan ­people challenged Spanish colonial rule and l­ater Mexican national policy ­after Mexico attained its in­de­pen­dence. Their communities experienced vio­lence that increased in the de­cades leading up to the Mexican Revolution. In the 20th ­century, some Mayan p­ eople remained on their ancestral lands and in traditional communities. Mexico’s po­liti­cal and economic elites continued to disregard Maya interests in the late 20th ­century with the signing of the North American ­Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Maya re­sis­tance fighters in the state of Chiapas, calling themselves the Zapatistas, ­after southern Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata, opposed the agreement, arguing that it infringes upon the ability of indigenous ­peoples in the region to control their own land and resources. This conflict has persisted in the 21st ­century. In Guatemala, Mayan communities have also strug­gled for cultural autonomy and economic survival in the face of what some have called oppressive regimes and sheer genocide. Guatemalan h­ uman rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu, for example, brought attention to the plight of Mayan communities and the state-­sponsored attacks against Mayan peasants that left thousands dead in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite the po­liti­cal challenges for modern-­day Mayan ­people, t­here is a resurgence in education and cultural awareness. Maya ­children are learning how to read and write in the language of their ancestors, and scholars continue to reconnect Maya ­people to their long, rich history. The descendants of early Mayan p­ eoples are living proof of Maya cultural resilience and t­ hese ancient ­people’s enduring legacy.

Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE | 13

Biographies of Notable Figures K’inich Janab’ Pakal of Palenque (603 CE–­683 CE) K’inich Janab’ Pakal was born in the Palenque kingdom during the seventh c­ entury, in what is now southern Mexico by the northern Guatemala border. His ­mother was a royal, but his f­ ather appears not to have been of equal status. According to inscriptions written during Pakal’s lifetime, invaders from the kingdom of Calakmul defeated the city defenses and destroyed the kingdom of Palenque when he was only eight years old. Attacks against Palenque w ­ ere nothing new. Even before Pakal was born, e­ nemy kingdoms had attacked and ransacked the kingdom, including the po­liti­cal hierarchy. Without any other royal f­amily members left alive, the power to rule fell to the young Pakal. He was not old enough to take power at such a young age, however, so his ­mother ruled as his regent ­until he was 12. Although the inscriptions in and around Palenque detail the g­ reat feats of Pakal, l­ ittle was written about his early life. He married in 626 CE and had three sons, two of whom lived to succeed their f­ ather and continue his dynasty. Once fully capable of taking power in Palenque, Pakal spent much of his life seeking vengeance against the groups that had attacked his kingdom when he was a child. Pakal sent armies to his kingdom’s northern and eastern frontiers to regain Palenque’s power and status. Calakmul made another attack on Palenque when Pakal was 50 years old. Although it was not as destructive as the one he had seen as a child, Pakal was quick to attack Calakmul’s allies in response. Pakal’s men captured many leaders of t­hese allied towns and sent them back to Palenque for sacrifice. Some of Pakal’s most notable accomplishments ­were his military exploits, the restoration of his kingdom’s po­liti­cal power, and his building proj­ects, which made Palenque one of the most spectacular of the Classic Maya cities. The main palace in Palenque was damaged during the Calakmul raid of his childhood. Rather than creating a new palace, Pakal simply built new additions on the old palace’s structure. Pakal also or­ga­nized the construction of at least two t­emples. One of them, the ­Temple of the Inscriptions, is one of the most famous monuments of the Classic Maya world. It is also Pakal’s tomb, of which he oversaw construction during the final years of his life. In his ­later years, Pakal felt drawn to the arts, commissioning artists to inscribe the history of his reign on the monuments and buildings that he had urged his ­people to build. ­After 68 years of ruling Palenque, Pakal died at the age of 80. His t­ emple tomb was not yet complete, but his son carried out his ­father’s work and finished its construction. Much of what scholars know about Pakal comes from the discovery of his tomb in the ­Temple of the Inscriptions. In the late 1940s, Mexican archaeologist Alberto

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Ruz Lhuillier found the entrance to the tomb while performing research at the site. Over the next few years, Ruz and his men dug out stones and debris blocking the entrance that led to a deep stairway and a secret chamber ­under the t­ emple. Along the way, the team found the remains of five ­people who had been sacrificed to Pakal a­ fter the king was entombed. In the summer of 1952, Ruz and his team fi­nally cleared the space to the tomb chamber of Pakal. They ­were the first ­humans in 1,200 years to see the king’s sarcophagus. Pakal’s sarcophagus is a monument in itself to the Maya’s artistic skills and craftsmanship. The entire container is covered in Maya images of the afterlife and rebirth. At the center of the sarcophagus lid is a depiction of Pakal, falling into the underworld to begin the pro­cess of rebirth. Pakal is dressed as the Maize God, which confirms this cultural group’s faith in rebirth, as corn is harvested and grown again year ­after year. When Ruz and his team opened the lid to Pakal’s sarcophagus, they w ­ ere amazed. Pakal was intricately decorated with a jade mosaic mask, rings, jewels, and miniature statues of the gods. Ruz discovered the tomb of a prominent Maya lord, but in the 1950s Maya hieroglyphs w ­ ere not understood well enough to identify who was actually in the sarcophagus. Most of the Maya studies scholars knew how to recognize numbers, dates, and some other symbols, but w ­ ere unable to “read” what the Maya scribes had written so many centuries before. A de­cade ­after his discovery, Ruz began to call Pakal “8 Ahau” based on the date that appeared frequently in carvings and inscriptions throughout the tomb and ­temple. In the 1970s, a group of Maya hieroglyph scholars from around the world met in Palenque. Through an exhaustive study of the glyphs and other carvings, the meeting determined that “8 Ahau” was most likely translated as “shield” based on his name’s depiction as the symbol for a warrior’s shield. ­After some additional discussion, the team agreed that the sign for shield should be pronounced “Pakal” in the language spoken by the Maya living in Palenque. Extraordinarily, an old Spanish-­Mayan dictionary revealed that Pakal did indeed mean escudo, or shield. Over the years, understanding the glyphs became easier for scholars, but finding Pakal’s tomb, learning about his history, and knowing his name gave part of Maya history back to the Maya ­people (Schele and Mathews, 1999, pp. 95–132; Mathews, 2006).

Moctezuma I (1398 CE–1469 CE) Moctezuma Ilhuicamina was the son of Huitzilíhuitli, the Mexica (Aztec) ruler (tlatoani). Unlike most royal or imperial systems of government, po­liti­cal authority did not always pass from f­ athers to sons within the Mexica world. A council of priests, noblemen, and elder statesmen would elect a new ruler based on vari­ous criteria, including military prowess. While the candidates for the position had to be

Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations, 250 CE–900 CE | 15

part of the royal ­family, any male member was eligible. Moctezuma I’s f­ ather had been elected ruler as a teenager, but Moctezuma I would not come to the throne himself u­ ntil he was in his forties. ­Because of his age, Moctezuma was able to gain considerable po­liti­cal and military experience before coming to power, which made him one of the most celebrated leaders in Mexica history. As the son of a ruler, Moctezuma I must have recognized the wisdom and experience that was necessary to be an effective leader. When Moctezuma I was a young man, his ­uncle Itzcoatl came to power. U ­ nder his ­uncle, he served as a military leader and a member of the royal advisory council at the palace in Tenochtitlán. In a practice not uncommon in the Mexica royal world, he married his cousin Chichimecacihuatzin I and had at least four ­children. Unlike other leaders of the Mexica, Moctezuma did not drink excessively or take many concubines. In this way, Moctezuma I appears to have been a conservative leader, strictly following the rule of law and social order. When his ­uncle Itzcoatl died in 1440 CE, the council of electors deci­ded that Moctezuma I’s military rec­ords and established voice in the royal council ­were sufficient basis to name him the new leader of the Mexica and Tenochtitlán, their imperial capital. The new ruler was quick to enforce existing laws, especially sumptuary laws, which prevented some classes of society from buying certain goods. The elites, in Moctezuma I’s opinion, should be distinct from the rest of society. This push for greater enforcement may have come from the growing merchant class, which was becoming wealthier and could often afford goods that even the nobles could not easily afford. The new ruler also wanted to strengthen the relationship between the alliance made up of his city, Texcoco, and Tlacopan: the member cities of the ­Triple Alliance. The three city-­states shared the spoils of war and conquests, but Tenochtitlán was slowly becoming more power­ful than its partners. Traditionally, the ascent of a new ruler meant that the territories u­ nder Mexica rule ­were likely to test the new leader’s po­liti­cal resolve. Regions within the Valley of Mexico that paid tribute to Tenochtitlán often refused to follow directives of the new head of the Mexica p­ eople. They did so to test how quickly and forcefully the new head of the Mexica would react. Challenging the leader’s authority illuminated the ruler’s strength or weakness to other groups both inside and outside of Mexica control. With Moctezuma I, it was no dif­fer­ent. A handful of cities refused to acknowledge the authority of Tenochtitlán, and the new head of the city sent armies to defeat them. ­These w ­ ere not new conquests, but a way to reestablish Mexica authority. Moctezuma I determined his vassals’ allegiance by asking them to help construct ­temples within Tenochtitlán. Only one city refused to help, and Moctezuma I sent an army to punish the transgressors. In addition to his punishments, Moctezuma I also accompanied armies to conquer new areas that would expand Mexica power in the Valley of Mexico. He

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mobilized an army and marched north, obtaining the allegiance of smaller towns and less power­ful cities as he made his way to stronger opponents. Mexica policy made allegiance to Tenochtitlán an attractive alternative to destruction and warfare. When a settlement submitted to Mexica authority, it was allowed to keep its own po­liti­cal and religious systems. In exchange, Tenochtitlán requested the right for Mexica merchants to travel to the area for ­free, a regular tribute of resources or ­labor, and support to the Mexica when needed. As Moctezuma I’s army moved north to fight the larger cities t­ here, the smaller towns they encountered ­were quick to accept Mexica offerings of peace and allegiance, especially since an entire army was occupying the area. His efforts in the north ­were a success. L ­ ater, in the 1450s, Moctezuma I ordered armies to go to the Gulf Coast region, expanding his power far to the east. Shortly ­after this campaign he ordered an army of more than 200,000 to the south, where they nearly reached the Pacific Ocean. By increasing the size of the ­Triple Alliance and his own po­liti­cal authority, Moctezuma I established the prosperous po­liti­cal and military ­future of the Mexica ­people. The Mexica army was one of the most power­ful forces in Mesoamerica, and had the power to end disputes between Tenochtitlán and vassal states with the use of force. The trade network that ran through central Mesoamerica was incredibly vast and efficient, and brought goods and ser­vices to nearly e­ very corner of central Mesoamerica. The ­people of Tenochtitlán prospered, using their po­liti­cal and economic influence to create revolutionary aqueduct systems, floating gardens, and building proj­ects. To the vassal states, however, the Mexica ­were unwavering figures of authority. Cities could maintain their own po­liti­cal and cultural heritage, but ­were forced to pay the Mexica and the ­Triple Alliance in food, manpower, ­labor, and (quite often) ­humans for sacrifice (Hassig, 1988, pp. 157–175). See also: Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire; Pueblo Revolt of 1680; Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas

Further Reading Austin, Alfredo López, and Leonardo López Luján. 2001. Mexico’s Indigenous Past. Trans. Bernard R. Ortiz de Montellano. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Bakewell, Peter. 2010. A History of Latin Amer­i­ca to 1825 (3d ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-­Blackwell. Christenson, Allen J. 2007. Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Coe, Michael D. 1992. Breaking the Maya Code. New York: Thames and Hudson. Cowgill, George L. 2015. Ancient Teotihuacan: Early Urbanism in Central Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press. Demarest, Arthur. 2004. Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 | 17 Diehl, Richard A. 2005. The Olmecs: Amer­i­ca’s First Civilization. New York: Thames and Hudson. Florescano, Enrique. 1999. The Myth of Quetzalcoatl. Trans. by Lysa Hochroth. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hassig, Ross. 1988. Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Po­liti­cal Control. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Landa, Diego de. 1978. Yucatan: Before and ­After the Conquest. Trans. William Gates. New York: Dover. Mathews, Peter. 2006. “Who’s Who in the Classic Maya World.” Retrieved from http://­ research​.­famsi​.­org​/­whos​_­who​/­people​.­php​?­mathewsnumber​=­PAL%20011. Restall, Matthew. 2004. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Schele, Linda, and Peter Mathews. 1999. The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya ­Temples and Tombs. New York: Simon & Schuster. Schele, Linda, and Mary Ellen Miller. 1986. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. Fort Worth, TX: Kimbell Art Museum. Townsend, Camilla. 2003. “Burying the White Gods: New Perspectives on the Conquest of Mexico.” American Historical Review, 108 (3), 659–687. Webster, David. 2002. The Fall of the Ancient Maya. New York: Thames and Hudson.

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 Cameron D. Jones

Chronology 1492

Columbus makes his first voyage, leaving Pallos de la Frontera, Spain, on August 3 and lands on the island of San Salvador (in modern-­day Bahamas) on October 12.

1492–1493 Sometime between Christmas 1492 and Epiphany (January 6th) 1493, Columbus establishes the first Eu­ro­pean settlement in the Ca­rib­bean, La Navidad, on the island of Hispaniola. At some point, while Columbus is in Spain, the colony is destroyed and its inhabitants killed, presumably by the native population. This marks the first attempt at colonization in the Amer­i­cas. 1511

The Spanish invade Cuba, establishing their first settlement at Baracoa.

1511–1512 Local Taino chieftain Hatuey resists Spanish colonization, besieging Baracoa. The Spanish capture and burn Hatuey at the stake on February 2, 1512.

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Hernán Cortés and several hundred Spaniards invade Mexico. ­After gaining several thousand indigenous allies, they march on the Mexica (Aztec) capital, Tenochtitlán, on November 8. They eventually take control of the city’s ruler, Moctezuma II.


Cortés and his men are forced out of Tenochtitlán on June 30 in an event known as the Night of Sorrows (La Noche Triste).


Between May and August, Cortés and his indigenous allies besiege Tenochtitlán, nearly leveling it. Smallpox also devastates the city.


Francisco Pizarro and 168 Spaniards invade Peru, taking effective control of the Inca empire by capturing its leader, Atahualpa, on September 16.

1535–1536 The puppet Inca ruler, Manco Inca, begins a rebellion against the Spanish on April 18, 1535. ­After 10 months of fighting, Manco Inca retreats into the jungle. 1535

Emperor Charles V creates the viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico) on September 14.


On November 20, Charles V decrees the New Laws of 1542.


On May 14, Charles V establishes the viceroyalty of Peru.

1544–1548 The Encomenderos Revolt in Peru. 1598

The Spanish establish the first permanent settlement among the Pueblo natives in what is now New Mexico.


On August 10, the Pueblo rise up in revolt against the Spanish. They remain ­free of the Spanish for 12 years.


The Spanish destroy the last pocket of Maya re­sis­tance, toppling the capital of the Itza kingdom, Nojpetén, in the Guatemalan highlands.


On November 1, Charles II, the last Hapsburg king of Spain, dies without c­ hildren. He bequeaths his empire and titles to his cousin, Philip of Anjou, of the French ruling h­ ouse of Bourbon (crowned Philip V).

1701–1713 The War of Spanish Succession decides the issue of Philip V’s succession. The Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, effectively ends the war and leaves Philip and the Bourbon dynasty in power in Spain. 1713–1797 Starting with Philip V, the Bourbon dynasty begins a series of reforms to strengthen its ties with the Amer­i­cas and raise more revenue; t­ hese are known as the Bourbon Reforms.

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 | 19

1780–1782 José Gabriel Tupac Amaru leads a massive revolt against the Spanish in the Andes around Cusco, spurred by resentment over the Bourbon Reforms. Though Spanish forces execute Tupac Amaru in 1781, the rebellion continues ­until 1782, involving hundreds of thousands of combatants and causing tens of thousands of deaths. 1808

Napoleon invades Spain, removing King Charles IV from the throne. This c­ auses a crisis in the Spanish colonies over who ­will govern in the Amer­i­cas.


On May  22, Argentina declares self-­rule while the French hold Spain. They claim to rule, in lieu of King Ferdinand VI, ­until 1816.


Spanish ministers who escaped Napoleon’s invasion write the Constitution of 1812 in Cádiz, Spain. The document suggests the creation of a constitutional monarchy in Spain with American colonies having full repre­sen­ta­tion.


Combined British and Spanish forces restore the Spanish monarchy. King Ferdinand VII rejects the Constitution of 1812 and his forces successfully crush all in­de­pen­dence movements in Spanish Amer­i­ca except in Argentina.


Mexico and Central Amer­i­ca gain in­de­pen­dence ­after the king of Spain is forced to reinstate the liberal Constitution of 1812, which guaranteed the indigenous population of the Amer­i­cas the right to vote. A conservative co­ali­tion of generals strikes a deal with in­de­pen­ dence leaders in Mexico, resulting in the Plan de Iguala, ­under which Mexico and most of Central Amer­i­ca become in­de­pen­dent.


The B ­ attle of Ayacucho takes place on December 9 in the southern highlands of Peru. In­de­pen­dence forces u­ nder the overall command of Simón Bolívar (who is not pres­ent at the ­battle) rout the last effective Spanish army forces in the Amer­i­cas and capture the last viceroy. This marks the effective end of Spanish governance in the South American mainland.


The Spanish-­American War marks the end of Spanish colonial rule in the Amer­i­cas. Puerto Rico becomes a colonial possession of the United States and Cuba becomes in­de­pen­dent though it remains ­under heavy U.S. influence u­ ntil 1959.

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The Spanish built numerous missions throughout Mexico and California as a means of establishing Catholic doctrine and gaining cultural influence over native populations. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Narrative The Spanish colonization of the Amer­i­cas was a long and complex pro­cess. It began when conquistadors from the Kingdom of Castile (one of the kingdoms that makes up modern-­day Spain) took po­liti­cal, economic, and—to a lesser extent—­social and cultural control of large regions of the Amer­i­cas a­ fter 1492. The pro­cess of Eu­ro­ pean domination was never fully completed, as ­today, indigenous traditions and cultures still persist. However, beliefs in the superiority of Eu­ro­pean culture still continue in the Amer­i­cas in the 21st ­century. Spain initially claimed all of North and South Amer­i­ca, but Spanish control was eventually limited to about half of the Ca­rib­bean, the present-­day U.S. Southwest, Mexico, Central Amer­i­ca, and most of South Amer­i­ca, with the exception of Brazil. The pro­cess of colonization began with Columbus’s first voyages to the Ca­rib­ bean in 1492 and ended for most of the Amer­ic­ as with the Spanish-­American Wars of In­de­pen­dence in the 1820s. Colonial power persisted in some areas, such as Cuba and Puerto Rico, ­until the Spanish-­American War of 1898. Thus, the Spanish empire remained in power much longer than the British crown controlled its 13 original colonies. Most scholars agree that although this longevity and relative stability can be attributed to the coercive and sometimes cruel nature of Spanish control, it could not have lasted without at least some collaboration from indigenous leadership in all the lands which the Spanish occupied.

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Methods of Control and Demographics In the Ca­rib­bean from 1492 to 1519 (before the invasion of Mexico), Spanish control of the native population was relatively easy. The native p­ eoples of the Ca­rib­ bean vastly outnumbered the conquistadors, but lacked the organ­ization and technology to effectively resist them. To exploit the ­labor of the indigenous ­peoples

Reconquista The Reconquista, or Reconquest, of Spain generally refers to the 780-­year pro­cess during which Christian Spanish forces slowly expelled Muslim Moors from North Africa out of the Iberian Peninsula. In the year 711, Muslim forces that ­were mostly comprised of Berbers crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to take control of what was formerly the Roman province of Hispania. At the time, the area was ruled by a Germanic tribe, the Visigoths, who ­were easily defeated by the invading Moors. According to legend, Spanish Christians ­were fi­nally able to stop the Moors’ invasion of Spain at the ­Battle of Covadonga (in the northern province of Asturias) in 718 or 720. Though accounts of this ­battle are prob­ably exaggerations at best, the Moors’ advance was undoubtedly stopped at the ­Battle of Tours (in modern-­day France) in 732 by the Frankish King Charles “the Hammer” Martel. Traditionally, however, the Covadonga ­battle marks the beginning of the long and complicated pro­cess by which Christian rulers of Spain slowly regained authority over territories that had been u­ nder the control of the Muslim invaders. The last Muslim kingdom in Spain, Granada, fell to forces led by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel, on January 2, 1492. During the euphoria surrounding this victory, a little-­known Genoese sailor who worked for the Portuguese, Christopher Columbus, came to the city of Granada to petition Queen Isabel to provide ships for a voyage: Columbus wanted to find Asia by sailing west into the unknown Atlantic. The Reconquest was a complicated, lengthy pro­cess. ­There ­were ­great divisions within both Muslim and Christian ranks; many times Christians and Muslims fought side by side against ­people of their own faiths. For many, po­liti­cal considerations trumped religious unity. The chaos of t­hese events prompted some scholars to argue that the term Reconquista is a misnomer, as the effort to expel the Moors was rarely unified. Still, this history of religious conflict had significant implications for Spain’s policies in its colonies. Ferdinand, and especially Isabel’s, Catholic fervor ­shaped the policies of Spanish colonizers t­oward indigenous ­people.

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and gain wealth, the Spanish colonizers utilized an institution that had been developed during Reconquest, known as the encomienda. Many of the practices and institutions that w ­ ere created during this period of re-­conquest, such as the encomienda, ­were adapted and used in the Amer­ic­ as during the first few de­cades of Spanish colonization. An encomienda was a grant of indigenous ­labor that was bestowed upon a par­tic­u­lar conquistador as a reward for his ser­vices in “pacifying” the native population. In theory, the encomendero (the person who held the encomienda) was owed a certain amount of l­abor from a certain number of villages in a par­tic­u­lar area. The encomendero did not own the land, but had rights to some of the ­labor of the ­people living on it. The encomendero was also supposed to protect t­ hose living within his encomienda and provide them with religious instruction. In real­ity, however, most natives w ­ ere ­either worked to death or died of diseases brought by the Eu­ro­pe­ans. ­Those who survived received l­ittle or nothing in return. The result was the collapse of the Ca­rib­be­an’s native population within a few de­cades. Nevertheless, the encomienda system persisted for another 50 years as the Spanish moved into Mexico and Peru. The Spanish invasions of Mexico and Peru ­were more difficult, as the Spanish encountered the more or­ga­nized and densely populated Mexica (­later renamed Aztec), Inca, and Maya civilizations. Spanish ­horses, steel, and cannons could not overcome the difference in the relative numbers between the conquistadors—­who ­were only in the hundreds—­and the local populations, who w ­ ere in the millions in some cases. Therefore, in order to take control of the region, the Spanish needed to exploit preexisting divisions between native socie­ties. The most famous example is the Tlaxcalans, who w ­ ere already the enemies of the Mexica, and readily became allies to the Spanish. At first it would have been unclear who was using whom, as the Tlaxcalans used Spanish military strength to help them defeat long-­standing enemies. ­These temporary alliances w ­ ere essential for early Spanish victory, and many ­were sealed with marriages between conquistadors and native noblewomen. Early on, the Spanish only ruled with the consent of native leadership. Over time, however, this balance of power shifted significantly (Restall, 2003, pp. 44–63). The shift in power was due mainly to a demographic collapse. As the native population of the Amer­i­cas had been cut off from the rest of the world’s land mass for approximately 12,000 years, the indigenous populations in both North and South Amer­i­ca lacked immunity to Afro-­Eurasian diseases. From 1492 to around 1600, the Amer­i­cas ­were struck with wave a­ fter wave of epidemic disease, each on a scale equal to the Black Death in Eu­rope in the 13th ­century. The end result was the reduction of about 85–90  ­percent of the population over roughly 100  years. With the reduction in native population and the inflow of immigration from Eu­rope, Spanish colonizers slowly gained the upper hand, relying less and less on their native alliances (Crosby, 1972). This does not mean that native leadership completely collapsed. The

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Spanish w ­ ere still vastly outnumbered and throughout the Amer­i­cas, particularly at the village level, where most aspects of life ­were directed by indigenous authorities (Taylor, 1979). The natives’ high mortality rates did not go unnoticed by Spanish authorities. Many blamed the encomenderos’ cruelty and mismanagement of their laborers for the drop in population. Their exploitation of indigenous ­peoples only added to the misery and death caused by the pandemics. One of the most vocal critics was a Dominican priest named Bartolomé de las Casas. Many of his writings eventually found a sympathetic ear in the king back in Spain, who in 1542 passed the New Laws, which spelled out an end to the encomienda system. Fearing reprisal, colonial officials in Mexico refused to implement the law immediately and asked for further instructions. In Peru, the New Laws provoked a rebellion, the Encomenderos Revolt, which resulted in the death of the highest-­ranking Spanish official in the region. Though the crown would l­ ater modify the law to create a more gradual end to the encomienda system, the system was mostly eliminated nonetheless, replaced with more direct imperial control. To exercise this control, the crown turned to a more bureaucratic viceregal structure. This system called for viceroys (­people who ruled on behalf of Spain’s king) to be placed in Mexico and Peru. Viceroys had considerable military, po­liti­cal, and judicial power. The viceroys oversaw a series of court districts or audiencias. Each audiencia was ser­viced by a panel of judges who held both judicial and executive authority. ­Under the audiencias ­were the corregidores de Indios, literally the “correctors of Indians.” Corregidores ­were provincial governors who worked with local indigenous leadership to collect taxes, administer justice for petty crimes, and suppress rebellion. Corregidores ­were famously some of the most corrupt officials ­because they worked to extract wealth from the local population. In theory, the king presided over all ­these officials. In real­ity, he relied heavi­ly upon the Council of the Indies, an advisory committee made up of noblemen and p­ eople who had actually lived and worked for the crown in the Amer­i­cas. The viceregal system continued during the entirety of the colonial period, though some offices w ­ ere replaced in the 18th ­century. Corregidores, for example, ­were removed in ­favor of intendants (intendentes), or governing administrators.

Mining and Taxation The principal purpose of Spain’s American colonies, from the perspective of the crown, was to make money. Spain needed funds to wage war against its neighbors as they vied for dominance and religious homogeneity in Eu­rope. Although most of this fighting took place in Eu­rope early on, in the 18th ­century Eu­ro­pean powers increasingly faced off in the Amer­i­cas as they attempted to carve out their

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own colonial empires. While the Amer­i­cas had a vast trove of exploitable resources, the most impor­tant was silver. Silver, like all precious metals, has a high value-­to-­ weight ratio, meaning it was highly profitable even when transported over ­great distances. Though the Spanish also discovered gold, it was not nearly as abundant. Furthermore, the Chinese had just experienced the collapse of their own paper money system and had deci­ded to switch to a silver-­based coinage, creating an enormous demand for the metal in Asia. The combination of silver’s abundance in Amer­ i­ca and demand in Asia fi­nally gave Eu­ro­pe­ans access to the spices and other luxury items of the Far East that had driven them to explore in the first place (Stein and Stein, 2000). The American silver boom began in earnest with the discovery of the mines of Potosí in what is now modern-­day Bolivia. Although mines in Mexico would eclipse the South American mines in terms of output in the 18th ­century, this early boom put Spain on the map as an economic world power. Additionally, the South American mines prospered due to another fortuitous geological coincidence, the proximity of mercury deposits. Unlike gold, silver is notoriously difficult to refine. One of

Potosí Dubbed the Cerro Rico or “rich mountain,” Potosí was a vast silver mine located in what is now Bolivia. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it became the largest and most productive mine in the Spanish empire. The silver it produced, along with precious metals from other mines, became the source of Spain’s expanding power in the 16th ­century. Though some contend that the Incas knew of Potosí’s existence previously, it was not u­ ntil 1545 when a local Andean traveling to a nearby but dif­fer­ent silver mine discovered the site. According to legend, he fell from his mule, and as he fell he grabbed a plant on the side of the mountain, tearing it f­ ree and exposing a vein of silver ore. The mountain was said to be made of pure silver. Though that claim is an obvious exaggeration, silver ore mined from it shortly ­after it was first discovered could exceed 40 ­percent purity. Levels of purity decreased over time as the mine was exhausted, but a total of 60,000 tons of silver has been extracted from the mountain, much of it during the colonial period. As a result, the city that ser­viced the mine, also named Potosí, swelled to a population of 160,000 in 1650, becoming one of the largest cities in the Amer­i­ cas. Unfortunately for the nation of Bolivia, much of the mine was exhausted during the colonial period. Mining operations at the site continue in the 21st ­century, however, mostly carried out by the native population of the city.

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the best methods, however, involves using mercury to form an amalgam from which pure silver can be more easily extracted. Fortunately for the Spanish, one of the largest known mercury mines at the time was located only a few hundred miles away at Huancavelica in modern-­day Peru (Bakewell, 1984). The Spanish crown, of course, had a ­great interest in supporting mining operations. This was due to the fact that the most lucrative tax was that on mining: the Quinto Real, or Royal Fifth, a 20 ­percent tax levied on the mine ­owners for all precious metals taken from the ground. To supplement mining in the Andes, crown officials revived the name of an old ­labor tax from the Inca period, the mita. The mita required that e­ very adult man give one year ser­vice in the mine out of e­ very seven years. Ser­vice in the mines was dangerous, and added to the general demographic collapse of the native populations. Work in the mercury mines proved even more deadly ­because that metal, particularly in its raw form, is poisonous. In Mexico t­ here was no mita; they often used another system of ­labor tax called the repartimiento, which could also be quite burdensome for native ­peoples. The crown further imposed other taxes on the native population that proved just as onerous to the indigenous p­ eople as they w ­ ere lucrative to the crown. The first was the indigenous tribute, or head tax, assessed on native communities according to the population count. Local corregidores and trea­sury officials frequently manipulated census rec­ords to skim off the top of t­ hese taxes. Furthermore, the crown collected t­ hese taxes in coin, not produce, meaning that agrarian communities had to engage in some sort of market or industry, such as mining, to get enough coinage to pay the tribute. All inhabitants of the Amer­i­cas paid sales taxes, which ­were relatively low at first, but r­ ose over time. The Catholic Church collected tithes, of which the crown received a portion; priests also charged fees for marriages, baptisms, and burials. Overall, the indigenous p­ eoples of Spanish Amer­i­ca w ­ ere prob­ ably the most heavi­ly taxed group in the Amer­i­cas (Burkholder and Johnson, 2014, pp. 162–191).

Race, Ethnicity, and Colonial Society The Spanish encounter with the indigenous p­ eople of the Amer­i­cas severely disrupted previously held Eu­ro­pean notions of race and ethnicity. The ­people of the Amer­i­cas presented a theological prob­lem for the Spanish, b­ ecause they w ­ ere not mentioned in the Bible. Some Spaniards, both in the colonies and in Spain, argued that b­ ecause ­these ­people had not been mentioned in Holy Scripture, even though they seemed like h­ umans, they w ­ ere not, and thereby could be used as animals, enslaved or killed as needed. ­Others, however, disagreed. Some theologians, led by Bartolomé de las Casas, argued that native Americans did have souls and should be taught religion, and should ultimately be allowed to have the same status u­ nder

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the law as Eu­ro­pe­ans. Eventually, the crown agreed upon a compromise: American natives w ­ ere indeed p­ eople, but they would have the ­legal status of minors ­because they had not been fully indoctrinated into the Catholic faith. What exactly being “fully indoctrinated” meant was never clarified and American natives for the most part retained this lesser status for the entirety of the colonial period. This meant that the native Americans could not be enslaved (except ­under certain conditions), but they could not hold public office or become priests, e­ ither. Ultimately, the crown envisioned an American society that would consist of two separate and unequal sociopo­liti­cal spheres or “republics,” between which the corregidores and priests would be the bridge. The two groups, in theory, would not live in the same physical space: natives would be in the countryside while Spaniards would live in cities. The attempt to live in two republics failed in practice ­because of three f­ actors. The first was that physical separation between the two groups was impossible to achieve. Many native groups already lived in the cities the Eu­ro­pe­ans hoped to make their own. The Eu­ro­pe­ans also used native servants and interacted with them on a daily basis. The second ­factor was racial mixing. Most of the Spaniards who came to the Amer­i­cas ­were single men and sought partners, lovers, and wives, both willing and unwilling, from among the native population. Early on, the Spanish colonization strategies hinged in part on their ability to marry (or partner with) the native nobility (Twinam, 1999). Both Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro had c­ hildren with indigenous noblewomen. Pizarro’s mixed-­race d­ aughter, Francisca, inherited her f­ather’s title and wealth. During the first few de­cades, t­hese mestizos generally retained the status of their Eu­ro­pean ­fathers, having full adult l­egal rights u­ nder Spanish law, but as miscegenation became more widespread, so did racial distinctions. The third reason the idea of the two republics failed was that ­there ­were actually three republics. As early as 1510, the Spanish began bringing in enslaved Africans to perform agricultural ­labor in places where the native population had been decimated. Furthermore, Africans, having come from the “Old World,” had the same immunity to Afro-­Eurasian diseases as Eu­ro­pe­ans, guaranteeing that they would not succumb to disease in large numbers as the native Americans had. Africans began to mix with both the Eu­ro­pean and native populations. In some regions t­ here was an incentive for enslaved African men to find indigenous brides b­ ecause the social status of ­children was determined by their m ­ other, not their ­father. For the most part, it was not permitted to enslave natives ­under Spanish law, so in this way slaves could find freedom for their c­ hildren. ­These ­children would also have acquired immunity to “Old World” diseases from their ­fathers, suggesting that ­these ­unions ­were advantageous to native communities as well. Eu­ro­pe­ans, mostly men, also

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found partners among the Africans, thereby creating more racial mixing (Restall, 2009, pp. 34–67, 153–200). What resulted was a complex and often fluid racial hierarchy that was difficult for outsiders to understand. A range of f­ actors determined social standings, including legitimacy, parental religious affiliation, and race. Ultimately, community ac­cep­ tance of one’s position was what mattered most in ­these socie­ties. Wealth often played an impor­tant role in determining status. Although most elites ­were Eu­ro­ pean in origin, the relatively open economic opportunities of the Amer­i­cas allowed some individuals of African and indigenous backgrounds to achieve higher social status in ways that ­were less common outside of Spanish Amer­i­ca. Foreign visitors to Spanish Amer­i­ca frequently commented that many wealthy elites had “brown and even black ­faces,” and garnered honorific titles such as Don and Doña (similar to Sir and Madam in En­glish). ­Later, the Spanish government would even try to profit from this racial fluidity by formalizing a pro­cess by which nonwhites could buy not only honorific titles but also a certificate that declared the holder to be white no ­matter his or her ­actual ancestry or skin color. This racial hierarchy and fluidity persists ­today within many of the nations colonized by the Spanish (Twinam, 1999). In many Spanish American countries and communities, social status and identity is not tied solely to physical characteristics or skin color (what might be understood as “race”), but instead are based on socioeconomic status and cultural traditions that defy rigid racial hierarchies. Certainly, p­ eople with lighter skin do enjoy greater privileges in ­these socie­ties due to their appearance, but ­those with darker skin and indigenous or African traits can enjoy high status and power through ­great wealth, social ac­cep­tance, or both.

End of the Colonial Era Starting in the 18th ­century, Spain’s hold over its American colonies began to loosen. Ironically, this stemmed from its attempts to tighten control over its vast empire. Facing increased competition in the Amer­i­cas from the French and British and feeling their power in Eu­rope waning, the Spanish crown hoped to reform its empire in an attempt to regain its former glory. ­These Bourbon Reforms, named ­after the royal dynasty in power at that time, focused on two major goals: to increase po­liti­cal control over the colonies and to increase remittances of tax revenues back to Spain (Kuethe and Andrien, 2014, pp. 1–14). Similar to what happened in parts of British North Amer­i­ca (which became the United States), this created g­ reat unrest. Many of the new taxes greatly affected the poor and indigenous populations, who responded by ravaging the countryside in rebellion on a level unseen since the Spanish invasion. The Tupac Amaru Rebellion in Peru (1780–1782), for example, was

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larger in terms of geographic area, combatants, and mortality than the American Revolution, which occurred at the same time (Walker, 2014). ­These po­liti­cal changes also affected many colonial elites who had been r­ unning local affairs for generations. Many of ­these creoles, or criollos as they ­were known, ­were replaced by administrators from Spain, or peninsulares, whom the crown deemed more trustworthy. Given the seething resentment among ­people in the colonies, it is no surprise that when Napoleonic forces invaded Spain in 1808, many regions of Spanish Amer­ i­ca attempted to gain their autonomy. Though most w ­ ere unsuccessful at first, Napoleon’s invasion started a longer pro­cess that—­despite Spanish victory over the French in 1814—­could not stop much of Spanish Amer­i­ca from becoming in­de­ pen­dent by 1825. The last few holdouts w ­ ere the Ca­rib­bean colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The large slave population and relative isolation from the rest of Spanish Amer­i­ca made elites in t­hese islands fear that any in­de­pen­dence movement could lead to a race war that they would inevitably lose. As a result, Cuba did not become in­de­pen­dent u­ ntil ­after the Spanish-­American War of 1898, while Puerto Rico became a territorial possession of the United States (Lynch, 1986). Spain’s colonization of the Amer­ic­ as, though at times brutal, violent, and exploitative of indigenous and African ­people, marks the beginning of a remarkable social encounter between Eu­ro­pe­ans, Africans, and indigenous communities in the Western Hemi­sphere. Indeed, the descendants of ­these colonial socie­ties became the p­ eople known t­ oday as Latin Americans. Although this history produced tremendous racial mixing, t­ here are still African and indigenous populations in the region that have remained relatively isolated and have retained their cultural practices and characteristics over generations. In the 20th ­century, Latin American socie­ties in the Western Hemi­sphere have been the source of millions of immigrants who have made their way to the United States, Eu­rope, and elsewhere.

Biographies of Notable Figures José de Gálvez (1720–1787) José de Gálvez was one of the most prominent figures in the Bourbon Reform pro­ cess. As Inspector General of New Spain (Mexico) and l­ater Minister of the Indies, he helped to enact some of the most controversial and far-­reaching changes in government policies since early colonization. Born in Macharavialla near Málaga in 1720, Gálvez was the second son of an impoverished nobleman. The f­ amily’s financial prob­lems only worsened with the death of his f­ather when Gálvez was still very young, forcing the ­children to become shepherds to feed the ­family. A chance encounter with the local bishop led to an education in the local seminary, but the

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bishop eventually realized that Gálvez did not have the temperament for the priesthood and sent him to the prestigious Complutense University near Madrid. ­After university, Gálvez began to practice law in the capital. His first marriage to María Magdalena de Grimaldo ended in tragedy when she died only a year ­after they wed. L ­ ater, Gálvez married Lucía Romet y Pichelín, a well-­connected noblewoman of French origin. She helped him secure a post as a l­ egal advisor to the French embassy. France was Spain’s closest ally at the time, and the appointment allowed Gálvez to circulate within the highest circles of Madrid’s government elite. With the ascension of Charles III in 1759, Gálvez secured a post as the personal secretary to Jerónimo Grimaldi, one of the king’s closest advisors and principal ministers ­until 1776. Through this connection to Grimaldi, he was eventually named the civil and criminal justice (alcalde de casa y corte) of Castile in 1764. In 1765, Gálvez was named Inspector General for the Viceroyalty of New Spain, a territory that incorporated Mexico, Central Amer­i­ca, the modern-­day U.S. Southwest, and the Spanish Ca­rib­bean. Gálvez’s principal responsibility was to strengthen the crown’s control over the region, increase state revenue through taxation and improved commerce, and bolster the colonial defenses. The focus on bolstering defense was especially impor­tant ­after several humiliating defeats by the British during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), including the year-­long occupation of Havana in 1762. To this end, Gálvez oversaw several sweeping reforms, including a new tax on pulque (a traditional Mexican alcohol made from the agave plant), new port taxes at Acapulco and Veracruz, and the end of privatized tax collection (known as tax farming). Gálvez also oversaw a reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the colonial military. For the first time in colonial history, locals w ­ ere allowed to serve not just in the militia, but also in the regular Spanish army. Ideally, the crown wanted criollos (creoles; ­people of Eu­ro­pean descent) to serve in the army, but ­because they made up a very small percentage of the total population, mestizos (­people of mixed indigenous and Eu­ro­pean ancestry), and especially ­people of mixed African and Eu­ro­ pean ancestry, made up the bulk of the lower ranks. Gálvez could be extremely heavy-­handed in his tactics. In 1767, the Spanish crown expelled the Jesuits, a religious society seen by many to lack loyalty to the king. The Jesuits ­were extremely popu­lar in Mexico and riots broke out in several regions. Gálvez brutally suppressed t­hese uprisings, sentencing many to life in prison for their participation. His style of management soon drew the ire of Joaquín de Montserrat, the viceroy of New Spain and marquis of Cruillas. It did not help that Inspector General Gálvez was essentially sent to judge Montserrat’s administration. Due to the Spanish crown’s habit of making jurisdictions vague, thereby encouraging rivalries between royal ministers, it was unclear which of the two men had

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ultimate authority for the day-­to-­day governance of the viceroyalty. Gálvez ultimately won out and upon his recommendation the viceroy Montserrat was replaced with one more amenable to Gálvez. Gálvez also played an essential role in the Spanish expansion into California. In 1768, Gálvez toured the former Jesuit missions in Baja California. The mission villages ­were u­ nder the administration of the Spanish army while Franciscans operated the churches. Disgusted by the soldiers’ mismanagement, he ordered that the mission villages as well be turned over to the Franciscans, u­ nder the direction of ­Father Junípero Serra. Gálvez then set his sights on Alta California (the current U.S. state of California). The crown feared that if the Spanish did not secure a foothold in that largely unexplored region, Rus­sians who ­were coming down from Alaska might claim the territory. While in Baja California, Gálvez or­ga­nized the now-­ famous expedition to explore and establish permanent Spanish settlements in Alta California. Led by Gaspar de Portolá but accompanied by several friars ­under the direct authority of ­Father Serra, the expedition was the first in the chain of 21 missions that would span the length of California and help the Spanish to colonize the region. In 1772, Gálvez was recalled to Spain. The king was so pleased with his ser­ vices that he was given the titles of marquis of Sonora and viscount of Sinaloa. In 1776 he was also named minister of the Indies, thereby becoming the highest ranking bureaucrat in the governance of the colonies, second only to the king. As minister, Gálvez oversaw sweeping changes to the structure of the colonial system. That same year, the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, with its capital at Buenos Aires, was created from a portion of the viceroyalty of Peru. Gálvez also spearheaded efforts to create the internal provinces of New Spain, an area in what is now northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. The internal provinces, though still u­ nder the jurisdiction of the viceroy of Mexico, w ­ ere to have their own governors with some autonomy from the viceroy. The hope was that this would allow more rapid and thereby effective governance of ­these regions that ­were so far from Mexico City. Gálvez also oversaw the slow change from corregidores (provincial governors) to intendentes, a type of more power­ful, and better paid, bureaucrat who generally was Spanish born. Corregidores w ­ ere notoriously corrupt and Gálvez hoped that replacing them would curtail corruption. Fi­nally, Gálvez supervised the opening of limited f­ ree trade within the empire. In 1787, Gálvez died suddenly. While the reforms he spearheaded strengthened Spain’s hold over the Amer­i­cas for a short time, ultimately unrest among the criollos (whom he had helped to oust from most public offices) laid the foundation for the in­de­pen­dence movement. Furthermore, the addition of colonial soldiers to the regular Spanish army gave ­these local elites the means to ultimately topple the Spanish empire in Amer­i­ca.

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Bartolomé de las Casas (1474?–1566) Known as the “Defender of the Indians,” Bartolomé de las Casas prob­ably did more to shape early Spanish colonial policy than any other person. He was born e­ ither in August of 1474 or November of 1484 in the village of Triana, across the river from the major Spanish port of Seville. His f­ather was from a f­amily of conversos, or former Jews; his ancestors ­were most likely forced to convert to Chris­tian­ity during one of the many periods of persecution in the centuries prior to his birth. Though he was not trained at one of Spain’s major universities, he received an excellent education, most likely at the cathedral school in Granada. It was in that city that, as a young man, Las Casas possibly participated in the suppression of a Moorish revolt. From 1493 to 1498, Las Casas’s ­father, Pedro de las Casas, accompanied Columbus on his second voyage to the Amer­i­cas (which left from Las Casas’s hometown of Seville). In 1502, Las Casas accompanied his ­father to the Ca­rib­bean with Nicolás de Ovando’s expedition to colonize the Ca­rib­bean island of Hispaniola. For his efforts, his ­father received an encomienda. Bartolomé became a lay religious teacher, but he must have done well financially b­ ecause he eventually received his own encomienda. While in Hispaniola he also participated in the violent suppression of the Higuey uprising, which he would cite in his l­ ater writing as an example of the conquistadors’ brutality against the native population. It was during his time in Hispaniola that he was ordained a priest. In 1513, he accompanied Diego de Velásquez to Cuba as the chaplain of the conquest expedition, for which he received an encomienda jointly with another conquistador. The encomienda turned into a lucrative ­cattle business, from which Las Casas would support himself for much of the rest of his life. It was in Cuba that Las Casas began to have a change of heart regarding the treatment of the native population of the Amer­i­cas. He was influenced by the Dominican priest Antonio de Montesinos, who began to preach sermons against the abuses of the conquistadors in Santo Domingo in 1511. ­These caused a ­great uproar among the conquistadors b­ ecause Montesinos advocated for the end of the encomienda and a more peaceful pro­cess of colonization. In 1514, Las Casas also began to advocate for indigenous rights. A year ­later, he traveled to Spain to pres­ent his proposals to the king for a more egalitarian, clergy-­led approach to colonization. Eventually, he was able to secure 200 leagues (about 460 miles) of the Venezuelan coast to implement his new plan. The plan, however, failed before he could even get to South Amer­i­ca. By the time Las Casas reached the Ca­rib­bean, conflict had broken out in Venezuela between the local indigenous population surrounding his new, experimental colony and previously established Spanish settlements nearby. At this point most of the Spanish settlers he had brought to farm in Venezuela

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abandoned the expedition. Many in the expedition prob­ably had ­little desire to farm, but saw this as an opportunity to get to the New World to seek their fortunes in conquest rather than tilling the land. Embittered, Las Casas settled in a small Dominican monastery on the island of Hispaniola. Following Montesinos’s example, Las Casas took vows as a Dominican in 1522. Members of the Dominican Order w ­ ere staunch advocates of a careful and largely peaceful conversion of the native population. It was during this time in Hispaniola that Las Casas began his massive multivolume Historia de las Indias (History of the Indies). While based in Hispaniola, he also travelled extensively throughout the Ca­rib­bean, meeting many of the impor­tant figures in the early colonization period, such as Hernán Cortés and Hernando Pizarro (­brother of Francisco Pizarro, leader of the Spanish invasion of Peru). In 1537, he co-­authored a petition to the pope advocating for an end to the abuses of the conquistadors and the encomienda system. The petition resulted in a papal decree which suggested that the American natives needed spiritual guidance, but also declared that they w ­ ere rational ­humans who could not be enslaved without just cause. Seeing an opportunity, Las Casas returned to Spain in 1540 and presented his most famous work to the king: Una brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A Brief Relation of the Destruction of the Indies) (Casas and Knight, 2003). The work was a much shorter version of his Historia de Indias and contained an evocative description of the atrocities committed in the Amer­i­cas. In response, the king hastily issued a decree to curb conquistador abuses and eventually end the encomienda system. The New Laws of 1542, as the decree eventually became known, arrived in the Amer­i­cas in 1544. The viceroy of Mexico saw that the former conquistadores/settlers would be greatly angered by the New Laws, and refused to implement them. The newly installed viceroy of Peru, however, was not so sensitive to his po­liti­cal situation and deci­ded to enforce them anyway. He paid for his decision with his life, as conquistadores allied with the Pizarro b­ rothers murdered him. Although the New Laws never had the full effect Las Casas wanted, they established the pre­ce­dent for the encomiendas to end, which they slowly did over the next few de­cades. In addition to passing the New Laws, the king also made Las Casas a bishop of the then remote diocese of Chiapas. Las Casas’s tenure as bishop, however, would be short-­lived. The ideologue was never very good at actually governing, as he strug­ gled to compromise on his lofty vision for society. He left Chiapas for Spain, and in 1550 resigned his post as bishop. The last years of his life ­were some of his most productive. He spent much of his time between Valladolid and Madrid advocating for the rights of Amer­i­ca’s indigenous population. It was during this time that he engaged in his famous debate with Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. The two never argued face-­to-­face in public, but their dueling treatises raised contradictory views on the

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 | 33

essence of ­human rights. Sepúlveda argued that the natives of Amer­i­ca w ­ ere naturally inferior, and could therefore rightfully be conquered and enslaved by the Spanish. ­Until his death in 1566, Las Casas argued that the indigenous Americans ­were fellow h­ uman beings, and although they lacked Christian instruction, should be endowed with the same natu­ral rights as Eu­ro­pe­ans.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT Requerimiento, 1513 The Requerimiento, or Requirement, was a document produced in 1513 by Spanish jurist Juan López de Palacios Rubios for King Ferdinand of Aragon and his ­daughter Queen Juana of Castile. Ferdinand’s wife, Queen Isabel, had died in 1504, and Ferdinand would soon follow her. The unification of ­those two crowns ­under Juana created the country we now know as Spain. The document was the result of debates about w ­ hether the American natives w ­ ere indeed h­ umans, and if they could be enslaved. The Requerimiento was supposed to provide a ­legal basis for conquistadores to determine u­ nder which circumstances they could enslave native ­peoples. In theory, it was to be read before any violent action was taken. In practice, the document did nothing to curb abuses. It is unlikely that any native p­ eople understood the message when it was read in Spanish, and conquistadores often e­ ither read the document ­after they had already invaded a region or when they first arrived at a new land before encountering any p­ eople. The document provides in­ter­est­ing insight into the Spanish interpretation of how the papal donation of 1493 helped the Spanish to justify their be­hav­ior in the Amer­i­cas. On behalf of the King, Don Fernando, and of Doña Juana I, his ­daughter, Queen of Castile and León, subduers of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, Living and Eternal, created the Heaven and the Earth, and one man and one ­woman, of whom you and we, all the men of the world at the time, ­were and are descendants, and all ­those who came a­ fter and before us. But, on account of the multitude which has sprung from this man and w ­ oman in the five thousand years since the world was created, it was necessary that some men should go one way and some another, and that they should be divided into many kingdoms and provinces, for in one alone they could not be sustained. Of all ­these nations God our Lord gave charge to one man, called St. Peter, that he should be Lord and Superior of all the men in the world, that all should obey him, and that he should be the head of the w ­ hole ­Human Race, wherever men should live, and ­under what­ever law, sect, or belief they should be; and he gave him the world for his kingdom and jurisdiction.

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And he commanded him to place his seat in Rome, as the spot most fitting to rule the world from; but also he permitted him to have his seat in any other part of the world, and to judge and govern all Christians, Moors, Jews, Gentiles, and all other Sects. This man was called Pope, as if to say, Admirable ­Great F ­ ather and Governor of men. The men who lived in that time obeyed that St. Peter, and took him for Lord, King, and Superior of the universe; so also they have regarded the ­others who ­after him have been elected to the pontificate, and so has it been continued even till now, and ­will continue till the end of the world. One of ­these Pontiffs, who succeeded that St. Peter as Lord of the world, in the dignity and seat which I have before mentioned, made donation of ­these isles and Tierra-­firme to the aforesaid King and Queen and to their successors, our lords, with all that t­ here are in ­these territories, as is contained in certain writings which passed upon the subject as aforesaid, which you can see if you wish. So their Highnesses are kings and lords of t­ hese islands and land of Tierra-­firme by virtue of this donation: and some islands, and indeed almost all ­those to whom this has been notified, have received and served their Highnesses, as lords and kings, in the way that subjects o­ ught to do, with good w ­ ill, without any re­sis­tance, immediately, without delay, when they ­were informed of the aforesaid facts. And also they received and obeyed the priests whom their Highnesses sent to preach to them and to teach them our Holy Faith; and all ­these, of their own ­free ­will, without any reward or condition, have become Christians, and are so, and their Highnesses have joyfully and benignantly received them, and also have commanded them to be treated as their subjects and vassals; and you too are held and obliged to do the same. Wherefore, as best we can, we ask and require you that you consider what we have said to you, and that you take the time that s­ hall be necessary to understand and deliberate upon it, and that you acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the w ­ hole world, and the high priest called Pope, and in his name the King and Queen Doña Juana our lords, in his place, as superiors and lords and kings of ­these islands and this Tierra-­ firme by virtue of the said donation, and that you consent and give place that ­these religious ­fathers should declare and preach to you the aforesaid. If you do so, you ­will do well, and that which you are obliged to do to their Highnesses, and we in their name ­shall receive you in all love and charity, and ­shall leave you, your wives, and your ­children, and your lands, ­free without servitude, that you may do with them and with yourselves freely that which you like and think best, and they ­shall not compel you to turn Christians, u­ nless you yourselves, when informed of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the islands have done. And, besides this, their Highnesses award you many privileges and exemptions and ­will grant you many benefits. But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we s­ hall powerfully enter into your country, and s­ hall

Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas, 1492–1898 | 35

make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and ­shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we s­ hall take you and your wives and your c­ hildren, and s­ hall make slaves of them, and as such ­shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we ­shall take away your goods, and s­ hall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which ­shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of ­these cavaliers who come with us. And that we have said this to you and made this Requisition, we request the notary h­ ere pres­ent to give us his testimony in writing, and we ask the rest who are pres­ent that they should be witnesses of this Requisition. Source: John Tillotson. The Golden Amer­i­cas: A Story of ­Great Discoveries and Daring Deeds. London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, 1869, pp. 35–38.

See also: Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire; Pueblo Revolt of 1680; Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations

Further Reading Bakewell, P. J. 1984. Miners of the Red Mountain: Indian L ­ abor in Potosí, 1545–1650. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Burkholder, Mark A., and Lyman L. Johnson. 2014. Colonial Latin Amer­i­ca (9th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Casas, Bartolomé de las, and Franklin W. Knight. 2003. An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies, with Related Texts. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. Clendinnen, Inga. 1987. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517–1570. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Crosby, Alfred W. 1972. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Klein, Herbert S. 1999. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Kuethe, Allan J., and Kenneth J. Andrien. 2014. The Spanish Atlantic World in the Eigh­teenth ­Century: War and the Bourbon Reforms, 1713–1796. New York: Cambridge University Press. León Portilla, Miguel. 2007. The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon. Lynch, John. 1986. The Spanish American Revolutions: 1808-­1826 (2d ed.). New York. Norton. Restall, Matthew. 2003. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. New York: Oxford University Press. Restall, Matthew. 2009. The Black ­Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

36 | Pre-­Colonial Period through Spanish Empire, 250 CE–1810 Rodríguez O., Jaime E. 1998. The In­de­pen­dence of Spanish Amer­i­ca. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Stein, Stanley J., and Barbara H. Stein. 2000. Silver, Trade, and War: Spain and Amer­i­ca in the Making of Early Modern Eu­rope. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Taylor, William B. 1979. Drinking, Hom­ic­ ide & Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Tillotson, John. 1869. The Golden Amer­i­cas: A Story of G ­ reat Discoveries and Daring Deeds. London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler. Twinam, Ann. 1999. Public Lives, Private Secrets: Gender, Honor, Sexuality, and Illegitimacy in Colonial Spanish Amer­i­ca. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Vinson, Ben. 2001. Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-­Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Walker, Charles F. 2014. The Tupac Amaru Rebellion. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 Spencer Tyce

Chronology 1466 CE

Moctezuma II is born in Tenochtitlán.


Hernán Cortés is born in Medellín, Spain.


Christopher Columbus arrives in the Amer­ic­ as.


The Mexica (Aztec) king, Ahuitzotl, dies and Moctezuma II is elected as his successor.


Cortés arrives in Santo Domingo from Spain. He takes a job working as a notary and eventually helps conquer and s­ ettle parts of the island of Cuba five years l­ater.

1518, May

A Spanish expedition lands in the Yucatán peninsula. Moctezuma II and his advisers send officials to determine who the new arrivals are.

1518, October

Governor Velásquez of Cuba gives Cortés the authority to make contact with indigenous groups on the Mexican coast and attempt to create a trade network. Cortés assem­bles men and ships.

1519, February

Velásquez, believing Cortés ­will challenge his authority and try to invade the American mainland, tries to remove Cortés from power. Cortés and his fleet escape capture and make their way to Yucatán. Cortés and his men encounter Gerónimo de Aguilar.

Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 | 37

1519, March

Cortés sails to Tabasco in the Yucatán region. ­After a skirmish with Maya warriors, local lords gift him with 20 ­women. One of the ­women is Malintzin, a Nahua slave.

1519, April

Cortés and his men land in Veracruz and meet representatives of Moctezuma II.

1519, May

The Mexica representatives return to Tenochtitlán. Indigenous groups opposed to Mexica domination approach Cortés regarding trade. Cortés and the Totonac ­people build the town of Veracruz, fulfilling his original agreement with Governor Velásquez and giving Cortés authority to move deeper into Mexica territory.

1519, July

Cortés sends a ship to Spain with news of his accomplishments. He executes two men who planned to steal a ship and return to Governor Velásquez. Cortés gives ­orders to dismantle his fleet of ships on the Gulf Coast.

1519, The Eu­ro­pe­ans enter the territory of the Tlaxcaltecs, some of the September strongest opponents of Mexica rule. Believing Cortés to be an ally of Moctezuma II, the Tlaxcaltecs attack. ­After nearly a month of fighting, the two sides come to a truce when Cortés offers to assist them in resisting Mexica power. 1519, October

The Eu­ro­pe­ans, perhaps acting on the request of their new allies the Tlaxcaltecs, enter the city of Cholollan and massacre several thousand Chololtecs.

1519, November

The Eu­ro­pe­ans and their indigenous allies move inland to the causeways of Tenochtitlán, where they are greeted by Moctezuma II. Shortly ­after arriving within the city, Cortés arrests Moctezuma II and takes nominal control of the city.

1520, April

Governor Velásquez sends a force commanded by Pánfilo de Narváez to arrest Cortés. Hernán Cortés organizes a small force from his Tenochtitlán base and marches back to the coast to meet the troops sent to capture him.

1520, May

Cortés reaches Narváez on the coast. ­After originally meeting to discuss a peaceful resolution, Cortés and his nearly 300 men surprise Narváez and his force of more than a thousand. Cortés captures Narváez quickly and takes control of most of his men.

1520, June

Cortés returns to Tenochtitlán, but Mexica warriors close off the city to prevent the Eu­ro­pe­ans from leaving. Moctezuma II is killed. Cortés and his men flee ­under cover of darkness, but suffer heavy losses

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fighting their way out of the city. This event is known as “The Night of Sorrows.” 1520, July

Cortés and the surviving Eu­ro­pe­ans reach the territory of the Tlaxcaltecs.

1520, October

A smallpox epidemic strikes Tenochtitlán. More than a third of the population of the Valley of Mexico dies within a year. The new Mexica ruler, Cuitlahua, dies l­ater that winter.

1520, December

The Eu­ro­pe­ans and thousands of indigenous allies leave Tlaxcala and head west t­oward Tenochtitlán.

1521, February

Cuauhtémoc, Moctezuma II’s cousin, is elected the new ruler of the Mexica.

1521, April

Cortés and his allies capture several cities south of Tenochtitlán and cut off support to the Mexica capital. Cortés ­orders the many sailors in his com­pany to build a small fleet of flat-­bottomed crafts with which to invade Tenochtitlán by way of Lake Texcoco.

1521, May

Cortés positions his forces around the shores of the lake, placing Tenochtitlán ­under siege.

1521, June

Eu­ro­pean and indigenous allies lay siege to the city of Tenochtitlán. The royal palaces are burned. The fighting lasts for weeks.

1521, August

­ fter failed peace negotiations, the Mexica stage a final assault on A Eu­ro­pean positions, but are defeated. Spanish ships capture Cuauhtémoc and several nobles who are trying to escape the city. The Spanish succeed in capturing the seat of the Mexica empire.


Cortés executes Cuauhtémoc while on an expedition through Maya territory.

1547, December

Cortés dies outside of Seville, Spain.

Narrative In October of 1518, the governor of Cuba, Diego Velásquez, needed a strong leader to explore the coast of the North American mainland to the west of the island and try to establish trade relations with the indigenous ­people ­there. In the few years prior, the Eu­ro­pe­ans who ­were slowly building their population and settlements in the Ca­rib­bean had made occasional forays into the Yucatán peninsula, often with poor results. Velásquez fi­nally deci­ded to appoint a l­ awyer from southwestern Spain, Hernán Cortés, to lead the expedition. Cortés had arrived in the New World more

Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 | 39

than 10  years earlier and had quickly established himself as an efficient landowner and leader. Velásquez had many men from whom to choose, but Cortés was connected po­liti­cally with impor­ tant friends all over the Ca­rib­ bean. The governor ordered him to the Yucatán. Cortés was quick to accept the appointment as expedition leader and made short work of acquiring ships, men, and supplies. He recruited 350 men to  join him. Over the next few weeks ­after his appointment, he built a sizeable force that met with the governor’s approval, but Velásquez began to question his choice of leader. Cortés was The conquistador Hernán Cortés was responsible for ambitious, highly po­liti­cal, and the fall of the Aztec empire and brought Spanish gave the impression that he might rule to Mexico. (Library of Congress Prints and Photo­graphs Division) challenge the governor’s authority. In February, the governor deci­ded to replace him; however, Cortés discovered this plan. He hurriedly prepared his force and left Cuba without the governor’s permission, thereby committing an act of mutiny. He sailed for Trinidad to finish supplying his force and to gather some last-­minute recruits. Still ­running from the Spanish administrators of Cuba, he sailed west and landed in the Yucatán with almost 500 men and nearly a dozen ships. The expedition arrived at Cozumel, which was often the first stopping point for expeditions into the Yucatán, so the Eu­ro­pean force did not surprise the indigenous ­people t­here. Cortés needed translators to help him make peaceful contact with the Maya residents on the mainland. Local residents informed him that some Spaniards ­were being held captive in the region as slaves to a Maya chief. Cortés sent a ship to investigate. The Eu­ro­pe­ans found one man: Gerónimo de Aguilar. Aguilar had been shipwrecked nearly eight years before and lived as a slave in the interior. He knew of another Spaniard held captive, too, but Aguilar was unable to persuade him to meet with Cortés and his men. Cortés needed Aguilar ­because of his ability to speak the Mayan language and lamented that they could not bring in the other man as well. Cortés, Aguilar, and the fleet of ships continued on their

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The Mysterious Gonzalo Guerrero On his arrival to the Yucatán in 1519, Hernán Cortés asked the local lords if they knew of any Spaniards t­here who might have been captured or shipwrecked over the years. He needed translators, and finding Spanish-­speakers would be advantageous. ­After confirming his suspicion that Spaniards ­were held in the Yucatán as slaves, Cortés sent letters with decorative beads to the men, instructing them to pay for their freedom with the trinkets and meet him on the coast. The only man to appear before Cortés on the coast was Gerónimo de Aguilar, tanned from the sun and dressed like a Maya commoner. He strug­gled to speak and remember Spanish when questioned by Cortés, but fi­nally managed to say that for the past eight years he had been stranded in the Yucatán. He knew the fate of one other man, a sailor named Gonzalo, who may have been a slave like Gerónimo but was now ­free. Gonzalo refused to accompany Aguilar to the coast b­ ecause, unlike his countryman, he had personal ties to the local Maya community. Gonzalo had ­children, was married to a Maya ­woman, and was tattooed and dressed like a Maya warrior. Aguilar explained that when Spanish ships landed in the Yucatán in 1518, it was Gonzalo who led a Maya attack against them as a war chief. This description of Gonzalo, however, is the product of years of speculation and invention as ­later conquistadors, Eu­ro­pean officials, and historians twisted and distorted reports of Eu­ro­pe­ans serving as Maya warriors. Many years ­after the fall of Tenochtitlán, the Spanish still strug­gled to conquer the Yucatán. For years, the semi-­mythical Gonzalo served as a scapegoat for this failure: It was easier for Spaniards to claim that Eu­ro­pean traitors ­were leading successful raids against them than it was to admit that Maya warriors could best Eu­ro­pe­ans in ­battle. ­Because his last name was unknown, a chronicler in­ven­ted the last name Guerrero (meaning warrior) to highlight Gonzalo’s warrior status. Bernal Díaz, who was with Cortés in Mexico, repeated the name in his account of the conquest, The True History and Conquest of New Spain, establishing “Gonzalo Guerrero” as a Spanish sailor turned Maya general. It is a mystery if he was real or legendary. Díaz and ­others certainly created a mythic figure: a man who rejected the Old World for the New and would fight to stay (Adorno, 2007, pp. 220–237; Díaz del Castillo, 2003, pp. 42–48).

Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 | 41

journey. They sailed around the northern coast of the peninsula, stopping in the Tabasco region the following month. In Tabasco, Cortés led his men into one of the Maya towns. Eu­ro­pean law required him to read a brief statement claiming that the land now belonged to the King of Spain and that any vio­lence against the Eu­ro­pe­ans was a sign of treason and punishable by death. Usually the Spanish read the statement aloud in their own language, regardless of ­whether or not the residents of the land understood the Spanish language. In this case, Aguilar translated what was read into Mayan, but despite Aguilar’s translation, the Maya allegedly attacked the Eu­ro­pean force. Cortés routed the Maya force and entered the town. Over the next several days, the Eu­ro­pe­ans made offensives against indigenous settlements and warriors. Only a­ fter capturing some Maya lords and returning them safely to their homes was peace established between the Maya and the Eu­ro­pe­ans. As a sign of good faith, the Maya brought Cortés a group of female slaves, including one w ­ oman who spoke Nahuatl, the most common language of central Mesoamerica. The Spanish called her Marina, but her indigenous name was Malintzin. She would be a close companion and ally to Cortés for the rest of her life. Moctezuma II, the emperor of the Mexica (Aztecs), was not unaware of the Eu­ro­pean presence in the Yucatán. His empire stretched over most of central Mesoamerica and his network of merchants and allied city-­states kept him well informed. It is likely that Moctezuma II knew about the foreigners as early as 1502, but surely by 1519 he had seen sketches of the ships and knew something of their fighting tactics. As the head of the empire, he was also the head religious official, and he might have been wary of the newcomers from the east. One par­tic­u­lar religious myth foretold that the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, banished from the Valley of Mexico years before, would come from the Yucatán to reclaim his power­ful position. It is probable that Moctezuma II believed the prophecy, but it is also almost certain that Moctezuma II knew that t­ hese strangers w ­ ere not gods, especially not Quetzalcoatl. By this time, Maya warriors had killed or wounded some of Cortés’s men. Obviously, the Eu­ro­pe­ans w ­ ere mortals. ­These foreigners ­were dif­fer­ent and strange, but they ­were not gods (Carrasco, 1998, pp. 210–213). In April, the Eu­ro­pe­ans landed in the Veracruz region on the Gulf Coast. This territory was ­under Moctezuma II’s control and he ordered the local lord of the area to meet with the new arrivals and try to understand what they wanted. The Mexica representatives met with Cortés and the two groups traded goods peacefully back and forth. This was in large part thanks to Malintzin’s interpretation of Nahuatl into Mayan and Aguilar’s work translating that Mayan into Spanish. Over time, Malintzin learned enough Spanish to make Aguilar unnecessary. The Eu­ro­pe­ans gladly welcomed the gold offered by the indigenous ­peoples; they ­were hoping to find just

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that. The Mexica accepted several gifts, including pieces of Eu­ro­pean armor that ­were quickly sent to the Mexica capital at Tenochtitlán, along with artistic renderings of the Eu­ro­pe­ans and the strange animals some of them rode. A few days l­ ater, Moctezuma II sent more gifts to Cortés with a message: move the Eu­ro­pean camp to a dif­fer­ent location, but do not proceed to the capital. Cortés refused. He argued that his king had directed him to see Moctezuma II. The two sides continued to meet and talk over the next few days, and the Mexica even offered Cortés food and supplies (Díaz del Castillo, 2003, p. 75). By the m ­ iddle of May, however, Moctezuma II must have changed his mind about the newcomers. He stopped providing food and his representatives left the Eu­ro­pe­ans. It is pos­si­ble that he did this so that his men could return to their homes and finish agricultural duties, as the farming season was nearly complete. It is also pos­si­ble that he hoped Cortés would leave if he received no more supplies from the Mexica. Moctezuma II waited for Cortés to make the next move, but other indigenous groups made the move for him by meeting with Cortés and helping the Eu­ro­ pe­ans. The Mexica empire was not invincible. Rather than being a solid po­liti­cal state, the empire was a loosely controlled system that relied on the cooperation of ethnic leaders from central Mesoamerica to cooperate with and obey Mexica authority. Some groups, such as the ones that now met with Cortés on the Gulf Coast, refused to follow the Mexica at all. They gave Cortés supplies and offered him assistance on the condition that he would help them resist Mexica power and control. Cortés now had a choice to make: return to Cuba with his knowledge of the Mexica and prob­ably be sent to jail for ignoring the directives of Governor Velásquez, or work out a way to continue ­toward the Mexica capital with his new indigenous allies. The solution he arrived at was based on s­ imple Spanish l­ egal tradition. Cortés was ­under the authority of Cuba’s governor only as long as he was still engaged in creating a trade network with the coastal indigenous p­ eople. Technically, he had established that. To get around the governor, Cortés ordered his men to establish a town on the coast. Naming it Veracruz and electing a town council, the subjects of this new town now owed utter allegiance to the Spanish king, not the Cuban governor. The council elected Cortés the captain of a new expedition to Tenochtitlán. The legality of Cortés’s actions was questionable, certainly in a gray area. He had the ability to found the town, but it was not much of a town other than a ­simple camp his men built. He had to send a message to the King of Spain informing the king of what he had done, but he also had to bring the king something of worth to legitimize his illegal activities. A failed expedition to the Mexica capital meant jail or execution for treason against Velázquez. By the m ­ iddle of July, the Eu­ro­pe­ans had built Veracruz into a proper settlement with walls and other defenses. Cortés’s relationship with the surrounding indigenous groups was also much stronger by then. Cortés wrote the king a letter

Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, 1519–1521 | 43

explaining what had happened thus far and told of gold and other items collected over the past few months. One of his ships sailed for Spain, but inexplicably landed in Cuba before continuing to Eu­rope. This stop in Cuba allowed the governor to hear of Cortés’s actions. He began to build a new force of men to pursue and arrest Cortés (Hassig, 2006, pp. 68–70). Many of the men who ­were with Cortés did not agree with his decision to ignore the governor and take control himself. To eliminate any serious threat to his power, he ordered his fleet beached on the coast and dismantled. Without ships to sail to Cuba, his men would have to follow his o­ rders so as to stay alive. He negotiated for some warriors from his allies and began to march west into the heart of the Mexica empire, leaving cannons and a small detail of men at Veracruz to defend the town and relay any information that might arrive. In September, the joint European–­indigenous force was far away from the coast and moving through difficult terrain to Tenochtitlán. Cortés ordered the expedition into Tlaxcalan territory, an area notorious for resisting Mexica rule. The Tlaxcalans had communication networks too, and had prob­ably seen the Eu­ro­pe­ans with former Mexica allies and Mexica representatives. The Tlaxcalan warriors attacked. For almost all of September, Cortés and his force fought them. On several occasions, the Eu­ro­pe­ans managed to escape defeat. Cortés lost a number of men, and ­those left alive w ­ ere almost all wounded. Fi­nally, Tlaxcalan representatives agreed to a truce and invited Cortés and his men into their capital city. The two sides agreed to form an alliance and the Tlaxcalans offered to provide a sizeable army to accompany Cortés to Tenochtitlán. As he marched through the countryside, Cortés gained additional allies and warriors for his army. ­There is no way that Cortés could have known which areas in the Valley of Mexico had the weakest support for the Mexica state. The Tlaxcalans, however, would have known about ­these areas and most likely brokered the alliances between the Eu­ro­pe­ans and local leaders. On November 8, Cortés and his few hundred Eu­ro­pean men reached the causeways that connected Tenochtitlán to the mainland of Mexico. ­Behind him, although almost certainly not subordinate to him, w ­ ere thousands of Tlaxcalans and other ethnic groups. Moctezuma II invited Cortés to cross the causeways and meet. The indigenous allies remained on the banks of the lake. Why Moctezuma II allowed Cortés to reach the capital city and meet with him is unknown. He knew that Cortés had firm support from outside his empire and more tentative pledges from ethnic groups that obeyed the Mexica. He knew that killing Cortés might create a massive rebellion. Instead, Moctezuma II was incredibly polite to Cortés, observing Mesoamerican po­liti­cal standards. He invited the Eu­ro­pe­ans into the palace compound and provided them with food and entertainment. It was not long before Cortés learned about a ­battle between his detachment at Veracruz

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and Mexica warriors. His indigenous allies at Veracruz tried to reinforce the Eu­ro­ pe­ans on the coast, but the Mexica defeated their forces, leaving the Eu­ro­pe­ans in a weak position. Cortés had to act; he and his men believed that their lives ­were in danger. In a meeting with Moctezuma II, Cortés and his men moved quickly and overpowered the emperor, taking him prisoner. They had only been in Tenochtitlán for a week. Cortés may have believed that capturing Moctezuma II would bring him control of the empire. This was not the case. With the Mexica leader held as a prisoner of foreigners, several of the city-­states loyal to Tenochtitlán began to rebel and exert their own power. Rather than allow the empire to fall apart, however, Moctezuma II and Cortés worked to or­ga­nize a small force to regain the territories, most of them within the Valley of Mexico. Throughout the winter of 1520, Cortés did his best to keep the Mexica empire together, keeping Moctezuma II captive to help direct the empire. While the empire unraveled from Tenochtitlán, by April, Governor Velásquez fi­nally landed a sizeable Eu­ro­pean force near Veracruz with the purpose of arresting Cortés. More than a thousand men led by Pánfilo de Narváez approached Cortés’s town of Veracruz, but Cortés was quick to act. Leaving some of his men at Tenochtitlán and not asking his indigenous allies to follow, Cortés and fewer than 300 men reached Narváez by the end of May. In a surprise move, Cortés not only defeated the much larger force, but also captured Narváez. He placed the governor’s man in a prison in Veracruz and the rest of the new arrivals joined Cortés (Hassig, 2006, pp. 107–108). When Cortés fi­nally returned to Tenochtitlán by the end of June, the po­liti­cal situation in the capital was tense, the streets w ­ ere empty, and it was obvious that something was wrong. Some of the Eu­ro­pe­ans had attempted to stop or disrupt a Mexica festival that included ­human sacrifice, which they opposed. Cortés and his new army joined the occupying force in the palace. Once within the compound, the nearly deserted streets of Tenochtitlán filled with Mexica soldiers and residents. The Eu­ro­pe­ans ­were trapped. Massed together, the Eu­ro­pe­ans could not fight their way out of the palace grounds, forcing them to rely on individual messengers to plead for help from their allies on the shores of the lake. Support was impossible to receive. In a move of desperation, Cortés brought Moctezuma II to the roof of a building to order the warriors to disperse, but Moctezuma II was struck down somehow and died a few days ­later. Without any other options, Cortés ordered his men to leave the city ­under cover of darkness. On June 30, the men began to filter out of town. Using makeshift bridge pieces, several groups managed to escape unnoticed, even with heavy baggage and ­horses. Their luck did not last long. During the evacuation, the Mexica realized what was occurring and attacked the Eu­ro­pe­ans from the buildings in town and from small

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Who Killed Moctezuma II? Moctezuma II died on June 29, 1520. How he died remains a mystery b­ ecause multiple accounts, from both Eu­ro­pean and indigenous sources, describe the event differently. ­After Cortés returned to Tenochtitlán with the reinforcements he had gained from the incident with Narváez, he and the other Eu­ro­ pe­ans found themselves trapped within the palace grounds. Cortés was unable to fight or negotiate his way out of the Mexica capital. In a last-­ditch effort to convince the warriors and ­people of Tenochtitlán to grant the Eu­ro­pe­ans safe passage, Cortés brought Moctezuma II to the roof of a palace building to issue such an order. According to Cortés, as soon as Moctezuma II came into view of his ­people, a rock struck his head that led to his death three days ­later. Cortés did not know what happened to Moctezuma II’s body. Bernal Díaz, writing many years ­after the fact, claims that the Mexica leader made a speech to his p­ eople to end the fighting against the Eu­ro­pe­ans. As the guards relaxed during Moctezuma II’s plea, the Mexica let loose a volley of darts and rocks that injured him. He refused food or medical treatment and died shortly afterwards. Díaz did not mention what happened to Moctezuma II’s body ­either, but ­later Spanish chroniclers claimed that Cortés’s men (or Mexica prisoners) carried the body of Moctezuma II and another noble away from the palace and left them in the lake with ­little to no fanfare. Indigenous accounts of how Moctezuma II died are varied, as well. While some post-­Conquest sources claim that nobody knows the details of his death, ­others have more detailed descriptions. Alva Ixtilxóchitl, a relative of Mexica nobility but not ethnically Mexica, claimed that the Spanish stabbed Moctezuma II. Other accounts mirrored this narrative. Regardless of how the Mexica leader died or who dealt the death blow, he perished while the p­ eople of Tenochtitlán w ­ ere engaged in a fight to rid their city of the Eu­ro­pe­ans. Moctezuma II was no longer their legitimate ruler at the time of his death; the nobles had elected his b­ rother Cuitláhuac shortly before his death. With the head of state u­ nder the control of foreigners, po­liti­cal stability had to be maintained. Moctezuma II, the last leader of the Mexica empire, died powerless in the buildings that symbolized his po­liti­cal and military control over Mesoamerica (Díaz del Castillo, 2003, p.  310; Hassig, 2006, pp. 112–113; Cortés, 2001, p. 132; Schwartz, 2000, pp. 177–178; León-­Portilla, 2002, p. 90).

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boats on the lake. The bridges broke apart, spilling men, ­horses, equipment, and stolen trea­sures into the lake. Some men retreated back to the palace, but they did not survive. Mexica warriors in canoes swarmed groups of swimming Eu­ro­pe­ans and captured as many as they could. ­Those who w ­ ere pulled out of the w ­ ater ­were sacrificed in the city. At this point in the expedition, it was truly e­ very man for himself. Cortés and his surviving force reached the shores of the lake and began to march back to Tlaxcalan territory, gaining occasional support from towns along the way. In the ­middle of July, the beleaguered Cortés and his men reached Tlaxcala. For the rest of the summer and autumn, Cortés worked to resupply his men by attacking small towns and Mexica allies. The men at Veracruz also sent supplies when ships meant to support Narváez made intermittent contact with their outpost. The Mexica attempted to rebuild as well, electing a new emperor. The presence of the Eu­ro­pe­ans in the Valley of Mexico, however, left a terrible memento: disease. Smallpox ravaged the entire valley, killing the new Mexica leader and many thousands of indigenous p­ eople. By February, the Mexica had elected Moctezuma II’s b­ rother Cuauhtemoc as the new head of state. Cortés felt confident that his men and allies could reenter the valley in the spring of 1521. The Mexica armies, however, continued to attack Eu­ro­pean positions, and Lake Texcoco was u­ nder the complete control of Tenochtitlán. To get around the prob­lem of lake defenses, Cortés ordered the construction of a fleet of flat-­bottomed boats with a cannon placed on each. By the end of April, he launched his fleet and divided his remaining force of 700 men into 3 detachments accompanied by tens of thousands of indigenous warriors. The Eu­ro­pe­ans made up a small fraction of the force intended to capture the imperial capital. With only Malintzin and a handful of other interpreters, Cortés could not command ­these armies even if he wanted to. The indigenous ­peoples of Mexico carried out the final stage of conquest of the Mexica empire (Hassig, 2006, pp. 148–149). Cortés’s ships began to move into position on May 30. The armies began marching to the strategic points along the shores of the lake and to the Mexica causeways leading to Tenochtitlán. For the next two months, the European-­indigenous armies worked their way closer to the city and penetrated Mexica defenses. At multiple points, Cortés sent men to other parts of the valley to prevent Mexica forces from cutting off his supplies and lines of communication with Veracruz. The Eu­ro­pe­ans suffered significant losses along the canals but kept their positions, thanks to the ships in the lake that provided support. By the first day of August, the invasion force captured the northern part of the island that held the capital city. For the next few days, the fighting was hand-­to-­hand and brutal. The Mexica began to waver and strug­gled to hold their defensive positions (Léon-­Portilla, 1992, pp. 94–96; Hassig, 1988, pp. 249–250).

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The Mexica emperor Cuauhtemoc requested peace talks, but negotiations did not lead to anything. On the 13th of August, Cuauhtemoc ordered a mass assault on the ­enemy positions, but the attack failed and the remaining Mexica forces surrendered. The Eu­ro­pe­ans sought out and captured Cuauhtemoc shortly ­after the surrender. Cortés had 900 men with him at the surrender of the capital, thanks to regular reinforcements of additional men who arrived from Veracruz and Cuba. The nearly 200,000 indigenous allies w ­ ere the true victors as Mexica power was fi­nally destroyed. This victory for the indigenous p­ eople did not last, however. Eu­ro­pean reinforcements seized Tenochtitlán, made it a major Spanish stronghold, and renamed it Mexico City. By the end of the de­cade, Eu­ro­pean po­liti­cal and religious control grew while indigenous control declined.

Biographies of Notable Figures Malintzin (La Malinche) (1500?–1529?) As impor­tant as Malintzin was to Cortés in the conquest of Mexico, ­there is a g­ reat deal that remains unknown about her. Perhaps the major issue is her name. She is known as La Malinche, Marina, and other variants, but in real­ity, her true name might be lost to time. Where she was born is another ­matter of debate. Her ­children would l­ater claim that their ­mother was from the Veracruz region, but ­there was never evidence of a definite origin. Her parents are another mystery. Some scholars are certain that she was of noble birth. Malintzin explained to Cortés that her ­father was a relative of local nobles, but this does not mean her claim was true. Malintzin was quite intelligent and might have known that inflating her own background and lineage might extend her working relationship and f­ avor with Cortés. The evidence that lends credence to her claim is her understanding of Nahuatl, the Mexica language. Although Nahuatl was the language most commonly spoken in Central Mesoamerica during this time, the nobles of Tenochtitlán and their vassal city-­states spoke a distinct dialect of Nahuatl. Not only was Malintzin familiar with that form of the language, but she also appeared calm and collected when translating Cortés’s words to Moctezuma II and his lords. Therefore, scholars argue, Malintzin was e­ ither of noble birth or at least raised within that type of world, and understood how to behave (Townsend, 2006, pp. 13–14). It is unclear how Malintzin, a w ­ oman with some obscure ties to the Nahua nobility, came to be a slave to the Maya of Tabasco. Bernal Díaz, a swordsman u­ nder Cortés during the conquest of Mexico and the author of a popu­lar pro-­Cortés history of the expedition, claimed that he knew Malintzin personally. He told Cortés that she was the d­ aughter of local lords, and that when her f­ ather died her m ­ other

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remarried. Her m ­ other and stepfather had a male child together, and agreed to send Malintzin away so that the male heir would be able to take possession of the property when they died. They secretly sold Malintzin to some p­ eople from Xicalango, and they, in turn, sold her to the Maya in Tabasco. Some scholars challenge this par­tic­u­lar version of events, noting that a child born of two noble parents would not have been sold: she would have been too impor­tant as a way to tie po­liti­cal families together through marriage. Furthermore, Díaz, being a literate Christian, appears to have combined biblical and popu­lar chivalric tales into Malintzin’s personal history. It is a mystery ­whether he did this as a literary device in his account of the conquest, or if Malintzin was perceptive enough to combine stories she might have heard from the Eu­ro­pe­ans to make herself more appealing and worthy of sympathy (Townsend, 2006, pp. 23–24; Díaz del Castillo, 2003, pp. 66–68). Cortés brought Gerónimo Aguilar, a shipwrecked Spaniard who had learned the Mayan language while in captivity, with him as an interpreter. Shortly a­ fter acquiring Aguilar, however, the need for Mayan interpreters diminished, as most of the indigenous groups Cortés encountered spoke Nahuatl. Malintzin and several other girls ­were a parting gift from the Maya of Tabasco to Cortés, who gave her to one of his men. Malintzin saw that she might gain ­favor and importance, so she demonstrated her usefulness by translating Nahuatl to Mayan, a language she too had learned in captivity. Due to her language skills, Cortés now had the ability to communicate with nearly any group of po­liti­cal or military importance in Mexico. Shortly a­ fter the fall of Tenochtitlán in 1521, Malintzin became pregnant. Cortés, who had kept her close and safe throughout the entire conquest, must have fallen in love with her, or perhaps the emotional strain of the situation led the ­couple to develop an intimate relationship. It does not appear that Malintzin was an ordinary concubine or mistress, ­because Cortés acknowledged that he had fathered her child and provided for Malintzin, a practice that would have been quite rare at this time. Malintzin gave birth to a boy, and Cortés not only named the boy ­after his own ­father, Martín, but also publicly recognized the child as his own. The conquistador even built Malintzin an apartment adjoining his own home in Mexico and brought her on an expedition into what is now Honduras. He was a married man, however, and his victory in the conquest had given him wealth and prestige. Thus, he had to uphold his status, which meant putting an end to the extramarital relationship. He provided for his child but allowed one of his men, Juan Jaramillo, to marry Malintzin. She ­later gave birth to a ­daughter. It is probable that she died in 1529, although some scholars argue that she died some 20 years ­later. Malintzin was an incredibly brave, intelligent w ­ oman who helped both Eu­ro­pe­ans and indigenous Mesoamericans bring down the Mexica empire. Some 20th ­century scholars label her a traitor and harlot for her cooperation with Cortés and her betrayal of indigenous ­people;

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o­ thers, especially Chicana feminists, praise her as the symbolic ­mother of mestizos, ­children born from the u­ nion of Eu­ro­pean and indigenous blood. They depict her as a ­woman who made the most of her difficult circumstances. Regardless of how Malintzin is remembered, the real­ity is that when she met Cortés for the first time in 1519 Mesoamerica was an ethnically diverse region, and the individuals who lived ­there behaved in ways they felt benefited themselves and their ­people (Restall, 2003, pp. 82–85; Paz, 2002, pp. 20–27).

Moctezuma II (1466 CE–1520) Born the elder son of Mexica (Aztec) emperor Axayacatl, Moctezuma Xocoyotzin would see the Mexica empire at its strongest. He would also witness the beginning of the downfall of the po­liti­cal dynasty that had begun only a few hundred years before. What scholars know about Moctezuma II comes mainly from Eu­ro­pe­ans who observed his meeting with Hernán Cortés in 1519, and his death in July 1520. One of Cortés’s swordsmen, Bernal Díaz, described Moctezuma II as a tall, handsome man with a cheerful face and eyes. He bathed e­ very day, and kept short hair and a tidy beard. The Eu­ro­pe­ans w ­ ere a mysterious novelty to Moctezuma II and represented an oblique challenge to his authority, so he was pleasant to Cortés and his men. Díaz noted, however, that the emperor was rather stern to his own p­ eople and demanded a high level of re­spect (Díaz del Castillo, 2003, pp. 208–209). Before coming to power in 1502, Moctezuma II was a general in one of the Mexica armies. He was in the field when word reached him that the previous ruler, Ahuitzotl, had died from disease. Moctezuma II was also a priest to the god Huitzilopochtli, the hummingbird god of war and ­human sacrifice. All heads of state ­were technically priests, but ­under Moctezuma II the power of religious officials increased, and more importance was placed on ­human sacrifice as a way to extend the life of the emperor. Unlike his namesake, Moctezuma I, the younger Moctezuma enjoyed the com­ pany of ­women and took numerous wives as well as concubines. With his primary wife, he had at least three d­ aughters. With his secondary wives—­many of them princesses from other city-­states—­and with his concubines, he may have fathered more than 100 c­ hildren. B ­ ecause t­ hose born to his primary wife would be nobler than ­others, his ­children occupied multiple social rankings. It is unclear exactly how many ­children he had, but during the establishment of Eu­ro­pean rule in the 1520s and 1530s, many of his ­children helped the Spanish consolidate their power in the Valley of Mexico. Through suggestion, intimidation, or merely for survival and maintenance of their way of life, the c­ hildren of Moctezuma II married into prominent indigenous and Eu­ro­pean families. By d­ oing so, their status as members of an

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imperial ­family helped reinforce Eu­ro­pean po­liti­cal, economic, and cultural power in Mexico. As a po­liti­cal and cultural leader, Moctezuma II instituted numerous laws and edicts that increased the power of the nobility and promoted a clear separation between commoners and elites. He made multiple changes within Mexica society to prevent commoners from achieving the lower levels of nobility. Commoners who ­were able to work hard and achieve success ­were likely to be rewarded, but ­under Moctezuma, it was significantly harder to do so than it had been for previous generations. Within the palace, he eliminated commoners as servants and attendants and replaced them with members of the nobility. In this way, younger and lesser members of the upper classes waited on and served their elders or social superiors without any members of the common class around to take part in daily life. Moctezuma II also supported an increase on sumptuary laws, which prevented individuals from buying or wearing specific items. For example, he limited what jewelry and clothing nobles could wear and even who could wear shoes within the limits of the Mexica capital. (Merchants generally made such lucrative trade deals that they could often dress in finer garments and live in better ­houses than some elites.) Moctezuma II solidified the nobility’s position in society and eliminated many of the ways in which lesser nobles and worthy commoners could enter the ­middle and upper levels of society. As a military leader, Moctezuma II was an efficient, effective commander. Shortly a­ fter he came to power as emperor, he was forced to deal with the inevitable challenge to his authority by the Mexica vassal city-­states. In one such region to the south of Tenochtitlán, the lord of the city-­state refused to submit to or acknowledge Mexica superiority. Moctezuma II ordered an army south with the directive to enter the rebellious city and kill e­ very el­derly man and w ­ oman. (This may have been ­because the el­derly ­were not seen as useful to society, since they could no longer be laborers or fight; and b­ ecause killing older members of a community prevents them from telling the younger generation what life was like before the current ruler.) Throughout his reign, Moctezuma II continued to move south, conquering the residents of Oaxaca and expanding Mexica authority to the Pacific coasts. He encountered multiple prob­lems with the Tlaxcalans, the strongest opponents of Mexica power and po­liti­cal expansion. In 1515, Moctezuma II’s army of 100,000 marched on the holdouts against Mexica authority. Although his army did not do well against the Tlaxcaltec forces, they did manage to conquer many city-­state allies of the Tlaxcalans (Hassig, 1988, pp. 219–223; Thomas, 1993, pp. 44–46). While it is unclear when the Mexica found out about Eu­ro­pe­ans’ encroachment into Mesoamerica, the trade and po­liti­cal networks of Moctezuma would have given him significant advance warning of Cortés’s 1519 arrival. Eu­ro­pe­ans had made multiple forays into the Yucatán before then, and the Mexica emperor’s merchants and

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allies would have communicated ­these invasions to Moctezuma II. What the Eu­ro­ pe­ans wanted, however, remained unclear. Cortés did not behave in a manner that Mesoamericans understood. Wary of Cortés and his lukewarm relationship with the Tlaxcalans, the emperor attempted to slow or dissuade Cortés from reaching his capital. Moctezuma II sent gifts and visual repre­sen­ta­tions of power to the invaders as a symbolic show of force. Still, Cortés approached the city, perhaps not understanding the meaning b­ ehind the gifts that represented Mexica warriors and the capital city. Unlike traditional Mesoamerican warfare, Cortés did not officially declare open hostilities against Moctezuma II, which was a major reason that he and the Eu­ro­pe­ans ­were welcomed into the palace (Hassig, 1988, pp. 241–244). Moctezuma II misjudged the Eu­ro­pe­ans. It is unclear why he allowed them to enter the city in November 1519 when it was apparent that Mexica enemies had accompanied Cortés to the Valley of Mexico. It is pos­si­ble, as some scholars have noted, that Moctezuma hoped to gain something from the Eu­ro­pe­ans within the city before defeating them, or perhaps he hoped to keep them as propaganda pieces (as a warning to other enemies, or to demonstrate Mexica power to any who might question it). It is unknown exactly why their initially peaceful encounter became hostile, but during Cortés’s time as a guest in the palace, some of his actions must have upset the emperor. In a highly unorthodox turn of events, Cortés captured the Mexica head of state and made demands. He led Moctezuma II to the roof of a building in the palace compound on June 29, 1520. Moctezuma II tried to plead with his ­people to let the invaders leave the city, but somehow he was struck down: by whom and by what remains a mystery. Moctezuma II died shortly ­after this date, his legacy and his empire in tatters.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT The Siege of Tenochtitlán, Florentine Codex, 17th ­Century From the earliest histories of the conquest of Mexico u­ ntil well into the 20th ­century, ­there has been a tendency to describe the conflict as one between the Mexica (Aztec) empire and the Eu­ro­pe­ans, namely Hernán Cortés. Most of the Spanish chroniclers and historians of the 16th ­century ignored the vast numbers of indigenous p­ eople who ­were allies with Cortés, even Bernal Díaz, who saw how overwhelming the Tlaxcalan armies must have appeared to the few hundred Eu­ro­pe­ans. The indigenous history of the conquest therefore was largely one that passed through families and communities as an oral tradition or through long-­lost written accounts. In the mid to late 1600s, Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscan friar, or­ga­nized a group of young men who had studied with him at a school north of old Tenochtitlán. His students ­were indigenous men, mostly from the aristocracy, who could read

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and write in both Spanish and Nahuatl. Sahagún and his students began to study the history and culture of the Mexica so that it could be preserved. Their proj­ect was or­ga­nized into 12 books covering Mexica history, religion, culture, economics, and other subjects. ­These writings made their way to Florence and became known as the Florentine Codex. The 12th book of the codex dealt with the conquest of Mexico. Written in Spanish and Nahuatl with multiple illustrations, the book followed the conquest from the point of view of Moctezuma II and the indigenous warriors who strug­gled through the terrible months of 1521. The following excerpt is from that 12th book of the Florentine Codex. It is the account of the Mexica warriors struggling to hold onto their capital city while fighting off the Eu­ro­pe­ans and their indigenous allies. An especially impor­tant point in this account is how the Mexica handled Eu­ro­pean prisoners. The actions taken against them w ­ ere meant to glorify the greatness of Mexica deities, and also to show Cortés’s indigenous allies that the Eu­ro­pe­ans ­were not immortal. Just as impor­ tant was the Mexica’s admission that multiple groups, not just the Eu­ro­pe­ans, sought to bring down the Mexica empire. This section of the Florentine Codex is a testament to the fact that even half a c­ entury a­ fter the end of the Mexica empire, residents of central Mesoamerica still understood that the Eu­ro­pe­ans ­were not the only reason for its destruction. The Spaniards advanced from the direction of Cuahuecatitlan. Their allies from Tlaxcala, Acolhuacan and Chalco filled up the canal so that the army could pass. They threw in adobe bricks and all the woodwork of the nearby ­houses: the lintels, the doorjambs, the beams and pillars. They even threw canestalks and rushes into the ­water. When the canal had been filled up, the Spaniards marched over it. They advanced cautiously, with their standard-­bearer in the lead, and they beat their drums and played their chirimias as they came. The Tlaxcaltecas held their heads high and pounded their breasts with their hands, hoping to frighten us with their arrogance and courage. They sang songs as they marched, but the Aztecs ­were also singing. It was as if both sides w ­ ere challenging each other with their songs. They sang what­ ever they happened to remember and the ­music strengthened their hearts. The Aztec warriors hid when the ­enemy reached solid ground. They crouched down to make themselves as small as pos­si­ble and waited for the signal, the shout that told them it was the moment to stand up and attack. Suddenly they heard it: “Mexicanos, now is the time!” The captain Hecatzin leaped up and raced t­ oward the Spaniards, shouting, “Warriors of Tlatelolco, now is the time! Who are t­hese barbarians? Let them come ahead!” He attacked one of the Spaniards and knocked him to the ground, but the

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Spaniard also managed to knock Hecatzin down. The captain got up and clubbed the Spaniard again, and other warriors rushed forward to drag him away. Then all the Aztecs sprang up and charged into ­battle. The Spaniards w ­ ere so astonished that they blundered ­here and ­there like drunkards; they ran through the streets with the warriors in pursuit. This was when the taking of captives began. A ­great many of the allies from Tlaxcala, Acolhuacan, Chalco and Xochimilco w ­ ere overpowered by the Aztecs, and t­here was a g­ reat harvesting of prisoners, a g­ reat reaping of victims to be sacrificed. The Spaniards and their allies waded into the lake ­because the road had become too slippery for them. The mud was so slick that they sprawled and floundered and could not stand up to fight. The Aztecs seized them as captives and dragged them across the mud. The Spanish standard was taken and carried off during this encounter. The warriors from Tlatelolco captured it in the place known ­today as San Martín, but they ­were scornful of their prize and considered it of l­ittle importance. Some of the Spaniards w ­ ere able to escape with their lives. They retreated in the direction of Culhuacan, on the edge of the canal, and gathered t­here to recover their strength. The Aztecs took their prisoners to Yacacolco, hurrying them along the road ­under the strictest guard. Some of the captives ­were weeping, some ­were keening, and ­others ­were beating their palms against their mouths. When they arrived in Yacacolco, they w ­ ere lined up in long rows. One by one they ­were forced to climb to the ­temple platform, where they ­were sacrificed by the priests. The Spaniards went first, then their allies, and all w ­ ere put to death. As soon as the sacrifices ­were finished, the Aztecs ranged the Spaniards’ heads in rows on pikes. They also lined up their h­ orses’ heads. They placed the h­ orses’ heads at the bottom and the heads of the Spaniards above, and arranged them all so that the f­ aces w ­ ere t­ oward the sun. However, they did not display any of the allies’ heads. All told, fifty-­three Spaniards and four h­ orses w ­ ere sacrificed t­here at Yacacolco. The fighting continued in many dif­fer­ent places. At one point, the allies from Xochimilco surrounded us in their canoes, and the toll of the dead and captured was heavy on both sides (Léon-­Portilla, 1992, pp. 105–107). Source: Miguel León Portillo, ed. The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962, 1992. Reprinted with permission from Beacon Press.

See also: Rise of Maya and Indigenous Civilizations; Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas; Pueblo Revolt of 1680

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Further Reading Adorno, Rolena. 2007. The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Carrasco, Davíd. 1998. Daily Life of the Aztecs. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. Clendinnen, Inga. 1995. Aztecs (canto ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. Cortés, Hernán. 2001. Letters from Mexico. Ed. and trans. Anthony Pagden. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. 2003. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico. Trans. A. P. Maudslay. New York: Da Capo Press. Hassig, Ross. 1988. Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Po­liti­cal Control. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Hassig, Ross. 2006. Mexico and the Spanish Conquest. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Léon-­Portilla, Miguel, ed. 1992. The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press. Levy, Buddy. 2008. Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs. New York: Bantam Books. Paz, Octavio. 2002. “The Sons of La Malinche,” in Gilbert Joseph and Timothy Henderson, eds., The Mexico Reader, 20–27. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Restall, Matthew. 2003. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Schwartz, Stuart B., ed. 2000. Victors and Vanquished. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. Thomas, Hugh. 1993. Conquest: Montezuma, Cortés, and the Fall of Old Mexico. New York: Simon & Schuster. Townsend, Camilla. 2006. Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian ­Woman in the Conquest of Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Pueblo Revolt of 1680 Cameron D. Jones

Chronology ~1300

With the collapse of the Anasazi in the Four Corners region, the ­people who l­ ater became known as the Pueblo migrate to the Rio Grande Valley in modern-­day New Mexico.


Sometime between 1528 and 1536, four Spaniards (making their way back to Mexico a­ fter the disastrous Narváez expedition was shipwrecked near modern-­day Galveston) hear rumors of the

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Pueblo p­ eoples. Led by the failed expedition’s second-­in-­command, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, the survivors’ description of the relatively large Pueblo communities fuels the legend of the seven lost cities of Cíbola, which w ­ ere purported to be made of gold. ­These rumors spark interest that leads to further expeditions. 1537

The Niza expedition encounters the Pueblo ­people, but ends in disaster a­ fter misunderstandings lead to violent clashes.


An expedition led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado invades the Pueblo territory. The expedition finds that the Pueblo communities are not the legendary golden cities of Cíbola, but substantial mud-­ brick towns. Disappointed but undaunted, Coronado uses the Pueblo towns as bases to search for the fabulous wealth rumored to be in the region. The expedition party spends two winters with the Pueblo, exploiting their ­labor and draining their resources.


Juan de Oñate y Salazar launches an expedition of almost 1,000 ­people to colonize New Mexico. This marks the beginning of permanent Spanish colonization among the Pueblo, resulting in a drastic demographic collapse of the native population as colonists exploit both the ­people and the area’s natu­ral resources.


Juan de Oñate ­orders brutal retaliation against the Acoma Pueblo for the killing of 13 Spanish soldiers who had been sent to collect tribute from Acoma. The retaliatory forces destroy the village and kill almost all the Pueblo residents. ­Those who are captured are sentenced to servitude or corporal punishment. The event is known among the Pueblo as the Acoma Massacre.


A massive drought in the colony of New Mexico begins, leading to widespread starvation.


In response to pos­si­ble threats of an uprising, the royal governor of New Mexico arrests 47 medicine men, accusing them of sorcery and condemning 4 to die by hanging. Three are executed and the fourth commits suicide before the sentence can be carried out. Outraged Pueblo warriors from several communities surround Santa Fe, forcing the Spanish to release the remaining medicine men, including the ­future leader of the 1680 revolt, Popé.

1680, August 9

Governor Antonio de Otermín is informed of an impending rebellion, but does ­little to prepare for it, as such rumors are extremely common. Popé had already circulated knotted cords to vari­ous

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Pueblo communities to count off the days ­until the rebellion was to begin (August 13). 1680, August 10

­ fter learning that the Spanish have been made aware of the A impending rebellion, Popé ­orders that the revolt begin early. Hundreds of settlers and most of the priests in the region are massacred in the following weeks.

1680, August 16

A force of approximately 2,500 Pueblo surround Santa Fe, cutting off the city’s only w ­ ater supply and beginning a three-­day long siege. The siege ends only a­ fter a desperate counterattack by the Spanish settlers on August 18.

1680, August 21

Approximately 1,000 settlers leave Santa Fe, making their way south along the Rio Grande. Though they are extremely vulnerable, the Pueblo allow the settlers to leave in peace.

1680, October

Spanish settlers who have escaped from New Mexico begin to arrive in El Paso.


The Pueblo govern themselves, ­free of Spanish po­liti­cal and economic control. What happens during this period is not well documented, but ­later in­for­mants say that Popé and other leaders fail to erase the Spanish cultural impact completely, despite trying to eliminate all remnants of it. Even Popé models his style of governance a­ fter that of the Spanish. The famine persists, leading to inter-­Pueblo conflict.

1692, Spanish forces, led by the newly appointed governor of New MexSeptember 13 ico, Diego de Vargas, arrive in Santa Fe. The city’s inhabitants allow them to enter the city peacefully. Vargas stays for a month before returning to Mexico. 1693, December

Vargas returns to New Mexico with more than 800 new settlers. However, the expedition is blocked from entering Santa Fe. ­After a brief skirmish, Spanish forces enter the city. A series of b­ attles in the surrounding communities fi­nally end with the Spanish taking nominal control of the colony.


Several Pueblo communities make another attempt to rise up against the Spanish. They are brutally defeated.

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Narrative The Pueblo Revolt, 1680 The Pueblo Revolt was an ingenious uprising in 1680 in what is now the state of New Mexico. The rebels consisted of a multiethnic, multilinguistic confederation of natives which the Spanish called the Pueblo Indians. Spanish colonialism in the region had been especially cruel, as Spanish laws aimed at curbing the worst abuses of the colonizers ­were difficult to enforce in this frontier zone. ­These conditions ­were only exacerbated by a de­cade of drought. The uprising, led by the mysterious Popé (or Popay), drove all of the Spanish colonists away from New Mexico for 12 years ­until 1692, when an expedition led by Diego de Vargas regained nominal control of the region, though fighting persisted for several years a­ fter the Spanish had declared victory.

The Pueblo P ­ eople The Pueblo Indians are not one unified ethnic group. The Pueblo ­people encompass 5 major linguistic groups and are spread over 110 towns (pueblos in Spanish), in an area that spans most of modern-­day New Mexico and the eastern edge of Arizona. The five major linguistic groups consist of the Piro, Hopi, Zuñi, Keresan, and Tano. The Tano are further divided into subgroups called the Tiwa, Tewa, and Towa. Many of the Pueblos did not even understand each other’s languages, let alone share any sort of unified po­liti­cal organ­ization. Each pueblo functioned more or less autonomously, though communities within the same linguistic group ­were often united in some form or another. The Spanish lumped t­hese disparate groups

Statue of Popé, Tewa spiritual leader and or­ga­nizer of the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. (Architect of the Capitol)

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together in an attempt to distinguish them from the more nomadic groups further to the north such as the Apache and Navajo. ­These nomadic groups w ­ ere referred to as Indios Bárbaros—­barbaric Indians—by the early explorers. ­These explorers seemed encouraged by the Pueblo’s relatively large adobe structures, and believed such a sedentary and concentrated population could be easily exploited. The total population of the region before 1598, when Spanish colonization began in earnest, was approximately 80,000. By the outbreak of the rebellion in 1680, that population had been reduced to 17,000 (Riley, 1995, pp. 93–133). The origins of the Pueblo, though studied by many archeologists and anthropologists, are still shrouded in some mystery. Explaining how such a wide variation in languages occurred in a relatively small area among ­people who share many cultural traditions is particularly difficult to explain. While ­humans have inhabited the southwest since approximately 5500 BCE, some scholars argue that the ­people in Pueblo villages are relative newcomers to the region. They argue that ­these ­peoples emigrated from the Four Corners region (the area where the modern-­ day states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet) as part of the collapse of the Anasazi culture around 1300 CE. Many volumes have been written on the supposed disappearance of the Anasazi, but many scholars of the region simply point to the Pueblo as their obvious successors. Most Pueblo ethnic groups have some sort of g­ reat migration story in their cultural traditions. However, some scholars of the Pueblo have argued that ­there ­were already Pueblo ­people living in the Rio Grande valley before 1300. The idea that the ­people who became the Pueblo originated from multiple locations would certainly explain their wide variety of dissimilar languages. However, the Pueblo did share at least one common cultural characteristic: the worship of the kachina, which they believed ­were spirit beings that represented elemental forces and aided them in their daily lives (Riley, 1995, pp. 93–119).

The Colonization of New Mexico The Pueblo’s existence first became known to the Eu­ro­pe­ans as the result of a failed expedition to Florida. In 1528, Pánfilo Narváez led a large flotilla that set out to raid the coast of Florida. They shipwrecked, eventually landing somewhere near Galveston. The survivors w ­ ere forced to go overland back to Mexico. As some of the last survivors travelled through the Rio Grande Valley, they stayed with a tribe of bison hunters. ­These hunters traded with the Pueblo for corn. When the Spaniards pressed “the p­ eople of cows,” as they called the hunters, about where the corn came from, the natives described large, relatively wealthy towns to the north. This encounter spawned the legend of the Seven Cities of Cíbola, which ­were reported to be made of gold.

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Kachina Kachina (or katsina) worship is a central facet of Pueblo and Hopi religion and can still be found throughout the southwest United States. Kachinas are ancestral spirits or personifications of natu­ral forces. They can represent the wind, fire, earth, rain, or impor­tant ancestors from the vari­ous communities of the Pueblo and Hopi. They are frequently represented in the form of elaborately decorated wooden dolls. C ­ hildren are given ­these dolls not to play with, but to study, learn to recognize the forces they represent, and gain re­spect for them. ­There are more than 400 types of kachinas. They have human-­like relationships with each other; some are married to one another or are the ­children or parents of o­ thers. The Pueblo and Hopi believe that kachinas have ­great powers, and when given proper re­spect, they could grant rainfall, fertility, or allow someone to be healed, among other ­things. The Pueblo would dress as kachinas during ritual dances. Many of t­hese rituals took place in the kiva, a circular or square subterranean room found in most Pueblo communities. The kiva traces back to the Pueblo’s Anasazi ancestors and represents the birthplace of the Anasazi ­people. According to Pueblo origin stories, their earliest ancestors emerged from the ground or underworld. When p­ eople perform ceremonies in the kiva and emerge from it, the ritual symbolizes the emergence from the underworld.

The Cíbola myth would come to haunt the Pueblo as a series of expeditions came north in search of the city of gold—­but before that came missionaries. In 1539, Friar Marcos de Niza, who had accompanied Francisco Pizarro on his invasion of Peru, led an expedition aimed at converting this supposed “newly discovered” civilization in order to save their souls. The Niza expedition ended badly: its first encounter with the Pueblo resulted in the death of Niza’s guide, the enslaved moor Estevan, who had been one of the few survivors of the Narváez expedition. However, the dream of cities laden with gold was too much for some Spaniards to resist, and the Niza expedition was followed just a year l­ater by one led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado. Coronado’s expedition was heavi­ly armed and he forced several towns to support his men during the winter. The men w ­ ere disappointed to find the mud-­brick structures of the Pueblo instead of the famous cities of gold. Guided by a local Pueblo nicknamed the Turk, they wandered much of the Southwest and even the Midwest ­until Coronado was killed in a horse-­riding accident, and the party returned to Mexico.

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What followed ­were several attempts at colonization, which mostly ended in disaster ­until 1598, when Juan de Oñate y Salazar launched a campaign to pacify the Pueblo. Oñate led a group of almost 1,000 ­people along with 7,000 head of ­cattle and sheep. Most of the p­ eople in the expedition w ­ ere colonists from Mexico and their indigenous servants. Though at first the Pueblo left the colonists alone, by 1599 Spanish provocations had resulted in a major conflict at the Pueblo of Acoma, resulting in the death of hundreds of native ­people that became known as the Acoma Massacre. According to accounts, Juan de Oñate dispatched 13 soldiers to Acoma to collect a tribute, or tax, from the Pueblo. When the Pueblo refused, a conflict erupted that left 13 Spaniards dead, including Oñate’s own nephew. In retaliation, Oñate ordered an especially brutal attack on the town to punish their defiance and teach the lesson that Pueblo disobedience would not be tolerated. Oñate’s soldiers massacred nearly all of the Acoma inhabitants. The few hundred who survived ­were taken captive and sentenced to 20 years of servitude. Adult male captives each had their left foot cut off. This event represented a particularly astonishing example of Spanish cruelty and ruthlessness against native p­ eople. Oñate became a remarkably tyrannical leader and was eventually tried in court, removed from office, and banished from the colony. Unfortunately, Oñate’s bloody and despotic legacy became the standard of Spanish governance in New Mexico (Silverberg, 1970, pp. 20–33). Although New Mexico would have a succession of governing leaders, the most lasting impact on the Pueblo ­peoples was arguably made by the Franciscan missionaries. In 1598, Oñate brought 10 friars with him on his initial foray into the region. The friars quickly became the point of contact between the settlers and the Pueblo. As such, they had considerable influence in the colony. For example, in 1613 Friar Isidro Ordóñez, president of the Franciscan missions in the region, took control of all of New Mexico ­after a dispute with the local governor. New Mexico drew some of the most fanatical friars, whom at least one scholar argued w ­ ere driven by a desire for martyrdom. Certainly the lure of a territory yet to be evangelized was difficult to resist for the most devout and perhaps single-­ minded Franciscans. Although the friars tolerated many of the traditional cultural practices of the Pueblo at first, they eventually forbade them, banning the use of kachina and other indigenous religious practices, and meting out severe punishments for ­those who continued their supposed “idolatries” (Silverberg 1970, pp. 52–93). Some scholars have accused friars of widespread sexual misconduct and abuse. They ­were also strict disciplinarians, resorting to corporal punishment to punish ­those who sinned. Friars w ­ ere the first and most violently executed targets of the Pueblo during the 1680 revolt. Nonetheless, many Pueblo seemingly converted to Chris­tian­ity of their own ­will, believing the friars to be like their own medicine men who had “magic” or powers. Some Pueblo tried to defend the friars and the colonists when the rebellion broke out (Gutiérrez, 1991, pp. 95–142).

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The Friar Isidro Ordóñez Affair Friar Isidro Ordóñez was the leader of the first group of missionaries to enter New Mexico with Juan de Oñate’s expedition in 1598. Over the next de­cade, he battled with the governors of New Mexico for better treatment for the native population. ­These tensions came to a head in 1613, when the second governor of New Mexico, Pedro de Peralta, dispatched soldiers to Taos to collect a long overdue tribute. Ordóñez refused to allow the soldiers to collect the tax. He argued that the colonists ­were exploiting the natives to build the colony’s new Spanish capital, Santa Fe. Governor Peralta denounced Ordóñez’s actions, and in response, the friar excommunicated him. A meeting a few weeks ­later between the men went so poorly that it ended with Peralta attempting to shoot Ordóñez. Afterward, Ordóñez wrote to Mexico City about Peralta’s actions in an attempt to get the viceroy to permanently remove him from office. Ordóñez furthermore prohibited anyone e­ lse from writing on Peralta’s behalf, upon pain of excommunication. Peralta realized that if the viceroy only heard from the friar about his conduct, he would certainly be removed from office. Therefore, he attempted to make his way to Mexico City, but was seized just south of Santa Fe by a contingent of soldiers loyal to Ordóñez. With Peralta imprisoned and the rest of the colonial authorities fearing the friar’s ability to excommunicate them, Ordóñez became the de facto leader of the colony. Though he was eventually removed from office, the incident demonstrated the power of the Franciscans in New Mexico. The event also had another destructive effect. ­Because thereafter royal governors feared the relationship that had formed between the missionaries and their converts as a rival to their po­liti­cal power, they sought to undermine the authority of the missionaries. One way they did this was by relaxing, and some historians argue even encouraging, the Pueblo to revive their old kachina religious traditions. ­Because the state would no longer suppress the Pueblos’ religious traditions, the friars did so themselves. This brutal suppression of the Pueblo by the Franciscans led not only to chaos, death, and destruction, but also to a vicious animosity among the Pueblo t­ oward the missionaries, which was one of the driving forces ­behind the 1680 revolt.

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­Causes of the Revolt As a colony on the fringes of Spanish influence in the Amer­ic­ as, New Mexico received l­ittle scrutiny from Spanish authorities in Mexico City or Madrid. As a result, the colony became notorious for its cruelty to the native population. Additionally, many oppressive institutions—­some of which the Spanish had suppressed in other parts of the Amer­i­cas for being excessively exploitative—­persisted in New Mexico. ­These included the encomienda, a system ­under which natives ­were forced to work for private individuals as a reward for t­hese colonists’ participation in the “conquest” of New Mexico. Another oppressive institution was repartimiento, a system that forced natives to work for the state, often at the behest of individuals and crown officials. The encomienda had been eliminated throughout most of Spanish Amer­i­ca, condemned by both church and crown as causing high mortality rates among the native population. In addition to t­ hese repressive practices, native populations throughout Spain’s colonial possessions ­were also required to pay standard taxes and tithes. Furthermore, illegal practices such as slavery ­were common throughout New Mexico. Slaves worked locally, but most ­were traded out of the colony into the wider Atlantic slave trade. Some of New Mexico’s governors w ­ ere implicated in this practice. The result of this harsh treatment was approximately an 80 ­percent decrease in the Pueblo population. Starting in the 1670s, New Mexico suffered a prolonged drought, which ravaged the population of the colony. The regional climatic conditions ­were also difficult for the Pueblo’s neighbors, the Apaches, who began raiding vari­ous communities. Neither Spanish nor local indigenous forces could stop Apache raids. ­These adverse conditions spurred unrest among the Pueblo, who began to lose faith in the power of the Franciscan friars and increasingly turned to their traditional medicine men. To counteract the growing restlessness, in 1675 the royal governor arrested 47 medicine men, accusing them of sorcery and condemning 4 to die by hanging. Three ­were executed and the fourth committed suicide before his sentence could be carried out. Outraged, several Pueblo communities marched on the colonial capital of Santa Fe. With so many men away fighting the Apache, the governor was forced to accede to their demands and release the prisoners. One of t­ hose prisoners was Popé (Weber, 1999).

The Uprising Popé returned embittered to his Pueblo of San Juan. Not only had he suffered personal injury at the hands of the Spaniards, but he also feared for the larger existential threat to his p­ eople. As a medicine man, he seemed particularly disturbed by the friars’ persecution of kachina worship. Over the next five years, with the help

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of three lieutenants, he built a confederation of vari­ous Pueblos that w ­ ere all dedicated to eliminating the Spanish. However, not all Pueblos enthusiastically joined the cause. Most of the Piro speakers did not rise up, and some of the Tano and Keres communities vacillated in their commitment. In general, Popé’s power base was in the northern Rio Grande valley. The rebellion’s leadership deci­ded that the uprising would commence on August 13, 1680. To coordinate their efforts, the Pueblo distributed knotted cords, with each knot signifying one day u­ ntil the rebellion, to coordinate their attacks. When the Pueblo had untied the last knot, they w ­ ere to strike. The knotted cord has become the symbol of the rebellion. Word of the rebellion could not be contained. Many Pueblo had benefited from and ­were loyal to the Spanish colonists. By the after­noon of August 9, word reached the governor, Antonio de Otermín, in Santa Fe. However, the governor reacted too slowly. Having previously been warned of many uprisings that never came to fruition, Otermín did l­ ittle to prepare the colonists for the onslaught. Popé, in contrast, worried that he would lose the ele­ment of surprise and thus moved the rebellion timetable forward, ordering the uprising to begin the next day, August 10. Some scholars have argued that the early start date had always been the plan and that letting it be known widely that it would begin on the 13th was simply a ruse to root out in­for­mants. What­ever the case, by the morning of the 10th, reports of a general uprising began to reach the governor. All throughout the colony, the Pueblo ­were killing priests and colonists and burning churches. Rural estates suffered the worst fate. Isolated from other colonists, many w ­ ere completely destroyed and their inhabitants—­men, ­women, and ­children—­massacred. On the 16th, the Pueblo made what they prob­ably hoped would be their decisive blow. Some 2,500 warriors converged upon Santa Fe, taking control of most of the city. In a last-­ditch effort, the Spaniards fortified the main plaza. Although the Pueblo ­were unsuccessful in burning the church, in the fighting they cut off the ditch that was the principal ­water supply to the city. That night the natives withdrew, but continued the onslaught the next day, utilizing captured guns and cannons against the Spanish forces. By the 18th, t­ hings ­were getting desperate in Santa Fe. Thousands of the city’s inhabitants and some of their livestock w ­ ere crammed into the main square. Without being able to restore the ­water supply, many would die of thirst. With no other options, the Spanish soldiers set out from their makeshift defenses in a desperate attempt to break the siege. A frenzied b­ attle ensued. The Pueblo seemed to be taken aback by the sudden ferocity of the Spanish, and as the fighting came to a fever pitch, the Pueblo warriors broke and fled to the outskirts of the city. The colonists repaired the ditch, but the siege had eroded their confidence in their ability to stay. On August 21, a long column of more than 1,000 settlers begin to wend their way out of New Mexico and follow the Rio Grande south. Native forces lined

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the heights above the river, but they did not attack. It is likely they deci­ded to let the settlers leave rather than try to eradicate them. The fleeing settlers found that some of the Spanish settlements farther south had been abandoned in good order, while o­ thers had been destroyed. The orderly evacuation of some settlements and the plundering of the rest meant that the fleeing Spanish forces found no supplies along their long march south u­ ntil they w ­ ere met by a relief party from El Paso near Socorro. By early October, they had reached El Paso itself. In all, 1,946 Spanish settlers reached El Paso out of approximately 2,500 in the colony of New Mexico. Of the missing, 150 most likely made it on their own to Mexico, while approximately 400 died in the rebellion. The number of Pueblo deaths remains unknown, but they had successfully expelled the Spanish from their homeland (Silverberg, 1970, pp. 111–131).

The Pueblos without the Spanish Scholars debate what exactly happened in New Mexico ­after the expulsion of the Spanish. Much of what they know comes from information shared by Pueblo in­for­ mants who tried to ingratiate themselves with the Spanish ­after their return in 1692. What is clear from the descriptions is that t­hese w ­ ere hard years. The in­for­ mants place much of the blame for t­ hese difficulties on Popé. Although they reported that the religious cele­brations, the kachina, and kiva had all returned, they also stated that Popé was not satisfied with returning to the autonomous city-­state structure that had existed before the arrival of the Spanish. According to their stories, he attempted to rule over the Pueblo as one ­people, resided in the governor’s palace in Santa Fe, and insisted that the p­ eople prostrate themselves before him as they had done to the governor. Despite retaining t­ hese Spanish practices, Popé prohibited anything associated with the previous regime. All churches that w ­ ere still standing w ­ ere destroyed, along with the religious artifacts inside. The use of Christian names was forbidden and villages held ceremonies to de-­baptize their inhabitants. ­These actions ­were only logical given the animosity many felt t­ oward the previous regime. Popé’s followers did not stop t­here, however. All non-­native crops w ­ ere also destroyed: chili peppers, apples, lemons, plums, and oranges. They slaughtered the pigs and sheep that the colonists had brought and set the h­ orses ­free. The ­horses ­were captured by local nomadic tribes, an unexpected development that permanently changed the way of life for many indigenous groups in the G ­ reat Plains and the West, such as the Sioux and Cheyenne. The h­ orse gave them mobility previously unknown to North American natives, and also allowed them to more effectively hunt buffalo, which became a mainstay for many of the Plains indigenous nations.

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The destruction of Spanish plants and animals must have had a significant impact on the Pueblo, but the prolonged drought is what fi­nally broke apart the fragile alliance that the rebellious groups had formed. Starvation began to set in as successive years of too l­ittle rain took their toll. Soon the alliance fractured as dif­fer­ent linguistic groups broke away. The region slipped into chaos as civil conflicts exacerbated the famine. They area was rife for reconquest, yet the Pueblo held on for 12 long years (Knaut, 1995, pp. 122–136).

Reconquest During the period between 1680 and 1692, ­there ­were several attempts to retake the colony of New Mexico. Particularly early on, ­these expeditions ­were met with fierce re­sis­tance; however, as conditions worsened, the Pueblo’s ability to resist waned. When the newly appointed governor of New Mexico, Diego de Vargas, arrived on the outskirts of Santa Fe in September 1692, the inhabitants allowed him to enter peacefully, and more than a thousand Pueblo once again swore loyalty to the Spanish crown. Vargas’s initial entrance into Santa Fe has often been described as a peaceful conquest, but calling it such ignores ­later events. When the Spanish returned with a much larger contingent of soldiers and settlers the next year, the inhabitants of Santa Fe refused to let them enter. Vargas attacked the city, which eventually surrendered. This was only the beginning of a series of b­ attles throughout New Mexico. Fierce re­sis­tance forced Vargas to attack community a­ fter community, sometimes unsuccessfully, in order to bring the Pueblo at least nominally ­under Spanish control. As late as 1696, the governor was quelling rebellions throughout the colony. Only by the end of the ­century did the region achieve relative stability (Silverberg, 1970, pp. 151–188). The Pueblo Revolt was one of the most impor­tant moments of indigenous re­sis­ tance against Eu­ro­pean colonialism in the history of what would become the U.S. Southwest. Although the region came u­ nder Spanish control once again, many of the most abusive practices that had been common before ­were prohibited, such as the encomienda. Spanish priests could no longer punish the Pueblo for practicing their religious ceremonies provided they at least publicly professed Catholicism and attended Mass. Each community was given a larger tract of land for its own use. The rebellion most likely saved Pueblo culture and perhaps the p­ eople themselves. For the communities that make up the Pueblo ­peoples, the legacy of the revolt is mixed. Although many indigenous groups in New Mexico and beyond celebrate it for its successful overthrow of Eu­ro­pean invaders, it has not been seen traditionally as a significant event within many of the Pueblo communities. In fact, u­ ntil recently some Pueblo groups did not speak of the revolt in their traditional histories,

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instead focusing on events such as their creation story. The reasons for this reluctance to celebrate the revolt are prob­ably just as varied as the communities themselves. Perhaps the most common explanation, however, is the fact that they did not see the revolt as ultimately successful. As indigenous movements have intensified over the last ­century, however, the Pueblo Revolt has become more popu­lar as a reminder of native re­sis­tance against Eu­ro­pean oppression.

Biographies of Notable Figures Diego de Vargas (1643–1704) Diego de Vargas Zapata y Luján Ponce de León y Contreras was a Spanish aristocrat who led the “reconquest” of the Pueblos beginning in 1692. Vargas has been called “the last conquistador” by some historical commentators. However, the title is more a romantic notion than a real­ity, as Spanish expansion into the borderlands of the Amer­i­cas continued well into the 18th ­century. Vargas hailed from a well-­ known and aristocratic ­family. Like many young men of his standing, he initially became an officer in the Spanish army, seeing action in Italy. Con­temporary accounts describe him as the very model of a Spanish nobleman: cultured, pious, well-­dressed and groomed, sporting the best finery that could be obtained in Spain. Vargas came to Mexico in 1672, serving initially in very minor government posts. He quickly proved himself an effective administrator, and was eventually rewarded with a position as an overseer of mineral production, specializing in mercury, a necessary ele­ment for refining silver. Most likely due to his ­family connections, in 1683, the king recommended him to the ser­vice of the viceroy, from which time he became an impor­tant figure in Mexico City. As attempts to retake New Mexico floundered, the Spanish government scrambled to find a solution. The loss of the colony was an embarrassment for the Spanish and, given their declining dominance in the Atlantic, leaving New Mexico alone could invite other Eu­ro­pean powers such as the British to enter the region. Furthermore, it was rumored that t­here ­were mercury deposits in New Mexico, making the colony a potentially valuable resource. Given his expertise with mercury, Vargas became the most obvious choice to lead a new expedition. Ironically, no ­viable mercury mines ­were ever found in the region. Vargas was appointed governor in 1688 and fi­nally arrived in El Paso in 1691. He launched a small expedition north into Pueblo-­held territory in 1692. He had never planned on taking control of the area during this expedition, but planned only to gain firsthand knowledge of the situation on the ground before moving in with a much larger force the next year. It seems that Vargas hoped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, though he was not afraid of using vio­lence. As they approached Santa

Pueblo Revolt of 1680 | 67

Fe, he gave his men strict instructions not to fire ­unless he drew his sword. They approached the city in the early hours of the morning on September 14, but the Pueblo inside refused to believe that the Spanish had returned. Vargas waited patiently u­ ntil the sun ­rose to prove their identity. When daybreak fi­nally came, he could see panicked preparations to defend the city, but chose to try to negotiate. ­After almost an entire day of preparing for a prolonged siege on both sides, the inhabitants of Santa Fe deci­ded to surrender, and most eventually swore an oath of allegiance to the king of Spain. As in other colonial conquests, control of New Mexico could only be gained and maintained through vio­lence. When Vargas returned the next year, in December 1693, with a much larger force and colonists, the inhabitants of Santa Fe refused to let him enter the city, perhaps realizing that the presence of colonists meant that they would be forced to permanently leave Santa Fe, which had previously been considered an exclusively Spanish city. Though Vargas waited several days to see if he could reenter the city peacefully, he eventually attacked on the 28th. When the Pueblo in the city fi­nally surrendered the next morning, Vargas had 70 Pueblo warriors executed and sentenced their wives and c­ hildren to 10 years of servitude. He wanted them to be an example of what happened to ­those who resisted. However, the message did not have the intended effect, and Vargas was forced to fight several other communities before he claimed victory. When his term as governor expired in 1696, Vargas applied for a second term, but a miscommunication in the crown’s bureaucracy caused another man to be appointed in his place. Ignorant of the bureaucratic debacle that had taken place, Vargas was surprised at not being reappointed, given his successes. He coolly received his successor, Pedro Rodríguez Cubero, in July 1697. As was typical in the transfer of power in the Spanish colonial system, Rodríguez Cubero had to review his pre­de­ces­sor’s per­for­mance before Vargas could leave the colony. ­These proceedings ­were generally a formality, with the understanding that the new governor would face the same pro­cess at the end of his own term, and therefore would be wary of judging too harshly. Within a few weeks, however, Rodríguez Cubero had Vargas arrested. The arrest appears to have stemmed from the testimony of several Spanish colonists who w ­ ere angry that they had not received sufficient grants of land ­after the reconquest. Too much of the land, they contended, had remained in the hands of the Pueblo. They accused Vargas of corruption and of embezzling funds. Vargas languished in prison in Santa Fe for three years. Rodríguez Cubero blocked him from corresponding with Mexico City or Madrid to clear his name. Fi­nally, the head of the Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico personally travelled to Mexico City and pleaded his case. Appalled at Vargas’s treatment, the viceroy ordered his immediate release.

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Vargas travelled to Mexico City where he was appointed to replace Rodríguez Cubero, and given the title of marquis of La Nava Brazinas. Before Vargas returned to Santa Fe in 1703, Rodríguez Cubero left the colonial capital, reportedly to fight the Apache. He was never heard from again. Most likely fearing Vargas’s reprisal, he quietly made his way to Mexico. Vargas’s return was short-­lived, however. As Rodríguez Cubero’s excuse for fleeing Santa Fe suggests, Apache incursions had become a grave prob­lem. In 1704 Vargas went on a campaign to end the raids, but contracted pneumonia within a few days and died. He is remembered yearly at a commemoration of his peaceful entry into Santa Fe in 1692. ­There is no mention of the l­ater vio­lence of the reconquest in the festivities.

Popé (ca. 1630–1688) Though Popé (sometimes written Popey or Po’pey) was one of the central figures of the Pueblo Revolt, l­ ittle is known about him before 1675. Popé was a Tewa medicine man (doctor) from the community of Ohkay Owingeh, which was known ­until 2005 by its Spanish name, San Juan. Given his position as a medicine man, it seems clear that Popé had resisted the imposition of Catholicism by the Franciscan friars for most of his life. According to at least one account, Popé had been plotting an uprising since 1668. In 1675 he was arrested by Governor Juan Francisco Travino for “witchcraft” and “idolatry,” along with 47 other holy men from the northern Pueblo communities; all of them ­were imprisoned in Santa Fe. The arrests ­were part of an ongoing conflict between civil authorities and the Franciscans in the province. The civil authorities tolerated (and some say even encouraged) the Pueblo to practice their traditional religious rites, led by medicine men, as a way of undermining the Franciscan missionaries, whom they feared had too ­great an influence on the local population. Popé and his fellow medicine men w ­ ere found guilty. Three ­were hanged and one committed suicide. The remaining 43 ­were publicly whipped and jailed, including Popé. They ­were held for several weeks ­until a large number of Tewa villa­gers surrounded Santa Fe and demanded their release. ­After his imprisonment, Popé went to Taos, where he began planning in earnest what would become the Pueblo Revolt. He seemed to realize that the only way to defeat the Spanish was to unite the Pueblo, something unheard of among the Pueblo communities, which ­were more or less autonomous prior to the Eu­ro­pe­ans’ arrival. ­After his release, Popé spent much of his time in Taos in the kiva (a subterranean sacred space that was heated like a sauna), consulting a figure who has been described by indigenous in­for­mants to the Spanish as a “yellow-­eyed, black ­giant.” This mysterious figure was most likely Diego de Santiago, a man of mixed African and Eu­ro­pean descent who had married a w ­ oman from the community some 50 years earlier. In the Taos kiva, Popé also claimed to have had a vision of three

Pueblo Revolt of 1680 | 69

spirits named Caudi, Tilini, and Tleume, who regularly gave him advice on the preparations for the revolt. ­Whether Popé had ­these visions or not, the seemingly divine nature of his instructions gave his words legitimacy even outside of the Tewa-­ speaking communities. During this time, Popé recruited three lieutenants: Caiti of Santo Domingo, Tupatú of Picuris, and Jaca of Taos. Over a period of five years, Popé gained a Pueblo ally disenchanted with Spanish rule in most of the communities. ­There w ­ ere holdouts and even spies in ­these communities, including Popé’s own son-­in-­law, Nicolas Bua. Some Pueblo, like Bua, had benefited from the Spanish occupation, and remained loyal to the crown. Bua was the Spanish-­appointed governor of Popé’s home community of San Juan. Emblematic of Popé’s dedication to his cause, or perhaps in disgust at his turncoat son-­in-­law, Popé personally accused Bua of collaborating with the Spanish and had him stoned to death. In the aftermath of the revolt, Popé became the de facto ruler of the Pueblo ­peoples. Such a position had never existed before the arrival of Spanish colonialism, due to the Pueblo communities’ autonomy. Leading the rebellion, however, seemed to have given Popé enough authority to continue ruling over the w ­ hole region. Popé’s regime reflected inevitable changes to Pueblo culture that simply could not be reversed a­ fter 80 years of Spanish rule. He hoped to eliminate Spanish influences completely by ordering the Pueblo to reject every­thing having to do with the previous regime, including burning churches and religious ornamentation, rejecting Christian names and even Christian marriages, and destroying non-­native crops. However, some sources suggest that he maintained many facets of Spanish governance. According to several indigenous in­for­mants, Popé took up residence in the governor’s mansion in Santa Fe and demanded that the Pueblo bow to him. Such signs of reverence had never been used among the Pueblo, even with their most esteemed leaders. Popé also reportedly had all t­hose who challenged him or had not risen up against the Spanish with him enslaved and used as servants. Accounts of Popé’s regime mostly came from captives who ­were u­ nder threat of vio­lence, or Spanish collaborators who w ­ ere attempting to curry f­ avor with the Eu­ro­pe­ans. Popu­lar support quickly turned against the former rebel leader, and civil war broke out among the communities. Most significantly, the Tewa-­Tano alliance that had been at the core of the rebellion split apart. Of course, Popé’s alleged tyranny cannot be completely blamed for the chaos that ensued a­ fter the expulsion of the Spanish. The famine that had precipitated the revolt still ravaged the land causing not just hunger, but also the Apache, who felt its effects as well, to continue raiding the more vulnerable Pueblo communities. In 1688, Popé died, leaving the Pueblo ­peoples in chaos. The situation was ripe for the Spanish to assert control over them once more. However, Popé’s legacy only grew ­after his death. Although Pueblo autonomy ultimately ended in 1692, he continued to be a symbol of re­sis­tance against Eu­ro­pean oppression, w ­ hether in the

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guise of the Spanish or ­later the Americans. In recognition of his part in the revolt, and of his continued popularity in New Mexico, a statue of Popé was placed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in 2005. The statue challenged the prevailing narrative of New Mexico history, which celebrated Juan de Oñate as a founding ­father of the state and honored him with a statue. For many Pueblo, however, Oñate represented a cruel and ruthless colonizer who had massacred many ­people. Nonetheless, statues of both men proved controversial, reminding us how highly contested historical narratives are and how communities remember the past differently.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT Declaration of Pedro Naranjo of the Queres Nation, 1681 Very few documents give the native perspective on why the Pueblo Revolt (Rebellion) took place. The following is an excerpt of the testimony of Pedro Naranjo from the Isleta Pueblo. Naranjo spoke both Spanish and his native Tegua language. He was captured during an attack on Isleta and was forced to testify regarding the cause of the revolt. In his testimony he describes both super­natural and real-­world ­causes of the rebellion. Much of the testimony is focused on the vision Popé had in the kiva (called in the following text estufa) in Taos. The text is written in the question format typical of Spanish l­egal proceedings. His testimony was written by a scribe, who was generally a Spaniard or Hispanicized native or mestizo. This method of interrogation and transcription obviously allowed the biases of the interrogator and scribe to color the text, but this document represents the closest t­ hing pos­si­ble to a native perspective on the rebellion. Rio del Norte, December 19, 1681. Asked ­whether he knows the reason or motives which the Indians of this kingdom had for rebelling, forsaking the law of God and obedience to his Majesty, and committing such grave and atrocious crimes, and who ­were the leaders and principal movers, and by whom and how it was ordered; and why they burned the images, ­temples, crosses, rosaries, and ­things of divine worship, committing such atrocities as killing priests, Spaniards, ­women, and ­children, and the rest that he might know touching the question, he said that since the government of Señor General Hernando Ugarte y la Concha they have planned to rebel on vari­ous occasions through conspiracies of the Indian sorcerers, and that although in some pueblos the messages ­were accepted, in other parts they would not agree to it; and that it is true that during the government of the said señor general seven or eight Indians ­were

Pueblo Revolt of 1680 | 71

hanged for this same cause, whereupon the unrest subsided. Some time thereafter they [the conspirators] sent from the pueblo of Los Taos through the pueblos of the custodia two deerskins with some pictures on them signifying conspiracy ­after their manner, in order to convoke the ­people to a new rebellion, and the said deerskins passed to the province of Moqui, where they refused to accept them. The pact which they had been forming ceased for the time being, but they always kept in their hearts the desire to carry it out, so as to live as they are living ­today. Fi­nally, in the past years, at the summons of an Indian named Popé who is said to have communication with the devil, it happened that in an estufa of the pueblo of Los Taos t­here appeared to the said Popé three figures of Indians who never came out of the estufa. They gave the said Popé to understand that they ­were g­ oing underground to the lake of Copala. He saw t­hese figures emit fire from all the extremities of their bodies, and that one of them was called Caudi, another Tilini, and the other Tleume; and ­these three beings spoke to the said Popé, who was in hiding from the secretary, Francisco Xavier, who wished to punish him as a sorcerer. They told him to make a cord of maguey fiber and tie some knots in it which would signify the number of days that they must wait before the rebellion. He said that the cord was passed through all the pueblos of the kingdom so that the ones which agreed to it [the rebellion] might untie one knot in sign of obedience, and by the other knots they would know the days which ­were lacking; and this was to be done on pain of death to t­ hose who refused to agree to it. As a sign of agreement and notice of having concurred in the treason and perfidy they w ­ ere to send up smoke signals to that effect in each one of the pueblos singly. The said cord was taken from pueblo to pueblo by the swiftest youths ­under the penalty of death if they revealed the secret. Every­thing being thus arranged, two days before the time set for its execution, ­because his lordship had learned of it and had imprisoned two Indian accomplices from the pueblo of Tesuque, it was carried out prematurely that night, ­because it seemed to them that they ­were now discovered; and they killed religious, Spaniards, w ­ omen, and ­children. This being done, it was proclaimed in all the pueblos that every­one in common should obey the commands of their ­father whom they did not know, which would be given through El Caydi or El Popé. This was heard by Alonso Catití, who came to the pueblo of this declarant to say that every­one must unite to go to the villa to kill the governor and the Spaniards who had remained with him, and that he who did not obey would, on their return, be beheaded; and in fear of this they agreed to it. Fi­nally the señor governor and t­hose who w ­ ere with him escaped from the siege, and l­ater this declarant saw that as soon as the Spaniards had left the kingdom an order came from the said Indian, Popé, in which he commanded all the Indians to break the lands and enlarge their cultivated fields, saying that now they ­were as they had been in ancient times, f­ ree from the l­abor they had performed for the religious and the

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Spaniards, who could not now be alive. He said that this is the legitimate cause and the reason they had for rebelling, ­because they had always desired to live as they had when they came out of the lake of Copala. Thus he replies to the question. Asked for what reason they so blindly burned the images, ­temples, crosses, and other t­hings of divine worship, he stated that the said Indian, Popé, came down in person, and with him El Saca and El Chato from the pueblo of Los Taos, and other captains and leaders and many ­people who w ­ ere in his train, and he ordered in all the pueblos through which he passed that they instantly break up and burn the images of the holy Christ, the Virgin Mary and the other saints, the crosses, and every­thing pertaining to Chris­tian­ity, and that they burn the t­emples, break up the bells, and separate from the wives whom God had given them in marriage and take t­hose whom they desired. In order to take away their baptismal names, the ­water, and the holy oils, they ­were to plunge into the rivers and wash themselves with amole, which is a root native to the country, washing even their clothing, with the understanding that ­there would thus be taken from them the character of the holy sacraments. . . . Asked what arrangements and plans they had made for the contingency of the Spaniards’ return, he said that what he knows concerning the question is that they ­were always saying they would have to fight to the death, for they do not wish to live in any other way than they are living at pres­ent; and the demons in the estufa of Taos had given them to understand that as soon as the Spaniards began to move ­toward this kingdom they would warn them so that they might unite, and none of them would be caught. Source: Charles W. Hackett and Charmion Shelby, Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Otermín’s Attempted Reconquest, 1680–1682, vol. 2. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1942, pp. 245–249.

See also: Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire; Latin American In­de­pen­ dence; Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas

Further Reading Espinosa, J. Manuel. 1988. The Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1696 and the Franciscan Missions in New Mexico: Letters of the Missionaries and Related Documents. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Gutiérrez, Ramón A. 1991. When Jesus Came, the Corn ­Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500–1846. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Hackett, Charles W., and Charmion Shelby. 1942. Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Otermín’s Attempted Reconquest, 1680–1682. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Pueblo Revolt of 1680 | 73 Knaut, Andrew L. 1995. The Pueblo Revolt of 1680: Conquest and Re­sis­tance in Seventeenth-­ Century New Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Liebmann, Matthew. 2012. The Pueblo Revolt: An Archaeological History of Pueblo Re­sis­ tance and Revitalization in 17th ­Century New Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Preucel, Robert  W. 2002. Archaeologies of the Pueblo Revolt: Identity, Meaning, and Renewal in the Pueblo World. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Riley, Carroll L. 1995. Rio Del Norte: ­People of the Upper Rio Grande from Earliest Times to the Pueblo Revolt. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. Roberts, David. 2004. The Pueblo Revolt: The Secret Rebellion That Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest. New York: Simon & Schuster. Silverberg, Robert. 1970. The Pueblo Revolt. New York: Weybright and Talley. Weber, David  J. 1999. What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680? Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s. Wilcox, Michael V. 2009. The Pueblo Revolt and the My­thol­ogy of Conquest: An Indigenous Archaeology of Contact. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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2 Changing Flags, 1810–1846

Latin American In­de­pen­dence, 1810–1898 Mauricio Espinoza

Chronology 1765

Rebellion of the Barrios takes place in Quito, Ec­ua­dor, over alcohol mono­poly and a new sales taxes imposed by the Spanish.


Indian rebellion led by Túpac Amaru II takes place in Upper Peru.


Revolt of the Comuneros takes place in Colombia in response to increased taxation by the Spanish authorities.


Slave revolt begins on the French island of Saint-­Domingue (Haiti).


The Napoleonic Wars disrupt po­liti­cal rule in Eu­rope, causing ­ripple effects across the Atlantic in terms of trade, government, and emancipation efforts.


Haiti declares its in­de­pen­dence from France, becoming the first nation in the Ca­rib­bean and Latin Amer­i­ca to do so.


The British invade and occupy Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The British invade Montevideo in January and occupy the city for several months. French troops invade Spain between October and November.

1808, March–­May

Spain’s King Charles IV abdicates in f­ avor of his son Ferdinand on March 19. Mistrusted by Napoleon, Ferdinand VII abdicates 75

76 | Changing Flags, 1810–1846

on May 16. Napoleon names his ­brother Joseph as the new king of Spain. 1808, May

Immediately following the crowning of King Joseph I, the war of reconquest begins in Spain. Juntas (regional governments established to seize control back from the French) appear, followed by the Supreme Central Junta that coordinates national efforts.

1808, September

A coup by Spanish loyalists takes place in Mexico City against New Spain’s Viceroy José de Iturrigaray, who had sided with local elites seeking greater autonomy. The fight for emancipation moves to the Mexican provinces.


Revolts against Spanish authorities take place in Chuquisaca and La Paz, Bolivia.


Juntas are established in Caracas, Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.

1810, January

The Council of Regency replaces the Supreme Junta in Spain on January 29.

1810, September

­ ather Miguel Hidalgo issues the Grito de Dolores in Mexico F on September  16, calling for a general uprising in Mexico against the Spanish in the name of Ferdinand VII and the Virgin of Guadalupe. The day of the famous Grito goes on to become celebrated annually as In­de­pen­dence Day in Mexico. Hidalgo leads rebel attacks on the city of Guanajuato in Mexico. The Cortes of Cádiz convene on September 24.

1811, June

A junta is established in Asunción, Paraguay, in June and the country declares in­de­pen­dence.

1811, July

Patriots elect a congress and declare the first republic of Venezuela in­de­pen­dent from Spain. However, royalist llaneros (rural landowners) help crush early in­de­pen­dence efforts ­after joining the Spanish troops. Hidalgo is killed on July 30 and replaced by José María Morelos, who becomes the new leader of Mexico’s in­de­pen­dence movement.


The Constitution of Cádiz is established in Spain.


Morelos convenes the first Mexican Congress, which formally declares New Spain’s in­de­pen­dence.

Latin American In­de­pen­dence, 1810–1898 | 77

1814, May

King Ferdinand VII, who was reinstated to the Spanish throne in December  1813, proclaims absolutism and rescinds the Constitution of Cádiz in May.

1814, October

Chilean patriots are defeated at Rancagua by royalist forces.

1815, May

Simón Bolívar is exiled to Jamaica ­after disputes with the government of Cartagena.

1815, August

Spanish General Pablo Morillo arrives in Venezuela, then lands at Cartagena, Colombia, on August 22 to lead the fight against revolutionaries.

1815, December

Morelos is captured and executed on December 22 in Mexico.


General Morillo is victorious in his fight against rebels in New Granada. Argentina declares in­de­pen­dence.


In Chile, the Army of the Andes defeats royalists at Chacabuco and patriots take Santiago. Bernardo O’Higgins becomes Supreme Director of the country.


Chile declares in­de­pen­dence.


Bolívar convenes the Congress of Angostura, writes a constitution, and proclaims the creation of the Republic of Gran Colombia. Bolívar is elected president.

1820, January–­March

The Revolt of Riego takes place in Cádiz, Spain in January. The Constitution of 1812 is reinstated in March, which Ferdinand VII accepts.

1821, February– August

On February 24, Agustín de Iturbide proclaims the Plan de Iguala in Mexico, declaring Mexican in­de­pen­dence.

1821, May–­October

The Congress of Cúcuta adopts a constitution and Bolívar is elected president.

1821, July

Bolívar is victorious at Carabobo and enters Caracas.

1821, July–­November

In July, Peru declares in­de­pen­dence. In September, the General Captaincy of Guatemala (Central American provinces) declares in­de­pen­dence. In November, the Dominican Republic declares in­de­pen­dence, although that status would be short-­lived.

In late August, Captain General O’Donojú arrives from Spain and signs the Treaty of Córdoba, establishing the Mexican empire.

78 | Changing Flags, 1810–1846


The United States recognizes Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico as in­de­pen­dent countries.

1822, January

Central Amer­i­ca joins the Mexican empire on January 5. The Dominican Republic and Haiti are unified, thus ending the Dominican Republic’s status as an autonomous nation.

1822, May

In Ec­ua­dor, Antonio José de Sucre defeats royalists at Pichincha on May 24 and enters Quito. Iturbide becomes emperor of Mexico.

1822, July

Bolívar and José de San Martín meet at Guayaquil, Ec­ua­dor, on July 26 to discuss the f­ uture of the South American republics.

1822, September

King Pedro I declares Brazil’s in­de­pen­dence from Portugal on September 7.

1823, March

A rebellion led by Antonio López de Santa Anna forces the abdication and exile of Iturbide in March 19.

1823, July

The Federal Republic of Central Amer­i­ca declares in­de­pen­ dence from Mexico on July 1.

1823, December

President James Monroe delivers a speech to the United States Congress, which becomes known as the Monroe Doctrine, warning Eu­rope not to threaten the newly created Latin American nations.


The Mexican constitution is written and the Mexican Republic established. Bolívar defeats royalists at Junín, Argentina. Sucre is victorious at Ayacucho, Peru.


Britain recognizes Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina as in­de­ pen­dent countries.


Bolivia and Uruguay declare in­de­pen­dence.


Gran Colombia splits into the in­de­pen­dent countries of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ec­ua­dor in the closing months of the year. Bolívar dies of tuberculosis on December 17.


The Federal Republic of Central Amer­ic­ a splits, leading to the formation of five republics (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica).


The Dominican Republic becomes in­de­pen­dent from Haiti.

Latin American In­de­pen­dence, 1810–1898 | 79


In­de­pen­dence movements in Cuba and Puerto Rico lead to the Ten Years’ War in Cuba.


Pedro II abdicates, and Brazil is proclaimed a republic.


José Martí and other patriots lead a war for in­de­pen­dence in Cuba. Martí is killed.


At the conclusion of the Spanish-­American War, Cuba gains in­de­pen­dence from Spain and the United States takes control of Puerto Rico.


The United States negotiates Panama’s separation from Colombia.

Narrative Gaining in­de­pen­dence from Spain for con­temporary Latin American nations was a long and complex pro­cess that mirrored the geo­graph­i­cal, historical, and cultural diversity of the region, as well as the complicated relationship between its territories and their respective colonial powers. When Eu­rope’s colonies in the Amer­i­cas broke away from imperial control, the formation of new in­de­pen­dent republics would have impor­tant geopo­liti­cal consequences in ­later de­cades. Latin American republics underwent revolutionary wars and in­de­pen­dence strug­gles against Spain, much like the British-­American rebels did against the British monarchy. However, their f­ utures unfolded rather differently. As the young Latin American countries started an arduous and often violent road ­toward consolidation as nation-­states, they had to contend with their recently in­de­pen­dent neighbor to the north—­the United States of Amer­i­ca—­which was rapidly expanding its territory, exerting its military might, and emerging as a global power. Over the years, the United States would repeatedly assert its power and economic interests in Latin Amer­i­ca through military and po­liti­cal interventions in the region’s affairs, contributing to or exacerbating po­liti­cal conflict and economic instability in Latin American nations. This resulted in mass migrations of tens of thousands of Latin Americans fleeing civil wars, vio­lence, and poverty and seeking shelter in the United States throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. ­These migrations have produced the vari­ous Latino communities that exist in the United States ­today, which journalist Juan Gonzalez has called “the harvest of empire” (Gonzalez, 2011). The multiple national origins and diverse cultures of ­these communities are a direct result of the way the Latin American republics established their bound­aries during the pro­cess of gaining in­de­ pen­dence. Each territory carried distinctive features from its pre-­Columbian and

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colonial past while acquiring new national traits that clearly distinguish Argentina from Mexico, Cuba from Guatemala, and so on. Latin American nations are also very distinct in their racial and ethnic composition, as a result of the varied concentration of indigenous populations, the number of African slaves brought to certain territories, and the scale of Eu­ro­pean immigration during and ­after the colonial period, among other ­factors. For example, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia have majority indigenous populations, whereas Cuba and Brazil have majority black populations. ­These demographic differences also translate into and influence the racial/ ethnic diversity of Latino populations in the United States. The pro­cess of achieving in­de­pen­dence began with a number of rebellions in the colonies in the second half of the 18th ­century. It gained steam during Napoleon’s invasions of Portugal (1807) and Spain (1808), which led to the collapse of royal authority in the Iberian peninsula. In­de­pen­dence was fi­nally realized ­after a series of continental wars between Spanish royalists and rebels in the first de­cades of the 19th ­century. Meanwhile, Portugal’s largest colony, Brazil, became a ­free republic in a “revolution from above” in 1822, when King Pedro I declared in­de­ pen­dence. By 1830, most former colonies had declared in­de­pen­dence, with the exception of Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. For Panama, which had been part of Colombia since this nation’s in­de­pen­dence in 1819, sovereignty would not come ­until 1903. Cuba, one of Spain’s first colonies in the New World, was fi­nally able to break its colonial ties in 1898. Fi­nally, Puerto Rico was freed from Spanish control during the Spanish-­American War of 1898, but was immediately annexed by the United States, and remains a U.S. territory to date. The emancipation of Latin Amer­i­ca was the result of both external and internal ­causes. Externally, one key f­ actor was the Spanish metropolis’s inability to deal with the demands of administrative reform, social and po­liti­cal modernization, and economic expansion in the colonies. Britain’s desire to break up the Spanish trade mono­poly in South Amer­i­ca played an impor­tant role in weakening Spain’s economic control over its colonies. The spread of Enlightenment ideas across the Atlantic was also a power­ful force that sowed the seeds of reform ideas among criollos or creoles (individuals of Spanish descent born in the Amer­i­cas). The criollos who travelled to and studied in Eu­rope ­later became leaders in the strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence. In the meantime, the successful emancipation efforts by the United States (1776) and Haiti (1804) proved to other countries in the Amer­i­cas that achieving freedom from colonial control was indeed pos­si­ble. Fi­nally, the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815) had a destabilizing effect on the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, sparking revolutionary wars across the Latin American continent beginning in the 1810s. Internal ­causes of the wars included the development of criollos’ social and economic power. Criollos particularly resented the sociopo­liti­cal hierarchy in the colonies that granted peninsulares (Spaniards born on the Iberian peninsula of

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Spain) greater privileges, authority, and status in colonial society. Criollo elites soon began to seek access to po­liti­cal power and a more prominent role in shaping the ­future of their countries. When Spain failed to deliver on the promise of reform and the crown weakened significantly, patriots pushed for in­de­pen­dence as the only ­viable option for pro­gress and control of their countries’ fates. In the late 1700s, Spain’s American colonies w ­ ere impacted by reforms instituted by the Bourbon monarchy, which had created a more centralized and executive form of government. The monarchy also regarded overseas territories as resources that needed to be exploited in order to strengthen the metropolis (Williamson, 2009, p. 196). The Bourbon Reforms, however, exacerbated anti-­Spanish sentiment among all sectors of society. Criollos ­were upset by the fact that the Spanish trade mono­ poly was still dominated by peninsular merchants. The general population was also affected by increases in sales taxes, while Indian communities similarly felt pressure to produce more tribute for the Spanish crown. Riots and revolts began to take place, particularly in regions such as Peru and New Granada, where administrative reor­ga­ni­za­tion had caused the most changes. In 1780, Túpac Amaru II led a revolt in Upper Peru, calling for an end to colonial practices such as the mita (forced loans) that greatly affected Indian towns. Túpac Amaru II invited criollos to join him in the rebellion against the Spaniards, but criollos refused b­ ecause of fears that this would lead to a race war that would threaten their po­liti­cal and economic interests. Lack of support from the criollos and lack of unity among Indian groups eventually brought the rebellion to an end (Williamson, 2009, p. 200). Another impor­tant uprising (known as the Comunero revolt) took place in 1781 in Colombia, where mestizo and Indian planters fought Spanish authorities b­ ecause of excessive tax burdens and demanded the return of stolen land. Among the criollos who resided in Spain’s main American colonial cities, a sense of revolutionary agitation had been building since 1780. Intellectual leaders influenced by liberal ideas from the French Enlightenment included Colombian Antonio Nariño and Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda. A native of Caracas, Miranda was one of the first patriots who attempted to unite the separatists’ efforts ­under one common banner. He had fought against the British in North Amer­i­ca and planned an attack on the Spanish authorities of his home country, which he launched from London with support from E ­ ngland and the United States. ­After unsuccessful attempts to land with his troops at Ocumare and Vela de Coro on the Venezuelan coast in 1805, he returned to London seeking more support to continue his campaign. ­There, he was joined by a fellow Venezuelan named Simón Bolívar, who had lived and studied in Eu­rope and would soon become the most notable figure in Latin American’s quest for in­de­pen­dence. The work of Miranda and other patriots fi­nally bore fruit in 1810, when the Spanish government was forced to retreat to the Spanish port city Cádiz as a result

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of the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula. That year, the Cortes of Cádiz, an assembly of government officials, convened with representatives from the entire empire. This was a watershed moment in the push ­toward liberalism and democracy in Spain and its colonies, as the Cortes drafted the Constitution of 1812, which created a constitutional monarchy. Since 1808, criollos had demanded the creation of juntas (local governments) that would afford them more decision-­making power. In 1810, ­these juntas began to appear everywhere throughout the Latin American colonies. Their ultimate goal was to secure power in the viceroyalties and then proclaim in­de­pen­dence from the weakened Spanish crown. In Buenos Aires, revolutionaries established a junta on May 25. In Santiago, Chileans followed suit and managed to establish a local government between June 11 and September 18. In the viceroyalty of New Granada, Caracas established its junta in April following revolutionary upheaval; Bogotá did the same in July. By 1811, Venezuela’s successful revolution led to the election of its first congress and the first Republic of Venezuela declared in­de­pen­dence. However, freedom was short lived. Spanish royalists, particularly rural ranchers from the interior plains known as llaneros, opposed the city criollo liberals’ plans and defeated their separatist campaign. Bolívar was sent into exile in 1812, but he labored to gather support from abroad and launch a new attack on the royalists. Meanwhile, in the viceroyalty of New Spain, ­Father Miguel Hidalgo led a popu­lar rebellion in 1810 that brought together criollo leaders, Indians, and peasants. On September 16, Hidalgo issued the speech known as Grito de Dolores in the Guanajuato town where he was the Catholic priest, calling for an uprising in the name of the Virgin of Guadalupe and King Ferdinand VII, who was still in exile. ­After a series of successful ­battles, the insurgent army ultimately failed to take over Mexico and was defeated by royalists. Hidalgo fled, but was captured and executed in 1811. His disciple, José María Morelos, then took leadership of the rebel cause. One similarity between the vari­ous in­de­pen­dence pro­cesses in Latin Amer­i­ca was the confrontation between pro-­freedom rebels and royalist groups faithful to the crown, which supported Spanish authorities. For the most part, the royalists lived in rural areas and owned large tracts of land in places like Mexico, Venezuela, and Peru. Thanks to the royalists’ rejection of liberal pro-­independence elites, the viceroys managed to gather troops to push back against the rebels. Between 1810 and 1816, the Spanish w ­ ere able to significantly stall the separatist movement that was swelling across the continent. In Mexico, royalist forces led by Agustin de Iturbide defeated, captured, and executed Morelos in 1815. In South Amer­i­ca, the Spanish crown’s counter-­revolutionary campaign was led by José Fernando de Abascal, the Viceroy of Peru. He kept the peace in the viceroyalty of Peru, and from ­there he or­ga­nized and deployed armies to ­battle the rebels.

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In addition to the pro-­Spanish re­sis­tance, revolutionary forces suffered from ­bitter internal divisions that weakened their pro­gress. Chile’s emancipation movement was quelled in 1815, following the royalists’ victory at Cancha Rayada. In New Granada, the royalists took over Quito in 1814 and planned the successful expedition of Spanish general Pablo Morillo, who entered Cartagena in 1815 and Bogotá in 1816. Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the royalists led by José Tomás Boves had put an end to the rebellion, throwing out Bolívar and his fellow patriots ­after a series of military victories that deflated the spirits of the in­de­pen­dence movement t­here. Although the fate of the emancipation effort looked bleak to the north, in Argentina the patriots had managed to remain in power despite internal strife and several defeats on the frontiers. In 1816, Buenos Aires declared in­de­pen­dence. Before that, Paraguay had secured in­de­pen­dence in 1811 ­after battling Argentina (which con­ sidered it to be a breakaway province) and establishing a ruling junta. However, Paraguayan in­de­pen­dence was not officially formalized ­until 1842. In 1817, General José de San Martín—­who had embraced the Latin American in­de­pen­dence cause ­after a distinguished military c­ areer in Spain—­embarked on an expedition to ­free Chile with support from the Argentine government and Chilean exiles such as Bernardo O’Higgins. Starting from the city of Córdoba, San Martín crossed the Andes and took the Spanish troops by surprise, defeating them at Chacabuco. This, along with the b­ attle of Maipú (1818), secured Chile’s in­de­pen­dence. Encouraged by t­hese successes, San Martín led his army to Peru, entering Lima

Chileans, led by General José de San Martín, fight for their in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1817. San Martín’s army of 5,000 men routed the Spanish in this decisive b ­ attle for in­de­pen­ dence. (Library of Congress)

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The Role of ­Women in Latin Amer­i­ca’s In­de­pen­dence Latin Amer­ic­ a’s emancipation from Eu­ro­pean colonial control has traditionally been depicted as the feat of heroic men who led their compatriots to victory. In­de­pen­dence leaders are even known as “Padres de la Patria” (literally translated as “­Fathers of the Fatherland”). This male-­centered repre­sen­ta­tion of such impor­tant historical and cultural events has virtually erased w ­ omen’s contributions to the revolutionary strug­gle from history books and the public imagination alike. However, ­women played an impor­tant part in the continent’s push ­toward freedom, both in supporting roles and by becoming courageous leaders whose names have slowly gained public recognition. They include Lieutenant Col­o­nel Juana Azurduy (1780–1862), who fought alongside her husband, Manuel Padilla, for the in­de­pen­dence of present-­day Bolivia; and Manuela Sáenz (1797–1856), who collaborated with Simón Bolívar and held the rank of col­o­nel in his liberation army. Both ­these heroes ­were posthumously promoted to the rank of general in the 2000s by the governments of Argentina and Ec­ua­dor, respectively. Indigenous w ­ omen ­were active during the late 18th-­century revolts that helped set the stage for South Amer­ic­ a’s emancipation movement. One example is Micaela Bastidas (1745–1781), wife of Túpac Amaru II. She fought beside him in Peru during the rebellion that he led in the early 1780s. They ­were both executed on the same day when the uprising was fi­nally quelled. In Mexico, María Ignacia Rodríguez (1765–1817) helped the patriots and was summoned before a tribunal of the Inquisition for her actions. Meanwhile, Gertrudis Bocanegra (1765–1817) or­ga­nized a network of Mexican insurgents, refusing to betray them when she was captured. Despite their contributions and sacrifices, Latin American ­women did not fare well in postin­de­pen­dence years. Scholars have noted that as the region moved from absolutism to republicanism, the new countries’ constitutions systematically denied rights to w ­ omen in particular—­whereas before, during Spanish monarchical rule, po­liti­cal rights ­were denied to most men and ­women alike (Davies, Brewster, and Owen, 2006, p. 3). The strug­gle for ­women’s liberation would continue during the de­cades of nation-­building and into the next ­century.

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in 1821. However, the Spanish army managed to keep control of the Peruvian and Bolivian plateaus. Back in New Granada, Bolívar continue to fight the royalists and, following a number of defeats, was able to form a government in Angostura on the Orinoco plains (1817). From ­there, he launched his famous liberation campaigns. In 1819, Bolívar crossed the Andes, defeated the royalists at Boyacá, and conquered Bogotá, declaring Colombia’s in­de­pen­dence. Two years l­ ater, he replicated this victory at Carabobo and freed Venezuela. The last remaining Spanish strongholds in South Amer­i­ca ­were Ec­ua­dor and Peru. At a meeting in Guayaquil in 1822, San Martín surrendered leadership of the liberation campaign to Bolívar and left for Eu­rope. That same year, Antonio José de Sucre led troops to victory at Pichincha, which secured Ec­ua­dor’s in­de­pen­dence. In 1824, as the last Spanish army in the Amer­i­ cas dissolved, Bolívar won the ­Battle of Junín. That same year, Sucre defeated the Spanish at the decisive ­Battle of Ayacucho. ­These victories sealed Peru’s in­de­pen­ dence. The last two South American countries to declare in­de­pen­dence ­were Bolivia (1828) and Uruguay (1829). Bolívar’s dream of a unified Spanish Amer­ic­ a crumbled in 1830, when Gran Colombia split into the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ec­ua­dor. Mexican in­de­pen­dence was fi­nally secured in 1821, when Iturbide and the separatists signed the Plan de Iguala agreement. Iturbide proclaimed himself emperor in 1822, but he was kicked out of power as a result of a rebellion led by Antonio López de Santa Anna. In 1823, the Mexican Republic was established. Meanwhile, to the south of Mexico, the General Captaincy of Guatemala had declared in­de­ pen­dence in 1821 and became the Federal Republic of Central Amer­i­ca. In 1822, this isthmus nation deci­ded to join the Mexican empire, which it would leave a year ­later when Iturbide lost power. ­After years of internal divisions, in 1838 the Federal Republic of Central Amer­i­ca split into the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Panama remained a part of Colombia ­until 1903, when the United States—­which had become interested in building a canal ­there—­spurred the movement for it to become a sovereign nation. This isthmus nation was not, however, the first Latin American country where the United States had a role in e­ ither emancipation or neo­co­lo­nial proj­ects. Whereas most continental territories had secured in­de­pen­dence by 1830, Spain’s Ca­rib­bean colonies would take dif­fer­ent and longer routes t­oward freedom. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, declared in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821. However, it came u­ nder Haitian control in 1822. Dominicans grew increasingly impatient and dissatisfied with Haiti, which eventually led to the creation of a re­sis­tance movement. In 1844, the rebels seized control of Santo Domingo and declared the Dominican Republic a f­ ree nation. Meanwhile,

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Cuba had remained loyal to Spain even as the empire fell apart. But rebellions would erupt in 1868, leading to the long conflict known as the Ten Years’ War. The Pact of Zajón ended the war, as Spain promised more autonomy for the island. However, the revolutionary movement would continue over the next two de­cades. In 1892, exiled Cuban patriot and writer José Martí founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party in New York. He died in ­battle in 1895, becoming a national hero. Cuba fi­nally achieved in­de­pen­dence from Spain as a result of the Spanish-­American War of 1898, although the United States retained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs. ­Under the Treaty of Paris of 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. That island has remained a U.S. territory ever since, although vari­ous initiatives and revolts seeking in­de­pen­dence have taken place over the de­cades. Unlike Spanish Amer­i­ca, Brazil had a dif­fer­ent colonial power (Portugal) and its path ­toward in­de­pen­dence also varied from ­those of its South American neighbors. Freedom for this large nation was secured gradually and almost imperceptibly beginning in 1808, as it was largely the result of events taking place in Eu­rope rather than an internal desire for emancipation (Graham, 2013, p. 99). ­Toward the end of 1807, Napoleon invaded Lisbon, but the Portuguese court managed to escape to Brazil, arriving in Rio de Janeiro in 1808 and setting up the imperial government ­there. This event helped to erode localistic loyalties among the country’s provinces and fostered for the first time a sense of Brazilianness. Additionally, King João VI opened the country’s ports to trade with E ­ ngland, achieving immediately what Spanish Amer­i­ca had strug­gled for years to accomplish. Portugal was fi­nally liberated from Napoleonic rule, but João deci­ded to stay in Brazil and in 1815 elevated the former colony to the status of kingdom, with Rio de Janeiro as its capital. ­After João left for Portugal in 1821, his son King Pedro I declared Brazil in­de­ pen­dent in 1822, a­fter threats from the Portuguese government to revoke the autonomy Brazil had enjoyed since 1808. The way Latin Amer­ic­ a gained its in­de­pen­dence, and the numerous and diverse countries that resulted from this pro­cess, would ­later have a major impact on the relationship between the region and the United States and the development of U.S. Latino communities. Although p­ eople of Hispanic and Latin American origin had settled in U.S. territory before in­de­pen­dence from Spain and Portugal, the creation of unique Latino communities and identities in what is now the United States occurred only a­ fter Latin American countries became f­ ree republics and began their pro­cess of nation-­building throughout the 19th ­century. Two ­factors led to the development of ­these communities: migration (a pro­cess that continues through the pres­ent day) and U.S. interventions in the newly emancipated republics. For example, less than 30 years a­ fter Mexico became in­de­pen­dent from Spain, the country lost more than half of its territory to the United States through the secession of Texas and the Mexican-­American War. As a result, Mexican citizens living in the newly

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occupied lands became U.S. citizens by default, although they did not always receive the rights and protections to which their citizenship entitled them and instead experienced discrimination or a second-­class status in the U.S. Southwest. Unlike the Mexican mi­grants who would come to the area in l­ater de­cades, this early population did not migrate to the United States, but rather w ­ ere incorporated through war. As some Mexican Americans explain, “We ­didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Still, the region retained the Spanish names of towns, rivers, and mountain ranges, as well as the cultural and social remnants of its Spanish-­Mexican history. Since the migration of Mexicans beginning in the 1880s, the bulk of Mexican-­ Americans have continued to live in former Mexican territories such as California and Texas. Continued U.S. intervention in Cuba and Puerto Rico since 1898 has also led to the development of impor­tant mainland Latino communities from ­these islands, especially in Florida and New York.

Biographies of Notable Figures Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) Known as “Amer­i­ca’s Liberator,” Simón Bolívar is the most influential of Latin Amer­i­ca’s in­de­pen­dence heroes. He contributed to the emancipation efforts of most South American countries through military campaigns and also provided an ideological foundation for the strug­gle through his writings and speeches. Born Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios in Caracas on July 24, 1783, the ­future Libertador (Liberator) was the son of wealthy criollos, Juan Vicente Bolívar y Ponte and María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco. His f­ amily owned cacao plantations, c­ attle ranches, numerous h­ ouses, and a large number of slaves. The youn­gest of four siblings, Bolívar would become an orphan at the age of nine. He was subsequently cared for by his maternal grand­father and ­later by his ­uncle, Carlos Palacios. Bolívar received his education from the best teachers and intellectuals of Venezuela, including the influential thinker and writer Andrés Bello. He was steeped in readings from Enlightenment writers such as Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Montesquieu, who advanced the ideas of liberty, pro­gress, constitutional government, and separation of church and state. ­These ideas began to shape Bolívar’s worldview. In 1799, the teenaged Bolívar was sent to Spain by his relatives to continue his studies. ­There he met María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro, whom he married in 1802. He travelled throughout Eu­rope and was exposed to the ideas of liberty and equality stemming from the French Revolution, which further cemented his aspirations to lead his homeland ­toward freedom from Spain. In Paris, he lived among members of high society and studied Napoleon’s

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military strategies, which he would ­later employ during his revolutionary campaigns (Graham, 2013, p. 84). Bolívar’s wife died of yellow fever in 1803. Having learned about the unsuccessful emancipation efforts by Francisco de Miranda in Ucumare and Vela de Coro, he deci­ded to return to his homeland in 1807, briefly stopping in the United States on the way. By 1808, Bolívar had joined the rebel forces. In 1810, he took part in the revolution that erupted in Venezuela, led by Miranda. When t­ hose efforts failed, Bolívar was forced into exile in 1812. From Cartagena de Indias, he issued a manifesto that once against incited rebellion, attempting to correct the ­mistakes of earlier campaigns. Disobeying ­orders, he led a successful campaign against the Spaniards in western Venezuela. He came back bearing trea­sure and was promoted to general. Dreaming of a triumphant return to Caracas, Bolívar pleaded with the insurgent government in Colombia in 1813. The government gave him a small force of 500 men to carry out a second military expedition, called the “Admirable Campaign.” Within three months, Bolívar and his men had occupied Caracas. During this time, the general perfected his ability to command and honed his propaganda skills, mastering the talents needed to make a convincing public manifesto and staging triumphal entries into towns to win over the ­people. Despite t­hese early victories, the royalist troops reclaimed Venezuela for the Spanish crown, sending Bolívar into exile in Jamaica (1814–1815). While in Kingston, he wrote letters to influential figures around the world to educate them about the wars for in­de­pen­dence being waged throughout the Amer­i­cas. The most famous document from this period is the “Letter from Jamaica,” in which Bolívar recounted the status of armed strug­gles si­mul­ta­neously taking place on the continent, speculated about the ­future of the Spanish colonies, and previewed his vision of Colombian unity. He also rebuilt his movement during exile and launched a third attack between 1816 and 1819, gaining control of most of the Venezuelan territory. Two years ­later, following a truce, Bolívar secured in­de­pen­dence for his homeland a­ fter defeating the Spaniards at the B ­ attle of Carabobo. Venezuela, however, was only the first of the countries Bolívar had set himself to liberate. He dreamed of creating a ­great confederation that would unite all Spanish colonies in the Amer­i­cas, following the U.S. model. In pursuit of this enormous goal, he crossed the Andes and defeated royalist troops in the B ­ attle of Boyacá (1819), which conferred in­de­pen­dence on the viceroyalty of New Granada. That same year, Bolívar convened the Congress of Angostura, which drafted a constitution for the new Republic of Colombia, which encompassed the modern nations of Colombia, Venezuela, Ec­ua­dor, and Panama. Bolívar himself was elected president of this “Gran Colombia.” Along with Antonio José de Sucre, Bolívar then liberated the Audiencia de Quito (Ec­ua­dor) ­after victory at the ­Battle of Pichincha (1822). That same year, he

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met in Guayaquil with another leader of the South American emancipation strug­ gle, José de San Martín, who had freed Chile and entered deep into Peruvian territory. Bolívar and San Martín sought cooperation to liberate Peru, but they clashed over their ambitions and po­liti­cal goals, as San Martín was in ­favor of monarchical regimes headed by Eu­ro­pean princes. In the end, San Martín gave up his fight for supremacy of the continental army and left for Eu­rope. Bolívar was then able to lead the insurrection in Peru, the last stronghold of Spanish occupation in South Amer­i­ca. Victories at Junín and Ayacucho (1824) sealed Peru’s in­de­pen­dence. One year ­later, the last remaining royalist forces in Upper Peru ­were defeated, which led to the creation of the Republic of Bolivia (named ­after the Liberator). Bolívar was president of Gran Colombia from 1819 to 1830, president of Peru from 1824 to 1826, and leader of Bolivia from 1825 to 1826. In the latter two countries, he established a constitutional model called “monocratic,” with a president for life and a hereditary system. His tendency to rule in an almost dictatorial manner caused unease among the elites ruling the new nations. Despite his impressive military victories, Bolívar’s ambitious proj­ect to unify Hispanic Amer­i­ca ultimately clashed with the territorial, po­liti­cal, and cultural divisions inherited from the colonial system. In 1828 ­there was an assassination attempt on him, and two years ­later he presented his resignation before the last Congress of Gran Colombia. Venezuela and Ec­ua­dor went their separate ways, and Amer­ic­ a’s Liberator died in Santa Marta, Colombia, on December 17, 1830.

­Father Miguel Hidalgo (1753–1811) Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was the first g­ reat leader of the Mexican in­de­pen­dence strug­gle. The second oldest of four siblings, he was born in 1753 in Guanajuato to a well-­to-do criollo ­family. His ­father managed an hacienda in San Diego Corralejo, where Hidalgo was born. At 12 years of age, he moved to the Mexican city of Valladolid (now Morelia), where he began his studies at the Colegio de San Nicolás. He ­later travelled to Mexico City, where he studied philosophy and theology, and then returned to Valladolid to teach at San Nicolás. In 1790, following an impressive educational ­career, he was named rector of the school. One of his students at San Nicolás was José María Morelos, who would take up the revolutionary fight ­after Hidalgo’s death. Hidalgo became a priest in 1778 and preached at several parishes. He spoke several Eu­ro­pean and indigenous languages and began to read French Enlightenment authors whose writings ­were believed to challenge religion and the Spanish crown. He surrounded himself with friends who spoke freely about progressive po­liti­cal ideas and was denounced to the Inquisition for expressing concepts incompatible with his occupation as a man of the cloth. When his b­ rother Joaquín died in

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1803, Hidalgo replaced him as the priest of the town of Dolores in Guanajuato. ­There he began his work as reformer and enlightened leader, helping to improve the lives of his parishioners, most of them Indians. He engaged the community in a variety of agricultural and artisanal enterprises, which earned him the re­spect and support of the p­ eople. Following Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808, Mexican patriots began to or­ga­nize with hopes of launching an in­de­pen­dence movement. One of them, Miguel Domínguez, corregidor (mayor) of Querétaro, had promoted the formation of an American congress. In 1810, Domínguez held meetings with several leaders who conspired against Spanish authority. Hidalgo joined the gatherings a­ fter having been invited by Ignacio Allende, an officer and small landowner. The objective of Domínguez’s group was not complete in­de­pen­dence. Rather, they sought to unseat Viceroy Francisco Javier Venegas and convene a congress to rule New Spain on behalf of King Ferdinand II, who had been ousted by Napoleon. The rebels planned to rise in arms against Venegas in October 1810, but the plot was discovered in September. Hidalgo and a few other conspirators managed to escape to Dolores. The rebels faced two options: hiding or forging ahead with the rebellion. Hidalgo chose the latter. On the night of September 15, F ­ ather Hidalgo asked the parishioners of Dolores for assistance, freed po­liti­cal prisoners from jail, and stole weapons from the local armory. The following morning, Hidalgo convened a mass which was attended by patriots from neighboring towns. ­There, he issued a call for ­people to take up arms against the colonial authorities in the name of Ferdinand VII and the Virgin of Guadalupe. This proclamation became known as the Grito de Dolores, so significant in Mexican history and the country’s public imagination that September 16 is now celebrated as Mexico’s In­de­pen­dence Day. This, however, was only the beginning of the long and bloody strug­gle ­toward emancipation. Hidalgo’s leadership gave the in­de­pen­dence movement a radical twist. No longer just a criollo rebellion, the movement had become a popu­lar revolt joined by oppressed peasants and Indians who sought to improve their conditions. The rebels marched on San Miguel el Grande, where they w ­ ere joined by troops led by Allende along with scores of craftsmen and peasants, totaling an army of about 40,000 men. The following weeks saw a combination of victories and defeat for the revolutionary movement. On September 21, Hidalgo occupied the city of Celaya, ­after which he was named general of the rebel army. Sizeable but often lacking in discipline, the army continued its liberating march, taking over the cities of Salamanca, Irapuato, and Silao. Next in the campaign was the wealthy city of Guanajuato, where more ­people joined the burgeoning movement. Hidalgo also experienced victories in Valladolid and Toluca. In October, Morelos was commissioned to lead the insurrection to the south of the country. Although Hidalgo was winning militarily, he began to lose support among the church and the landholding elites as he called for

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land to be returned to the indigenous ­peoples. The Catholic Church accused him of being a heretic and e­ nemy of private property, and excommunicated him. The criollos, meanwhile, feared that such radical ideas would undermine their wealth and social position. In the meantime, the rebels had formed a provisional government in Guadalajara. A crucial victory at Monte de las Cruces pushed the royalist troops ­toward retreat in Mexico City. The rebels had a chance to march on Mexico City, but tactical errors debilitated their position and the troops ­were defeated. Hidalgo escaped to the north in search of additional support for his cause, but was captured in Chihuahua, tried, and executed on July 30, 1811. Despite the setback, Hidalgo’s actions set in motion a revolutionary pro­cess that would ultimately lead Mexico to in­de­ pen­dence in 1821.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT Letter from Jamaica, 1815 Written by Simón Bolívar in 1815 in Kingston while he was in exile, “Letter from Jamaica” discusses Spanish Amer­ic­ a’s then-­current situation and his plans for continental liberation. The letter was written to Henry Cullen, a Jamaican trader of En­glish origin, at a time when Bolívar was seeking to gain the attention and support of ­England for his cause. In the essay, Bolívar explains the reasons motivating Spanish Americans to pursue in­de­pen­dence, speculates about the ­future of the dif­ fer­ent colonies from Mexico to Argentina, and insists on the need to unify t­ hese colonies if success is to be achieved. My dear Sir: I hasten to reply to the letter of the 29th ultimo which you had the honor of sending me and which I received with the greatest satisfaction. *** “Three centuries ago,” you say, “began the atrocities committed by the Spaniards on this ­great hemi­sphere of Columbus.” Our age has rejected t­hese atrocities as mythical, ­because they appear to be beyond the ­human capacity for evil. Modern critics would never credit them ­were it not for the many and frequent documents testifying to ­these horrible truths. The humane Bishop of Chiapas, that apostle of Amer­i­ca, Las Casas, has left to posterity a brief description of t­hese horrors, extracted from the trial rec­ords in Sevilla relating to the cases brought against the conquistadores, and containing the testimony of e­ very respectable person then in the New World, together with the charges [  procesos], which the tyrants made against each other. All this is attested by the foremost historians of that time. ­Every impartial

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person has admitted the zeal, sincerity, and high character of that friend of humanity, who so fervently and steadfastly denounced to his government and to his contemporaries the most horrible acts of sanguinary frenzy. With what a feeling of gratitude I read that passage in your letter in which you say to me: “I hope that the success which then followed Spanish arms may now turn in f­ avor of their adversaries, the badly oppressed p­ eople of South Amer­i­ca.” I take this hope as a prediction, if it is justice that determines man’s contests. Success ­will crown our efforts, ­because the destiny of Amer­i­ca has been irrevocably deci­ded; the tie that bound her to Spain has been severed. Only a concept maintained that tie and kept parts of that im­mense monarchy together. That which formerly bound them now divides them. The hatred that the Peninsula has inspired in us is greater than the ocean between us. It would be easier to have the two continents meet than to reconcile the spirits of the two countries . . . ​. We have already seen the light, and it is not our desire to be thrust back into darkness. The chains have been broken; we have been freed, and now our enemies seek to enslave us anew. For this reason Amer­i­ca fights desperately, and seldom has desperation failed to achieve victory. ­Because successes have been partial and spasmodic, we must not lose faith. In some regions the In­de­pen­dents triumph, while in ­others the tyrants have the advantage. What is the end result? Is not the entire New World in motion, armed for defense? We have but to look around us on this hemi­sphere to witness a simultaneous strug­gle at e­ very point. *** It is even more difficult to foresee the f­ uture fate of the New World, to set down its po­liti­cal princi­ples, or to prophesy what manner of government it ­will adopt. ­Every conjecture relative to Amer­i­ca’s ­future is, I feel, pure speculation. When mankind was in its infancy, steeped in uncertainty, ignorance, and error, was it pos­si­ble to foresee what system it would adopt for its preservation? Who could venture to say that a certain nation would be a republic or a monarchy; this nation g­ reat, that nation small? To my way of thinking, such is our own situation. We are a young ­people. We inhabit a world apart, separated by broad seas. We are young in the ways of almost all the arts and sciences, although, in a certain manner, we are old in the ways of civilized society. I look upon the pres­ent state of Amer­i­ca as similar to that of Rome a­ fter its fall. Each part of Rome a­ dopted a po­liti­cal system conforming to its interest and situation or was led by the individual ambitions of certain chiefs, dynasties, or associations. *** More than anyone, I desire to see Amer­i­ca fashioned into the greatest nation in the world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area and wealth as by her freedom and glory. Although I seek perfection for the government of my country, I cannot

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persuade myself that the New World can, at the moment, be or­ga­nized as a g­ reat republic. Since it is impossible, I dare not desire it; yet much less do I desire to have all Amer­i­ca a monarchy ­because this plan is not only impracticable but also impossible. Wrongs now existing could not be righted, and our emancipation would be fruitless. The American states need the care of paternal governments to heal the sores and wounds of despotism and war. The parent country, for example, might be Mexico, the only country fitted for the position by her intrinsic strength, and without such power ­there can be no parent country. *** Mr. De Pradt has wisely divided Amer­i­ca into fifteen or seventeen mutually in­de­pen­dent states, governed by as many monarchs. I am in agreement on the first suggestion, as Amer­i­ca can well tolerate seventeen nations; as to the second, though it could easily be achieved, it would serve no purpose. Consequently, I do not f­ avor American monarchies. My reasons are t­hese: The well-­understood interest of a republic is limited to the ­matter of its preservation, prosperity, and glory. Republicans, ­because they do not desire powers which represent a directly contrary viewpoint, have no reason for expanding the bound­aries of their nation to the detriment of their own resources, solely for the purpose of having their neighbors share a liberal constitution. They would not acquire rights or secure any advantage by conquering their neighbors, ­unless they ­were to make them colonies, conquered territory, or allies, ­after the example of Rome. But such thought and action are directly contrary to the princi­ples of justice which characterize republican systems; and, what is more, they are in direct opposition to the interests of their citizens, b­ ecause a state, too large of itself or together with its dependencies, ultimately falls into decay. Its ­free government becomes tyranny. *** From the foregoing, we can draw t­hese conclusions: The American provinces are fighting for their freedom, and they w ­ ill ultimately succeed. Some provinces as a ­matter of course ­will form federal and some central republics; the larger areas ­will inevitably establish monarchies, some of which ­will fare so badly that they ­will disintegrate in ­either pres­ent or ­future revolutions. To consolidate a g­ reat monarchy ­will be no easy task, but it ­will be utterly impossible to consolidate a ­great republic. It is a grandiose idea to think of consolidating the New World into a single nation, united by pacts into a single bond. It is reasoned, as t­hese parts have a common origin, language, customs, and religion, they ­ought to have a single government to permit the newly formed states to unite in a confederation. But this is not pos­si­ ble. Actually, Amer­i­ca is separated by climatic differences, geographic diversity, conflicting interests, and dissimilar characteristics. How beautiful it would be if the Isthmus of Panamá could be for us what the Isthmus of Corinth was for the Greeks! Would to God that some day we may have the good fortune to convene t­here an

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august assembly of representatives of republics, kingdoms, and empires to deliberate upon the high interests of peace and war with the nations of the other three-­ quarters of the globe. This type of organ­ization may come to pass in some happier period of our regeneration. But any other plan, such as that of Abbé St. Pierre, who in laudable delirium conceived the idea of assembling a Eu­ro­pean congress to decide the fate and interests of ­those nations, would be meaningless. Among the popu­lar and representative systems, I do not f­ avor the federal system. It is over-­perfect, and it demands po­liti­cal virtues and talents far superior to our own. For the same reason I reject a monarchy that is part aristocracy and part democracy, although with such a government E ­ ngland has achieved much fortune and splendor. Since it is not pos­si­ble for us to select the most perfect and complete form of government, let us avoid falling into demagogic anarchy or monocratic tyranny. ­These opposite extremes would only wreck us on similar reefs of misfortune and dishonor; hence, we must seek a mean between them. I say: Do not adopt the best system of government, but the one that is most likely to succeed. *** Surely unity is what we need to complete our work of regeneration. The division among us, nevertheless, is nothing extraordinary, for it is characteristic of civil wars to form two parties, conservatives and reformers. The former are commonly the more numerous, ­because the weight of habit induces obedience to established powers; the latter are always fewer in number although more vocal and learned. Thus, the physical mass of the one is counterbalanced by the moral force of the other; the contest is prolonged, and the results are uncertain. Fortunately, in our case, the mass has followed the learned. I ­shall tell you with what we must provide ourselves in order to expel the Spaniards and to found a f­ree government. It is ­union, obviously; but such u­ nion ­will come about through sensible planning and well-­directed actions rather than by divine magic. Amer­i­ca stands together ­because it is abandoned by all other nations. It is isolated in the center of the world. It has no diplomatic relations, nor does it receive any military assistance; instead, Amer­i­ca is attacked by Spain, which has more military supplies than any we can possibly acquire through furtive means. When success is not assured, when the state is weak, and when results are distantly seen, all men hesitate; opinion is divided, passions rage, and the ­enemy fans ­these passions in order to win an easy victory ­because of them. As soon as we are strong and u­ nder the guidance of a liberal nation which ­will lend us her protection, we ­will achieve accord in cultivating the virtues and talents that lead to glory. Then ­will we march majestically ­toward that ­great prosperity for which South Amer­i­ca is destined. Then ­will ­those sciences and arts which, born in the East, have enlightened Eu­rope, wing their way to a ­free Colombia, which w ­ ill cordially bid them welcome.

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Such, Sir, are the thoughts and observations that I have the honor to submit to you, so that you may accept or reject them according to their merit. I beg you to understand that I have expounded them ­because I do not wish to appear discourteous and not ­because I consider myself competent to enlighten you concerning t­ hese ­matters. I am, Sir, ­etc., e­ tc. SIMÓN BOLÍVAR See also: Spanish-­American War; Spanish Colonization of the Amer­i­cas; Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence

Further Reading Centeno, Miguel Angel. 2008. “Latin American In­de­pen­dence and the Double Dilemma.” Latin American Politics and Society 50 (3): 147–161. Chasteen, John Charles. 2008. Americanos: Latin Amer­i­ca’s Strug­gle for In­de­pen­dence. New York: Oxford University Press. Davies, Catherine, Claire Brewster, and Hilary Owen. 2006. South American In­de­pen­dence: Gender, Politics, Text. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press. Gonzalez, Juan. 2011. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in Amer­i­ca. New York: Penguin Books. Graham, Richard. 2013. In­de­pen­dence in Latin Amer­i­ca: Contrasts and Comparisons. Austin: University of Texas Press. Harvey, Robert. 2000. Liberators: Latin Amer­i­ca’s Strug­gle for In­de­pen­dence: 1810–1830. New York: Overlook Press. Howard, Arthur N., and A. Philip McMahon. 1973. The Life and Times of Miguel Hidalgo and Costilla. New York: Russell & Russell. Kinsbrunner, Jay. 2000. In­de­pen­dence in Spanish Amer­i­ca: Civil Wars, Revolutions, and Underdevelopment. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Lynch, John. 1992. Caudillos in Spanish Amer­i­ca, 1800–1850. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Lynch, John, ed. 1994. Latin American Revolutions, 1808–1826: Old and New World Origins. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Mendes Cunha, Alexandre, and Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, eds. 2016. The Po­liti­cal Economy of Latin American In­de­pen­dence. New York: Routledge. Moya, José C., ed. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History. New York: Oxford University Press. Navarro, Marysa, and ­Virginia Sánchez Korrol. 1999. ­Women in Latin Amer­i­ca and the Ca­rib­be­an. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Williamson, Edwin. 2009. The Penguin History of Latin Amer­i­ca. New York: Penguin. Whitaker, Arthur Preston. 1941. The United States and the In­de­pen­dence of Latin Amer­ic­ a, 1800–1830. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press.

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Anglo-­American Colonization of Northern Mexico, 1820–1846 Erika Pérez

Chronology 1820

Connecticut native Moses Austin receives an empresarial contract from Spain authorizing him to bring 300 families to colonize Texas. Moses dies before colonization begins. His son, Stephen F. Austin, inherits the contract.

1821, September

Mexico wins in­de­pen­dence from Spain.


Stephen F. Austin spends a few years confirming his right to continue his ­father’s empresarial contract with the new Mexican government.


A new period of trade begins in Mexican territories, such as Alta California and New Mexico. This results in the arrival of foreign merchants, such as Abel Stearns of Mas­sa­chu­setts. A number of ­these men intermarry or form u­ nions with Mexican and indigenous ­women, become Catholics, obtain Mexican citizenship, and establish families.


Stephen F. Austin helps 297 Anglo-­American families receive titles to colonize Texas.


Mexico becomes a republic a­ fter a short-­lived monarchy. A National Colonization Law passes on August 18.

1825, March

The congress of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas passes a colonization law on March 24. According to the National Colonization Law, each Mexican state is expected to pass its own version of the national law.

1825, April

On April  15, Green DeWitt receives a contract from the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas to ­settle 400 families in the region.


Christopher “Kit” Carson arrives in New Mexico and begins a long ­career of fur trapping and military exploits in California, New Mexico, Utah, and elsewhere in the West.

1829, September

President Vicente Guerrero issues a proclamation on September 15 outlawing slavery throughout Mexico. Anglo colonists in Texas protest and receive exemptions from the law, but their discontent sows the seeds for a f­ uture revolution.

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1830, April

Feeling that Coahuila y Tejas is being overrun by Americans who now outnumber Mexicans, Mexico passes a national law on April 6 prohibiting further immigration from the United States into its territories.

1830, October

On October 16, Lorenzo de Zavala, Joseph Vehlein, and David G. Burnet pool acreage left over from their land grants in east Texas and join with the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Com­pany, a New York-­based land speculation organ­ization. They sell land scrip to individual colonists and companies who pay for allotments in the hope of settling and eventually obtaining formal title to Texas lands, despite the Law of April 6, 1830, that prohibited further U.S. immigration into Texas.

1831, April

Green DeWitt’s empresario contract expires on April 15, ­after only 166 of the promised 400 families have been settled.


Samuel Houston, a U.S. army veteran of the War of 1812 and a former governor of Tennessee, arrives in Texas.


Anglo-­American settlers associated with the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Com­pany receive 936 land titles from the Mexican government to s­ ettle north of Galveston.


Mexico’s new constitution prohibits slavery in its territories, including Texas. American settlers in Texas proclaim in­de­pen­dence shortly thereafter.

1836, March

The Texas Declaration of In­de­pen­dence is signed on March  2 by Anglo and Tejano settlers.


Samuel Houston becomes president of the Republic of Texas. General Antonio López de Santa Anna leads the Mexican army to quash the rebellion in Texas, but he eventually signs the Treaty of Velasco, giving up Texas ­after suffering a key military defeat.


Texas continues to exist as an in­de­pen­dent republic, over Mexico’s contestations.

1845, March

In his last days in office, on March 1 U.S. President John Tyler signs a congressional order annexing Texas to the United States, escalating tensions between the United States and Mexico.

1845, June

On June 16, the congress of the Texas Republic agrees to annexation by the United States.

1845, November

President Polk dispatches John Slidell to Mexico to negotiate the purchase of California and New Mexico.

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1845, December

Texas enters the Union on December 29.

1846, May

President Polk asks the U.S. Congress to issue a declaration of war against Mexico. War commences.

1846, June–July

Foreign men in Alta California, led mainly by Anglo Americans such as William B. Ide and Col. John C. Frémont, initiate the Bear Flag Revolt, declaring California an in­de­pen­dent republic.

1846, July

Alta California is invaded by U.S. Commodore John Sloat and the U.S. Pacific squadron in Monterey.

1846, December

Col­o­nel Stephen  W. Kearny invades California ­after occupying Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1848, January

Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California, setting off the Gold Rush. Nicholas Trist, President Polk’s designated representative, negotiates a peace treaty with Mexico.

1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified, ending the U.S.-­ February 2 Mexico War. The United States receives California, Arizona, New Mexico, portions of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah in exchange for $15 million paid to Mexico in consideration of land concessions and war­time property damage. 1850

The Missouri Compromise leads to California’s admission as a ­free state. California’s foreign-­born population explodes; the majority of new arrivals are Eu­ro­pean and Anglo-­American men in pursuit of gold.


The Organic Act creates the New Mexico Territory (which includes present-­day Arizona).


Mexican Americans in California are one-­third of California’s lynching victims, despite representing no more than 15 ­percent of the state’s population. On July 5, 1851, Josefa Segovia, a Sonoran, becomes the first ­woman executed by lynching in California, for killing an Anglo in the mining town of Downieville.

1850– 1900s

Mexican Americans who resist Anglo dominance in California, New Mexico, and Texas are labeled “bandits” to delegitimize their under­lying grievances and are regularly pursued by American law enforcement.

1850 and 1852

California passes two foreign miner’s acts that tax alien miners, especially t­hose from Mexico, China, and Chile, to eliminate them as competitors to Euro-­American miners.

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California passes the Land Claims Act, which establishes a land claims commission to assess the validity of Mexican American land grant petitions. Subsequent committees, courts, and offices are established to adjudicate claims in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Many Mexican Americans lose their land due to inaccurate surveys, high ­legal fees, and the lengthy pro­cess of proving their claims.


The United States negotiates the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico to add a sliver of land to its southern boundary in Arizona. The land, which includes Tucson, is believed to hold potential for corporate mining and railroad development.


The Arizona Organic Act creates a separate Arizona Territory carved out of the existing New Mexico Territory.


Southern California experiences a severe drought, decimating the ­cattle ranching economy. The region transitions ­toward large-­scale agribusiness farms, land speculation, and subdivisions. Hispanics in New Mexico and Tejanos face similar land losses due to Anglo land speculation a­ fter the U.S.-­Mexican War.


Arizona and New Mexico become U.S. states.

Narrative Mexico’s in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821 ushered in significant changes for its northwestern frontiers, what is the present-­day southwestern United States. This geopo­liti­cal shift opened up new opportunities for trade between Mexico and merchants who hailed from the United States, ­England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. Anglo-­American and Eu­ro­pean men arrived in Alta California (upper California) by ship as traders, sailors, and crew from the 1820s through the 1840s. Many merchants who arrived in Alta California had previous experience trading elsewhere in Latin Amer­i­ca along the Pacific rim. ­There, they gained familiarity with the Spanish language, Roman Catholic beliefs, and cultural customs of Mexicans and Peruvians (Weber, 1973, pp. 56–57). Foreigners in Alta California ­were subjected to naturalization regulations and passport requirements. For example, Governor José María de Echeandía introduced regulations dated June 4, 1829, detailing steps that foreigners needed to fulfill to receive Mexican citizenship. ­After living in Alta California for two years, foreigners could petition for naturalization by renouncing their allegiance to any foreign power other than Mexico, promising to support the Mexican constitution and laws, and providing proof of their Catholic faith (typically by proof of baptism). They

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also had to show evidence that they w ­ ere self-­sufficient or had means of financial support, and pres­ent proof of good conduct, customarily through some form of witness testimony or a letter commending their character by a respected member of the community. ­After fulfilling t­ hese requirements, a foreigner could receive a naturalization card from the governor. From 1828 onward, foreigners w ­ ere also subject to Mexican passport regulations. Mexican authorities used t­hese mea­sures to monitor the movements and number of foreigners within their national borders and to encourage their assimilation into local communities (Bancroft, 1885, vol. III, pp. 177–180). Many men who had been engaged in the Pacific trade for several years arrived in Alta California in the 1820s and 1830s and some set down permanent roots, including Abel Stearns and Daniel Hill of Mas­sa­chu­setts, and William Heath Davis of Honolulu. ­These extranjeros (foreigners) immersed themselves in local kinship networks by intermarrying with Spanish-­Mexican w ­ omen from land-­owning families and participating in Catholic godparenting practices (compadrazgo). Rather than Spanish-­Mexican ­women assimilating into their husbands’ cultures, extranjeros “Mexicanized” themselves to enhance their business and interpersonal relationships in California (Davis, 1929, Chapters 16 and 27). In California, foreign men who had intermarried with Spanish-­Mexican ­women and pledged loyalty to Mexico could petition for and receive land grants ­after Alta California implemented a policy of secularization. This policy, which began in the mid-1820s and accelerated after the Mexican seculariza­ tion act of 1833, dismantled the Franciscan missionaries’ mono­ poly on land in Alta California, which was originally used for 21 mission settlements. Former mission lands ­were carved up by  the Mexican government and offered to families who petitioned for them to ­settle their families, Stephen Fuller Austin, u ­ nder contracts with the access lands for ­cattle grazing, Mexican government, led hundreds of North and foster personal enrichment American families into Texas to help colonize the (Milner, O’Connor, and SandMexican frontier. (Grant, Ulysses S. History of the Thirteenth Regiment, United States Infantry, 1905) weiss, 1994, p.  72). Almost

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overnight, Spanish-­Mexican families who had held l­ittle to no wealth acquired land and began crafting new class identities for themselves. One foreign trader from Boston named Alfred Robinson, who had married a Spanish-­Mexican ­woman, Anita, from the prominent de la Guerra ­family of Santa Barbara, noted that “[m]any that ­were poor soon became wealthy, and possessors of farms, which they stocked with ­cattle” (Robinson, 1970, p. 117). As part of their aspirations for upward mobility, Spanish-­Mexican families in Alta California, or Californios, forged strategic intermarriages with foreign men to diversify their families’ economic interests—­ similar to be­hav­iors exhibited among the ­great families of Mexico, albeit on a much lower economic scale (Kicza, 1982, p.  447). The de la Guerras, Carrillos, and Bandinis w ­ ere a few families that welcomed intermarriage with foreign men and benefited from increased access to trade goods through their foreign sons-­in-­law (Pubols, 2010, Chapter 4). California’s colonial settlers claimed more than 500 land grants ­after the 1820s due to secularization and the concomitant decline of the Franciscan missionaries’ administrative authority. Although some of the land grants that originated from mission lands ­were supposed to go to Christianized Indians, very few did, and most of t­ hose assigned ­were small plots or gardens. Californio settlers maneuvered to acquire land by using petitions and their roles as mayordomos (mission administrators) to push Native ­peoples from traditional homelands, exacerbating mission-­era displacements. Dozens of foreign men also benefited during this period of settlement expansion (Robinson, 1979, p. 61; Haas, 1995, pp. 43, 53–56). Their petitions w ­ ere approved largely due to their kinship ties to Californios through marriage and compadrazgo (the relationship between Spanish godparents and their godchildren). ­These relationships led Mexican authorities to believe that t­ hese men had vested interests in the region’s ­future welfare, since their c­ hildren ­were reared as Mexican citizens. The earliest generation of foreign men who arrived in the 1820s and 1830s contributed to the region’s colonization and economic development by engaging in ­cattle ranching, trading leather hides and tallow for manufactured goods, establishing shops and ware­houses filled with goods from the northeastern U.S. and Asian markets, and creating new families with local w ­ omen (Davis, 1929, Chapters 27 and 53). They also displayed a willingness to speak Spanish, convert to Catholicism (if not Catholic already), and become Mexican citizens, although not all foreigners fulfilled ­every single one of ­these criteria (Weber, 1973, pp. 56–57). New Mexico also received its share of traders, but in contrast to Alta California, most came to this region via overland wagons and caravans from Missouri, journeying from trading outposts such as St. Louis and In­de­pen­dence. Traders such as William Becknell carved out a southerly route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail, which connected Missouri to New Mexico through trade. Trade networks extended farther south into Chihuahua, Mexico, connecting the interiors of both

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nations. Some of the American men who arrived in New Mexico, such as Christopher “Kit” Carson (1809–1868), James Wiley Magoffin (1799–1868), and Charles Bent (1799–1847), w ­ ere involved in fur trapping and trading, and used Taos as a jumping-­off point for their l­abors in the southern Rocky Mountains (Weber, 1973, pp. 56–57). According to Kit Carson, Mexican authorities did not grant foreigners licenses for fur trapping within their borders in the late 1820s, but he and other men attempted to circumvent this by pursuing routes through indigenous territories (Carson, 2001, p. 4). To help foster positive relations with indigenous nations, Carson and other fur trappers pursued marriage with indigenous ­women. This was a common practice among Anglo-­American and French-­Canadian fur trappers, who used informal ­unions with indigenous w ­ omen (sometimes polygamous ones) to gain useful information about the interior. ­These men also benefited from their indigenous wives’ domestic l­ abor in pro­cessing furs and preparing food for their husbands’ long journeys. Furthermore, they took advantage of kinship networks through their intermarriages to forge beneficial connections to indigenous men. Although most of ­these marriages w ­ ere informal, some lasting only a hunting season, ­others lasted for long periods. In 1835, Kit Carson, a native of Kentucky who was reared in Missouri, married an Arapaho w ­ oman, Wa Ni Beh, who died ­after the birth of their second d­ aughter. He next married a Cheyenne w ­ oman, Making Our Road, in 1842, but the c­ ouple parted ways shortly a­ fter marrying. In 1843, Carson wed a third and final time to an adolescent New Mexican ­woman from an elite Hispano ­family in Taos named María Josefa Jaramillo (Carson, 2001, pp. 47–48, 134). Carson, a Protestant, converted to Catholicism to marry Jaramillo. They had seven c­ hildren together during their 25-­year marriage, raising their f­ amily in New Mexico and ­later Colorado (Simmons, 2003, Chapter  4 and conclusion). Like many other working-­class men of his generation, Carson helped expand the reach of Anglo colonization in the southwest. They accomplished this through their economic and military exploits, and by forming blended families with indigenous and Spanish-­ Mexican ­women in the Mexican northern frontiers. In contrast with New Mexico and Alta California, Anglos who arrived in Texas went primarily in complete f­amily units for the purpose of establishing Anglo colonial settlements. Although some single Anglo men did intermarry with Spanish-­ Mexican ­women in Texas (Tejanas), Anglo colonization ­there rested upon the awarding of empresario contracts (agreements between a primary settler who was granted land in exchange for recruiting other settlers; Weber, 1973, pp. 57–58). Connecticut native Moses Austin, who had lived in ­Virginia, Spanish Louisiana, and Spanish Missouri, received the first empresario contract from the Spanish government at the end of its reign in New Spain (Mexico). In 1820, the Spanish government deci­ded to relax its previous prohibition against Anglo colonists in

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its territories, and Moses Austin was among the first to take advantage of this liberalization in colonization policies. He petitioned Antonio de Martínez, the Spanish governor in San Antonio, who endorsed the application in 1821. Austin was awarded a contract that promised him a sizeable land grant along the Brazos River in exchange for negotiating with 300 Catholic families to immigrate from Louisiana to eastern Texas (Weber, 1973, pp. 57–58; Richardson, Anderson, Wintz, and Wallace, 2001, p. 57). When Moses Austin died ­after returning to Missouri in 1821, his son, Stephen F. Austin, sought permission from the newly established and in­de­pen­dent Mexican government to continue with his ­father’s colonization scheme. Stephen F. Austin received authorization to do so as his ­father’s ­legal heir in 1823, and he or­ga­nized the colonization of 297 families, known as the Old Three Hundred, to the eastern part of Texas close to the Louisiana border (Richardson et al., 2001, pp. 58–59, 64–66). One major contributing ­factor in Anglo Americans’ willingness to move to Texas was the Panic of 1819, which had devastating financial consequences for many Americans and prompted some indebted Anglos to escape creditors to whom they owed money by moving to Texas (Richardson et al., 2001, p. 57). During the 1820s, the state of Coahuila y Tejas granted about 22 empresario contracts to individuals who promised to ­settle about 8,000 families in the region by the early 1830s. The vast majority of empresarios failed to ­settle the minimum 100 families required to fulfill the terms of their agreement before its six-­year term expired. Although colonists continued to enter Texas before the outbreak of a revolution for in­de­pen­dence in 1836 and afterward, t­hose who immigrated to Texas shortly ­after Mexico’s Law of April 6, 1830, prohibited further foreign immigration from the United States ­were unaware of the new law. Land speculators such as Lorenzo de Zavala, Joseph Vehlein, and David G. Burnet pooled acreage left over from their land grants, in violation of Mexican law, and joined with the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Com­pany to sell land scrips (certificates of payment for land settlement rights) to unsuspecting colonists. When colonists purchased ­these scrips, they w ­ ere misled into believing that they had purchased the land outright, rather than merely purchasing permission to s­ ettle it (Wallace, Vigness, and Ward, 2002, p. 67). The Galveston Bay and Texas Land Com­pany sublet about 7.5 million acres at a cost of one to ten cents an acre, which was far cheaper than the cost of land in the United States (approximately $1.25 per acre in cash. Texas colonists could receive 4,428 acres of land (or one sitio) in Austin’s colony, payable over time, for the equivalent cost of 80 acres of land in the United States, which had to be paid for up front. Numerous American families w ­ ere attracted by the opportunity to own land not yet exhausted by previous cultivation at favorable prices. Despite some conflict between Tejanos and the Anglo-­American settlers who arrived as part of the

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Galveston Bay and Texas Land Com­pany’s scheme, Mexican officials eventually allowed t­hese settlers to claim some lands. The Mexican government authorized the Anglo-­American colonists a total of 936 titles to lands north of Galveston Bay between September  1834 and December  1835 (Richardson et  al., 2001, pp. 73, 77). The significant increase in Anglo settlers in Texas by the late 1820s led to renewed concerns by Mexican officials about the need to limit this flow of immigration from the United States. ­After surveying eastern Texas, General Manuel Mier y Terán issued a report in 1828 warning that Anglos ­were dominating the eastern portions of Texas in Nacogdoches and elsewhere, with some demanding English-­ language schools and showing reluctance to assimilate into Mexican ways. Po­liti­ cal upheavals in Mexico resulted in a turnover of presidents and policies, but one policy that responded directly to Mier y Terán’s report about Anglo dominance was issued by Mexican President Anastacio Bustamante, whose Law of April 6, 1830, prohibited further immigration from the United States into Texas. Not only U.S. immigration was targeted for curtailment: slavery in Texas was, as well. President Vicente Guerrero issued a proclamation on September 15, 1829, that effectively prohibited slavery throughout Mexico. Anglo Texans protested the law, as many of them ­were U.S. Southerners who had brought slaves with them to farm their land. ­After negotiations with Mexican officials, they received exemptions and ­were permitted to keep their slaves. This was not the first such action by Mexican authorities. The Imperial Colonization Law of 1823 had allowed slaves into Texas who ­were trafficked domestically, but it outlawed the importation of slaves from Africa. It also prevented slaves from serving as bondspeople beyond the age of 14, upon which time they would receive their freedom. A subsequent Coahuila y Tejas constitution of 1827 allowed colonists to bring slaves into the state for up to six months a­ fter its implementation and allowed colonists to keep their existing slaves, but no one could be born into the condition of slavery in the Mexican state thereafter. Due to the heavy lobbying of Anglo colonists, this law was eventually undermined by a subsequent state law passed in 1828, which recognized foreign ­labor contracts. This enabled Anglo colonists to transform slaves legally into indentured servants or contract laborers for terms that far exceeded their expected lifespans, thus circumventing the spirit of the antislavery laws that ­were being enacted in Mexico (Richardson et al., 2001, p. 76). Anglos in Texas believed that the rights guaranteed to them u­ nder their colonization agreements ­were being infringed upon and their ­futures threatened, especially as vari­ous laws and constitutions w ­ ere passed signaling the end of slavery in Mexico. An 1832 law passed by the Coahuila y Tejas state legislature limited the ­labor contracts of foreigners allowed ­under the 1828 state law by capping the terms

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of ser­vice for peons and slaves at 10 years; it also prohibited the ­future introduction of slaves into the region. ­These mea­sures effectively outlawed slavery incrementally in the near f­ uture of Texas colonists (Richardson et al., 2001, pp. 71–73, 76). According to a census conducted in 1834 by Juan N. Almonte, Texas consisted of approximately 15,000 Anglos (mostly from southern U.S. states), 4,000 Tejanos (Mexican Texans), and 2,000 slaves. Clearly, the empresario contracts and colonization schemes had succeeded in increasing the population of Texas, but Anglos’ greater numbers threatened to undermine Mexico’s hold on this northern state, especially as po­liti­cal instability plagued the country (Richardson et al., 2001, p. 75). ­These po­liti­ cal conditions and Mexican laws limiting the rights of Anglo colonists set in motion a conflict that would erupt in 1836. With greater numbers of established families as colonizers, large areas of Texas witnessed less interethnic contact between Mexican and Anglo settlers than in other regions, such as Alta California and New Mexico. Arizona received far less interest from Anglo colonists. Southern Arizona was rooted in a subsistence ranching-­farming economy and did not attract Anglo colonists due to its harsh conditions: Southern Arizona was situated in the Sonoran Desert, and lacked the arability necessary for extensive cultivation beyond one major crop a year. The region also lacked the mineral wealth of lower parts of Sonora and upper California. This part of Arizona also had limited connections to trade networks in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and never became a regional outlet (Sheridan, 1986, pp. 14–15). The few Anglos who entered Arizona in the Mexican era did so as mountain men trapping along the Gila River and its tributaries, or to trade mules with local indigenous nations. Not ­until the U.S.-­Mexico War and California’s Gold Rush did a greater number of Anglos enter Arizona, but even then most ­were gold seekers who continued on to California. Thus, Arizona saw l­ ittle Anglo colonization ­until ­later in the 19th  ­century (Sheridan, 1986, pp.  23–26). The Gadsden Purchase integrated southern Arizona, including Tucson, into the United States and ushered in a new phase in the region’s development through corporate mining and railroad building, as well as mercantilism, ranching, and farming (Sheridan, 1986, pp. 28, 33). The Gold Rush and railroad developments in the southwest led to population explosions, especially of Anglo settlers, resulting in racial and ethnic conflicts in the latter half of the 19th ­century. The Chinese faced hostile attitudes by Americans who felt they represented an economic threat and an alien culture, culminating in exclusionary immigration policies in 1875 and 1882. Mexican immigrants experienced social exclusion on the one hand, and on the other hand ­were needed as laborers to fill the lowest ranks of the southwest’s growing wage economy (Milner et al., 1994, pp. 206–208).

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Two Years Before the Mast Richard Henry Dana Jr. was born in Cambridge, Mas­sa­chu­setts, in 1815. He hailed from a prominent Protestant ­family whose members included U.S. diplomats and a justice of the Mas­sa­chu­setts Supreme Court. Dana attended Harvard College in pursuit of a formal education, but he experienced eye and vision prob­lems that made further study difficult. His poor health led to his decision to take a sea voyage—­but he chose to do so as a common merchant seaman rather than as a passenger (Dana, 1909/1937, pp. 3–4). This decision undoubtedly contributed to the overall tone, language, and themes of the book he would ­later write, which offered readers a more realistic perspective of the common sailor rather than that of elite ship captains and commanders who had published earlier works. As Dana himself noted, “I have been obliged occasionally to use strong and coarse expressions, and in some instances to give scenes which may be painful to nice feelings; but I have very carefully avoided ­doing so, whenever I have not felt them essential to give the true character of a scene” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 6). The fact that Dana used words such as “scene” and “character” when describing his writing suggests that he was hyper-­conscious of the narrative that he was creating and that he emphasized certain impressions for greater effect. Dana left from Boston on August 14, 1834, having just turned 19, on board the brig Pilgrim, which was headed for California. When Dana returned from his voyage to Boston on the Alert in 1836, he was healthy enough to return to his studies at Harvard. He graduated in June 1837 and pursued law school and l­ ater practiced maritime law. While in law school, he wrote a manuscript based on the journal he kept during his time on the Pilgrim. With the encouragement of peers, he sent his manuscript to a publisher and it was published in 1840 as Two Years Before the Mast. Dana became active in the Free-­Soil Party, took cases involving seamen’s rights, and acted as counsel on behalf of fugitives who had been apprehended ­under the Fugitive Slave Law. In 1859, Dana was appointed by Abraham Lincoln as the U.S. District Attorney for Mas­sa­chu­setts and carved out a respectable ­legal ­career in that office. ­After the Civil War, he resigned as U.S. District Attorney and returned to private practice b­ ecause of his disagreement with President Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction policies. He continued practicing and researching maritime law and died in 1882 (Dana, 1909/1937, pp. 3–4). In Dana’s book, Two Years Before the Mast (Dana, 1909/1937), he chronicled his observations of the maritime industry, its l­abor and disciplinary

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practices from the perspective of the common sailor, and his time around Cape Horn and in Alta California. He described Alta California and its missions, his impressions of Spanish Mexican and indigenous cultures and society, and his thoughts on the foreigners whom he met during his 1835–36 visit. His publication garnered him significant attention in both E ­ ngland and the United States, and was one of the most influential works in shaping American impressions of Alta California before the Gold Rush. Other foreigners had also published their notes and journals chronicling their visits to Alta California, such as French observers Jean François Galaup de la Pérouse (1797) and Auguste Duhaut-­Cilly (1834–1835), and British explorer Sir George Simpson (1847). However, Dana’s book was one of the first texts published in En­glish and one of the most influential on American perceptions of the Spanish Mexican and indigenous p­ eoples of California. Nevertheless, Dana’s text has certain limitations, as he lacked proficiency in one of California’s key languages: Spanish. He notes: “I had never studied Spanish while at college, and could not speak a word” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 80). He claimed to have cobbled together enough vocabulary to communicate better than any of his shipmates and relied on his knowledge of Latin and French, along with hand signals, to get by. Still, he admitted: “I was often sent to get something which I could not tell the name of to save my life,” and he “never pleaded ignorance” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 81). In describing Alta California, Dana was not complimentary regarding Californio institutions and practices. “Courts and jurisprudence they have no knowledge of,” he wrote (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 81). As for foreigners, he stated that “[n]o Protestant has any civil rights” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 82). He was far more complimentary about Alta California’s natu­ral resources. ­After highlighting the salubrious climate, the arable soil, and the readily available ­water supply, Dana exclaimed, “Nothing but the character of the ­people prevents Monterey from becoming a ­great town.” He criticized Californio cultural practices for their “cock-­fighting, gambling of all sorts, fandangos, and ­every kind of amusement and knavery” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 84) even as he found the region’s harbors and its potential for development g­ reat—­under industrious and better governance. Any positive developments to the land he credited to ­those foreigners who traded in Alta California and intermarried and lived ­there. Realizing that some of his book’s comments had offended Californians, both Spanish Mexican and foreigners alike, Dana was apprehensive of encountering them again during a return trip to the region in 1859, 24 years ­after his

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initial voyage. Describing one encounter with Alfred  B. Robinson, Dana wrote: “I did not know how he would receive me, remembering what I had printed to the world about him at a time when I took ­little thought that the world was g­ oing to read it” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 385). Dana was relieved that Robinson showed him “no sign of offence, only cordiality” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 385). As to the influence of his book on Anglo Americans, Dana noted: “I found that almost . . . ​­every American in California had read it; for when California ‘broke out’ as the phrase is, in 1848, and so large a portion of the Anglo-­Saxon race flocked to it, ­there was no book upon California but mine” (Dana, 1909/1937, p. 379). His book inspired countless other American visitors to California, especially t­ hose who arrived ­after the Gold Rush, to publish their memoirs, letters, and other reminiscences. In this re­spect, Dana ­shaped a genre of travel lit­er­a­ture by American authors who gave their unfiltered views and opinions about the existing settlers of Mexico’s northwestern frontiers. This lit­er­a­ture would shape f­ uture encounters between p­ eoples of Mexican descent and new Anglo settlers for years to come.

Mexican Americans who had lived in the region when it still belonged to Mexico also found themselves pushed to low-­paid wage ­labor in agriculture, railroad, and c­ attle industries, but they resisted marginalization whenever pos­si­ble with l­ egal challenges, mutual aid socie­ties, Catholic lay institutions, and community cele­ brations such as the Cinco de Mayo to assert ethnic pride. Native p­ eoples faced new policies that disrupted their families and indentured them to white settlers, including removal of their c­ hildren for boarding-­school education, vagrancy laws, and cycles of indebtedness and bondage that had long historical roots in the region. In contrast, Anglo Americans continued to enter the region in search of better climate, land, and economic opportunity. They established themselves in higher-­paid economic sectors such as mercantilism, agribusiness, railroad and ­cattle capitalism, and other white-­collar professional industries, gaining significant po­liti­cal power in the region. They also brought with them new religious denominations, established new churches and English-­language schools, and introduced banking and business institutions. Social stratification along racial, ethnic, and class lines increased by the end of the 19th ­century (Milner et al., 1994, pp. 199–232, 240, 369–371). As this overview illustrates, region, timing, and po­liti­cal developments all s­ haped the trajectory of Anglo colonization in the U.S. southwest, and patterns varied widely from one place to another.

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Biographies of Notable Figures Abel Stearns (1798–1871) Abel Stearns was born February 9, 1798, in Mas­sa­chu­setts to parents who ­were descended from En­glish immigrants. Stearns was orphaned around the age of 12 when both of his parents died, and he became a sailor based out of Boston. He l­ ater ascended from the position of a common sailor to a c­ areer as a global trader. He spent three years in mainland Mexico and became a naturalized Mexican citizen in 1828, before arriving in Alta California in 1829 (County of Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors, n.d.). He arrived as a global trader hoping to secure a land grant in California. He forged close ties to vari­ous Californios in Alta California who sought his ­favor ­because of his prominence in trade, including José Bandini of San Diego, his ­future father-­in-­law. Stearns clashed with Governor Manuel Victoria and was exiled from Alta California in 1831 b­ ecause he sympathized with Victoria’s po­liti­cal rivals (Bancroft, 1885, vol. III, pp. 424, 630 n. 1). Although po­liti­cal tensions occasionally led to the exile of Spanish Mexicans and foreigners, Stearns’s exile reflects the distrust that some Mexican officials felt ­toward foreigners in the region, as tensions w ­ ere building elsewhere between Mexico and the United States in Texas. ­After returning from his exile, Stearns settled in Los Angeles in 1833, where he set up his trading business. He traded in leather hides and liquor, obtained a lot in the Los Angeles pueblo, and in 1834 transformed a building in San Pedro into a trading ware­house (Bancroft, 1886, vol. V, p. 732). In 1835, Stearns was suspected of smuggling contraband at this San Pedro ware­house (Bancroft, 1885, vol. III, pp. 375, 631 n. 1). Despite his occasional run-­ins with local officials, though, he was respected enough by his Californio peers to become síndico (public attorney) for Los Angeles in 1836. His position as a public official did not prevent further conflict with another Mexican governor, Mariano Chico (Bancroft, 1886, vol. V, p. 732). In 1841, the 43-­year-­old Abel Stearns married a 14-­year-­old ­woman from an elite Spanish Mexican f­ amily, Arcadia Bandini. Nicknames ­were a customary practice in Alta California, and Abel Stearns received the name “horse face” ­because of his long face and unattractive appearance. Perhaps ­because of his age and looks, Stearns sought to please his young bride by providing her a lavish lifestyle. In 1842, he purchased the 20,000-­acre Rancho Los Alamitos and began a new ­career in livestock (County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, n.d.). He eventually became one of the wealthiest members of southern California society, adding to his portfolio with additional land grants he received throughout the Los Angeles area. He constructed a home in Los Angeles for his wife, known as El Palacio (the palace), which became the hub of elite society and the location of balls during the transition from Mexican to U.S. rule.

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Stearns attempted to maintain an ambiguous position on Mexico’s escalating conflict with the United States. He, like other Yankees, believed that California would benefit eco­nom­ically from U.S. rule. He agreed with Thomas O. Larkin, the U.S. consul to Mexico, that Alta California should transition to U.S. control rather than remain in Mexican hands, or worse, fall u­ nder the dominion of another imperial power, such as ­England. However, Stearns was a naturalized Mexican citizen, a former síndico, and the husband of an elite Spanish Mexican w ­ oman who held affection for local Californios, including many men of high esteem. Thus, Stearns attempted to remain neutral during violent events that broke out as a consequence of the U.S.-­Mexico War, though he believed that the conquest of California was inevitable (Bancroft, 1886, vol. V, p. 732). ­Under U.S. rule, Stearns served as a member of California’s constitutional convention in 1849, a justice of the peace, a state assemblyman in 1851, a Los Angeles county supervisor, and a member of the Los Angeles common council in 1860 (County of Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors, n.d.). His business correspondence in the Mexican and early American periods reveals his bilingualism and fluency in Spanish. Stearns often wrote to Anglo peers in California in Spanish as well as in En­glish. In this re­spect, Stearns symbolized the ideal of Anglo acculturation into Alta California’s Mexican society. Although some foreigners, especially traders, acculturated out of expediency, in the hope of furthering their business interests, ­others felt genuine affection for their ­adopted home and for the Californios with whom they had established kinship ties ­after marrying local Spanish Mexican ­women. Stearns maintained tremendous social prestige and status in southern California, even ­after U.S. conquest, as numerous newcomers and Californios alike sought his f­ avor. He amassed massive land holdings throughout present-­day Los Angeles and Orange County. Despite experiencing financial setbacks due to a major drought that hit southern California in 1863–1864, Stearns rebounded from major financial losses by transforming his land holdings into the Robinson Trust in 1868. Stearns and his real estate partners foresaw that the c­ attle economy of southern California was over and that subdivisions and land speculation would take its place. Stearns left his wife a hefty estate upon his death at the age of 72 on August 23, 1871 (Bancroft, 1886, vol. V, p. 733).

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS The National Colonization Law, 1824 ­ nder Spanish rule, the northern frontiers of New Spain experienced im­mense difU ficulties attracting colonists and furthering the region’s economic development. Alta California, New Mexico, and Texas ­were established as buffer zones to expand the

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reach of the Spanish empire and to protect more prosperous mining regions farther south. Mexico’s imperial colonization law of 1823, and its subsequent colonization law of 1824, reflected the desire of policy makers to encourage foreign settlement to populate the northern frontiers, especially as a defense against indigenous tribes like the Comanche who had resisted Eu­ro­pean colonization. The northern frontiers grappled with de­cades of Indian raids and Spanish Mexican counter-­ raids that cultivated a climate of vio­lence and resulted in death and population loss on both sides. This weakened the ability of Mexican northern territories to govern and develop eco­nom­ically. Although the policy of colonization was not unanimously supported by Mexican politicians and leaders, it reveals some of the young nation’s conflicting goals and anx­i­eties. Leaders who opposed the policy understood that American foreigners ­were already encroaching on Mexican national bound­aries and saw that the best approach was to regulate this pro­cess. For example, Article 4 notes that foreigners are prevented from establishing a colony within 20 leagues of a rival nation’s border without approval. To encourage colonization, the Mexican government also agreed to exempt colonists from taxes for several years. Notably, Article I of an imperial colonization law, dated 1823, established the Roman Catholic faith as the official religion, and foreigners’ civil rights as contingent upon their professing devotion to this faith. The following document excerpt echoes the colonization law of 1824, enacted in the year that the Mexican Republic was formed, but the quoted document did not include reference to the Catholic faith as the official religion. Nevertheless, other laws and constitutions asserted the Roman Catholic faith as the state recognized religion. The National Colonization Law August 18, 1824 (Decree No. 72) The Supreme Executive Power provisionally appointed by the General Sovereign Constituent Congress . . . ​[T]he said Congress has decreed as follows: Art. 1. The Mexican nation offers to foreigners, who come to establish themselves within its territory, security for their persons and property, provided, they subject themselves to the laws of the country. Art. 2. This law comprehends t­ hose lands of the nation, not the property of individuals, corporations, or towns, which can be colonized. Art. 3. For this purpose the Legislature of the States, w ­ ill, as soon as pos­si­ble, form colonization laws, or regulations for their respective states, conforming themselves in all ­things, to the constitutional act, general constitution, and the regulations established in this law.

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Art. 4. ­There cannot be colonized any lands, comprehended within twenty leagues of the limits of any foreign nation, nor within ten leagues of the coasts, without the previous approbation of the general supreme executive power. Art. 5. If for the defense and security of the nation, the federal government should deem it necessary to use any portion of t­hese lands, for the construction of ware­houses, arsenals, or other public edifices, they can do so, with the approbation of the general congress, or in its recess, of the council of government. Art. 6. ­Until a­ fter four years from the publication of this law, ­there ­shall not be imposed any tax what­ever, on the entrance of the persons of foreigners, who come to establish themselves for the first time, in the nation. Art. 7. U ­ ntil ­after the year 1840, the general congress s­ hall not prohibit the entrance of any foreigner, as a colonist, u­ nless imperious circumstances should require it, with re­spect to the individuals of a par­tic­u­lar nation. Art. 8. The government, without prejudicing the objects of this law, ­shall take such precautionary mea­sures as it may deem expedient, for the security of the confederation, as re­spects the foreigners who come to colonize. Art. 9. A preference ­shall be given in the distribution of lands, to Mexican citizens, and no other distinction ­shall be made in regard to them except that which is founded on individual merit, or ser­vices rendered the country, or u­ nder equal circumstances, a residence in the place where the lands to be distributed are situated. . . . Art. 12. It s­ hall not be permitted to unite in the same hands with the right of property, more than one league square of land, suitable for irrigation, four square leagues in superficie, of arable land without the facilities of irrigation, and six square leagues in superficie of grazing land. Art. 13. The new colonists ­shall not transfer their property in mortmain (manus muertos). Art. 14. This law guarantees the contracts which the empresarios make with the families which they bring at their own expense, provided they are not contrary to the laws. Art. 15. No person who by virtue of this law, acquires a title to lands, s­ hall hold them if he is domiciliated out of the limits of the republic. . . . Mexico, 18th August, 1824 Cayetano Ibarra, President Source: “The Mexican Colonization Laws,” in Documents of Texas History, 2nd  ed., ed. Ernest Wallace, David M. Vigness, and George B. Ward (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2002), 49. Reprinted with permission.

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Green DeWitt’s Empresario Contract, 1825 In 1825, Missouri native Green DeWitt received an empresario contract from the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas to ­settle 400 families in the region, adjacent to one of Stephen F. Austin’s colonies. Unfortunately for DeWitt, his efforts conflicted with t­hose of another empresario, Martín de León. DeWitt’s colonists had experienced a Comanche attack in July 1826, and moved away from the town of Gonzales into an area claimed by de León in lower Lavaca. By April 15, 1831 (the expiration date of DeWitt’s contract), he had settled only 166 of the promised 400 families. The majority of empresarios ­were not as successful in fulfilling contracts as was Stephen F. Austin, who signed four contracts during the 1820s that resulted in 1,200 families colonizing Texas. This era of the empresarios reflects the state’s desire to encourage economic development, bolster military defense of the region against Indian attacks, and to “civilize” the realm through the establishment of  towns, churches, and schools. The following contract reveals the typical empresario’s obligations as outlined by the state of Coahuila y Tejas (Richardson et al., 2001, pp. 69–71). Green DeWitt’s Empresario Contract April 15, 1825 Conditions upon which is allowed the projected introduction by Green DeWitt, a citizen of the United States of North Amer­i­ca, of four hundred families as colonists into the department of Texas. 1st. Inasmuch as the plan presented in the preceding memorial by the person concerned conforms to the colonization law of the honorable congress of the state, ­adopted March 24, the government consents to it, and, therefore, in fulfillment of article 8 [of this colonization law], and in consideration of his petition, assigns to him the land for which he asks, contained within t­hese limits: Beginning on the right bank of the Arroyo de la Vaca at a distance of the reserved ten leagues from the coast, adjoining the colony of Stephen Austin, the line ­shall go up this arroyo as far as the Béjar-­Nacogdoches road; it s­ hall follow this road t­ oward the west u­ ntil it reaches a point two leagues west of the Guadalupe River; from ­there it ­shall run parallel with the river south ­towards the coast ­until it reaches the ten-­league coast reservation; thence it s­ hall run along the inner edge of this reservation t­oward the east to the place of beginning. 2nd. The empresario ­shall re­spect the rights of individuals legally possessed of lands within this district. 3rd. In accordance with the above-­mentioned colonization law of March 24, the empresario, Green DeWitt, ­shall be obliged ­under penalty of losing the right

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and privileges guaranteed by article 8 of this law, to introduce the four hundred families within the term of six years beginning from to-­day. 4th. The families that ­shall compose this colony, besides being Catholic, as the empresario promises in his petition, must also be able to prove, by certificates from the authorities of the localities from which they come, their good moral character. 5th. The empresario s­ hall not introduce into his colony criminals, vagrants, or persons of bad morals, and if such be found ­there he s­ hall cause them to leave the republic, by force of arms if necessary. 6th. To this end he ­shall or­ga­nize, in accordance with law, the national militia, and he ­shall be commanding officer of it ­until other arrangements s­ hall be made. 7th. When he s­ hall have introduced at least one hundred families he must advise the government, in order that a commissioner may be sent to put the colonists in possession of their lands according to law, and to establish towns, for which he ­shall carry competent instructions. 8th. Official correspondence with the government or with the state authorities, ­legal instruments, and other public documents must be written in Spanish, and when towns ­shall have been formed, it ­shall be the duty of the empresario to establish schools in that language. 9th. It ­shall also be his duty to erect churches in new towns; to provide them with ornaments, sacred vessels, and other adornments dedicated to divine worship; and to apply in due time for the priests needed for the administration of spiritual instructions. 10th. In all m ­ atters not ­here referred to he s­ hall be governed by the constitution, the general laws of the nation, and the special laws of the state which he adopts as his own. . . . Source: “De Witt’s Empresario Contract,” in Documents of Texas History, 2nd ed., ed. Ernest Wallace, David M. Vigness, and George B. Ward (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2002), 59. Reprinted with permission.

See also: Latin American In­de­pen­dence; Texas In­de­pen­dence; U.S.-­Mexican War

Further Reading Bancroft, Hubert Howe. 1884–1886. History of California, vols. I–­IV. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft. Bancroft, Hubert Howe. 1886. History of California, vols. V–­VII. San Francisco: The History Com­pany. Cantrell, Greg. 1999. Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Carson, Kit. 2001. Kit Carson’s Own Story of His Life, As Dictated to Col. and Mrs. D.C. Peters. Ed. Blanche C. Grant. Santa Barbara, CA: The Narrative Press.

Anglo-­American Colonization of Northern Mexico, 1820–1846 | 115 County of Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors. n.d. “Supervisor Abel Stearns.” http://­file​ .­lacounty​.­gov​/­SDSInter​/­lac​/­111789​_­astearns​.­pdf Dakin, Susanna Bryant. 1949. The Lives of William Hartnell. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Dakin, Susanna Bryant.1978. A Scotch Paisano in Old Los Angeles: Hugo Reid’s Life in California, 1832–1852 Derived from His Correspondence. Berkeley: University of California Press. Dana, Jr., Richard Henry. 1909, reprinted 1937. Two Years Before the Mast. Ed. Charles W. Eliot. New York: P. F. Collier & Son. Davis, William Heath. 1929. Seventy-­Five Years in California; a history of events and life in California: personal, po­liti­cal and military; u­ nder the Mexican regime; during the quasi-­military government of the territory by the United States, and ­after the admission of the state to the ­union: Being a compilation by a witness of the events described; a reissue and enlarged illustrated edition of ‘Sixty years in California’, to which much new ­matter by its author has been added which he contemplated publishing ­under the pres­ent title at the time of his death, ed. Douglas S. Watson. San Francisco: John Howell. Foley, Neil. 2014. Mexicans in the Making of Amer­i­ca. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Forster, John, and Thomas Savage. 1970. “Don Juan Forster: Southern California Ranchero.” Southern California Quarterly 52 (3, September): 195–230. Giffen, Helen S. 1937. “An ­Adopted Californian: The Life and Letters of William Goodwin Dana.” The Quarterly: Historical Society of Southern California 19 (2, June): 49–62. González, Deena J. 1999. Refusing the F ­ avor: The Spanish-­Mexican ­Women of Santa Fe, 1820–1880. New York: Oxford University Press. Haas, Lisbeth. 1995. Conquests and Historical Identities in California, 1769–1936. Berkeley: University of California Press. Haley, James A. 2002. Sam Houston. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Hyde, Anne F. 2011. Empires, Nations, and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800–1860. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Jackson, Sheldon G. 1977. A British Ranchero in Old California: The Life and Times of Henry Dalton and the Rancho Azusa. Glendale, CA: The Arthur H. Clark Co. Johnson, Susan Lee. 2000. Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush. New York: W. W. Norton. Kicza, John E. 1982. “The ­Great Families of Mexico: Elite Maintenance and Business Practices in Late Colonial Mexico.” Hispanic American Historical Review 62 (3, August): 429–457. McDowell Craver, Rebecca. 1982. The Impact of Intimacy: Mexican-­Anglo Intermarriage in New Mexico, 1821–1846. El Paso: Texas Western Press. Meier, Matt S., and Margo Gutiérrez.2000. Encyclopedia of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Milner, II, Clyde A., Carol A. O’Connor, and Martha A. Sandweiss, eds. 1994. The Oxford History of the American West. New York: Oxford University Press.

116 | Changing Flags, 1810–1846 Nidever, George. 1937. The Life and Adventures of George Nidever [1802–1883]: The life story of a remarkable California pioneer told in his own words, and none wasted. Ed. William Henry Ellison. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pubols, Louise. 2010. ­Father of All: The de la Guerra ­Family, Patriarchy, and Power in Mexican California. Berkeley: University of California Press. Reséndez, Andrés. 2004. Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800–1850. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Richardson, Rupert N., Adrian Anderson, Cary D. Wintz, and Ernest Wallace. 2001. Texas: The Lone Star State (8th ed.). Upper S ­ addle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Robinson, Alfred. 1970. Life in California. Santa Barbara, CA: Peregrine Publishers. Robinson, W.W. 1979. Land in California. New York: Arno Press. Sheridan, Thomas E. 1986. Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854– 1941. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Simmons, Marc. 2003. Kit Carson and His Three Wives: A ­Family History. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Texas State Historical Association. n.d. The Handbook of Texas [online]. Retrieved from https://­tshaonline​.­org​/­handbook. Thompson, Alpheus B., and Francis A. Thompson. 1947. China Trade Days in California: Selected Letters from the Thompson Papers, 1832–1863. Ed. D. Mackenzie Brown. Berkeley: University of California Press. Wallace, Ernest, David M. Vigness, and George B. Ward, eds. 2002. “The Mexican Colonization Laws,” in Documents of Texas History (2nd ed.) Austin: Texas State Historical Association. Weber, David J., ed. 1973. Foreigners in Their Native Land. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Wilson, Benjamin D., and Arthur Woodworth. 1934. “Benjamin David Wilson’s Observations on Early Days in California and New Mexico.” Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California 16: 74–150.

Texas In­de­pen­dence, 1835–1836 Kris Klein Hernández

Chronology 1718

The governor of New Spain’s Texas province, Martín de Alarcón, establishes a mission, San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), and a town, Villa de Béxar (San Antonio), on the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek. Over the next few de­cades, the Spanish and Indians slowly populate the area.

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With the assistance of Baron de Bastrop and Erasmo Seguín, Anglo-­ American empresario Moses Austin receives a land-­grant approval from governor Antonio María Martínez on December 26. The grant allows him to s­ettle 300 American families near the mouth of the Colorado River at Matagorda Bay.

1821, June Moses dies shortly a­ fter receiving his land-­grant approval, and his son, Stephen Austin, takes over the colonization plans. 1824, October

Mexico terminates its two-­year constitutional monarchy u­ nder Agustín Iturbide and establishes a new Mexican republic with its first elected president, Guadalupe Victoria. The 1824 Constitution of Mexico is established on October  4. ­Under the new federal constitution, the states of Coahuila and Texas merge into Coahuila y Tejas.

1826–1827 The Fredonian Rebellion takes place from December through January. Empresario Haden Edwards, other settlers, and several Cherokee Indians rebel against the Mexican government, occupy the town of Nacogdoches, and create the Republic of Fredonia. It lasts one month ­until Tejano (Texans of Spanish-­Mexican descent) and Texian (Texans of Anglo-­American and Eu­ro­pean descent) soldiers arrive and crush the rebellion. 1830

On April 6, Mexican President Anastacio Bustamante passes several laws that prohibit further immigration into Mexico across its northern border and strictly enforce the abolition of slavery. ­These laws are aimed directly at the Texians, who still practiced slavery, and any ­future Anglo immigrants who might try to enter Mexico.

1835, October

War erupts with the ­Battle at Gonzales on October 2. Texians led by John Henry Moore fire upon Lieutenant Francisco Castañeda’s Mexican force at Gonzales, Coahuila y Tejas. Sara DeWitt, wife of one of the Old 300 colonists Green DeWitt, fashions a flag with the phrase “Come and Get It” and a picture of a cannon. It is meant to symbolize the Texas rebellion.

1835, October

The B ­ attle of Goliad takes place on October 10. ­After the victory at Gonzales, Coahuila y Tejas (Texas), Texians successfully attack the nearby Mexican presidio of La Bahía. This results in another triumph for the Anglo settlers.

1835, October–­ December

Texian troops march to Béxar and, with the assistance of several Tejanos, lay siege to the town. The acting Mexican general of Béxar, Martín Perfecto de Cós (the brother-­in-­law of President Antonio López de Santa Anna), surrenders to the Texians on December 11. This comes

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as a surprise Texian victory, for ­there had been a constant and sustained Mexican military presence at Béxar since 1803. 1836, January

Following the successful occupation of Béxar, the Texians position themselves at the garrison known as the Alamo by January. Sam Houston recommends that due to lack of reinforcements, the Texians should burn the Alamo and head north. They decide to stay at the Alamo and take a stand.

1836, February

On February 23, Santa Anna arrives at the Alamo with several thousand Mexican troops and bombards the garrison for 13 days.

1836, March

While Santa Anna’s army bombards the Alamo, Sam Houston and ­others meet on Washington-­on-­the-­Brazos and draft the Texas Declaration of In­de­pen­dence overnight on March 1. During this 1836 Convention, 60 men—3 of whom are Tejanos—­sign the document that officially declares in­de­pen­dence from Mexico.

1836, March

On March 6, Santa Anna storms the stronghold ­after several days of fighting. His army kills all the Texian soldiers, as well as Davy Crockett. The sole survivors are the wives of some of the officers and an enslaved African American man, Joe.

1836, March

More than 400 Texian prisoners at Goliad are executed by Mexican troops on March  27. This massacre reaches Houston and galvanizes Texian motivations for in­de­pen­dence.

1836, April

The ­Battle of San Jacinto takes place on April 20. This final action of the war—­a bloody conflict between Mexican troops, Texians, and Tejanos—­culminates in a ­battle that lasts less than an hour. The Texians triumph over Santa Anna’s army. Santa Anna retreats and flees from the scene in an effort to evade capture, but he is apprehended the following day.

1836, May

While in custody in Velasco, Texas, Santa Anna and Sam Houston agree on a public and private treaty by May 14 to evacuate all Mexican forces from Texas, and to legislate for an in­de­pen­dent Texas when Santa Anna returns to Mexico City.


The United States annexes Texas.

Narrative From October 1835 to May 1836, the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence brought several thousand Texan inhabitants of Eu­ro­pean, Anglo-­American, and Mexican descent

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together, initially to dispute ­legal rights and eventually to obtain in­de­pen­dence from the United Mexican States. The war was known as the Texan Rebellion from Mexico’s point of view, and the Texas Revolution from the vantage point of the United States. Since the early 1820s, the interests of Anglo-­American colonists, northern Mexicans, and several indigenous groups throughout present-­day Texas had slowly begun to intersect, as trade and security ­ were paramount to each group’s survival. As a result, a regional identity began to emerge among ­these populations, as many began to identify as “Texans” or “Tejanos” in the case of ­those who The first elected president of the Lone Star Republic of Texas, Sam Houston helped establish Texas’s had Spanish-­Mexican ancestry. in­de­pen­dent status and led the Republic through its The Texas War for In­de­pen­dence first few tumultuous years. (Library of Congress) culminated in several military victories over Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna’s northern force, and secured for Texans an in­de­pen­dent, yet contested, republic that would endure from 1836 to 1845. Disputes regarding immigration, slavery, and the ­handling of security and surveillance over the area to protect it from Indian raids served as initial catalysts for Texans to call for in­de­pen­dence. More impor­tant, however, was the disagreement generated by the po­liti­cal turmoil of both the U.S. and Mexican nation-­states that compelled Anglo-­American settlers, Mexican citizens, and native Indians to recognize the need for a ruling body that would serve the best interests of an ethnically heterogeneous Texas. Texan secession from Mexico is impor­tant for Latino history ­because Tejanos (Mexican Texans), helped shape the Lone Star state’s past, and contributed to the victory over Mexico. In order to appreciate the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence, it is crucial to understand the history of the region leading up to the international conflict. Indigenous Texas was initially populated by several hundred native communities, most prominently the Caddos, Tonkawa, Wichita, and the Tlascalan p­ eople (Barr, 2007,

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Introduction). By the mid-1600s, the Spanish and French entered the area, along with the newly forming indigenous nations of the Lipan Apache and Comanche (Ramos, 2008, p. 15). The earliest and most prominent Tejano settlement of San Antonio de Béxar, or simply Béxar, was settled on May 5, 1718, by the newly appointed governor of Texas, Martín de Alarcón. Alarcón’s expedition “chose a spot on the banks of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek to establish a mission, San Antonio de Valero, and a town, Villa de Béxar” (Ramos, 2008, pp. 17–18). Spanish migration to the region was slow but steady throughout the 18th ­century. The first two de­cades in 19th-­century North Amer­ic­ a, however, saw the creation of one nation, Mexico, and the growth of another very young nation, the United States. ­After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase Treaty, the United States claimed lands that included disputed Spanish territory. Spain, however, was unable to challenge this. In 1821, ­after a de­cade of insurrection, Mexico achieved in­de­pen­dence from Spain and assembled its first and last constitutional monarchy u­ nder Agustín Iturbide. By 1824, however, that government was overthrown, and Mexico became a republic, proclaiming that its domain stretched from present-­day Texas to Oregon. In the midst of Mexico’s geopo­liti­cal changes from the 1810s to 1820s, the Provincias Internas (internal provinces of Texas that included the present-­day Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas) comprised a general population of 82,000, of which 3,500 to 4,00 w ­ ere in Béxar (Ramos, 2008, p. 18). ­People living in Texas began to embrace new regional identities. ­Those who ­were Spanish-­ speaking or of Hispanic descent started to recognize themselves as Tejano (Calore, 2014, p. 13). This identity was even more regionalized based on the town in which a Tejano was born. Tejanos within Béxar understood themselves to be Bexareños. Some of the elite and prestigious Mexican families in the region at this time ­were the Navarro, Veramendi, Ruíz, and Músquiz families and, fi­nally, the Seguíns (Ramos, 2008, p. 94). One of the most prominent Tejanos of the period was Erasmo Seguín. Born Juan José María Erasmo Seguín in 1782 in Béxar, Seguín served as postmaster of Béxar (known as San Antonio following Texas in­de­pen­dence), and was the first and sole Tejano provisional delegate from Texas to attend the Mexican constitutional convention in 1824. He also was elected as mayor and quartermaster of Béxar. He and his ­family would be instrumental to Texas’s f­ uture as both a Mexican state and an in­de­ pen­dent republic in 1835. His son, Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, who was born in Béxar in 1806, would be especially instrumental. Everyday life for Tejano populations depended on trade and agriculture, but even more importantly, on security and defense from Indian raids. Due to their distance from Mexico’s capital, t­here ­were few military soldiers to guard the scattered Texas settlements. One solution to the prob­lem of raids was to colonize the area with mi­grants and immigrants. As it so happened, ­there ­were several hundred Anglo Americans who embraced the idea

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Women in Tejano Society Understanding gender roles is crucial in exploring the Tejano past, as gender compartmentalized tasks for w ­ omen and men. For example, in the years leading up to the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence, Tejana ­women held vari­ous social and po­liti­cal roles that w ­ ere traditionally reserved for men in Anglo-­ American communities. In addition, Tejanas had substantial peacemaking responsibilities in the vari­ous Tejano settlements. Doña María Josefa Becerra, wife of Tejano Erasmo Seguín, served as a po­liti­cal counselor, interacting with other nearby town civil officials while Seguín traveled to and from Mexico City and the peripheral towns of northern Mexico (Ramos, 2008, p.  37). Many Tejanas contributed to an efflorescence of Tejana culture through the sustained practice of marriage not only to elite Tejanos, but also to Texians and other Anglo settlers, thereby paving the way for bicultural economic and social relations.

of immigrating to Mexico, all thanks to empresario Moses Austin and his son, Stephen Austin, who led 297 families to Texas beginning in 1822. Moses Austin was born in Connecticut in 1761. He moved with his ­family to Philadelphia, where he married into the mining f­ amily of Mary Brown. They had four ­children, three of whom w ­ ere born in Philadelphia. Stephen, the first son and child to live past infancy, was born in ­Virginia in 1793. While in ­Virginia, Austin deci­ded to start his own business, a lead and mining com­pany. He was unsuccessful, and in 1797, traveled to Spanish Louisiana in present-­day Missouri to explore the mines ­there. By the next year, Moses Austin obtained one league (3.5 miles) of land from the Spanish government (Calore, 2014, Chapter 2). This would not be the only time Spain granted land to Moses. By the late 1810s, he presented his idea to colonize Texas with Anglo-­American settlers to the then governor of Spanish Texas, Antonio María Martínez (Calore, 2014, p. 54). Martínez rejected the proposition, as he was hesitant to have Americans in the land who still believed in the utility of the institution of slavery. Moses Austin did not relent and knew someone who could help change the governor’s mind: Dutch businessman Felipe Enrique Neri, also known as the Baron de Bastrop. With the baron’s influence, on December 26, 1821, Governor Martínez “recommended approval of the entrepreneur’s application for a permit to bring three hundred American families—­all Catholics of course—to ­settle a colony near the mouth of the Colorado River at Matagorda Bay” (Davis, 2004, p. 56). Moses Austin suffered health complications, and on his deathbed, asked his son Stephen to continue the colonization plan ­after his death (Barker, 1924).

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Twenty-­eight-­year-­old Stephen Austin complied with his f­ ather’s last wishes, and met with Erasmo Seguín, who helped in locating and settling the land promised to his f­ather. B ­ ecause Moses had initially procured his agreement u­ nder Spanish rule, he was bound by the Spanish requirement that “all colonists . . . ​ observe the Catholic faith, take an oath of allegiance to King and constitution, and be honest, industrious farmers and mechanics” (Davis, 2004, p. 58). Yet, by the time Stephen arrived with 297 families, the agreement had to be reassembled ­under Mexican authority and u­ nder a new state, as the 1824 constitution merged the states of Coahuila and Tejas. Thanks to Seguín and f­ uture Tejano land commissioner José Antonio Navarro, who managed to “provide favorable legislation to promote colonization,” the two helped secure the lands for Austin and realize the dream of his f­ ather (Ramos, 2008, p. 100). By 1825, Stephen Austin succeeded in bringing to Texas the “Old Three Hundred”: a term immortalizing the 297 arriving Anglo-­American families that w ­ ere “mostly farmers of British ancestry coming from Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri” (Calore, 2014, p. 10). Almost a quarter of t­hese new immigrants owned enslaved African Americans, with one man, Jared Groce, bringing in nearly 100 slaves (Davis, 2004, p. 60). ­These families and other ­future Anglo settlers to the region would be understood as Texians, a term generally used to identify Eu­ro­ pean colonists between the years 1821 to 1836 (Calore, 2014, p. 13). By the end of

Tejano Kinship Kinship practices, or the collection of social and cultural customs and norms in Mexican states such as Coahuila y Tejas, w ­ ere diverse and varied based on one’s region. In order to ensure a continuance of trade and peace in Texas, for example, many Tejanos engaged in traditions that equally honored their native ancestry and Spanish background, and included their new Anglo neighbors. One custom that Tejanos engaged in throughout Coahuila y Tejas was the practice of compadrazgo, better understood in the United States as being a godparent. As segments of Tejano life w ­ ere tied to teachings from Catholicism, compadrazgo was an informal and loosely based religious practice that bound Tejano families together. It also served as an outlet to ensure hierarchical social relations between families of dif­fer­ent generations, while maintaining cultural uniformity between Tejanos from varying regions. Tejanos and Texians who married throughout the 1820s and 1830s also engaged in compadrazgo, strengthening regional bonds between dif­fer­ent ethnic groups and further forming an even stronger regional identity.

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1825, the most successful colonies out of the 24 total ­were Stephen Austin’s colony, Green DeWitt’s community (DeWitt received direct help from Navarro), and the sole Tejano cluster of 40 ethnic Mexicans by empresario Martín de León (Calore, 2014, p. 10). Everyday life for Texans now entailed sharing the land with vecinos (Mexican neighbors) in their newly a­ dopted country. Texians and Tejanos lived and worked together over the next few years. While the newly arrived colonists already practiced Catholicism, many learned Spanish, and effectively interacted with Tejanos, who in turn, learned En­glish and engaged in trade with their new neighbors. Scholars of south Texas maintain that “prestige,” rather than nationalism, was the vehicle through which Mexican Texans obtained honor in society, and with it, social status and standing within the community (Ramos, 2008, p. 35). ­After 1821, Tejanos in Laredo, Coahuila y Tejas, created and volunteered in a “Compañía Civica” that sought to protect the town from raids by native bands (Mendoza, 2011, p. 128). Tejanos and Texians even collaborated to establish peace with the Comanche, and engaged in trade with Comanchería throughout the 1820s (Ramos, 2008, p. 62). Faith also bound the two populations together, as religion, community, and f­ amily w ­ ere central to Texian and Tejano society (Davis, 2004, p. 64). Another example of a shared and growing Texan identity is seen in the marriages between Anglo settlers and Tejanos. James “Jim” Bowie—­ after whom the famous knife is named—­married into the elite Veramendi ­family, tying the knot with María Ursula de Veramendi on April 25, 1831. Bowie and de Veramendi had two ­children together (Ramos, 2008, p. 112). The increased presence of Anglo settlers in Coahuila y Tejas led to disagreements regarding Mexican land-­grant customs. In December of 1826, for example, empresario Haden Edwards, other Anglo settlers, and several Cherokee Indians sought to secede from Mexico due to tensions with other settlers. According to historians, Edwards “refused to follow a Mexican law regarding land claims made by Mexicans already living within his grant” (Ramos, 2008, p. 105). Edwards’s new colony was called the Republic of Fredonia and represented a society run by new Anglo-­American settlers and Cherokee residents. When Stephen Austin and Mexican officials received news of the rebellion, both sent troops to crush the uprising in that next month. On January 31, 1827, more than 100 Mexican soldiers, many of whom ­were Tejano, and more than 200 of Austin’s militia gathered at the town of the proclaimed Republic of Fredonia that was next to Nacogdoches and defeated the insurgency. Edwards escaped with ­others back into the United States, but the event brought Tejanos, Texians, and citizens from other Mexican states into military contact to work to maintain the fragile peace. One historian contends that the merging of “American colonial interests with t­hose of the Tejano leadership like Seguín” brought a level of po­liti­cal autonomy that the two groups agreed on in regard to the governance of the land (Davis, 2004, p. 74).

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The Fredonian Rebellion, although unsuccessful, alarmed the Mexican state, and reminded government officials of the cantankerous relationship it shared with the state of Coahuila y Tejas. Mexican president Anastacio Bustamante consequently ordered General Manuel de Mier y Terán to reassess the jurisprudence of several of the Mexican colonization laws. With Mier y Terán’s findings, Bustamante signed a cédula, or decree, of 18 articles aimed at crushing any ­future Anglo settler uprisings. ­These laws, which went into effect on April 6, 1830, restricted northern immigration into Mexico, and reinforced the abolition of slavery with punishments (Calore, 2014, p. 13). Texians saw ­these articles as direct attacks on their livelihoods and the area, as increased colonization meant greater economic growth and stronger frontier security. Tejanos took note of the April 6 laws, and on December 19, 1832, a Tejano committee of Seguín, José Casiano, Angel Navarro, José Antonio Navarro, Refugio de la Garza, and José María Balmarech met to draft a list of grievances and a petition to submit with the Texians to the Mexican state (Ramos, 2008, p. 124). They requested increased security, but did not propose statehood, as “from a po­liti­cal standpoint, Tejano elites ideologically allied themselves with the federalist groups in Mexican politics” (Ramos, 2008, p. 127). Many young Tejanos ­were undecided about joining the rebellion, weighing the sense of Tejano regional identity that they had learned growing up with the ideological allegiance to Mexico that they developed as adults. Among some families, such as the ­brothers Angel and José Antonio Navarro, one son fought for the Mexican state while the other sided with Texas secession (Ramos, 2008, p. 152). Regional identity, rather than nationalism, deeply informed the ways in which Tejanos responded by supporting or standing against the Texas secession. Race relations, unfortunately, further intensified tensions between Mexico’s state presence and Texans. In April 1832, reports emerged of a Mexican soldier who had allegedly raped an Anglo w ­ oman (Davis, 2004, p. 82). The rape stirred up racial anx­i­eties and caught the attention of U.S. officials, who looked for ways to intervene. In the same year, President Andrew Jackson deployed Samuel Houston to assist the Texans in creating a list of objections or set of petitions to improve relations with Mexico. Samuel Houston, born in ­Virginia in 1793, would be crucial to the creation of a Texas republic, serving as its first president and helping to obtain its eventual U.S. statehood. Houston, who was familiar with Mas­sa­chu­ setts’s revolutionary constitution of 1780, brought that knowledge to Texas (Davis, 2004, p. 98). A young William Travis, who is most remembered for the letter in support of a ­Battle of the Alamo, also entered Coahuila y Tejas in the early 1830s and joined the Texian army. Together, Houston, Austin, Seguín, and o­ thers drafted a list of resolutions and petitions and all initially agreed to travel from Coahuila y Tejas to Mexico City. Austin, however, became the only person to personally deliver documents to the president. ­Little did Austin know that his trip would be

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significantly longer than he had planned, due to the induction of a new president, Antonio López de Santa Anna. ­There are few Mexican dignitaries as prolific and extraordinary as Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón, who served as Mexico’s president 11 times. Santa Anna was born in 1794 in Jalapa, Veracruz, hailing from a respectable criollo (Spaniard born in Mexico) ­family that was intensely passionate and ambitious about its country (Davis, 2004, p. 104). Santa Anna initially fought for the crown during the Mexican War of In­de­pen­dence. The historian Paul Calore surmises that as a fresh recruit in the Spanish army garrisoned in Veracruz, “Santa Anna received a taste of how the Spaniards dealt with Mexican insurgents when he was assigned to help put down a bloody Hidalgo uprising” (2014, p. 18). This experience deeply changed Santa Anna, and made him wary of dissent and factionalism. When Agustín de Iturbide changed sides and fought for Mexico in 1821, so too did Santa Anna. By 1833, not surprisingly, Santa Anna took the office of the Mexican presidency. When Austin arrived in Mexico City with Texas’s resolutions in 1834, an apprehensive Santa Anna arrested him. Having learned about dissent in northern Coahuila y Tejas, Santa Anna had plans to personally travel and stop any rebellion. By July of the next year, Jim Bowie intercepted diplomatic documents from the Mexican state that revealed plans to invade Coahuila y Tejas. He quickly brought the documents to Sam Houston and o­ thers. War was brewing. The Texas War for In­de­pen­dence began on October 2, 1835, and lasted less than one year. Many historians attribute the start of the war to the B ­ attle at Gonzales and the owner­ship of a Spanish cannon. In 1826, Béxar po­liti­cal chief Ramón Músquiz agreed to loan the town of Gonzales a small bronze eight-­pound cannon for self-­defense against any Indian raids. Nearly 10 years l­ ater, in September 1835, Músquiz requested that the weapon be returned, due to intelligence that Texians ­were planning another rebellion. On September 27, Col­o­nel Domingo de Ugartechea deployed 100 Mexican dragoons (mounted infantry) ­under the command of Lieutenant Francisco Castañeda to Gonzales. The Texians and Tejanos of Gonzales, led by one of the original colonists, John Henry Moore, rounded up the militia and waited. In the meanwhile, Sara DeWitt—­wife of an “Old 300” colonist, Green DeWitt—­fashioned a flag with the phrase “Come and Get It” and a picture of a cannon. On October 2, 1835, the Texians fired on Castañeda’s army and the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence commenced. Debating the owner­ship of the cannon served as a catalyst for action to resolve the decades-­long and growing tensions between Texians and Mexico’s increasingly centralist government. Though the B ­ attle at Gonzales lasted only one day, it marked the first Texian victory over Mexico. One of the most popu­lar historical memories of the in­de­pen­dence war was the Siege of Béxar, which continued from October 28 to December 9, 1835. Texian troops, with the support of several Tejano soldiers, marched to Béxar and laid siege

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u­ ntil the acting Mexican General of Béxar, Martín Perfecto de Cós, capitulated or surrendered on December 11. By January 1826, Jim Bowie and David “Davy” Crockett had arrived at the Alamo. Crockett, born in 1786 in North Carolina, was a “frontiersman, Indian fighter, explorer, humorist, and bear hunter” (Calore, 2014, p. 58). Crockett’s legendary persona brought ­great pride and hope to the Texans; victory seemed pos­si­ble. Meanwhile, in San Luís Potosí, Santa Anna had assembled a force of several thousand soldiers over the past few months and arrived at the Alamo by mid-­February 1836. Sam Houston ordered the Texans to retreat and burn the area to the ground—­but many Texans, including Bowie, believed that staying was a symbol of Texan resolve and honor. The siege of the Alamo lasted from February 23 to March 6, during which Santa Anna’s army crushed the rebels and gave them “no quarter,” meaning that all fighters would be executed. Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, William Travis, and 160 ­others met their end ­there. Several historians have uncovered how several Tejanos, such as José María Guerrero, also lost their lives at the Alamo (Mendoza, 2011, p. 130). While Santa Anna’s forces bombarded the Alamo, the Texas Declaration of In­de­pen­dence was signed on March 2, 1836, on the Brazos River. The document officially marked Texans’ quest for a Texas republic (Ramos, 2008, p. 157). Although the Texans suffered a crushing defeat at the Alamo, the sacrifice by the fallen galvanized the Texan secessionist movement. The B ­ attle of the Alamo was not the only military confrontation between the Texians and Mexicans that month. Col­o­nel James W. Fannin and his Texian com­ pany ­were stationed at the military garrison of Goliad when they received o­ rders from Sam Houston to evacuate the military fort in the wake of the Texian loss at Béxar on March 14. Fannin did not heed Houston’s ­orders, and by March 19, Goliad and Fannin’s army ­were captured by Mexican general José de Urrea. As prisoners of war, Fannin believed that he and his troops would be granted clemency, as did Urrea himself. Yet, when Santa Anna received news of the Texian capture, he ordered the execution of the 350 prisoners. On March 27, Fannin and his troops ­were brought outside the walls of the Spanish presidio to face a firing squad. A total of around 350 ­were executed. Almost 30 ­were alleged to have escaped, and 20 ­were spared due to their skill or occupations (Calore, 2014, p. 66). The Goliad Massacre, in addition to the military defeat at the Alamo, roused Texian calls for succession even further. The final confrontation of the war occurred on April 20 and 21, 1836, in which the Texans—­both Texians and Tejanos such as Juan Seguín’s infantry—­defeated Santa Anna’s army at the ­Battle of San Jacinto (Davis, 2004, p. ix; Ramos, 2008, p. 161). Santa Anna was eventually captured, and on May 14, Sam Houston met with him and drafted the Treaty of Velasco to end all hostilities and force Mexican troops out of Texas. Both Texans and the United States honored the treaty and acknowledged a Texas republic. Mexico, however, never recognized the treaty,

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and never fully embraced it ­until the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. More than 4,000 Texans served in the conflict, in which they sustained more than 600 Texian and Tejano deaths (Davis, 2004, p. 302). Historians note that ­after Texas’s secession from Mexico, anti-­Mexican sentiment of some Anglo settlers fueled ethnic tensions that damaged Tejanos’ class status and social standing in the new republic (Davis, 2004, p. 287). Newly arriving Anglo-­Americans and Eu­ro­pe­ans lumped all ­people of Mexican descent together with Santa Anna and the Mexican e­ nemy, overlooking the fact that some Tejanos in fact had fought and died for the cause of in­de­pen­dence. The Texas War for In­de­pen­dence, as historian Raúl Ramos suggests, obliged Tejanos to affirm an “ethnic and regional consciousness” that was much more nuanced than nationalism (2008, p. 136). In many ways, the war affirmed how Tejano identities and agency ­were predicated upon a set of ever-­changing and contingent regional po­liti­cal, economic, and social experiences. Although Texas’s secession was a confirmation of Texian triumph, it is also a story of Tejano revolutionary identity.

Biographies of Notable Figures Juan Nepomuceno Seguín (1806–1890) Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, son to Tejana María Josefa Becerra and Tejano Erasmo Seguín and thus a member of one of the most prominent Tejano families, was an impor­tant po­liti­cal leader and military captain leading up to, and during, the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence. ­After the war, Seguín would go on to serve as a Texas senator. Born in Béxar on October 27, 1806, Seguín was raised in a f­ amily that initially embraced the colonization hopes of Anglo Americans such as Moses and Stephen Austin. Due to his ­father’s involvement in securing land plots for the settlers, the notion of an ethnically diverse Texas was not a new proposition for Juan Seguín and other ­children of Tejanos who had helped to spearhead Anglo colonization into the country. Although Juan Seguín did not receive many years of formal education, he shadowed his m ­ other, María Josefa, who was charged with town responsibilities such as communicating regional and po­liti­cal ties to the larger community. In Tejano communities, Tejana ­women also served in po­liti­cal and management roles. While his f­ ather was out on government business, Juan watched and learned from the leadership of his m ­ other, who ran her husband’s day-­to-­day affairs. In 1825, 19-­year-­old Juan married Tejana María Gertrudis Flores de Abrego, a ­daughter of another influential Tejano ­family, and they had 10 ­children over the course of their marriage.

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Building on the childhood experiences of working with his parents, Seguín started his po­liti­cal ­career in the 1820s when he began sitting in on several electoral boards. In 1833, the same year that Santa Anna emerged as Mexico’s president, Seguín was elected as the alcalde (mayor) of Béxar; within the next few months, he became its po­liti­cal chief by default. When the Texas War for In­de­ pen­dence commenced at Gonzales, Seguín was one of several elite Tejanos who embraced Texas succession and in­de­pen­dence and sought to help the largely Texian force obtain it. Juan Seguín participated throughout the entire campaign for Texas secession and the war for in­de­pen­dence immediately following the ­Battle at Gonzales. Stephen Austin commissioned Seguín as a captain in his army and appointed him to several tasks—­among ­others was the recruitment of other Tejanos (de la Teja, 1991, p. 135). During the Siege at Béxar, for example, Seguín was able to assem­ble a force of more than a hundred Mexican Texans and Tejanos to help assist the Texian troops in wresting Béxar from Mexican state control (Lozano, 1985, p. 34). Tejano participation in the war greatly helped the Texians, for Mexican Texans w ­ ere native to the region, making them much more familiar than Anglo-­Americans immigrants (Texians) with the landscape and customs. Furthermore, Mexicans and indigenous groups knew how to utilize the Texas plain during combat and warfare in ways that the recent Anglo-­American would not learn about for many years to come (Pohl and Hardin, 1986, p. 285). Tejanos helped the newly arrived Texians and inexperienced Anglo colonists with insider knowledge, language translations, and tactical advantages. During the B ­ attle at San Jacinto—­which militarily concluded the Texas War for In­de­pen­dence—­Seguín’s com­pany was especially pres­ent and integral to advancing the line and securing a victory for the Texans (Ramos, 2008, p. 161). Following the end of the war, Seguín served as the only Tejano senate member in the Texas republic for several years. Seguín’s life, however, took a downward turn soon ­after the conclusion of his senate tenure. Following the failed Santa Fe expedition, he was accused of being a Mexican spy, and fled to Mexico with his ­family a­ fter fellow Texians turned against him. He and his loved ones strug­gled in Mexico, and Seguín was forced to serve in the Mexican army and fight against the Americans during the Mexican-­American War (1846–1848). He was not granted permission to return to his land in Nuevo Laredo ­until the 1860s. He lived ­there for the rest of his life and died ­there in 1890 at the age of 84. Although the second half of Seguín’s life was tragic, Texans have tried to resuscitate his positive contributions, as both a patriot and a Tejano, to the Lone Star’s past. Several public and federal entities named their institutions a­ fter him: for example, a high school in Arlington, Texas, was named ­after Seguín. In Houston, ­there exists a Juan N. Seguín Memorial Interchange.

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DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Excerpt from the Articles of the April 1830 Bustamante Cédula (Decree), 1830 The Fredonian Rebellion, in which Anglo settlers with the help of several Cherokee Indians tried to secede from Mexico and create an in­de­pen­dent colony, greatly alarmed the Mexican state over several years leading up to the presidency of Anastacio Bustamante. In response to the growing concern over another Anglo insurgency, Bustamante tasked General Manuel de Mier y Terán with assessing the state of several of the Mexican colonization laws. With Mier y Terán’s findings, Bustamante signed a cédula (decree) comprised of 18 articles. Although many of the articles detailed s­ imple changes to economic policies, some of the laws greatly diverged from previous legislation on social policies. Several of the articles w ­ ere aimed at setting in place preventative mea­sures against any f­uture Anglo settler uprising, and outlawed any undocumented northern immigration into Mexico. The most controversial articles are the ones reproduced ­here, which affected the most northern Mexican states. Article III, for example, declares that “commissioners ­shall supervise the introduction of new colonists” ­going forward. This meant that t­ hese newly appointed commissioners had varying levels of discretion to deny colonists entry and to greatly affect current colonists already living in Mexico. Article XI maintains that the “introduction of foreigners across the northern frontier is prohibited,” meaning that anyone moving into Mexico by crossing its northern border without previous documentation did so illegally. This imposed quite a strain on Tejano and Texian communities, as the arrival of foreigners who wanted to s­ ettle in the region translated into greater numbers against Indian raids and protection against outlaws of the region. The Law of April 6, 1830, defies 21st-­century American conceptions of “illegal immigration,” as most Americans associate the term with mi­grants from Mexico to the United States. But, as Article III states, the 1830 law strictly outlined new levels of surveillance to monitor immigration to Mexico; Article IX clearly states that the “introduction of foreigners across the northern frontier is prohibited.” Although ­these articles do not specifically mention Anglo Americans, together they refer to any foreign migration into northern Mexico. ­Because Americans began occupying the land in Mexico’s border region a­ fter the Louisiana Purchase, Article IX can be interpreted as specifically aimed at stopping Anglo-­American undocumented immigration. Bustamante’s decree reminds us that immigration flows across the U.S.-­Mexico border have occurred historically not just from south to north, but from the United States into Mexico as well.

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Article 3: The government is authorized to name one or more commissioners who ­shall visit the colonies of the frontier states and contract with the legislatures of said states for the purchase, in behalf of the Federal government, of lands deemed suitable for the establishment of colonies of Mexicans and other nationalities; and the said commissioners s­ hall make, with the existing colonies, what­ever arrangements seem expedient for the security of the republic. The said commissioners s­ hall supervise the introduction of new colonists and the fulfilling of their contract for settlement, and s­ hall ascertain to what extent the existing contracts have been completed. Article 9: The introduction of foreigners across the northern frontier is prohibited ­under any pretext whatsoever, ­unless the said foreigners are provided with a passport issued by the agent of the republic at the point whence the said foreigners set out. Article 10: No change s­ hall be made with re­spect to the slaves now in the states, but the Federal government and the government of each state ­shall most strictly enforce the colonization laws, and prevent the further introduction of slaves. Article 11: In accordance with the right reserved by the general congress in the seventh article of the law of August 18, 1824, it is prohibited that emigrants, from nations bordering on this republic ­shall ­settle in the states or territory adjacent to their own nation. Consequently, all contracts not already completed and not in harmony with this law are suspended. Source: Anastacio Bustamente, Decree of April 6, 1830. Located at the Texas Land Grant Office. File Number: SC 000123:14 123–14-160. Trans. Wallace L. McKeehan. Available at http://­www​.­tamu​.­edu​/­ccbn​/­dewitt​/­consultations1​.­htm#articles

Excerpt from The Unan­i­mous Declaration of In­de­pen­dence, Texas, 1836 In the midst of Santa Anna’s assault on the Alamo at Béxar, Texans convened at Washington-­on-­the-­Brazos on March 1st and 2nd, 1836, to agree on and sign a document that laid out terms of secession from Mexico. ­These men hoped that in its place, they would create an in­de­pen­dent republic governed by demo­cratically elected leaders. Overnight, several of t­ hese Texans drafted the declaration. Sixty Texans (57 of whom ­were Anglo) signed the document. Tejanos José Antonio Navarro and Francisco Ruíz and Mexican empresario Lorenzo de Zavala w ­ ere the only three non-­ Anglos pres­ent to ­settle on and sign the declaration. That day, Navarro proclaimed that “I have sworn to be Texan. I ­shall not foreswear.” Although Texian repre­sen­ta­ tion far outweighed Tejano participation, the declaration is one of the first formal po­liti­cal documents to incorporate both Texian and Tejano voices, signaling the

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hope for a f­ uture heterogeneous Texan society. At the end of this meeting, Lorenzo de Zavala was elected to serve as vice president ad interim, and David Burnet as president ad interim, ­until the war ended and ­free and demo­cratic elections could be held. At first glance, Texas’s 1836 Declaration of In­de­pen­dence shares some wording with the United States Declaration of In­de­pen­dence of 1776, starting with its first sentence. This is not by coincidence: several of the writers had e­ ither participated in or learned about the American Revolution in school. The words liberty, property, and inalienable instantly conjure up similarities to the language British colonists employed when they declared their in­de­pen­dence as Americans from G ­ reat Britain. Another noteworthy ele­ment is the way Mexico’s government is described. When Anglo-­Americans arrived and settled in Texas, they interacted with a decentralized and federalist Mexico. Over time, Santa Anna’s administration became less federalist, and increasingly centralist. One of the defining issues that united Tejanos and Texians against Mexico was how the government changed its economic policies to f­ avor elite Mexicans living in or near the nation’s capital. Mexican citizens in the most distant borderlands, such as t­ hose in the state of Coahuila y Tejas (Texas), felt neglected and disadvantaged by ­these policy changes. When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the ­people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of t­ hose inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression. When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the ­whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which ­every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants. . . . When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original ele­ments. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-­preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the ­people to appeal to first princi­ples, and take their po­liti­cal affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right ­towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their f­ uture welfare and happiness. . . . We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers of the ­people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our

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condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our po­liti­cal connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the ­people of Texas do now constitute a ­free, Sovereign, and in­de­pen­dent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to in­de­pen­dent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations. Source: United States Congress, The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies, vol. VI. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 3527. 59th Congress, second session, document 357.

See also: Latin American In­de­pen­dence; Texas Revolt; U.S.-­Mexican War

Further Reading Barker, Eugene, ed. 1924. Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1919: The Austin Papers. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Barr, Juliana. 2007. Peace Came in the Form of a ­Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Calore, Paul. 2014. The Texas Revolution and the U.S.-­Mexican War: A Concise History. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Davis, William C. 2004. Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic. New York: F ­ ree Press. de la Teja, Jesús F., ed. 1991. A Revolution Remembered: The Memoirs and Selected Correspondence of Juan N. Seguín. Austin, TX: State House Press. De León, Arnoldo. 1982. The Tejano Community, 1836–1900. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Hardin, Stephen. 1994. Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution. Austin: University of Texas Press. History​.­com Staff. 2010. “The Alamo.” History​.­com. Retrieved from http://­www​.­history​.­com​ /­topics​/­alamo. Lozano, Ruben Rendon. 1985. Viva Texas: The Story of the Tejanos, the Mexican-­Born Patriots of the Texas Revolution. San Antonio, TX: Alamo Press. Mendoza, Alexander. 2011. “ ‘For Our Own Best Interests’: Nineteenth-­Century Laredo Tejanos, Military Ser­vice, and the Development of American Nationalism.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115 (2): 125–152. Pohl, James W., and Stephen Hardin. 1986. “The Military History of the Texas Revolution: An Overview.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (3): 269–308. Ramos, Raúl. 2008. Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821– 1861. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

3 Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898

U.S.-­Mexican War, 1846–1848 Maria E. Montoya

Chronology 1819, February

The U.S. Senate ratifies the Transcontinental Treaty establishing the boundary with Spain in North Amer­i­ca.

1821, August

Mexico and Spain sign the Treaty of Cordoba, which grants in­de­pen­ dence to Mexico.

1824, August

The Republic of Mexico is established.

1824, October

The Mexican Constitution abolishes slavery and ­frees all slaves.

1833, May

Bent’s Fort, in present-­day southeastern Colorado, is established along the Arkansas River as a major trading post for fur trappers.

1836, March

The Texas Convention declares that the province of Coahuila y Tejas is in­de­pen­dent from Mexico, establishes a government, and adopts a constitution to form a new in­de­pen­dent nation, the Lone Star Republic.

1836, April Sam Houston defeats General Santa Anna at the ­Battle of San Jacinto. 1844, November

James K. Polk wins the U.S. presidential election on a platform that calls for American expansion.

1845, March

In the last days of his term, lame-­duck President Tyler annexes Texas to the United States. Florida joins the United States as a slave state. 133

134 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898

1845, December

John Slidell arrives in Mexico City and offers the Mexican government $30 million to purchase California and much of the American Southwest.

1846, May

The U.S. Congress approves a declaration of war against Mexico.

1846, June

U.S. settlers in California declare their in­de­pen­dence from Mexico and name their area the Bear Flag Republic.

1846, July

Mexico declares war on the United States.

1847, January

­ fter what appeared to be a peaceful transition, the Taos Revolt against A the United States ensues, in which New Mexico Territorial Governor Charles Bent is killed. The Treaty of Cahuenga is signed and Mexico releases all claims to California.

1847, August

At the B ­ attles of Contreras and Churubusco, most soldiers of the St. Patrick’s Battalion are killed or captured.

1847, September

At the ­Battle of Chapultepec, General Winfield Scott occupies Mexico City. President Polk recalls his ambassador to Mexico, Nicholas Trist, but Trist rebels by staying in Mexico and continuing negotiations.

1848, January

Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill, California.

1848, February

The United States and Mexico agree to the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

1848, July

The last U.S. troops depart from Mexico.

1848, August

The New York Herald reports that gold has been discovered in California.

1848, December

President Polk confirms the Herald’s report of gold in California.

1849, Spring

Thousands from around the world migrate to the California gold fields.

1850, September

The U.S. congress grants California statehood as part of the Compromise of 1850.

1853, December

The Gadsden Purchase is signed.

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Narrative While the ­actual hostilities between the United States and Mexico lasted barely 18 months, the tensions had been simmering for more than two de­cades, since Mexico earned its in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821. Animosities between the two nations ­were further fueled when Texas declared and fought for its in­de­pen­dence from Mexico in 1836. Although the United States did not annex Texas ­because of domestic po­liti­cal tensions over slavery, its close ties with the Lone Star Republic angered the Mexican government, which remained suspicious of its northern neighbors’ intentions. Animosity between Mexico and the United States grew ­after the founding of the Republic of Texas in 1836. Mexico never recognized Texas as an in­de­pen­dent republic and warned the United States that if it annexed Texas, Mexico would consider it an act of war. Mexico worried about the covetous gaze of the United States on its northern territories. Complicating the diplomatic tensions between the two nations was the po­liti­cal instability in Mexico. Between 1821 and 1876, the presidency of Mexico changed hands 55 times, most often as a result of po­liti­cal coup or violent overthrow. Antonio López de Santa Anna served 11 times as Mexico’s president during crucial moments of U.S./Mexican diplomacy and hostilities. The constant change in governments made it difficult for the United States to have consistent diplomatic negotiations. The U.S. government, however, used Mexico’s seeming po­liti­cal instability as a reason to justify U.S. aggression ­toward its southern neighbor. President Polk sent John Slidell, a Louisiana congressman and diplomat, as his envoy to negotiate with the Mexican government about the ­ legal annexation of Mexico’s northern territories. Slidell was also charged with settling U.S. citi- In December 1845, President James K. Polk sent John Slidell as a U.S. envoy to Mexico City to zens’ claims against the Mexican negotiate the purchase of New Mexico and government, which had taken California. (Library of Congress)

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their property as well as destroyed crops, ­cattle, and homes during hostilities along the border with Indians. Slidell offered Mexico $30 million to purchase outright its California and New Mexico territories, which would also have included Arizona and parts of present-­day Colorado and Utah. The Mexican government never officially recognized Slidell’s diplomatic mission, and the Mexican public was angered by the audacity of the “Yankees” who thought they could buy their way out of the dispute. Slidell left Mexico disgusted by the unwillingness of the Mexican government to negotiate and suggested to Polk that he station troops at the border to pressure Mexico into an agreement. The most sensitive issue was the countries’ shared border and disputes about its precise location. Mexico believed that the border between Mexico and the renegade Texas was the Nueces River, while Texas, and consequently the United States, insisted that the border was farther south, along the Rio Grande. Even before Slidell left Mexico, President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to move his troops back across the Nueces River and into the disputed territory between the two rivers, called the Nueces Strip. On April 12, 1846, Mexican forces ordered Taylor to retreat north across the Nueces River. Taylor refused and directed the U.S. Navy to blockade the mouth of the Rio Grande, thus cutting off supplies to the Mexican troops. On April 25, the Mexican army attacked the U.S. military in the strip, killing 11, wounding 5, and taking 47 prisoners. This was all the provocation Polk needed. When he received the news more than a week l­ater, on May 9, 1846, he announced to Congress that “by the act of Mexico” a state of war existed. Mexico, he said, “has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil” (Polk, 1846). Despite opposition from both Whigs and Demo­crats, many of whom recognized the duplicity of Polk’s claims, Congress passed the War Resolution on May 13, 1846. The war garnered significant initial public support, including a massive rally in New York City in late May 1846. The rally included speeches that vilified Mexicans as Catholic “half-­breed mongrels” and called for the invasion of their territory. Newspapers such as the New York Herald supported the war. Walt Whitman, editor of the Brooklyn Daily Ea­gle, wrote “Mexico must be thoroughly chastised” for its aggression ­toward the United States (1846). ­Others opposed the war and viewed it as a southern Demo­cratic ploy to acquire more territory in order to extend slavery into the western territories. In August 1846, David Wilmot, an anti-­slavery Pennsylvania congressmen, tried to add a proviso to an appropriations bill that would outlaw slavery in any territory that might be gained from war with ­either Mexico or ­Great Britain, with which the United States was also in a dispute over the United States’ northern border. Denouncing both the war and slavery, Henry David Thoreau penned “On Civil Disobedience.” He refused to pay taxes to support the war, spent a night in jail, and argued that if government “is

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of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” (Thoreau,1849). Once Congress had acknowledged the state of war with Mexico and provided funding, the military strug­gle was fought on three fronts across the present-­day American southwest, northern Mexico, and around Mexico City. President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to move his troops farther south, out of the Nueces Strip, across the Rio Grande and into Mexico’s territory in the summer of 1846. On September 25, Taylor’s troops captured Monterrey, Mexico, despite the fact that the city was well defended. Taylor’s men defeated the city, captured Saltillo in November of 1846, and controlled most of northeastern Mexico by the end of that year. In early 1847, Taylor’s troops continued to take territory, culminating in the ­battle of Buena Vista in February, the bloodiest confrontation of the war. The b­ attle claimed 665 Americans and more than 3,500 Mexican lives. While Taylor fought on the southern side of the Rio Grande, Brigadier General Stephen Watts Kearny pushed westward along the Santa Fe Trail from Kansas ­toward New Mexico and California. Although his main mission was to secure Mexico’s northern territories, he was also ­under ­orders to intimidate the Plains Indians, particularly the Comanche, as he moved through the area. He told the Comanche that “the road opened by the dragoons [horse mounted infantry] must not be closed . . . ​and that the white p­ eople traveling upon it must not be disturbed, e­ ither in their persons or property” (Scott, 1846). Kearny’s expedition highlighted the U.S. military presence on the G ­ reat Plains, and portended the expansion of American military intervention in the region. In an effort to secure support from white ethnic groups in the region, President Polk also asked Kearny to incorporate the 543 men of the Mormon Battalion. In exchange for allowing thousands of Mormon mi­grants to camp on the banks of Missouri along the present-­day border between Nebraska and Iowa, Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormons, had sent ­these men to work for the U.S. military and to reinforce Kearny’s troops as he marched into Mexican territory. Kearny and his men met relatively ­little re­sis­tance as they entered New Mexico in the summer of 1846. New Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo mustered a defensive force that met Kearny’s troops east of Santa Fe at Glorieta Pass. However, as he saw Kearny’s forces marching across the plains ­toward his position, Armijo abandoned his troops and fled deeper into Mexico, leaving b­ ehind a small force. When Kearny and his troops entered Santa Fe they w ­ ere met with no re­sis­ tance. Many New Mexico residents welcomed the Americans, whom they regarded as potentially wealthy trading partners who would boost the economy and develop the region. Kearny and his men set up a U.S. territorial government with Charles Bent, a local prosperous trader who was married to Maria Ignacia Jaramillo,

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a Mexican w ­ oman from a leading ­family, as governor. The occupation was completed so quickly that Kearny left Santa Fe ­after l­ittle more than a month and took most of his men west ­toward California to aid the uprising t­here. A year earlier, the U.S. government had sent John C. Frémont and a small group of men to find the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Without explanation, Frémont headed farther west. While in California, Frémont met with Thomas O. Larkin, the American consul to Mexico, and they discussed California revolting from Mexico in the same way that Texas had done nine years earlier. The Mexican government, suspicious of Frémont’s exhortations to American citizens, asked him to leave. ­After crossing into Oregon, though, Frémont retraced his steps and headed back into the heart of California. Frémont spent June and July of 1846 inciting military unrest. On July 4, 1846, California—­also known as the Bear Flag Republic at that time—­ declared its in­de­pen­dence from Mexico. Once the new republic received word that the United States had declared war on Mexico, it allied itself formally with the United States. Conquering California was an extended and bloody conflict for the United States. Frémont was placed u­ nder the command of naval Commodore Robert F. Stockton, and led the California Battalion south ­toward San Diego and the onslaught of Mexican troops. The taking of San Diego and Los Angeles proved difficult, as the Californios (Mexican citizens living in California) and the Mexican army protected the two cities from U.S. capture. By January 1847, Kearny, Stockton, and Frémont had taken control of California, but at a significant cost in U.S. troops. Kearny was wounded and lost a third of his men. In January 1847, General Andres Pico signed the Treaty of Cahuenga, which turned California over to the United States. The treaty also explic­itly guaranteed Californios the same rights as U.S. citizens. New Mexico also did not submit easily to U.S. rule. Despite the appearance of calm when Kearny had left, tensions ran high. A rebellion against U.S. rule erupted in December 1846 in the northern town of Taos. A co­ali­tion of Hispanos (Mexican citizens living in New Mexico) and Pueblo Indians intended to assassinate Governor Charles Bent and attack the U.S. troops. Governor Bent had the plotters arrested and went to Taos to calm any lingering hostile feelings. Bent believed that his trading and ­family connections with local families in Taos would ensure his safety. During his visit in January 1847, however, rebels attacked his entourage and murdered a number of them, including Bent. Over the next few weeks, more than 3,000 rebels mounted a counterinsurgency, and U.S. troops had to be sent north from Santa Fe. They crushed the rebellion ­after three months of skirmishes. Eventually, 28 Hispano and Pueblo men w ­ ere convicted and executed for treason and murder. With the U.S. troops’ steady success in taking the northern provinces of Mexico, President Polk deci­ded to send troops, u­ nder the leadership of Major General

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Winfield Scott, into central Mexico. Scott landed his troops in Veracruz on the eastern coast of Mexico and marched them t­oward Mexico City. Between November 1846 and September 1847, U.S. troops made steady pro­gress across the interior of Mexico. Their invasion provoked re­sis­tance and bloody ­battles at Cerro Gordo, Puebla, Contreras, and Churubusco, and at the climatic b­ attle in Mexico City at Chapultepec C ­ astle, which h­ oused a military acad­emy. On the morning of September 13, U.S. forces began attacking the c­ astle. Shelling continued throughout the day. The next morning infantrymen attacked and pushed into the ­castle and through the city, where they ­were met by troops and citizens led by their president and military commander, General Santa Anna. Despite heroic efforts, however, the Mexican defenders ­were defeated by Scott’s troops. On September 16, the U.S. flag flew over the capital city of Mexico—­the first time that the U.S. flag had flown over a foreign country. A war that President Polk had proclaimed to be a defensive mea­ sure against Mexican encroachments across the Rio Grande had become a war of conquest and domination. For Mexicans, the war had brought po­liti­cal turmoil and humiliation with the presence of an invading force in their capital. The military success of the United States created a host of prob­lems in dealing with the conquered territory and ­people of Mexico. The United States could now lay claim to more than half of Mexico’s territory, from the capital of Mexico City north to California’s boundary with Oregon. ­Those who pushed for keeping all of this land ­were part of the All Mexico movement. ­These supporters tended to be Demo­crats who e­ ither wanted to expand slavery or t­hose who saw it as the U.S. mission to bring “pro­gress” to the region and its ­peoples. The All Mexico supporters, however, had to confront the logic of “Manifest Destiny,” a term and ideology which posited that it was the United States’ God-­ordained right and destiny to control all of North Amer­i­ca and to push out all foreign encroachers. The proponents of the All Mexico movement had to ask themselves questions such as: If it was Amer­ic­ a’s manifest destiny to acquire all the lands between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was it also its destiny to incorporate all of the land’s inhabitants, including Mexicans and Indians? What was the meaning of citizenship for t­hose who w ­ ere conquered by U.S. aggression? The American public and politicians had to contemplate what this war meant within the context of a demo­cratic and republican society. Most Americans opposed the aggression reflected in the All Mexico movement. First, Conscientious Whigs had opposed the U.S.-­Mexican War on ideological grounds. Abraham Lincoln, a young congressman from Illinois, voiced the position that true democracies should not be in the business of conquering foreign nations, their p­ eople, and their land. Such actions stood in opposition to the princi­ ples that underlay the founding of the United States. Second, ­those who opposed slavery also opposed the acquisition of Mexican territory, as they feared the spread

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The San Patricio Brigade Although not ethnically Mexican, John Riley and his Irish compatriots came to hold an impor­tant place in Mexican history as a result of their participation in the U.S.-­Mexican War. Riley, born in County Galway, Ireland, around 1818, was a soldier in the British army before leaving during the G ­ reat Famine, which lasted from 1845 to 1852 and caused more than a million Irish to emigrate. ­After a brief stay in Canada where he served in a British army regiment, he migrated to Michigan where he joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman. Recent immigrants, mostly Irish and German, often joined the U.S. military ­because of the steady wages, the stability that military ser­vice provided, and the path it offered to ac­cep­tance and citizenship. ­These immigrants, however, often faced prejudice, particularly anti-­immigrant and anti-­Catholic sentiments, from both their enlisted native-­born peers and their officers. Riley bristled u­ nder the abuse and commiserated with his fellow immigrants. Nevertheless, upon the onset of the Mexican-­American War, his unit marched south t­oward Texas to fight against Mexico. In Matamoros, six months ­later, Riley and Patrick Dalton deserted their unit and joined Mexico’s Legion of Foreigners. By April 1846, Riley was a lieutenant and he eventually led 200 mostly Irish men in a unit that was eventually named the Saint Patrick’s (San Patricio’s) Battalion. Aware of the recent immigrants and the harsh treatment infantryman faced, the Mexican government blanketed U.S. troops with leaflets encouraging them to desert their posts and join the Mexican cause. The San Patricio Battalion was composed of hundreds of deserters who ­were mostly of Irish and German descent, but it also included former slaves who had crossed into Mexico in search of their freedom. Mexico had outlawed chattel slavery in 1829. The men who joined the battalion did so for a number of reasons: prejudice they faced in the United States, sympathy for Catholic Mexicans whom they perceived as suffering from U.S. aggression, and the promise from the Mexican government for ­free land as a result of their ser­vice to the nation. They fought valiantly for Mexico both ­because they saw their cause as just and idealistic and ­because they feared being captured by U.S. forces. One of their biggest successes in the war against the United States was fought at the B ­ attle of Buena Vista. Although they lost almost a third of their men, they managed to hold back Commander Zachary Taylor’s forces. A number of t­ hese battalion members ­were awarded the Mexican War Cross and received field promotions. The battalion, however, was eventually defeated and captured by U.S. troops at the B ­ attle of Churubusco on August  20, 1847. Seventy-­two Battalion

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members w ­ ere immediately tried for treason and desertion in the field. Two courts martial w ­ ere l­ ater held in which almost 50 men ­were prosecuted, convicted, and ­later executed. Although Riley escaped execution, he was convicted of desertion and branded with a “D” on his cheek and sentenced to 50 lashes. He never returned to the United States, instead remaining in Mexico where he and his battalion members w ­ ere revered as heroes, as they ­were in Ireland, Mexico, and among Irish immigrants in the United States.

of slavery farther west. ­Because of their history, isolation, and arid geography, neither California nor New Mexico seemed likely candidates for the extension of slavery, but Texas encouraged slaveholders to bring their ­human property to the state and to extend the Southern cotton culture. Fi­nally, racist and anti-­Catholic arguments surfaced as Americans confronted the prospect of thousands of Catholic Mexicans becoming American citizens. John Calhoun, one of the most out­spoken critics of the All Mexico movement, said, “Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish Amer­i­ca are to be traced to the fatal error of placing t­ hese colored races on an equality with the white race” (Calhoun, 1848). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was negotiated in this po­liti­cal context ­after a difficult series of diplomatic exchanges. When negotiations broke down over the extent of the United States’ territorial ambitions, President Polk recalled his envoy, Nicholas P. Trist, believing ­there was no room for negotiation. The war and occupation would simply continue. Trist was frustrated, wanting to stay and finish the negotiations. The Mexican government, sensing that Trist was their best option in obtaining a somewhat favorable treaty, hurriedly completed the negotiations, which clearly favored the U.S. position. Although some Mexicans wanted to continue the fight, the defeat at Chapultepec, combined with po­liti­cal upheaval in the Mexican capital, made it difficult to pres­ent a united front. The treaty established the U.S.-­Mexican border along the Rio Grande and then due west along a surveyed and marked border through the desert. The United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million for the territory it would acquire: half of what Trist had offered Mexico prior to the war. The treaty also financially covered claims that U.S. citizens had made against the Mexican government for any losses they suffered during the war or from hostile encounters with Indians along the border. The two governments also committed themselves to arbitrating their f­uture differences. ­There ­were, however, two points that ­were not amicably negotiated: issues about citizenship and property rights of former Mexican citizens. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on March 10, 1848, by a vote of 38 to 14. Fi­nally, in 1853, the last piece of what we know ­today as the continental United

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States was acquired when President Franklin Pierce directed James Gadsden, the ambassador to Mexico, to purchase a parcel of land in present-­day southern Arizona: the Gadsden Purchase. The U.S. government wanted to buy the parcel for two reasons. First, large copper deposits had been discovered in the region, and President Pierce understood that copper was essential to the economic and industrial development of the nation. Second, railroad developers w ­ ere interested in building a line that linked up Los Angeles with the eastern United States as well as Mexico City, and the area along the border was the perfect terrain for a railroad. With the end of the war and the Gadsden Purchase, manifest destiny, as envisioned by the United States’ most prominent citizens, had fi­nally been realized. Americans and new immigrants ­were now f­ ree to push westward in search of new lives and lands. But, as they moved west they would encounter former Mexican citizens and Native Americans who had their own property systems, families, and established trade routes and flourishing socie­ties that would have to be accommodated or aggressed against.

Biographies of Notable Figures Maria Gertrudis Barceló (ca. 1800–1852) Maria Barceló, who was most commonly known as Doña Tules, was one of the most successful businesswomen in the 19th-­century American West. She ran a salon that was known for its elegant accommodations, high-­end clientele, and high-­stakes Monte (a card game) t­ ables. From her business income she was able to loan money to both American and Mexican traders, and subsequently accumulated substantial property interests. Born in Sonora, Mexico, in the early 1800s, Barceló migrated north and settled in the frontier town of Tome, which was a small settlement south of Albuquerque. Although not much is known about Barceló’s early life, she apparently came from a wealthy f­ amily and married within her class status when she wed Manuel Antonio Sisneros in 1823. The ­couple had two sons, who both died in infancy. ­After the deaths of her c­ hildren, Barceló moved north to Santa Fe, which was becoming a thriving trading crossroads as it connected the Santa Fe Trail, coming in from the United States, with the Camino Real, which was the major road and trade route south that led directly to Mexico City. Through her shrewd business acumen, she built an enterprise that drew local citizens and visitors to her salon, which ran card games, provided food and drink, and provided a center where the movers and shakers of this frontier town could gather and make deals. She ran and controlled the Monte t­ables in her high-­stakes gambling salon, and through her acumen she managed to separate many men from their weekly pay and larger assets such as jewelry and property.

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Through her business and her work as a loan agent to both Mexicans and Americans, she accumulated property, jewelry, and cash, becoming one of the wealthiest citizens of Santa Fe. Unlike w ­ omen in the United States, both married and unmarried Mexican ­women could own property, make contracts, and run businesses without the oversight of their husbands and f­ athers. It was pos­si­ble ­under Spanish and Mexican law to hold property and engage in business as a single w ­ oman. While this was shocking to many Anglos who encountered Tules, it was a common status and lifestyle of elite Mexican ­women. As New Mexico transitioned from Mexican to U.S. rule in 1848, Tules played an impor­tant role, through her salon, in easing the tensions surrounding that transition. When the U.S. army ran short of funds to meet its payroll and pay contractors, she loaned the army a significant sum. She became a confidant of General Stephen Watts Kearny, and accompanied him to the Victory Ball at the La Fonda ­Hotel a­ fter Governor Armijo abandoned his forces and turned New Mexico over to the U.S. troops. As a cultural broker between New Mexicans and the invading army, she was credited with preventing a massacre in Santa Fe similar to the one that had unfolded in Taos, leading to the assassination of Governor Charles Bent. ­Whether Barceló remained married throughout her ­career remains unclear to historians. Upon her death in 1852, she left her considerable wealth of $10,000 and a number of homes to her s­ ister. She also made large bequests to her b­ rother, two ­adopted d­ aughters, and to the Catholic Church, where she was buried inside the cathedral grounds.

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Speech by Senator John C. Calhoun to Congress on January 8, 1848, Congressional Globe, 30th Congress, 1st Session, 96–100 ­ fter the United States military had effectively conquered all of Mexico, the quesA tion before the U.S. Senate was what to do with this vast territory. More importantly, senators (and Americans in general) w ­ ere concerned about how the relatively young nation of the United States would absorb p­ eople who w ­ ere seemingly so dif­fer­ent from them. Mexicans had not lived ­under a functioning demo­cratic government. Also, they tended to be of darker skin color and in many cases of mixed ethnic heritage that included intermarriage with African slaves and indigenous ­peoples—­and they ­were Catholic. All of ­these traits made many Americans, and in this par­tic­u­lar case Senator John C. Calhoun, uncomfortable with incorporating more than a million Mexicans as U.S. citizens. The racism and prejudice in Calhoun’s Senate speech is explicit and, it should be noted, was spoken with almost no comment or critique from his fellow senators.

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“RESOLVED, That to conquer Mexico and to hold it, e­ ither as a province or to incorporate it into the Union, would be inconsistent with the avowed object for which the war has been prosecuted; a departure from the settled policy of the Government; in conflict with its character and genius; and in the end subversive of our ­free and popu­lar institutions.” “RESOLVED, That no line of policy in the further prosecution of the war should be ­adopted which may lead to consequences so disastrous.” In offering, Senators, t­ hese resolutions for your consideration, I have been governed by the reasons which induced me to oppose the war, and by the same considerations I have been ever since guided. In alluding to my opposition to the war, I do not intend to notice the reasons which governed me on that occasion, further than is necessary to explain my motives upon the pres­ent. I opposed the war then, not only b­ ecause I considered it unnecessary, and that it might have been easily avoided; not only b­ ecause I thought the President had no authority to order a portion of the territory in dispute and in possession of the Mexicans, to be occupied by our troops; not only b­ ecause I believed the allegations upon which it was sanctioned by Congress, ­were unfounded in truth; but from high considerations of reason and policy, b­ ecause I believed it would lead to ­great and serious evils to the country, and greatly endanger its ­free institutions. But a­ fter the war was declared, and had received the sanction of the Government, I acquiesced in what I could not prevent, and which it was impossible for me to arrest; and I then felt it to be my duty to limit my course so as to give that direction to the conduct of the war as would, as far as pos­si­ble, prevent the evil and danger with which, in my opinion, it threatened the country and its institutions. For this purpose, at the last session, I suggested to the Senate a defensive line, and for that purpose, I now offer t­ hese resolutions. This, and this only, is the motive which governs me. I am moved by no personal nor party considerations. My object is neither to sustain the Executive, nor to strengthen the Opposition, but simply to discharge an impor­tant duty to the country. But I s­ hall express my opinion upon all points with boldness and in­de­pen­dence, such as become a Senator who has nothing to ask, e­ ither from the Government or from the p­ eople, and whose only aim is to diminish, to the smallest pos­si­ble amount, the evils incident to this war. But when I come to notice t­hose points in which I differ from the President, I ­shall do it with all the decorum which is due to the Chief Magistrate of the Union. When I suggested a defensive line, at the last session, this country had in its possession, through the means of its arms, ample territory, and stood in a condition to force indemnity. Before then, the successes of our arms had gained all the contiguous portions of Mexico, and our army has ever since held all that it is desirable to hold—­that portion whose population is sparse, and on that account the more

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desirable to be held. For I hold it in reference to this war a fundamental princi­ple, that when we receive territorial indemnity, it ­shall be unoccupied territory. In offering a defensive line, I did it ­because I believed that, in the first place, it was the only certain mode of terminating the war successfully; I did it, also, ­because I believed that it would be a vast saving of the sacrifice of h­ uman life; but above all, I did so b­ ecause I saw that any other line of policy would expose us to tremendous evil, which ­these resolutions ­were intended to guard against. The President took a dif­fer­ent view. He recommended a vigorous prosecution of the war—­not for conquest: that was disavowed—­but for the purpose of conquering peace; that is, to compel Mexico to sign a treaty making a sufficient cession of territory to indemnify this Government both for the claims of its citizens and for the expenses of the war. Sir, I opposed this policy. *** Well, sir, what has been accomplished? What has been done? Has the avowed object of the war been attained? Have we conquered peace? Have we obtained a treaty? Have we obtained any indemnity? No, sir: not a single object contemplated has been effected; and, what is worse, our difficulties are greater now than they w ­ ere then, and the objects, forsooth, more difficult to reach than they ­were before the campaign commenced. So much for the past; we now come to the commencement of another campaign; and the question is, What s­ hall be done? The same mea­sures are proposed. It is still “a vigorous prosecution of the war.” The mea­sures are identically the same. It is not for conquest—­that is now as emphatically disowned as it was in the first instance. The object is not to blot Mexico out of the list of nations, for the President is emphatic in the expression of his desire to maintain the nationality of Mexico. He desires to see her an in­de­pen­dent and flourishing community, and assigns strong and cogent reasons for all that. Well, sir, the question is now, What o­ ught to be done? We are now coming to the practical question, ­Shall we aim at carry­ing on another vigorous campaign ­under pres­ent circumstances? Mr. President, I have examined this question with care, and I repeat, that I cannot support the recommendations of the President. ­There are many and power­ful reasons, stronger than ­those which existed at the commencement of the last campaign, to justify my opposition now. The cost in money w ­ ill be vastly greater. ­There is a bill for ten additional regiments now before the Senate, and another bill providing for twenty regiments of volunteers has been reported, making in all, not less, I suppose, than twenty-­five thousand troops; raising the number of troops in the service—as, I presume, the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs can inform you—to not much less than seventy thousand in the w ­ hole. Well, sir, the expense ­will be much more than that of the last campaign. It w ­ ill cost not much short of sixty millions of dollars.

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Sir, we have heard how much glory our country has acquired in this war. I acknowledge it to the full amount, Mr. President, chivalrously; they have conferred honor on the country, for which I sincerely thank them. Mr. President, I believe all our thanks ­will be confined to our army. So far as I know, in the civilized world ­there is no approbation of the conduct of the civil portion of our power. On the contrary, everywhere the declaration is made that we are an ambitious, unjust, hard p­ eople, more given to war than any p­ eople of modern times. ­Whether this be true or not, it is not for me to inquire. I am speaking now merely of the reputation which we heard abroad—­everywhere, I believe; for as much as we have gained in military reputation abroad, I regret to perceive, we have lost in our po­liti­cal and civil reputation. Now, sir, much as I regard military glory; much as I rejoice to behold our p­ eople in possession of the indomitable energy and courage which surmount all difficulties, and which class them amongst the first military ­people of the age, I would be very sorry indeed that our Government should lose any reputation for wisdom, moderation, discretion, justice, and t­ hose other high qualities which have distinguished us in the early stages of our history. The next reason which my resolutions assign, is, that it is without example or pre­ce­dent, wither to hold Mexico as a province, or to incorporate her into our Union. No example of such a line of policy can be found. We have conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we have never thought of holding them in subjection—­never of incorporating them into our Union. They have e­ ither been left as an in­de­pen­dent ­people amongst us, or been driven into the forests. I know further, sir, that we have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—­the f­ ree white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a u­ nion as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish Amer­ic­ a are to be traced to the fatal error of placing t­ hese colored races on an equality with the white race. That error destroyed the social arrangement which formed the basis of society. The Portuguese and ourselves have escaped—­the Portuguese at least to some extent—­and we are the only ­people on this continent which have made revolutions without being followed by anarchy. And yet it is professed and talked about to erect t­hese Mexicans into a Territorial Government, and place them on an equality with the p­ eople of the United States. I protest utterly against such a proj­ect. Sir, it is a remarkable fact, that in the ­whole history of man, as far as my knowledge extends, ­there is no instance what­ever of any civilized colored races being found equal to the establishment of ­free popu­lar government, although by far the largest portion of the h­ uman ­family is composed of t­hese races. And even in the savage state we scarcely find them anywhere with such government, except it be our

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noble savages—­for noble I ­will call them. They, for the most part, had ­free institutions, but they are easily sustained among a savage p­ eople. Are we to overlook this fact? Are we to associate with ourselves as equals, companions, and fellow-­citizens, the Indians and mixed race of Mexico? Sir, I should consider such a ­thing as fatal to our institutions. The next two reasons which I assigned, ­were, that it would be in conflict with the genius and character of our institutions, and subversive of our f­ree government. I take t­hese two together, as intimately connected; and now of the first—to hold Mexico in subjection. Mr. President, t­here are some propositions too clear for argument; and before such a body as the Senate, I should consider it a loss of time to undertake to prove that to hold Mexico as a subjected province would be hostile, and in conflict with our ­free popu­lar institutions, and in the end subversive of them. Sir, he who knows the American Constitution well—he who has duly studied its character—he who has looked at history, and knows what has been the effect of conquests of ­free States invariably, ­will require no proof at my hands to show that it would be entirely hostile to the institutions of the country to hold Mexico as a province. ­There is not an example on rec­ord of any f­ ree State even having attempted the conquest of any territory approaching the extent of Mexico without disastrous consequences. The nations conquered have in time conquered the conquerers by destroying their liberty. That ­will be our case, sir. The conquest of Mexico would add so vast an amount to the patronage of this Government, that it would absorb the w ­ hole power of the States in the Union. This Union would become imperial, and the States mere subordinate corporations. But the evil ­will not end ­there. The pro­cess ­will go on. The same pro­cess by which the power would be transferred from the States to the Union, ­will transfer the w ­ hole from this department of the Government (I speak of the Legislature) to the Executive. All the added power and added patronage which conquest ­will create, ­will pass to the Executive. In the end, you put in the hands of the Executive the power of conquering you. You give to it, sir, such splendor, such ample means, that, with the princi­ple of proscription which unfortunately prevails in our country, the strug­gle w ­ ill be greater at ­every Presidential election than our institutions can possibly endure. The end of it w ­ ill be, that that branch of Government ­will become all-­powerful, and the result is inevitable—­anarchy and despotism. It is as certain as that I am this day addressing the Senate. But, Mr. President, suppose all t­ hese difficulties removed; suppose t­ hese ­people attached to our Union, and desirous of incorporating with us, o­ ught we to bring them in? Are they fit to be connected with us? Are they fit for self-­government and for governing you? Are you, any of you, willing that your States should be governed by t­ hese twenty-­odd Mexican States, with a population of about only one million of your blood, and two or three millions of mixed blood, better informed, all

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the rest pure Indians, a mixed blood equally ignorant and unfit for liberty, impure races, not as good as Cherokees or Choctaws? We make a ­great ­mistake, sir, when we suppose that all ­people are capable of self-­government. We are anxious to force ­free government on all; and I see that it has been urged in a very respectable quarter, that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a g­ reat ­mistake. None but ­people advanced to a very high state of moral and intellectual improvement are capable, in a civilized state, of maintaining f­ ree government; and amongst t­hose who are so purified, very few, indeed, have had the good fortune of forming a constitution capable of endurance. It is a remarkable fact in the history of man, that scarcely ever have ­free popu­lar institutions been formed by wisdom alone that have endured. It has been the work of fortunate circumstances, or a combination of circumstances—­a succession of fortunate incidents of some kind—­which give to any ­people a ­free government. It is a very difficult task to make a constitution to last, though it may be supposed by some that they can be made to order, and furnished at the shortest notice. Sir, this admirable Constitution of our own was the result of a fortunate combination of circumstances. It was superior to the wisdom of the men who made it. It was the force of circumstances which induced them to adopt most of its wise provisions. Well, sir, of the few nations who have the good fortune to adopt self-­government, few have had the good fortune long to preserve that government; for it is harder to preserve than to form it. Few p­ eople, ­after years of prosperity, remember the tenure by which their liberty is held; and I fear, Senators, that is our own condition. I fear that we ­shall continue to involve ourselves ­until our own system becomes a ruin. Sir, t­ here is no solicitude now for liberty. Who talks of liberty when any ­great question comes up? ­Here is a question of the first magnitude as to the conduct of this war; do you hear anybody talk about its effect upon our liberties and our ­free institutions? No, sir. That was not the case formerly. In the early stages of our Government, the g­ reat anxiety was how to preserve liberty; the ­great anxiety now is for the attainment of mere military glory. In the one, we are forgetting the other. The maxim of former times was, that power is always stealing from the many to the few; the price of liberty was perpetual vigilance. They w ­ ere constantly looking out and watching for danger. Then, when any g­ reat question came up, the first inquiry was, how it could affect our f­ ree institutions—­how it could affect our liberty. Not so now. Is it ­because ­there has been any decay of the spirit of liberty among the p­ eople? Not at all. I believe the love of liberty was never more ardent, but they have forgotten the tenure of liberty by which alone it is preserved. We think we may now indulge in every­thing with impunity, as if we held our charter of liberty by “right divine”—­from Heaven itself. ­Under ­these impressions, we plunge into war, we contract heavy debts, we increase the patronage of the Executive,

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and we even talk of a crusade to force our institutions, our liberty, upon all ­people. ­There is no species of extravagance which our ­people imagine ­will endanger their liberty in any degree. But it is a ­great and fatal ­mistake. The day of retribution w ­ ill come. It ­will come as certainly as I am now addressing the Senate; and when it does come, awful ­will be the reckoning—­heavy the responsibility somewhere! Source: John C. Calhoun. “The Conquest of Mexico Speech, 1848,” in The Works of John C. Calhoun, Vol. IV. New York: D. Appleton, 1888, pp. 397–424.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848 ­ here ­were impor­tant distinctions between the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as it T was negotiated between U.S. and Mexican diplomats and the version that was eventually ratified by the U.S. Senate. Two impor­tant clauses governed the lives of the former Mexican citizens who came u­ nder the jurisdiction of the U.S. government once this treaty was signed. First, Article IX provided that Mexicans would become full U.S. citizens “as soon as pos­si­ble.” However, when the Senate ratified the treaty, they changed the language to read: “be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States).” The effect was that many p­ eople, like t­ hose in New Mexico Territory (or­ga­nized 1850) waited more than 60 years before statehood was granted, and with it repre­sen­ta­tion in Congress. Second, Article X of the treaty promised to uphold the property regimes that had existed ­under Mexican law. Many in the United States, however, saw the large land grants as anathema to the ideal of small agrarian farmers, who managed their own land and ­were in­de­pen­dent of outside influence and capitalism. Senators agreed, and stripped Mexicans of the settled property rights and forced them to go through an arduous ­legal pro­cess of proving their land titles ­under U.S. law. The result was that in California and New Mexico, thousands of families lost their land and livelihood, as they could not defend their land possession in U.S. courts. Some of the land was lost through fraud but most of the land was lost b­ ecause Mexican Americans found it difficult to navigate the new ­legal system successfully. As Written during Negotiations

As Ratified by the U.S. Senate

Article IX

Article IX

The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, ­shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding Article, ­shall be incorporated into the

The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, ­shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican (continued)

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As Written during Negotiations

As Ratified by the U.S. Senate

Article IX

Article IX

Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as pos­si­ble, according to the princi­ples of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. In the mean time, they ­shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and the civil rights now vested in them according to the Mexican laws. With re­spect to po­liti­cal rights, their condition ­shall be on an equality with that of the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States; and at least equally good as that of the inhabitants of Louisiana and the Floridas, when ­these provinces, by transfer from the French Republic and the Crown of Spain, became territories of the United States.

Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, ­shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the princi­ples of the Constitution; and in the mean time, ­shall be maintained and protected in the ­free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the ­free exercise of their religion; without restriction.

The same most ample guaranty s­ hall be enjoyed by all ecclesiastics and religious corporations or communities, as well in the discharge of the offices of their ministry, as in the enjoyment of their property of ­every kind, ­whether individual or corporate. This guaranty ­shall embrace all ­temples, ­houses and edifices dedicated to the Roman Catholic worship; as well as all property destined to its support, or to that of schools, hospitals and other foundations for charitable or beneficent purposes. No property of this nature ­shall be considered as having become the property of the American Government, or as subject to be, by it, disposed of or diverted to other uses. Fi­nally, the relations and communication between the Catholics living in the territories aforesaid, and their respective ecclesiastical authorities, ­shall be open, ­free and exempt from all hindrance what­ever, even although such authorities should reside within the limits of the Mexican Republic, as defined by this treaty; and this freedom ­shall continue, so long as a new demarcation of ecclesiastical districts ­shall not have been made, conformably with the laws of the Roman Catholic Church.


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As Written during Negotiations

As Ratified by the U.S. Senate

Article X

Article X

All grants of land made by the Mexican Government or by the component authorities, in territories previously appertaining to Mexico, and remaining for the ­future within the limits of the United States, ­shall be respected as valid, to the same extent that the same grants would be valid, if the said territories had remained within the limits of Mexico. But the grantees of lands in Texas, put in possession thereof, who, by reason of the circumstances of the country since the beginning of the trou­bles between Texas and the Mexican Government, may have been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their grants, s­ hall be u­ nder the obligation to fulfill said conditions within the periods limited in the same respectively; such periods to be now counted from the date of exchange of ratifications of this treaty; in default of which the said grants s­ hall not be obligatory upon the State of Texas, in virtue of the stipulations contained in this Article.


The foregoing stipulation in regard to grantees of land in Texas, is extended to all grantees of land in the territories aforesaid, elsewhere than Texas, put in possession ­under such grants; and, in default of the fulfillment of the conditions of any such grant, within the new period, which, as is above stipulated, begins with the day of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, the same ­shall be null and void. Source: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848; Perfected Treaties, 1778–1945; Rec­ord Group 11; General Rec­ords of the United States Government, 1778–1992; National Archives.

See also: Anglo-­American Colonization of Northern Mexico; Spanish-­American War; Texas In­de­pen­dence

Further Reading Calhoun, John C. 1848, January 8. Congressional Globe, 30th Congress, 1st Session, 96–100. Calhoun, John C. 1988. “The Conquest of Mexico Speech, 1848,” in The Works of John C. Calhoun, vol. IV, pp. 397–424. New York: D. Appleton.

152 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 Chavez, Ernesto. 2007. The U.S. War with Mexico: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Bedford/St. Martins Press. Greenberg, Amy  S. 2012. A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 Invasion of Mexico. New York: Knopf. Hyde, Ann. 2011. Empires, Nations, and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800–1860. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Montejano, David. 2007. Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836–1986. Austin: University of Texas Press. Polk, James K. 1846, May 11. Special Message to Congress on Mexican Relations. Retrieved from http://­www​.­presidency​.­ucsb​.­edu​/­ws​/­​?­pid​=6­ 7907 Scott, Winfield. 1846.“General Scott’s Annual Report,” January 10, 1846. Niles’ National Register. Thoreau, Henry David. 1849. “On Civil Disobedience.” Retrieved from http://­xroads​.­virginia​ .­edu​/∼ ­ hyper2​/­thoreau​/­civil​.­html Weber, David. 1982. The Mexican Frontier: The American Southwest ­Under Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Whitman, Walt. 1846, May 11. Brooklyn Daily Ea­gle.

Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence, 1868–1898 Sitela Alvarez

Chronology 1790–­1839

The number of sugar haciendas (ranches) on the island of Cuba doubles.


Despite the Spanish crown’s restrictions to prevent Cuba’s growth, the Napoleonic Wars allow the island to prosper. As demand for sugar, tobacco, and coffee increases, more slaves are brought to Cuba and the planters become prosperous.


Napoleon invades Spain, causing Spain and ­England to become allies. In May, King Ferdinand VII and Prince Ferdinand of Spain renounce the Spanish throne, allowing Napoleon to install his b­ rother Joseph as the new king of the Spanish empire.


The Caracas Junta invites Cuba’s Junta Superior to join in the revolt against Spain, but Cuba remains faithful to the crown.


José Antonio Aponte, leader of the black uprising in Cuba, and eight collaborators are caught and imprisoned in February. In April, Aponte and his collaborators are put to death.

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Spanish King Ferdinand VII allows the private sale of Cuban cigars and tobacco leaf once the Cuban tobacco mono­poly is abolished. The king also determines a need for the mass introduction of black slaves into Cuba due to a lack of Indians to cultivate the land.


The Spanish crown allows criollos (­people of Spanish descent born in the Amer­i­cas) to trade with non-­Spanish ships at vari­ous Cuban ports.


The Spanish Crown grants criollos full ­legal rights to the lands they owned; up to this date, all property was considered royal property.


The Spanish Constitution of 1812 is reinstated.


Félix Varela y Morales is chosen, with two other delegates, to represent Cuba in the Spanish Cortes (parliament); ­there he advocates for justice, h­ uman dignity, and freedom of black slaves.


U.S. President James Monroe warns Eu­rope not to interfere in the recently in­de­pen­dent countries in the Western Hemi­sphere (in what becomes known as the Monroe Doctrine). In December, the French invasion of Spain restores King Ferdinand VII, suppresses all liberal opposition, and calls for the arrest of liberals, including Varela, who is forced into exile.


Clear philosophical divisions develop between Cubans and Spaniards.


The Spanish loss at the ­Battle of Ayacucho in Peru ­causes the Spanish to retreat from the American mainland to their two remaining possessions: Cuba and Puerto Rico.


The Spanish crown expands the power of the Captain General of Cuba.


Spain increases taxes, imposes new laws, and denies criollos any voice in their governance. This creates a rift in Spanish and Cuban relations as a clearer Cuban identity emerges and ­future captains general begin to view Cubans as the ­enemy.

1837, April

A new royal decree, issued April 25, removes Cuban delegates from the Spanish Cortes.


U.S. citizens and Manifest Destiny proponents Moses Beach and John O’­Sullivan meet in Havana with wealthy Cubans who are interested in having the United States annex Cuba.


U.S. President Polk offers Spain $100 million for Cuba, which Spain refuses.

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1849, Narciso López’s first filibustering expedition to Cuba fails. September–­ October 1850, May

Narciso López’s second filibustering expedition manages to take control of Cárdenas, Cuba, on May 19, but the filibusterers are forced back to the sea.

1851, August–­ September

Narciso López’s third filibustering expedition lands at Bahía Honda. The Spanish subsequently defeat and execute them.


Influential Cuban writer and po­liti­cal theorist José Martí is born in Havana.


U.S. President Franklin Pierce offers Spain $130 million for Cuba, but Spain again refuses.


The U.S. war tariff plunges the Cuban cigar industry into economic crisis. However, a loophole in the tariff allows cigars to be made in the newly established factories in Key West, Florida.


Cubans establish vari­ous cigar factories in Key West, where countless cigars are rolled with Cuban tobacco leaves, which are imported daily. This community grows and helps fund the Cuban wars of in­de­pen­dence.


Early in the year, the Spanish government imposes new taxes on Cuba, particularly on income and customs, which further restrict the prosperity of Cubans.

1868, October

On October  10, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and other Cubans begin a conflict to fight for Cuban in­de­pen­dence. This war becomes known as the Ten Years’ War and lasts ­until 1878.


On January 4, General Don Domingo Dulce arrives in Cuba and grants freedom of press and of assembly. Dulce also ­orders the Spanish army to execute any rebels captured with weapons. U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant avoids taking sides in the Cuban War of In­de­pen­dence. Seventeen-­year-­old José Martí is arrested and sentenced to hard ­labor for expressing his opposition to the Spanish crown.

1869, October

Céspedes ­orders that all cane fields be burned.

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1871, November

On November 27, a Spanish firing squad executes Cuban medical students a­ fter they are falsely accused of desecrating the tomb of a Spanish journalist.


The Treaty of Zanjón is accepted, ending the Ten Years’ War. Although it does not abolish slavery, slaves who fought for ­either side are declared ­free.


Cuban army commanders Antonio Maceo and Calixto García call for the “­Little War,” but Spanish forces quickly suppress it. Once again, José Martí leaves Cuba for the United States.


As Havana becomes the center for slave trafficking, José Martí begins making public speeches in the United States, where he lives ­until 1895.


Slavery is abolished in Cuba when it becomes more profitable to ­free slaves and hire them by the day.


­ fter years of giving public speeches and organ­izing Cubans both A on and off the island, José Martí establishes the Cuban Revolutionary Party, unifying the conflicting interests of ­those seeking Cuban in­de­pen­dence.


The War of 1895 begins with the arrival of Antonio and José Maceo in eastern Cuba, as Cubans once again call for in­de­pen­dence and take up arms.

1895, May

On May 19, José Martí is killed in his first appearance on the battlefield at Dos Ríos in eastern Cuba.


As the Cuban war for in­de­pen­dence sees successes, Antonio Maceo is killed.


Calixto García confines the Spanish army to the coast as the Cuban rebels take strategic forts.


The explosion and sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor stirs suspicions of Spanish sabotage and conspiracy. This becomes the pretext for the U.S. to participate in the Cuban war for in­de­pen­dence against Spain. By mid-1898, American and Cuban forces invade the strategically and commercially impor­tant Guantanamo Bay. In December, the Treaty of Peace in Paris between the United States and Spain ends the war and relinquishes sovereignty over Cuba to the United States.

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1899, January

The Spanish colonial government leaves Cuba as Captain General Alfonso Jimenez Castellaño hands over power to the United States on January 1. The United States agrees to grant Cuba its autonomy, but retains perpetual right to Guantánamo Bay and occupies the island ­until 1902.

Narrative The aftermath of the siege of Havana, in 1762, led to a series of reforms in Spanish Amer­i­ca. Known as the Bourbon Reforms, ­these included military, economic, cultural/religious, administrative, and social reforms. The arrival of a French fleet in Havana harbor at the beginning of the 18th ­century signaled the French Bourbons’ claim on the Spanish throne. Although the Spanish empire was in vari­ous stages of decline and disarray, the Bourbons reinstated the crown’s control over the Indies. While the New World economies ­were sound, Spain’s colonial officials ­were unable to manage the corruption and smuggling that had caused huge losses in Spain’s colonial revenues. As Bourbon influence altered conditions throughout Spanish Amer­i­ca, Cuba became an impor­tant source of colonial income, as tobacco became the prominent Cuban export. The Bourbon Reforms prompted the transformation of the Spanish empire and altered the landscape and circumstances throughout that empire. Bourbon military, administrative, and commercial reforms transformed Cuba from a backwater colony into the pearl of the Spanish empire. As Bourbon policy favored Spanish interests and increased the strength of the commercial sector instead of the agricultural and ranching sector, the distinctions between peninsulares (Spaniards born in Eu­rope) and criollos (­those born in the Amer­i­cas) sharpened. Thus, criollos began to complain about the monopolies and the new and old taxes. Although the Spanish crown had anticipated that the reforms would change the outlook in Cuba, it was the effects of unrest in Saint Domingue that truly altered the Cuban landscape. The slave rebellion on Saint Domingue in August 1791 created a vacancy in the sugar market, of which Cuban sugar planters promptly took advantage. The quick expansion of sugar production in Cuba caused vari­ous other changes on the island, particularly in transportation. Prior to this, poor transportation had prevented the massive expansion of agriculture. The demand for sugar, its soaring prices, and higher land values, however, provided some incentives for the sudden expansion of transportation routes. As the old roadways and ports ­were improved, the introduction of the railroad in the 1830s allowed for new zones of production and lowered the cost of transportation, thus increasing both profit and supply. The mass importation of black slaves triggered fears of slave rebellions. Although slave re­sis­tance took dif­fer­ent forms, w ­ hether at the individual or collective level,

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The taking of Guáimaro by insurgent forces led by General Calixto García Iñiquez in October 1896 during the Cuban War of In­de­pen­dence (1895–1898). (Library of Congress)

Cubans feared an uprising from the black slaves similar to what had happened on Saint Domingue. At the individual level, black slaves committed suicide and murder, or escaped, to avoid their oppression. Collectively, Cubans’ fear of a slave uprising increased as the 19th ­century progressed and slavery expanded rapidly on the island. As early as 1811, José Antonio Aponte or­ga­nized a rebellion involving whites, f­ ree colored ­people, and slaves. Although the rebellion was crushed by the Spanish, the fear of f­ uture uprisings lingered throughout the ­century and influenced Cubans’ decisions regarding their ­future as it related to Spain. By the mid-19th ­century, Cubans realized that, as a Spanish colony, they would be unable to expand their production capabilities. Spain maintained strict regulations over Cuban trade with the United States and Eu­rope. As Cuba’s sugar production expanded, Spain could not supply the goods, shipping, and markets the Cubans demanded. ­Because Spain regulated Cuba’s trade terms, Cubans ­were subjected to endless custom duties, which they saw as discriminatory and which became a source of tension between the Cubans and the Spanish crown. While Cuban landowners and merchants focused on the sugar trade, other Spanish colonies sought in­de­pen­dence from Spain. Both the massive expansion of sugar cultivation and the vari­ous in­de­pen­dence movements on the Spanish mainland propelled a dramatic increase in the island’s population. The influx of

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peninsular soldiers, their settlement, and their incorporation into Cuban society strengthened the island’s ties to Spain. This migration created new social classes on the island and transformed the old ones. As the 19th ­century progressed, the Spanish crown reinforced the distinctions between peninsulares (Spaniards born in Spain) and criollos (­people of Spanish parentage born in the Spanish colonies). Criollos grew tired of the idea that peninsulares ­were superior and of the expansion of the sugar industry, which perpetuated the differences between Cubans and Spaniards. Criollos called for ­free trade and demanded greater control over their resources, government, and commerce, while the Spanish sought to keep Spaniards in charge of public administration and private trade. ­These conflicting economic interests increased po­liti­cal tensions between criollos and peninsulares. Criollos called for policies to protect and promote their economic and po­liti­cal interests. They also began to realize that their destiny must be separated from Spain and Spanish control. Four po­liti­cal ideologies emerged in Cuba in the 19th ­century: royalists/loyalists, autonomists, annexationists, and in­de­pen­dentistas. Although the royalists and autonomists tended to align themselves into separate groups, the annexationists and in­de­pen­dentistas overlapped, although the details of their ideologies still differed. The royalists typically ­were peninsulares who wished to maintain the status quo, whereas the autonomists called for reforms. Annexationists appealed to the United States for Cuba to be incorporated as a slave state in order to maintain their slave-­ owning society and sugar production, but eliminate the Spanish colonial structure. Meanwhile, the in­de­pen­dentistas sought freedom and sovereignty. It is unknown what percentage of the population identified with each of t­hese broad categories. As the 19th ­century progressed, ­these po­liti­cal philosophies waxed and waned in popularity. Although the continuation of slavery allowed Spain to maintain its grasp on Cuba (­because slave ­owners would not dare risk slave rebellions in trying to seek their own in­de­pen­dence), criollos knew that the desire for freedom was a clear threat to the social order of early 19th-­century Cuba. ­Because of the island’s economic growth and demographic changes, Cuban criollos received unpre­ce­dented attention due to their new opportunities and wealth. Economic expansion created new fractures in Cuban society, however, pitting landowners against urban merchants and further dividing the criollos and peninsulares. The desire for separation from Spain, w ­ hether through annexation by the United States or in­de­pen­dence, presented a clear and looming threat to the Cuban sugar-­producing and slave-­owning society. Cuba was the only Spanish colony where the local economy was almost completely dependent on slavery and where ­there was a large population of African slaves. Cuban elites knew that separating from Spain would likely disrupt colonial social structures; in­de­pen­dence would instigate the end of slavery. For Cuban elites, staying within the Spanish empire

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provided the greatest stability for the island and the best defense against slave rebellion. As the rest of the Spanish empire sought in­de­pen­dence, Cuba became flooded with thousands of newly arriving peninsulares and criollos. Although po­liti­cal and economic f­ actors tethered the island to Spain, criollos began writing about and contributing to the development of nationalism. Early 19th-­century writings, such as ­those by Félix Varela y Morales, demonstrate the conceptualization of la patria (the country or fatherland) and the questioning of the current social order, which led to the development of Cuban nationalism. Several con­temporary revolutionary texts contributed to the criollos’ realization that they constituted a community with its own interests, apart from t­hose of Spain. One par­tic­u­lar event that contributed to the con­temporary revolutionary texts was Varela’s time in Spain (1821–1823) as a delegate in the Spanish Cortes (parliament). For 14 months, the delegates participated in debates and deliberations that would affect the Cubans. In Spain, Varela petitioned for partial self-­government for Cuba, the gradual abolition of slavery, and the recognition of the newly in­de­pen­dent former Spanish colonies. The arguments in the Spanish Cortes and the betrayal of Ferdinand VII caused Varela to realize that the Spanish crown would never listen to petitions from its colonies. In 1823, Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and the Cortes, forcing Varela and o­ thers to seek exile in the United States. The same year, U.S. President James Monroe addressed the Western Hemi­sphere with what l­ater became known as the Monroe Doctrine. He stated that any efforts by Eu­ro­pean nations to colonize or intervene in the Western hemi­sphere would be regarded as aggressive and intrusive. Monroe also declared that the United States would guarantee that no Eu­ro­pean power could interfere, nor would it allow its own intervention in the politics in the Amer­i­cas. Although invoked and ignored at vari­ous dif­fer­ent points in the 19th ­century, this doctrine proved influential as Cuban exiles began arriving in the United States. As the Spanish arrested and persecuted ­those Cubans calling for reform or freedom from Spain, many fled to the United States. Cuba’s economic dependence on the United States, particularly its economic ties to New York, had facilitated Cuban settlement in New York City in the early 19th ­century. As trade relationships developed further and Cuban sugar producers kept accounts in both the United States and Cuba, Cuban elites began sending their sons to boarding schools in the Northeast. The criollo sons who w ­ ere sent to U.S. schools returned home speaking En­glish and familiar with life in the United States. ­These early exchanges laid the foundation for a Cuban expatriate community in New York and an orientation ­toward education in the United States rather than Spain. This community welcomed Félix Varela a­ fter he escaped from Spain. Although Cubans formed a transnational community, Varela and other exiles w ­ ere reluctant mi­grants who never intended to spend most of their lives outside of Cuba; they did

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so ­because of a variety of circumstances. Once in the United States, Varela continued to produce a steady stream of lit­er­a­ture aimed primarily against the Spanish crown. Meanwhile, ­those Cubans in the United States who had vested interests in annexation sought dif­fer­ent methods to achieve it. Annexationists from the Cuban community in New Orleans, for example, hoped the United States would annex Cuba as a slave state. U.S. President James K. Polk offered Spain $100 million for Cuba in 1848, and President Franklin Pierce l­ater raised the offer to $130 million; however, Spain refused both offers. Although Spain was not willing to surrender the island, between the 1840s and 1850s filibustering expeditions like that of Narciso López, a Venezuelan, aimed to achieve just that. López hoped the filibustering expedition would ignite a fight that would lead to the annexation of Cuba. ­These attempts failed and annexationist sentiments quickly faded by the time of the United States Civil War (1861–1865). Instead, most of the remaining annexationists shifted their ambitions ­toward in­de­pen­dence. The U.S. Civil War not only brought about an end to the annexationist campaign, it also contributed to dramatic economic changes on the island. During the war, the price of Cuban cigars soared a­ fter Congress imposed new tariffs on imported cigars in an effort to stimulate the domestic cigar industry. This barrier plunged Cuban cigar makers into an economic crisis and caused an increase in unemployment. A loophole in the United States 1862 War Tariff allowed for the importation of agricultural products—­including tobacco leaves—at much lower rates, and so several cigar manufacturers transferred their factories from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. Once the Ten Years’ War began in Cuba, Key West received a growing influx of Cubans fleeing the island’s economic and po­liti­cal turmoil. By 1865, reformism became the popu­lar alternative to annexation. First, reformists called for the separation of civil and military duties from the office of the Captain General in Cuba. Next, they called for the right to petition the Spanish crown and the right to self-­representation in the Spanish parliament. Additionally, reformists sought an increase in white immigration to the island, presumably to offset the demographic imbalance that kept the minority white population fearful of slave revolts. They also pursued reforms of high taxes and tariffs, with some success: between 1858 and 1868, a number of reforms ­were allowed in Cuba. The Spanish crown permitted the establishment of a number of newspapers and the formation of po­liti­cal parties. ­These parties represented a limited concession, though, as the po­liti­cal parties could only petition Spain for reforms on tariffs, represent the Cubans in the Spanish parliament, and maintain the slave trade. The parties could not elect or place Cubans in government positions. Thus, the Spanish crown’s reforms and concessions ­were minor, in that they granted the Cubans only a few limited rights. This period of reform allowed Spain to implement a junta de informacíon. It served as an olive branch to discontented Cubans, allowing them to pres­ent their

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grievances via deputies. Although the deputies ­were elected and dispatched to Spain, the junta failed to secure even the minimum demands of the Cubans, thus stalling reformism and further distancing Cuba from Spain. In addition, upon their arrival in Spain, the delegates ­were met with a coup d’etat (seizure of power from a government) that ushered in a conservative reactionary group ­under whose policies taxes ­were raised and a new, more conservative, Captain General of Cuba was appointed. As the price of sugar plummeted on the world market, Cubans began calling for in­de­pen­dence from Spain. At the same time that Cubans w ­ ere making sense of the 1862 War Tariff, a revolution shook the island. In 1868, both economic turmoil and frustration with Spain’s inefficient colonial bureaucracy pushed the island’s population to revolt for the first time. Coupled with a rising sense of nationalism, the disenchantment led to Cuba’s first war of in­de­pen­dence against Spain (the Ten Years’ War)—­a mission that would not succeed u­ ntil 1898. The insurgency ruined the Cuban economy and wrought havoc in both the city of Havana and the countryside. Many Cubans went to the United States, arriving by the thousands at the nearest American port: Key West, Florida. The Ten Years’ War began on October 10, 1868, known as el Grito de Yara, when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes proclaimed Cuban in­de­pen­dence and freed his black slaves. The war ultimately failed to bring about in­de­pen­dence ­because of the disunion among Cubans. It did initiate the end of slavery on the island, however. In response to Céspedes’s October 10th proclamation and freeing of slaves so they could fight for the insurgency, Spain passed the Moret Law in 1870. Both Spain and its colony determined that the immediate abolition of slavery without compensation for slave ­owners was not desirable. Spain deci­ded that the best course of action was to establish an apprenticeship law that would ­free the slaves through a gradual pro­cess. The Moret Law granted slaves freedom if they w ­ ere born a­ fter September 17, 1868, or had fought for the Spanish in the Ten Years’ War, w ­ ere over the age of 60, or w ­ ere owned by the Spanish government. In addition, the Spanish government granted each owner 125 pesetas for each slave that was freed by the law. The Ten Years’ War proved to be a military stalemate with few po­liti­cal benefits aside from the Moret Law. The complete abolition of slavery in Cuba fi­nally occurred a­ fter 1886. Despite the signing of the Treaty of Zanjón in 1878, some rebels continued fighting, ignoring the treaty and leading to a second war known as la Guerra Chiquita, or “The L ­ ittle War.” In 1878, Calixto Garcia issued a manifesto against the Spanish crown, which was approved by other Cuban war leaders. This second war began soon ­after the first but lasted less than a year. In the second conflict, leaders lacked the weapons, ammunition, and allies (both foreign and domestic) to sustain the campaign for Cuban in­de­pen­dence. The revolutionary leaders w ­ ere arrested and forced to surrender. Although the Spanish crown and Cubans had agreed to reforms in the Treaty of Zanjón, few w ­ ere enacted, thus reinforcing Cubans’ nationalist sentiments.

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­ fter 1880, three po­liti­cal options remained for Cubans: unconditional ac­cep­tance A of Spanish rule, autonomy, or in­de­pen­dence. The autonomists ­were comprised of both the old annexationists and new autonomists, as their vested interests lay in remaining with Spain. Although they wanted to maintain the status quo, they called for the same reforms as prior to the Ten Years’ War: juridical equality with Spaniards, basic individual liberties, limitations on the authority of the Captain General, and tariff and tax reform. Of the few in­de­pen­dentistas that remained ­after 1878, some chose exile and ­others remained in Cuba. ­Those who chose exile articulated the discontent of Cubans on the island, who w ­ ere unable to mobilize due to Spanish repression. ­After the war, Spain granted Cuba a degree of local autonomy by recalling the conservative Captain General and allowing Cubans to elect delegates to the Spanish Cortes. The Spanish crown permitted only the most conservative of Spanish citizens to serve as delegates, even as Spain promoted massive Spanish immigration to the island to offset the number of Cubans and African slaves. Cuban immigration to the United States increased during the war, fueling settlement in Key West, New York City, and eventually Tampa. ­These communities would play a vital role in the War of 1895. The next war for in­de­pen­dence would unify Cubans with the help of a journalist, José Martí. Martí was a ­great propagandist and he caught the attention of exiles. Though he was at odds with insurgent military generals, Martí proved pivotal to the next war. He spoke out against all the failed invasions and encouraged the elite organizers in New York City to include all Cubans in the liberation effort. In 1891, Martí arrived in Tampa for a fundraiser where he called publicly for the unification of the Cuban insurgency. He convinced cigar workers in Florida to donate to the effort for Cuban in­de­pen­dence, and t­ hese donations proved critical in financing the war. ­After repeated discussions with patriotic clubs across Cuban communities in the United States, Martí established El Partido Revolucionario Cubano (the Cuban Revolutionary Party). This party helped to unify Cubans and laid the groundwork for the war that ultimately brought about Cuban in­de­pen­dence. The War of 1895, also known as the Spanish-­American War, Spanish-­Cuban-­ American War, and War of 1898, brought more turmoil and instability. Martí’s impatience to start the war was reinforced by his fear of the United States’ imperialistic tendencies. He constantly warned about requesting any aid from the United States, calling instead for a Cuba liberated by Cubans and for Cubans. Although this war ­later saw U.S. involvement, it was a war of attrition. The Cuban insurgents used a scorched-­earth policy to inflict the greatest economic cost on Spain and the planters. In response, Cuban planters began hiring guards to protect their cane fields. The Spaniards began reconcentrating p­ eople from rural parts of the island into the cities. As each side of the war employed harsher policies in response to the other, Cuban sentiment against the Spanish crown intensified.

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Shortly ­after his arrival in Cuba, Martí was killed at the B ­ attle of Dos Ríos in May of 1895. With Martí gone, Cuban rebels became more vulnerable to U.S. intervention. As stories began to cross the Atlantic about the harsh realities of the war, the American press—­particularly Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal—­sensationalized the Cuban war for in­de­pen­ dence. Although the United States remained steadfastly neutral ­until 1897, the arrival of a new Captain General in Cuba, Valeriano Weyler, stirred American interest. Although the Captain General desired to open negotiations with insurgents, loyalist Spanish citizens rejected this and rioted in Havana. The riots piqued the interest of U.S. President William McKinley, who dispatched the battleship USS Maine to Havana Harbor. Though many Americans objected to U.S. intervention in the conflict, ­those who favored involvement soon found a pretext. On February 15, 1898, a mysterious explosion on the American battleship incited the American press to call for war. Many immediately blamed Spanish forces and insisted that the explosion was a provocation (the true cause of the explosion was never determined). Although Spain had no interest in engaging in hostilities with the United States, by April 11, McKinley petitioned Congress to enter the Cuban war. On April 19, Congress voted its support for Cuban in­de­pen­dence. ­Those who opposed any American imperialist ambitions t­ oward Cuba supported passage of the Teller Amendment, which stipulated that the United States would not annex the island. The United States declared war on Spain on April 20, 1898, and landed American troops ­there by the end of June. Hostilities ended by August 12, 1898, but the war did not formally end ­until December 10, 1898, when Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris. Spain surrendered Cuba, Puerto Rico, and several other territories to the United States. Although the United States retained control of Puerto Rico and other islands, Cuba’s sovereignty had to be respected ­because of the Teller Amendment. Cuba became a protectorate of the United States ­until 1902, ­after which it became po­liti­cally in­de­pen­dent. Still, the United States managed to retain access to Guantánamo Bay and the right to intervene in Cuban affairs if it became po­liti­cally unstable.

Biographies of Notable Figures José Martí (1853–1895) José Julián Martí Pérez is a Cuban literary and national hero. A symbol of Cuban nationalism, he is commonly referred to as “the apostle of Cuban in­de­pen­dence.” Born and raised in Havana, Martí was the son of a Spaniard and an Isleño ­mother (his ­mother was born and raised on the Canary Islands). The oldest of eight ­children, and the only son, he was enrolled in a local public school where he met Rafael María

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de Mendive, an influential poet, teacher, and patriot who believed in Cuban in­de­pen­ dence. Mendive taught Martí to understand the po­liti­cal and social situation on the island. ­Because Martí’s ­family was poor, Mendive paid for Martí’s high school education while he also took on the role of being his teacher. At the young age of 16, Martí committed himself to the cause of the Cuban Ten Years’ War and published his first newspaper, La Patria Libre, in 1869. In October of that year, Martí and Fermín Valdés Domínguez ­were overheard laughing by Spanish volunteers. They searched Domínguez’s ­house and discovered a letter criticizing a classmate who had joined the Spanish army. Martí was arrested and sentenced to six years of hard l­abor, but was freed within six months b­ ecause of his poor health. He was exiled and sent to Spain to study law, and while t­here he published El presidio político en Cuba. In d­ oing so, Martí detailed the cruelty of the Spanish on the island and called for Cuban in­de­pen­dence. During the 1870s, he spent time in Cuba and Central Amer­i­ca, where he witnessed the prob­lems associated with a military regime and the governmental abuses in the newly in­de­pen­dent Central American countries. Martí spent a short period of time in Cuba ­after his return following the Treaty of Zanjón. In 1877, he married Carmen Zayas Bazán. With la Guerra Chiquita ­under way, however, the Spanish government demanded that Martí renounce his revolutionary stance and support the colonial government. When he refused, he was forced to leave the island, though his wife and son stayed ­behind. In 1880, he left Spain for Venezuela, but eventually settled in New York City u­ ntil 1895. He spent his time abroad reporting on life in the United States for vari­ous Latin American newspapers. Despite his prolific literary output, he devoted most of his energy to the cause of Cuban in­de­pen­dence. He called for a short and quick war so as to avoid U.S. intervention and prevent the possibility of a military dictatorship. His mobilization and fund-­raising in Florida Cuban communities proved critical to the War of 1895. His public speeches and writings during this period emphasized a Cuba for Cubans. Martí is best known for his unification of Cubans, for establishing the Cuban Revolutionary Party in 1892, and for helping make the War of 1895 successful. Martí arrived in Cuba with Cuban revolutionary forces and made camp at Dos Ríos in early 1895. Although he was ordered to stay at camp due to his poor health, lingering injuries from his imprisonment, and lack of b­ attle knowledge, Martí heard the sounds of ­battle and lept onto his h­ orse. He was killed in May 1895 at the B ­ attle of Dos Ríos, two weeks a­ fter his arrival at the battlefront. ­After his death, his written works became a cornerstone of Cuban national identity. From his death to the pres­ ent, Cubans have invoked his works and imagery both on and off the island to legitimize vari­ous po­liti­cal positions. Martí’s numerous works include: Abdala (1869), El presidio político en Cuba (1871), Ismaelillo (1882), La edad de oro (1889), Nuestra Amer­i­ca (1891), and ¡A Cuba! (1894), among many, many ­others.

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Félix Varela y Morales (1788–1853) Don Félix Francisco Jose Maria de la Concepcion Varela y Morales, more commonly known as the Venerable Félix Varela y Morales, was born in Havana, Cuba, to a ­family with a long military tradition. His ­father was Spaniard Don Francisco Varela, teniente of the standing regiment in Havana. His m ­ other was born in Santiago de Cuba and her f­ ather was also in the military. When Varela was six, the regiment in which his f­ ather served was sent to Spanish Florida and the f­ amily established a home in Saint Augustine. Not long a­ fter their arrival, his maternal grand­father, Don Bartolomé Morales, was named governor of the city. Once Varela’s ­father died, his grand­father, the commander of military forces in Spanish Florida, took the reins of Varela’s education and raised him in St. Augustine. When Varela was a young teenager, his grand­father offered to send him to a military acad­emy, but he refused. Instead, he chose to pursue the priesthood. He was sent to Havana to study at the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary. At age 23, he was ordained in the Cathedral of Havana and joined the seminary faculty within a year. In this position, he was able to influence the minds of ­future Cuban leaders, including José Antonio Saco, Domingo del Monte, and José de la Luz y Caballero. Of par­tic­u­lar importance, José Martí’s mentor, Mendive, was also a student of Varela’s. During this period, Varela published his Miscelánea filosófica before he was 30 years old. This seminal work sets out the ideological basis and the theoretical pillars of Varela’s thinking. In 1821, Varela and two other representatives ­were chosen to represent Cuba in the Spanish Cortes in Madrid. ­There, Varela petitioned the Spanish crown for ac­cep­ tance of the newly in­de­pen­dent Latin American countries and published an essay on the abolition of slavery in Cuba. The French invasion of Spain in 1823 overthrew the Spanish liberal government, however, and restored Ferdinand VII to the throne. The reseated king instantly repressed all opposition, forcing Varela to flee for his life via Gibraltar for the United States, where he spent the rest of his life. Upon arriving in New York City, he was met with a Cuban community that welcomed him. Although he spent some time in Philadelphia, he settled in New York. Varela’s time ­there centered around his 25 years ministering to a “basement congregation” of Irish immigrants that would become the Church of the Transfiguration. Varela’s pastoral ministry to poor Irish immigrants allowed him to support the Irish during a time of ­great anti-­ Catholic sentiment in the United States. During ­these early years, he also founded the first Spanish-­language newspaper in the United States, El Habanero. He published countless articles and newspapers, and even served as a con­sul­tant to the committee of American Bishops that wrote the Baltimore Catechism. In 1837, he was named Vicar General of the Diocese of New York, where he continued to play an influential role. By 1848, Varela was tired and his health was declining. He retired to St. Augustine, Florida, where he eventually died. In 1902, his body was disinterred from the

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cemetery in St. Augustine and taken to Havana, Cuba, where he was laid to rest in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna. Varela’s legacy did not end with his death, however. Since the 1980s, a movement for Varela’s canonization has been ­under way in the Catholic Church. On April 8, 2012, the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Miami announced that the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the ­Causes of Saints had declared Varela “Venerable,” in recognition that he lived a virtuous life within the Catholic faith. Beatification would require one miracle, as he was not a martyr. If canonized, Varela would be the first Cuban-­born saint (though ­there is another Cuban also awaiting canonization: José Olallo y Valdés). Re­spect for Varela can also be seen in the naming of awards, schools, post offices, and other institutions in both the United States and Cuba a­ fter him. His legacy serves as one of the cornerstones of Cuban national identity. Jose Martí himself credited Varela with being the one who taught Cubans to think.

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Editor Challenges Newspaper Man­ag­er to a Duel, 1870 In 1870, Gonzalo Castañon, editor of the newspaper La Voz de Cuba, issued a challenge to Juan María Reyes, who managed the Key West newspaper El Republicano, to a duel. Castañon’s challenge was prompted by Reyes’s article that criticized him and the brutal and cruel activities of the Spanish volunteers in Cuba. In January 1870, Castañon boarded a ship bound for Key West to meet Reyes. Once in Key West, he confronted Reyes about the article, but the already agitated Cuban community in Key West took to the streets. Fleeing for his life the next day, Castañon was killed on his way to board a ship to Havana. “CUBA. An Ex-­Governor of Havana Banished-­An Havana Editor in Florida to Fight in Duel. HAVANA Jan. 29. -­GUTIERREZ VEGA, ex-­governor of Havana, has been banished from the island of Cuba by order of Marshal SERRANO. KEY WEST, FLA., Jan. 29. -­Gonzalo Castañon, the editor of the Voz de Cuba, in com­ pany with four Spaniards arrived ­here this morning from Havana, for the purpose of fighting a duel with the editor of the Key West Republican. Meeting at the h­ otel, a violent altercation took place between the two editors. Castañon was arrested and placed u­ nder bonds to the amount of $200, gold, to keep the peace. The Cubans in this city are excited and threatening. Guards from the barracks have been stationed about the streets to preserve order. Both parties are determined.” Source: “An Ex-­Governor of Havana Banished -­An Havana Editor in Florida to Fight Duel,” The New York Times 19 (5727) (January 30, 1870): 1.

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Execution of Cuban Medical Students, 1871 In 1871, as the tensions between Cubans and Spaniards increased, several Havana University medical students left school ­after being notified that no class would be given that day. One student deci­ded to jump over the cemetery walls; the rest followed suit, and within minutes the ­whole group was in the cemetery and standing in front of the vault of Gonzalo Castañon, which they apparently entered and vandalized. Castañon was venerated as a Spanish po­liti­cal martyr, so the Spanish volunteers called for the arrest of the young men who had desecrated Castañon’s grave. The eight young medical students ­were court-­martialed and sentenced to death. Approximately 25 ­others ­were sentenced to vari­ous imprisonments ranging from 6 months to 6 years. All the condemned lost their property to the Spanish crown, and ­after the execution, the eight medical students ­were buried in the manner in which poor Cubans ­were traditionally buried (four to a grave without coffins). “The medical class of the Havana University meets immediately b­ ehind the old cemetery in St. Dionisius’ Hall. Like all other students, the medical students of Havana are very lively, and as noisy and full of mischief as everywhere ­else. On Thursday last the medical class, on entering their room, ­were informed that no lecture would be given that day, as the professor of anatomy was unwell. The class, composed of young men and boys, immediately left the college, when one of the number . . . ​proposed to jump over the cemetery walls, in the rear of the college, and have some fun. All agreed, and in a few [moments] . . . ​the ­whole party was inside. ­After roaming around for a few minutes, they met before the vault in which Gonzalo Castañon, whom the Spaniards venerate as a po­liti­cal martyr, and who was killed by the Cubans in Key West, lies buried. . . . ​Some of them defiled the grave by tweaking the glass of the urn in which [the] . . . ​remains repose, scattering the wreaths hung t­here by friends, and tearing up the sod in front of the grave. The height of  their senseless and profane be­hav­ior was reached when they wrote on the tombstone . . . ​Gonzalo Castañon who died in a foreign land suffering for the crimes of vile Spain. . . . ​The priest in charge of the cemetery heard the noise and approached them . . . ​[and suffered] the young men flinging stones and filth at him . . . ​. They went home, but the ­matter was noised abroad; hundreds of ­people went to see the tomb and read the scrawl. The priest at once . . . ​[pressed] charges. . . . ​ By midnight 12,000 volunteers w ­ ere shouting for Vengeance, speedy and terrible. Gen. Crespo attempted to stave off the ­matter, saying the Court-­martial had already been ordered in this case, and they (the students) would be tried on the morrow. ‘Now, now!’ was the angry shout, and the Captain General was obliged to give in to the rulers of this unfortunate land. The scenes in and around the Plaza de Armas, in front of the Palace ­were terrifying. . . . ​The Court-­martial formed . . . ​and

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commenced its session. . . . ​In the morning the Captain General, Crespo, issued a proclamation to the volunteers begging them to await the sentence of the Court-­ martial, and flattering them by calling them the firmest support ‘of order and public tranquility.’ At about two the council had terminated their office and marched . . . ​ to the Captain General’s palace, escorted by numbers of volunteers. ­There the sentence was read from the balcony to the crowd. Eight to be shot, ‘eleven to serve six years in the chain-­gang,’ nineteen to four years of the same, four to six months’ imprisonment, and only two released. The Captain General immediately approved the sentences, and o­ rders ­were given for the immediate execution of death upon the first eight. The execution took place . . . ​. Thousands w ­ ere assembled to witness this slaughter, and it passed off quietly enough. The boys met their deaths bravely and calmly. Full of life and hope a few days since, then torn from their families and condemned to meet a violent and painful death—­none blanched. . . . ​ Many of the youn­gest naturally trembled and paled, but the majority behaved like men. The Chaplain of the Cemetery, in his declaration at the Court-­martial, said that the boys had done nothing to merit such severe proceedings; that what they had done resembled all boyish freaks . . . ​. No disturbance of any kind took place then or up to ­today, and none is expected. The parents and relatives of several of the boys ­were willing to sacrifice large sums of money for their lives. It is said that the ­father of La Campa offered one million without avail. No time was given to the unfortunates to make any preparation for the cruel fate that awaited them, they could not write a last line to their relatives—­were not ‘allowed to leave their watches and trinkets to their parents and friends.’ ” Source: “Cuban Barbarity. Eight Young Students Shot—­A Cruel Court Martial—­An Inhuman Massacre,” North Otago Times, April 5, 1872, 5.

Recognition of Cuban In­de­pen­dence, 1896 In 1896, the U.S. Congress began debating the recognition of Cuban in­de­pen­dence. Soon ­after Martí’s death in 1895, Cubans began petitioning for U.S. involvement and recognition of their insurgency. As the Committee on Foreign Relations studied the events leading up to this third war for Cuban in­de­pen­dence, congressmen provided the details of other revolutions during the 19th ­century. In ­doing so, the congressmen laid the groundwork for understanding the rebellion, Spain’s vicious atrocities against the Cubans, and the need for ac­cep­tance of the legitimacy of the Cuban war for in­de­pen­dence. “ADDITIONAL VIEWS PRESENTED BY MR. MORGAN AND MR. MILLS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE. . . . ​In January 24, 1859,

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the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had u­ nder consideration a Senate Bill ‘making appropriations to facilitate the acquisition of the island of Cuba by negotiation,’ and made a report, which is hereto appended and designated as Appendix No. 1. That report covers a period of fifty-­nine years, and sets forth the po­liti­cal conditions then existing in Cuba, and the disastrous effects of Spanish rule in Cuba, during that time. They ­were the same, in their leading characteristics, that existed at the beginning of the insurrection that was set on foot by the native population in 1868, in the outbreak at Yara, which was followed by ten years of internecine warfare attended with horrible butcheries. The ­causes that provoked that uprising of the native Cubans w ­ ere the same that are stated in the report of the committee, made ten years previously, in 1859. . . . ​Spain is not the ‘­mother country of Cuba,’ even in the sense of having supplied that island with a large part of the ancestors of her pres­ent population. She is a cruel stepmother, whose introduction into the Cuban ­family has been the immediate cause of the robbery of the stepchildren of their inheritance and their cruel persecution to keep down revolt. The committee ­were engaged, in 1859, in providing for the purchase of Cuba by negotiations with Spain, and ­were as gentle in their description of Spanish rule in Cuba as a decent re­spect for the world’s knowledge of the truth of the a­ ctual situation of the p­ eople t­here would permit. . . . ​[T]he relations of Spain and the United States w ­ ere not then strained by the disturbances of ­actual insurrection in Cuba, as they ­were afterwards, from 1868 to 1878, and have been almost ever since, and are now, by the excessive and inhuman abuses of power in Cuba, to which no limit can be now anticipated, ­either as to the time when they ­will end or the increased cruelty that is now a settled feature of the pres­ent Spanish war of extermination. The President recognizes the fact that the pres­ent war is for in­de­pen­dence on the part of the Cubans and not for the gratification of personal ambition, or alone for the redress of personal or po­liti­cal grievances with which the painful history of their sufferings is crowded. For the sake of liberty and in­de­pen­dence of their country they are willing to forget the recompense that is due them for their individual sufferings.” Source: United States Congress Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Recognition of Cuban In­de­pen­dence: December 21, 1896.—­Ordered to Be Printed Report to Accompany Senate Joint Resolution 163, 1896.

The Rescue of Evangelina Cisneros, 1897 The author of this article, G. C. Musgrave, presented the case of Evangelina Cisneros, who stirred the emotions of Americans with the story of her arrest and escape from Havana. Musgrave illustrates how he saw Evangelina Cisneros suffering in Havana. Stories of her imprisonment and escape served to sensationalize the war

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in Cuba through the American press. They also fueled calls for the United States to intervene in the war. “Over further refreshments Don José recounted the story of the young prisoner, explaining that he was powerless to alleviate her condition b­ ecause she refused to appeal for assistance to the military officers who visited the prison from time to time. The history of Evangelina Cossio y Cisneros, which I learned from the alcalde and subsequently investigated, reads more like an impossible romance than a true story of ­these prosaic days. She was, it appeared, the d­ aughter of a famous old grandee ­family of Camaguey, direct descendants from a noble name in Spain, but, like all Colonial families, staunch patriots, actively striving against the misrule of their beloved Cuba. . . . ​On the veranda of a small ­hotel close by ­were sitting, Betencourt, son of the principal trader, Vargas, a clerk and Superville, a young French merchant. Hearing a ­woman’s cry for help they rushed down to the ­house, where they found Evangelina struggling in the grasp of the officer. Despite his protestations the three young men beat him soundly and pinioned his arms preparatory to taking him before the civil judge. Meanwhile an angry crowd, including many exiles, gathered around. . . . ​Betencourt hurried Evangelina away in safety, directing her to hide in a cave on the coast, from which he hoped to take her to Jamaica in one of his f­ ather’s boats. He was, however, recognized and seized by a troop of cavalry. . . . ​Evangelina was forced from her retreat by hunger three days ­later, and she, too, fell into the hands of the searching soldiers. The Governor had declared that she had invited him to the ­house . . . ​. On his evidence all the persons implicated ­were sent to Havana to answer the capital charges of high treason and conspiracy. At the very outset, however, the flimsy case fell to pieces. The local priest had witnessed the ­whole occurrence, none of the prisoners ­were armed, and they had had ample time to kill a dozen Governors before the troops arrived. . . . ​Evangelina had languished in the terrible Recogidas for ten months when I first saw her. . . . ​By judicious bribes to venal gaolers I was frequently able to see Miss Cisneros and to supply her with a few absolute necessities, as the fearful inmates of the prison had beaten her and stolen her money and even the clothes from her back, during the first weeks of her incarceration. The warden fi­nally permitted me to see her in his office outside both the inner gates, divining a love affair from my frequent visits. [I developed . . . ​] a plan of escape for the prisoner, and a young doctor from Baltimore gladly promised his help. We ­were to heavi­ly drug the drink of the gaoler and send the soldier to a bodega to get cigars as usual. . . . ​[T]his plan we should soon have put into execution had not a short notice of the impending trial, that appeared in the official gazette, been reproduced by the American Press. . . . ​By e­ very steamer I smuggled uncensored Press despatches dealing with the details of the Miss Cisneros’s case, to be cabled to New York from Key West. . . . ​I was gratified indeed to hear that the

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Press of almost ­every country had copied the sad story . . . ​. But the Spanish party in Cuba denounced this concession [to send Cisneros to a convent] as a dangerous surrender to foreign opinion. . . . ​Thus, the agitation for her release had only rendered the poor girl’s case more desperate and her rescue far more difficult. At this juncture Mr. Karl Decker arrived in Havana [to aid in her escape.] . . . ​Miss Cisneros was expecting some attempt at liberation, and she was soon dressed and at the bars watching the operations with feverish anxiety. But the steel bars, if old, ­were tough. For two hours the files rang out ominously loud. . . . ​Evangelina’s escape, as may be supposed, caused tremendous excitement. For three days the police scoured the city. E ­ very ship was searched and guards placed on board all outward-­bound vessels. . . . ​Her only chance [in escape by boarding a ship] lay in impersonating the Spanish youth and so passing on board the steamer. This would only be pos­si­ble ­after dark. [She was smuggled in men’s clothes onboard a ship . . . ​.] Miss Cisneros was safe.” Source: G. C. Musgrave, “The Rescue of Evangelina Cisneros,” in The Wide World Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly of True Narrative, Adventure, Travel, Customs and Sport, 9. London: A. Newnes, 1902, 260–267.

See also: Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City; Settlement of Ybor City; Spanish-­American War

Further Reading Childs, Matt D. 2006. The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Strug­gle against Atlantic Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Ferrer, Ada. 1999. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-­1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Grenier, Guillermo, and Lisandro Pérez. 2003. The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Hart, Francis Russell. 1931. The Siege of Havana, 1762. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Helg, Aline. 1995. Our Rightful Share: The Afro-­Cuban Strug­gle for Equality, 1886-­1912. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Jensen, Larry R. 1988. ­Children of Colonial Despotism: Press, Politics and Culture in Cuba, 1790-­1840. Gainesville: University of South Florida Press. Johnson, Sherry. 2001. The Social Transformation of Eighteenth-­Century Cuba. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Kuethe, Allan J. 1986. Cuba, 1753-­1815: Crown, Military, and Society. 1st ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Langley, Lester. 1968. The Cuban Policy of the United States: A Brief History. New York: Wiley. Lawrence, Mark. 2006. “Por La Vida y El Honor: El Presbítero Félix Varela en Las Cortes de España 1822–1823.” Catholic Historical Review 92 (4, October): 680–682.

172 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 Navia, Juan M. 2002. An Apostle for the Immigrants: The Exile Years of ­Father Félix Varela y Morales. Salisbury, MD: ­Factor Press. Ortiz, Fernando. 2003.Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar. 4th ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Pérez Jr., Louis A. 1998. The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Pérez Jr., Louis A. 2006. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution (3d ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Pérez Jr., Louis A. 2008. Cuba in the American Imagination: Meta­phor and the Imperial Ethos. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Pérez Jr., Louis A. 2008. On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Poyo, Gerald E. 1989.With All, and for the Good of All: The Emergence of Popu­lar Nationalism in the Cuban Communities of the United States, 1848-­1898. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Rodriguez, José Ignacio. 1900. Estudio Histórico Sobre el Origen, Desenvolvimiento y Manifestaciones Prácticas de la Idea de la Anexión de la Isla de Cuba á los Estados Unidos de América. Havana: Imprenta La Propaganda Literaria. Syrett, David, ed. 1970. The Siege and Capture of Havana, 1762. London: Navy Rec­ords Society. Tone, John. 2006. War and Genocide in Cuba, 1895-­1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Valdés, Antonio José. 1813. Historia de la Isla de Cuba, y en Especial de la Habana. Havana: Oficina de la Cena. Varela, Félix. 1997. Félix Varela: El Que Nos Enseñó Primero en Pensar. Ed. Eduardo Torres-­Cuevas, Jorge Ibarra, and Mercedes García Rodríguez. La Havana: Imagen Contemporánea.

Settlement of Ybor City, 1885–1930 Sarah McNamara

Chronology 1868

Grito de Yara declares Cuban in­de­pen­dence from Spain and the Ten Years’ War begins.


Cigar manufacturers relocate Cuban cigar factories to Key West due to instability on the island and U.S. tariffs.


The Pact of Zanjón is signed and the Ten Years’ War ends.

1878–1885 Thousands of cigar makers come to Key West to work in the cigar factories. The industry booms.

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Henry B. Plant establishes the Plant System connecting Tampa to the American Southeast by rail and to Cuba by steamship.


The Key West cigar industry reaches nearly 100 cigar factories and more than 3,000 cigar workers.


Cigar worker strikes halt industry production.

1885–1886 Vicente Martínez Ybor and Ignacio Haya purchase land in Tampa to relocate their factories and workers. 1886

Ignacio Haya opens the first cigar factory in Ybor City; Vicente Martínez Ybor opens the second months l­ater.

1886–1887 Martínez Ybor founds the Ybor City Land Development Com­pany and builds a com­pany town. 1891–1894 José Martí makes more than 20 visits to Ybor City to establish local revolutionary clubs and raise funds for the in­de­pen­dence movement. 1891–1904 Cigar workers establish the five core mutual aid socie­ties, locally termed centros or sociedades, to support community members. 1895–1898 Cigar workers support the Cuban War for In­de­pen­dence and continue to donate funds. 1897–1931 Five major cigar worker strikes take place over 30  years. Workers seek to negotiate working conditions and factory ­owners respond with firings, shootings, and threats of deportation. 1900

Population of Tampa grows from roughly 700 in 1880 to more than 24,000 in 1900. The majority of Tampa residents are immigrant cigar workers.


Centro Asturiano mutual aid society opens a hospital to serve the Ybor City Latino community.


The largest fire in Tampa history burns a large part of Ybor City.

1909–1920 Factory o­ wners and cigar workers rebuild Ybor City, creating large brick structures that resemble Cuban and Spanish architecture. 1920

The population of Ybor City and West Tampa reaches nearly 70,000.

1920–1930 The Ybor City cigar industry reaches its pinnacle with more than 500 million cigars produced in more than 200 factories. 1922

Victoriano Manteiga, the famous lector (reader), begins publishing La Gaceta, the nation’s only trilingual newspaper.

1930–1940 The ­Great Depression leads to the decline of the cigar industry. In Tampa, hundreds of cigar factories close their doors and fire artisan workers.

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Last major strike ends the custom of the lector (readers who entertain cigar makers as they work) and changes the culture of cigar-­making.

1935–1938 Cigar workers join and support the Popu­lar Front in the United States to fight fascism in Spain and rally against in­equality at home. 1940–1942 Dies Committee, an organ­ization that specializes in investigating radicalism and potential communist activity on U.S. soil, comes to Ybor City and accuses immigrant workers of un-­American activities. 1940–1955 The cigar industry expands the mechanization pro­cess and ends the tradition of hand-­made cigars by 1955. 1950–1963 The Ybor City Plan is introduced to the county commission, and begins the pro­cess of urban renewal in Ybor City. 1955–1975 Residents leave Ybor City and move into nearby neighborhoods as the city plans to demolish neighborhood homes.

Narrative Before Miami became “­Little Havana,” Ybor City was the Latino capital of the American South. Located on the eastern edge of Tampa, Ybor was home to Cuban, Spanish, Puerto Rican, and Italian immigrants. Drawn to the city by work in the cigar industry, Cuban cigar makers (tabaqueros) built the Tampa economy and established Ybor as the cigar capital of the world by 1920. In the “Cigar City,” politics ­were both transnational and local. Radical ideologies connected Ybor immigrants to networks in Cuba, Italy, Spain, and Latin Amer­ic­ a. As ­women and men rallied with international l­abor organ­izations, they also supported the fight for Cuban in­de­pen­ dence and established grass-­roots trade ­unions. Although Ybor City Latinos worked in the United States, their homes, extended families, and memories stretched across borders. Between the late 1890s and the early 1960s, ­these ­women and men built an industrial city and created Florida’s first modern, Latino community. The history of Ybor City begins in Key West, Florida. In the 1870s, Key West served as the major cigar-­manufacturing hub in the United States. The mere 90-­mile stretch between the Florida Keys and the northwestern coast of Cuba permitted con­ve­nient transport of Havana tobacco and cigar makers (Pérez, 2003, 217). As the movement for Cuban in­de­pen­dence peaked and nationalistic fervor swelled, ­labor strikes in Havana and Key West became frequent and increasingly violent. Key West cigar manufacturers believed that by increasing the physical distance between their workforce and the island of Cuba, they could control the movement of ideas and suppress the interference of Cuban trade ­unions with their workforce. In 1885, Vicente Martínez Ybor (V.M. Ybor), the owner of El Príncipe de Gales

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The cigar industry in Ybor City drew Cuban, Italian, and Spanish immigrants. The area is now part of present-day Tampa, Florida. Shown: Cigar Museum. (Franken/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

cigar brand that he founded in Havana and produced in Key West, purchased a 40-­acre tract of land on the eastern outskirts of Tampa and relocated his cigar enterprise to what became Ybor City (Federal Writers Proj­ect, 1935, p. 5). Likewise, Ignacio Haya and his business partner Serafín Sánchez, who co-­owned a successful cigar brand and factory in New York City, bought a 10-­acre tract of land and relocated his factories to Tampa. Following violent cigar worker strikes in Key West during the late 1880s, other companies followed Martínez Ybor and Haya’s lead, and moved to Tampa. By 1896, this sleepy southern town was home to a new immigrant workforce whose ­labor would lead to its rise as the “Cigar City.” Vicente Martínez Ybor envisioned Ybor City as more than an industrial outpost: rather, a true com­pany town. To manage the f­ uture city’s design and create a plan for construction, Martínez Ybor established the Ybor City Land and Improvement Com­pany in 1885 and broke ground in 1886. By the end of the year, Martínez Ybor’s construction com­pany had completed numerous factories, 33 two-­story apartment buildings, and 176 single-­family “shotgun” ­houses. This style of home was named for its narrow, rectangular shape, which allowed Martínez Ybor to fit hundreds of homes into a small space. Standing from the front doorway, one could see directly to the back door, and it was said a person could shoot a bullet clear through the home

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without grazing a wall, thereby giving ­these homes their name. Each casita (small home) had two to three bedrooms, a parlor, a kitchen, and a shared out­house (Westfall, 1985, p. 11). Martínez Ybor offered cigar makers the option to rent or buy a home or an apartment, but guaranteed improved living conditions from ­those in Key West. For ­those who chose to buy, each home cost between $750 to $900, and Martínez Ybor offered financing options through his bank (Westfall, 1985, p. 11). Martínez Ybor’s promise to improve the quality of life for workers diversified his own investments and added to his personal wealth. To ­handle the expansion of the small industrial town, the Ybor City Land and Improvement Com­pany invested in grocery stores, breweries, and social clubs to support cigar workers. Although Ybor City boasted all the amenities of a modern town, ­every aspect of a tabaquero’s life was tied to the factory owner during the 1890s (Westfall, 1985, p. 10). Despite relocating the Cuban cigar industry to Tampa, strikes followed the manufacturers from Key West to Ybor City. “­People date their lives from vari­ous strikes in Tampa,” remembered novelist and Ybor native Jose Yglesias (Terkel, 1970, p. 109). From 1897 to 1931, five major strikes took place in the Ybor City cigar industry, spurring the community to support collective activism (Ingalls, 1985, pp. 117–134). Local grocers, restaurants, and landlords frequently extended credit to clients and tenants to support unemployed or striking workers. The phrase apúntamelo (“take note”) was all a worker needed to utter for a grocer to charge a client’s tab and save the charge ­until the end of the strike (Parado, 2008). All six mutual aid socie­ties—­Centro Español (Spanish Center Club), Centro Asturiano (Asturian Club), Círculo Cubano (Cuban Club), L’Unione Italiano (Italian Club), Unión Martí-­Maceo (Afro-­Cuban Club), and Deutscher-­Americaner (German-­American Club)—­provided members with benefits in the event of a strike or termination (Pérez, 2003, p. 217). This informal system of worker and community self-­help established a culture that minimized the power of the cigar companies and created constant tensions between community and industry. Strikes slowed production, and ­because the cigar industry was dependent on its artisan workforce, concessions and compromises w ­ ere necessary. Between 1880 and 1900, Tampa’s cigar industry grew from a single shop to 120 factories, spurring a population increase from 720 to 15,839 (Mormino and Pozzetta, 1998, pp. 50, 69). Although many Anglo Tampans viewed the foreign workforce as militant and dangerous, the city was heavi­ly dependent on the cigar industry. Upon the death of Vicente Martínez Ybor in 1896, the value of his cigar factories, landholdings, and investments exceeded all of Tampa’s noncigar enterprises combined. The cigar industry and the ­labor of cigar workers had turned Tampa into an industrial city that could not exist without cigars or the immigrant workers who produced them. The interior workings of cigar factories ­were as methodical as Martínez Ybor’s approach to city planning. On the factory floor, men and w ­ omen of Cuban,

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Mutual Aid Socie­ties Mutual aid socie­ties ­were the heart of Ybor City. Locally termed centros or sociedades, ­these organ­izations did more than support the community during strikes: they also provided health care, unemployment insurance, death benefits, and entertainment. The price of membership was relatively affordable. At the turn of the ­century, members paid between 25 and 50 cents a week to maintain their membership and receive benefits from the centros. ­After the 1920s, the price of membership ­rose to anywhere from one to two dollars a week. This network of community self-­help reflected Ybor City’s collective spirit and supported working-­class ­women and men from the cradle to the grave. One t­hing that made Ybor City’s mutual aid socie­ties distinct was their grandeur. ­After the 1909 fire that devastated the community, members of the sociedades replaced the old wooden buildings with magnificent structures that echoed Old-­World architecture from Italy, Spain, and Cuba. The Centro Español, which had more than 2,000 members by 1915, was a two-­story building with a red brick façade. It had Moorish arches that welcomed members into its cantina and casino, where members socialized and had access to the community’s largest library. Likewise, the Centro Asturiano, perhaps the most popu­lar club b­ ecause of its state-­of-­the-­art hospital, boasted a 1,200-­seat theater that attracted Spanish-­speaking performers from across the United States, the Ca­rib­bean, and Eu­rope. Inside the Círculo Cubano, ornate wrought iron lined the front steps of the three-­story building where community members rushed into the 7,000-­square-­foot ballroom to take part in a weekly dance. Within ­these “cathedral[s] for workers,” marble floors and hand-­painted tiles showed the power of community and the importance of mutual aid to Latino cigar makers (Mormino and Pozzetta, 1998, p. 185). In ­these spaces that celebrated the importance of the working class, racial divisions persisted, however. Although white Latinos or Latinas could join any mutual aid society they chose, the clubs excluded black community members of Ybor City. La Uníon Martí-­Maceo supported the local Afro-­Cuban community when leadership of the Círculo Cubano excluded black membership in 1904. Named in honor of Cuban revolutionaries José Martí and Antonio Maceo, the club’s name reflected the anti-­racism that ­those leaders of the in­de­ pen­dence movement had envisioned in a ­free Cuba.

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Women making cigars by machine in the Hav-­A-­Tampa Cigar Factory, ca. 1939. During the 1930s, cigar production became w ­ omen’s work as manufacturers fired artisan Cubanos and hired unskilled Cubanas. This practice increased revenue for cigar manufacturers, as they paid Latinas less money for cigar work. (University of South Florida, Special Collections, Tampa, Florida)

Spanish, and Italian descent worked side-­by-­side, but ­there ­were inequalities between male and female laborers in the cigar industry. At the most basic level, men w ­ ere considered skilled workers, whereas ­women w ­ ere considered unskilled. Photo­ graphs of tabaqueros from the late 19th ­century through the 1920s show men and boys of dif­fer­ent ethnic backgrounds occupying seats at the prestigious rollero (roller) benches—­rarely did w ­ omen find a space at ­these artisan t­ables. Some ­women stood b­ ehind their male colleagues on the factory floor and worked as buncheras (bunchers), creating the stuffing for the cigars’ centers. However, the majority of tabaqueras (­women cigar workers) labored in the basements as despaldilladoras (strippers), removing the stems from w ­ hole tobacco leaves. The U.S. ­Women’s Bureau reported that “the foreign born in Florida [­were] the largest groups in the cigar factories,” adding that as ­women, tabaqueras w ­ ere paid less than their male counter­parts (U.S. ­Women’s Bureau,1932, pp. 40–45). To move up the ­labor

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hierarchy, many w ­ omen chose to work at chinchales, small, in­de­pen­dent cigar enterprises that ­were f­ amily owned and offered ­women the opportunity to learn the craft of cigar rolling. Within t­ hese small shops, many w ­ omen advanced to the level of rollera and could potentially make a better wage. In addition to escaping the sexism of factory work, chinchales also allowed ­women to combine wages with ­family and child care responsibilities. Large cigar factories did not provide child care for working-­class ­women, but inside a small, family-­run shop, a w ­ oman could keep a watchful eye on her ­children while providing income for her ­house­hold. As the gendered division of ­labor created inequalities inside the factories, so too did race. Inside the red-­brick walls of the cigar factories, historic tensions between Spaniards, Cubans, and Afro-­Cubans created an ethno-­racial hierarchy of ­labor. This Old-­World system travelled to Ybor City from Cuba and was influenced by imperial conceptions about the importance of Eu­ro­pean heritage. In Cuba, Spanish birth ensured higher class standing, whereas African heritage carried the stigma of enslavement. Within the factories’ system of racial and ethnic divisions, Spaniards ­were typically factory ­owners, man­ag­ers, and selectors (the ­people who deci­ded the value of each tobacco leaf). ­These jobs not only wielded the most power inside cigar factories, they ­were also the highest paid positions (Mormino and Pozzetta, 1998, p. 262). Conversely, Cuban, Italian, and Afro-­Cuban workers occupied dif­fer­ent levels on the employment spectrum, and they rarely ­rose to the management levels reserved for Spaniards. L ­ abor disputes and u­ nion activity often displayed the tensions produced by this in­equality on the shop floor. Cuban tabaqueros who incited huelgas (strikes) reminded Spanish factory o­ wners that the laborers would continue to demand equality and fight against ideas of colonial domination in Cuba and the United States, no ­matter where the manufacturers chose to relocate their factories. Inside the cigar factories, lectores (readers) fostered the tabaquero activist spirit. “El lector” was selected, employed, and paid by the workers, and expected to entertain tabaqueros as they labored. Almost exclusively a man’s job, lectores typically wore a white shirt, tie, black blazer, and a wide-­brimmed panama hat. In each factory, the lector sat on an elevated platform and read the daily newspapers and novels, such as Don Quixote, to the workers. The booming voices of the lectores filled t­hese hot, humid workshops with culture, ideas, and news. It was not uncommon to hear the writings of “Marx, Prou­dhon, Bakunin, and other socialist, anarchist, and anarcho-­ syndicalist authors” read to the workers at their request. ­Because most cigar makers had ­little to no formal education, t­hese men and w ­ omen earned advanced degrees from the factory floor. Through the theatrical readings of the lectores, tabaqueros gained a po­liti­cal, economic, and social consciousness that challenged the Spanish manufacturers and the state of Florida’s Jim Crow laws (Hewitt, 2001, pp. 1–4). As Ybor City expanded and cigar profits increased, the City of Tampa took notice of the potential tax base and urged the Florida state legislature to extend Tampa’s city

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Luisa Capetillo Although men customarily held the position of lector, ­women occasionally became lectoras. Luisa Capetillo, the Puerto Rican activist, u­ nion leader, and feminist, came to Ybor City while in exile from her homeland in 1912. Capetillo’s reputation as a radical leader and her experience as a lectora in Puerto Rican cigar factories propelled her onto the lector platform in Florida. As an Afro-­Puertoriqueña (an Afro-­Puerto Rican ­woman), Capetillo’s presence on the lector stage defied the bound­aries of gender and race in Florida. But in Ybor City, Capetillo found herself among fellow Latino radicals who supported the anarcho-­syndicalist movement and inspired her to write a revised edition of her book, Mi opinion sobre las libertades, derechos y deberes de la mujer (My opinion about the liberties, rights, and responsibilities of ­women). The lectora’s belief that working-­class equality was only pos­si­ble with ­women’s autonomy spoke to Ybor Latinas. Capetillo was a w ­ oman who excelled as a lectora and illustrated to all that w ­ omen ­were smart, capable, and deserved both professional re­spect and a fair wage. Motivated by Capetillo’s presence, in 1916 ­women cigar makers called a wildcat strike (a strike without ­union approval) to demand that their needs be addressed by ­union leaders and factory ­owners. When Capetillo stepped down from the lector platform in Ybor City, she moved on to Havana, where she or­ga­nized sugar cane workers with La Federacion de Anarquistas de Cuba (the Anarchist Federation of Cuba) and put her ideas and activism to work in a new community. Capetillo’s work as a lectora connected Ybor cigar makers to po­liti­cal activism in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.

limits and incorporate Ybor City into Hillsborough County. To legitimize this request, Tampa bureaucrats claimed that increased taxes and a contiguous county would allow Tampa to protect Ybor City with sufficient police support (Ingalls, 1988, p. 42). This allegation by Tampa officials, however, was for the benefit of the manufacturers who wished to control ­union activity. As Tampa politicians centered discussions on questions of security, cigar workers longed for improved infrastructure and clean w ­ ater. The modern municipal improvements to sanitation and public transport never came ­because public officials filtered the new tax revenue into police and local law enforcement that equipped cigar factories with armed guards, trained dogs, grenades, and machine guns. In some ways, each factory seemed more like a tiny arsenal than a workplace. Ever vigilant against potential strikes, manufacturers took e­ very precaution to protect their investments, but rarely tried to resolve a strike through

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negotiation. Despite the protests of Ybor City’s Latino residents, their fledging town was incorporated into Tampa in 1887 and subsequently policed by Anglo Tampans. Ybor City’s annexation cast the insular Latino enclave into the larger world of the Jim Crow South. Ele­ments of de facto segregation (enforced socially, but not by law) from Cuba applied to the Ybor City community, whereas as southern de jure segregation (segregation mandated by law) did not originally exist inside the immigrant community. Following the annexation of Ybor, however, the City of Tampa’s Jim Crow policies applied to many of ­these immigrants in new and dangerous ways. With the rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and its call for popu­lar support of white supremacist rule in Florida, the local sheriff deputized Klan members to patrol Tampa’s city streets. The Citizens Committee regulated be­hav­ior, culture, language, and politics—­and they punished anyone who challenged the local status quo. As vigilantism became commonplace in both Ybor City and Tampa, community members feared for their lives and their safety. The KKK threatened, attacked, and lynched Latino l­abor organizers and t­hose believed to be radical sympathizers. Union leaders ­were run out of town; Latino citizens ­were barred from local politics and denied protection by law enforcement. In a hate-­filled environment and without an ave­nue to negotiate differences, Ybor City immigrants developed a contentious relationship with Anglo Tampans that bred resentment, fear, and hostility by the 1920s (Pérez, 2003, pp. 214–215; Ingalls, 1988). The city Martínez Ybor built in the 1880s nearly collapsed during the 1930s. Directly following the cigar industry’s most prosperous de­cade in the 1920s, the ­Great Depression decimated Cigar City. Dozens of factories closed their doors, and the factories that remained open converted to mechanized production. As manufacturers sought to maintain profit margins, they fired male artisan workers and hired Latinas to operate the new machines. As Latinas became the new economic heads of ­house­holds, unemployed Latinos looked for work in local New Deal proj­ects, but rarely found it. The first phase of President Franklin D. Roo­se­velt’s New Deal provided immediate relief to t­ hose left in chronic unemployment due to the Depression. Organ­izations like the Works Pro­gress Administration (WPA) put ­women and men back to work through public works proj­ects such as road and building construction, and arts proj­ects like plays and murals. Relief work, however, was not easily accessible for non-­white Americans. Although by the 1930s most Ybor community members w ­ ere American-­born, Jim Crow laws and the culture of white supremacy made Latinos and Latinas less likely to obtain jobs on the WPA rolls. Without the robust cigar-­based economy, businesses began to close their doors, and community institutions like the mutual aid socie­ties limited membership benefits. Although the Depression wreaked havoc on the local economy, it reinvigorated Ybor City’s radical spirit. Many men who had long stood on the front lines of ­labor activism stepped aside as Ybor Latinas r­ ose as community advocates. Unlike

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the ­unions of the early 1900s, this new wave of radical action challenged the power white supremacy held over the community’s immigrant population and rallied for recognition as residents and citizens. Union leaders like Luisa Moreno or­ga­nized cigar workers and Latinas on the WPA rolls in pursuit of fair wages and equal access to relief. Likewise, Latinas joined the fight against fascism in Spain and worked to raise funds in support of the Popu­lar Front. Members of the Popu­lar Front often aligned with the communist and socialist parties, but most importantly viewed anti-­ fascism as paramount to fighting in­equality at home and abroad. This co­ali­tion of anti-­fascist supporters stretched across Eu­rope and reached into Latin Amer­i­ca and the United States. Although the United States never formally declared war during the early rise of fascist aggression abroad, Ybor community members sent 30 tons of beans, 20,000 pounds of clothing, 1,000 cans of milk, 20,000 cigars, and an ambulance to Spain in support of the Republican cause (Hewitt, 2007, p. 75). In Ybor City, community members saw the strug­gle in Spain as a question of ­human rights and equal representation—­a fight they waged in their own communities as well. By 1942, as hundreds of young Latinos from Ybor City went abroad to fight in WWII and many young Latinas joined the ranks of Rosies who riveted and built military planes, they saw themselves as walking in the footsteps of the Popu­lar Front. To Latinos in Ybor, WWII was more than a war about the United States and its allies: it represented the danger of fascism to working-­class ­people throughout the world. In the midst of World War II, the City of Tampa developed the “Ybor City Plan” to make way for a new highway and improve the landscape of the city. This urban renewal plan followed the recommendations of the Depression-­era Home Owner­ ship Loan Corporation to eliminate “red-­lined” districts. By the 1950s, Ybor City was worn down and dilapidated. Nearly 60 years of Florida heat and humidity had softened the pine wood that Vicente Martínez Ybor used to build the tabaqueros’ casitas, and the devastation of the Depression made it difficult for workers to afford the necessary maintenance for their homes. Bulldozers demolished portions of the Ybor City neighborhood, and some of the community’s Cuban, Spanish, and Italian descendants moved into the Tampa city center and found work in post-­war, low-­ wage, ser­vice jobs, while ­others used their support from the G.I. Bill to fund their college tuition. The younger generation, who came of age during the war, saw themselves no longer as immigrants working in the United States, but as Latino Americans living at home. Ybor City and its Latino community left a permanent mark on the state of Florida and the United States. As the first generation of Latinos to arrive ­either from Cuba or by way of Cuba, their working-­class identities and experiences with racial in­equality in Florida solidified their radical politics and maintained cross-­national identities. Ybor City was an industrial town in a Southern state that became a hub for radical politics, ­labor activism, and international democracy. Although many

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descendents of Ybor City’s immigrant community remained radical, a majority became American progressives, whereas few became American conservatives. In 1959, when the first Cuban exiles arrived ­after the fall of the Batista regime, it became clear that the state’s two Cuban communities had diverging po­liti­cal identities. The first generation to arrive in Miami was predominantly white, educated, and m ­ iddle and upper class, whereas Cuban Americans in Tampa w ­ ere racially diverse and overwhelmingly identified with their working-­class roots. As new arrivals in Miami mourned the loss of their nation to the revolution, ­women and men in Tampa celebrated the triumph of Fidel Castro. This clash of politics and identities created two separate Cuban American populations with dif­fer­ent politics inside one state. Ybor City’s legacy remains intimately connected to the city that cigar workers built, the culture that immigrants created, and the radicalism that the community supported.

Biographies of Notable Figures Paulina Pedroso (1845–1925) Paulina Pedroso was born the ­daughter of Afro-­Cuban slaves and died a Cuban revolutionary. At the age of 15, Pedroso and her husband, Ruperto, left their community in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, to find a new life in Havana. With po­liti­cal turmoil on the island, the Pedrosos moved to Key West and continued to Ybor City in search of work and economic stability. In 1891, the Pedrosos opened a boarding ­house in Ybor where they hosted local cigar makers and welcomed traveling revolutionaries (Greenbaum, 2002, p. 78). It was in this space where Paulina Pedroso became a revolutionary activist. The Pedroso boarding h­ ouse was the center of revolutionary activity in Ybor City. José Martí, the ­father of Cuban in­de­pen­dence and the founder of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Cuban Revolutionary Party, or PRC), frequently visited Ybor City. He stayed with the Pedrosos as he raised funds for the movement, and encouraged Cuban cigar workers to join the strug­gle. Martí met with fellow revolutionaries on the front porch of the Pedroso home and planned the expansion of local PRC committees t­ here. The Pedroso boarding h­ ouse became a space that represented Martí’s idealistic vision for in­de­pen­dence as he worked to establish relationships with community leaders. At the Pedroso home, black and white Cubans alike donated money, established po­liti­cal co­ali­tions, and envisioned a new society together. Like the tabaqueros and male movement leaders who met at her home, Paulina Pedroso supported Cuban in­de­pen­dence from Spain and emerged as a po­liti­cal activist in the movement for Cuba libre (­free Cuba) (Greenbaum, 2002, pp. 77–78). Paulina Pedroso and ­women in Ybor City ­were integral to the movement for Cuban in­de­pen­dence. Although often excluded from male po­liti­cal spaces, Ybor

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cubanas established revolutionary clubs for female members. Together they or­ga­ nized meetings, hosted dinners, held dances, and raised funds. ­Women cigar makers who supported Cuban in­de­pen­dence stood in solidarity with male cigar workers, donating one day’s wages per week to the revolutionary cause. ­These funds backed the PRC and facilitated local publication of the PRC’s newspaper, Patria (Hewitt, 2001, p. 65). Paulina Pedroso stood by ­women in the Ybor community, but dually crossed gendered bound­aries (Hewitt, 2001, p. 65; Greenbaum, 2002, p. 78). As a cubana émigré living in the revolutionary moment, Paulina Pedroso understood the in­de­pen­dence movement as an opportunity for ­women to rise as vocal, po­liti­cal participants ready to help shape the new nation. When José Martí stayed at her boarding h­ ouse, Pedroso listened to his ideas and observed PRC committee meetings. ­Because of Martí’s frequent trips to Florida, she developed a professional but “motherly” relationship with him (Greenbaum, 2002, p. 77). Inside the boarding ­house, Pedroso cared for Martí and connected him socially to the Ybor community. Paulina Pedroso helped introduce Martí to the Ybor City community and assisted him in gathering donations from cigar workers. During one of José Martí’s visits to Ybor City in 1893, Paulina Pedroso joined the revolutionary leader on a tour of the local cigar factories to collect funds from cigar workers. As the two approached one of the factories, a worker shouted “bandit!” in reference to Martí’s donation requests. ­After Pedroso and Martí marched up the worn, wooden steps, and walked onto the main factory floor, Pedroso delivered an impromptu speech to encourage the generosity of the tabaqueros. According to reports, Pedroso grabbed her skirt, climbed onto a t­able, and shouted: “Gentlemen, if any of you is afraid to give [José Martí] your money or go to the savannahs to fight, let him give me his pants, and I’ll give him my petticoat” (Manach, 1950; Greenbaum, 2002, p. 78). Pedroso’s words thus questioned the manhood of ­those who refused to donate a day’s wages to support the in­de­pen­dence of their homeland. Pedroso, who had given thousands of dollars to the revolutionary cause through the sale of real estate investments in Ybor City, believed that if her f­ amily was willing to risk their personal security to f­ ree Cuba, the tabaqueros could afford a day’s wages to support their homeland (Greenbaum 2002, pp. 77–78). Once the Cuban War for In­de­pen­dence ended and the excitement of Cuba libre faded, Paulina Pedroso returned to her life as an Afro-­Cubana in Florida. The unity that the Cuban community members had demonstrated during the revolution seemed insincere in the aftermath of the war (Greenbaum, 2002, pp. 104–105). The legacy of slavery in Cuba made race and the in­equality of black Cubans an inescapable prob­lem that limited equality for all Cuban citizens. Within Ybor City, as on the island, questions about race and skin color remained essential to one’s position within society. Although Pedroso had welcomed all Cuban émigrés into her home

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in the pro­cess of planning the revolution, the realities of race and her position as a ­woman of color became clear and divisive. In 1904, at a meeting of the local Cuban mutual aid society in Ybor City, El Club Nacional Cubano, Octubre 10 (previously, Liceo Cubano), the leadership and membership voted to remove Afro-­Cuban members from the sociedad. Ybor City was located in a Jim Crow state, but this action was the choice of white Cuban members, not a directive from local law enforcement (Greenbaum, 2002, pp. 105–107). In search of a space and a new club, Afro-­Cuban leaders met in the parlor of the Pedroso boarding h­ ouse and established the Sociedad Marti-­Maceo to support the Afro-­Cuban community. However, just as Cuban in­de­pen­dence failed to treat Afro-­ Cubans as equals, the charter for Marti-­Maceo in Ybor City and in Cuba excluded ­women from equal membership. Despite Paulina Pedroso’s participation in the revolutionary movement, she was not invited to the founding meeting of La Sociedad Marti-­Maceo that took place in her own home. In Pedroso’s absence, the 23 founding members (including her husband) determined that the primary purpose of the club was to create a place to meet “outside the ­house, in a manner acceptable to men of dignity.” By overlooking the importance of female members, La Sociedad Marti-­Maceo treated Afro-­Cuban w ­ omen just as white Cubans treated Afro-­Cuban men: like second-­class citizens. Paulina Pedroso’s moment as a po­liti­cal activist and revolutionary ­woman came to a close with the founding of this club in 1904 (Greenbaum 2002, pp. 104–106, 185). In 1910, Paulina Pedroso returned to Cuba, where she lived ­until her death in 1925. ­After the Pedrosos left Ybor City, their boarding ­house was sold and it eventually fell into disrepair. In 1951, a Cuban businessman purchased the dilapidated ­house ­because of its revolutionary significance and deeded the property to the Cuban government in 1956. By 1957, on the land where the Pedroso home once stood, the José Martí Party was established as a gift to the p­ eople of Ybor from the p­ eople of Cuba. The h­ ouse evokes the memory of her most famous guest, but the space is also significant for being the place in which Paulina Pedroso became a passionate revolutionary activist (Greenbaum, 2002, p. 274).

Jose Yglesias (1919–1995) Jose Yglesias grew up in Ybor City and became a renowned fiction writer. Yglesias’s life and writings reflect his effort to understand himself as an American-­born Latino and to preserve the memory of the Ybor community. Yglesias believed that he challenged assimilation and illustrated the importance of diversity through his writings (Ingalls, 1996, p. 14). During his lifetime, Yglesias wrote countless

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essays, short stories, books, and plays that questioned the strug­gle of migration, displacement, identity, and longing. On November 29, 1919, Jose Yglesias was born in his parents’ small, shotgun home in West Tampa, Florida. Located less than five miles from Ybor City, West Tampa was also a Latino community where the cigar industry boomed. At the age of two, Yglesias, his older s­ ister Dalia, his m ­ other, and his ­father moved to Ybor City. Yglesias’s ­mother, Georgia, was of Cuban descent and had been born in Tampa. His ­father, José Yglesias, was from a province in northern Spain called Galicia, and came to Tampa by way of Havana. Yglesias remembered that “a typical Ybor City Tampan of my generation ha[d], like me, a ­mother of Cuban parentage and a ­father of Galicia, ­uncles from Asturias and Cuba, [and] at least one cousin or ­sister or ­brother married to a Sicilian” (Ingalls, 1996, pp. 8–10). Like most ­children of Ybor City, Yglesias was the son of cigar workers. Yglesias’s ­father worked in the cigar factories as a roller and was known as a dedicated advocate of the u­ nion. Tampa tabaqueros ­were among the most radical workers in the United States—­a tradition they carried from their experience with cigar work in Havana and Key West (Terkel, 1970, p. 109). Workers challenged factory o­ wners on issues ranging from the quality of tobacco to the degree of control that foremen could exercise on the factory floor (Ingalls, 1996, p. 9). By 1925, however, Yglesias’s ­father moved to Cuba in search of medical treatment for a condition called “creeping paralysis” that prevented him from working (Ingalls, 1996, p. 9). While he was gone, Yglesias’s m ­ other took her husband’s place at the cigar maker’s bench and worked in the factories to support her ­family. Georgia Yglesias embraced the tradition of community collectivism as she looked to Ybor City’s mutual aid socie­ ties to provide the additional social support she could not afford in­de­pen­dently (Ingalls, 1996, pp. 10–11). As a young boy, Jose Yglesias attended local schools, learned to speak En­glish, and proved to be a brilliant student. He was a voracious reader and devoured lit­er­ a­ture. At times, “his ­mother even took to hiding his books ­because he stayed inside to read rather than ­going out to play” (Ingalls, 1996, p. 11). As a high school student, he served on the student council, became managing editor of his school newspaper, and delivered the commencement speech at his graduation. Despite his successes, Yglesias felt dif­fer­ent and “ashamed of his [Latino] community” (Ingalls, 1996, p. 11). Many of his American classmates perceived Yglesias’s politics as un-­ American and believed his culture made him inferior, calling him a “Cuban nigger” (Terkel, 1970, p. 109). As his peers yelled racial epithets, Yglesias dreamed of a new life outside the South. Although the cigar industry began to decline by 1929, the industry’s relentless decay devastated the Ybor community throughout the 1930s. Tabaqueros who tried to advocate for themselves through u­ nion activity, public protest, or work

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in traditionally Anglo positions w ­ ere attacked by members of the local Citizens Committee. Yglesias remembered that this period and the strikes surrounding the Depression “left a psychological scar” on him. ­Because of the economic distress, the extended Yglesias ­family moved to New York in search of work. Yglesias followed his ­family and moved to New York City a few days ­after graduating high school in 1937. ­There, he lived with his ­sister, Dalia, and was soon joined by their ­mother and 12 other relatives. Inside the tiny city apartment, the members of the Yglesias ­family slept in almost ­every available space: “The only place we ­didn’t sleep was in the kitchen,” Yglesias recalled, “a bed was even in the foyer” (Terkel, 1970, p. 109). When the United States entered World War II, Yglesias enlisted in the Navy. According to him, this choice to join the fight abroad was “a po­liti­cal act.” B ­ ecause Yglesias believed in “the popu­lar front against fascism, in the New Deal, in socialism and the brotherhood of man,” he believed in the war. Yglesias served in France and Italy for more than three years and worked as a “naval aviation radio-­man gunner.” In honor of his military ser­vice, the Navy awarded him the Navy Citation of Merit (Ingalls, 1996, pp. 16–17). ­After the war, Yglesias found himself as a writer and embraced his latinidad (Latino culture and heritage) during his time as a student at Black Mountain College. As the child of cigar makers, Yglesias never dreamed of a college education. But, in the foothills of North Carolina, the small, radical, experimental college offered Yglesias the flexibility to develop his creativity. As he shed the formality of military training and accepted his radical upbringing, Yglesias saw his new surroundings as a “haven” where he could spend his time “reading and writing at the government’s expense.” During his time in college, Yglesias realized that if he was asked what he did for a living, he no longer needed to answer “bus-­boy or stock-­boy or aviation radio-­man gunner,” and he could now say “writer” (Ingalls, 1996, p. 16). ­After one year at Black Mountain College, Yglesias clashed with fellow students as he advocated for the admission of more black students into the community. Yglesias left Black Mountain College in protest of this issue. Although he left North Carolina without a degree, he emerged with a new identity. As a young writer living in New York City, Yglesias published his first short story in 1946, titled “Un Buen Obrero,” in New Masses. His debut publication illustrates the style of his forthcoming works. Semi-­autobiographical, but written in a fictional style, the story takes place in Ybor City and centers on a young boy who learns of his ­father’s death while delivering groceries. Like the young man in the story, Yglesias did not know his f­ather and relied on his imagination to understand the parent he never knew. Through this work of fiction, Yglesias i­ magined a world where his f­ ather’s legacy as a good worker and dedicated po­liti­cal radical lived on. Following his first publication, Yglesias worked as a film critic for the national newspaper of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), The Daily Worker,

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from 1948 to 1950. His association with this far-­left publication tainted his resume and caused publishers to refuse his work for 12 years. Yglesias was proud of his dedication to the leftist cause in the midst of the Cold War, but he ­later admitted in another semi-­autobiographical publication that “the Red Scare ha[d] frightened me” (Ingalls, 1996, pp. 24–25). In 1963, Yglesias got his big break when his book, A Wake in Ybor City, was published. Now, as a novelist and public figure, popu­lar publishers like Pantheon issued his novels, and newspapers and magazine like the New Yorker, the Nation, and the New York Times featured his essays and commissioned his work. Over the course of his life, Yglesias wrote and published 15 books that explored life in Cuba and Spain, but mainly in Ybor City. Like his first essay, “Un Buen Obrero,” all his writings ­were personal and examined the meaning of displacement, latinidad, and ­family. Jose Yglesias lived the life he wished to have and enshrined the memory of Ybor City and its workers in his novels. In many ways, Yglesias saw himself as a guardian of his community’s legacy. Yglesias’s work illustrated the pain of poverty, the strength of community, the heartbreak of migration, and the importance of hope. In 1981, Tampa Magazine reported that “Jose Yglesias is the best fiction writer Tampa has produced, if not the best writer, period” (Ingalls, 1996, p. 32).

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Oral History with Cigar Maker José Vega Díaz, 1980 The following document is an edited se­lection from an oral history with José Vega Díaz. Historian Gary Mormino interviewed Mr. Vega Díaz in August of 1980 as they walked through Ybor City, Florida. This se­lection is part of a longer interview that unveils the t­rials of ­labor activism, po­liti­cal radicalism, and immigration. José Vega Díaz was born in Cuba in 1884 and came to Ybor City with his f­ amily in 1892. At the age of 12, Díaz began to learn the cigar trade. ­After his apprenticeship, he worked in cigar factories ­until his retirement in 1926. Díaz’s complicated relationship with the cigar trade pushed him to seek other employment that paid a fair wage. Although Díaz never returned to cigar factory work, he remained in Ybor City for the rest of his life. Vega Díaz: I was born in Havana. Mormino: What year? Vega Díaz: Eigh­teen eighty-­four, on December 25. Mormino: And you came to Tampa what year?

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Vega Díaz: We come October 9, 1892. October 9, 1892, on the steamboat Olivette . . . ​ we reach Port Tampa about three ­o’clock. Mormino: What did you think of Tampa? How did Tampa compare to Havana? Vega Díaz: Oh, it cannot. Mormino: Why? Vega Díaz: Well, ­because we have in Havana at that time, we had a boat; we had a seaport in Havana. When they told me we go to Tampa, when we come to Tampa, we come to Ybor City. We ­don’t come to Tampa. Tampa is three miles from ­here, I think, downtown. I ­don’t want to come to Tampa. I cry night before [we left]; they had to call a ­little girl to come to tell me that Tampa is a good place, that it’s beautiful (laughs). Then we come to live in [this] l­ ittle town. We moved many places [around] h­ ere. No screen, no lamps, nothing. No electric light, no nothing, nothing. You know, I ­don’t learn En­glish, but as I tell you, ­because when I come to Ybor City, Ybor City is Havana. Same as Cuba. I went to the school, learn ­here Spanish. All is Spanish, Spanish. I go to a club, it’s Spanish. ­Every place where you go is Spanish. You go to the dry goods store, or you go to the grocery store, it’s Spanish. They ­don’t talk En­glish, nobody talks En­glish. Only a few, the ones who used to live in New York, or some other place. My u­ ncle—­when I came to Tampa, he’s forty years old in the United States. He’s born in Havana, too. So, every­body talk Spanish, so I ­don’t pay attention [to En­glish]. Mormino: Did you have any relatives [in Ybor City]? Vega Díaz: No, no, only my ­sister and my ­mother’s ­brother. That’s all. Mormino: Where did you learn how to make cigars? Vega Díaz: I went to one cigar factory they called Don Salas Mora, around Eigh­ teenth Street and Thirteenth Ave­nue. Mormino: How long did it take you? Vega Díaz: Two years. Mormino: Tell me how you learned to make cigars. Vega Díaz: Well, how you learn? They put me in place beside one of the cigar makers, and then he tell me, “Make a stripe,” the ­thing that go inside the cigar. I make that, I give to him. I make another, I give it to him. And a­ fter I have made many of them very good, then they send me to learn how to make the cigar. Mormino: Tell me about the lectores. Vega Díaz: The reader is a good t­ hing that we had in the factory, b­ ecause the manufacturers ­don’t want a reader. We select the reader, and we select the paper that we got to read. Yeah, the book, we pick the book, and we had the paper, the news, American paper, the Spanish paper, and we had some ­labor paper, too. The manufacturers d­ on’t want that. Mormino: Why not? Why ­didn’t the manufacturers want them?

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Vega Díaz: You know what Victor Hugo say? Victor Hugo say, in ­every town, in ­every place, they have a schoolteacher. They had a schoolteacher. In e­ very town—no, he said that it’s a light. It’s a light. A schoolteacher is a light, the lamp. And they had ­every time, had someone that blow away the light, the preachers. That’s why they d­ on’t want any (laughs). That’s what Victor Hugo say. In e­ very town, they had one light, the schoolteacher. And the preachers, they put out the light. Mormino: Did you join a u­ nion? Vega Díaz: The u­ nion? Yeah, I joined the u­ nion. Mormino: What was the name of the first u­ nion you joined? Vega Díaz: La Resistencia. Mormino: Why did you join the ­union? Vega Díaz: Why? For better conditions in the cigar, on the job and the work—­better conditions—­because the cigar manufacturers want to take more and more of the money. They pay very bad. You know, they sometimes used to pay—­I tell you, the small cigars, fourteen dollars a thousand. They pay fourteen dollars a thousand. Then they change you from the main hall, and they give you the same job, the same size [cigars] in the downstairs, another hall, and pay you two dollars less. Mormino: Did you ever meet Mr. Ybor? Vega Díaz: Oh, yes. Mormino: What was he like? Vega Díaz: He was a good fellow. Yeah, a good man. Mormino: If he was a good man, why did you need a ­union? Vega Díaz: Oh, well, t­here w ­ ere many cigar factories. Not only Martínez Ybor, ­there’s many cigar factories ­here. Mormino: Right. Who ­were the leaders in La Resistencia? Vega Díaz: Well, the main secretary—­it’s not a president, they have only a secretary. They call Jose Gonzalez Padilla, that’s the name of the fellow. He had to quit [organ­izing in] Tampa, b­ ecause if [the Citizen’s Committee] catch him, they kill him. They kill him. Mormino: So, he left. Vega Díaz: They say this president of the Citizens’ Committee—­Comité de ­Ciudadanos . . . ​they [break up] many strikes. When [the head of the ­union called] a strike one night, the [Citizens Committee] come in and they catch two men who ­don’t belong to the cigar factories, the cigar makers, anything . . . ​and [the Citizens Committee] hang them. And they put a sign: “We need seven more.” Mormino: How about yourself? Did you ever receive discrimination? Vega Díaz: Well, not exactly—­sometimes I had to hide myself, ­because I used to be president of the Joint Advisory Board, the committee for [the ­union], and

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sometimes they have some trou­ble. I had to go hide myself, ­because I’d be afraid of [being killed by the Citizens Committee]. One friend of mine, that used to be the president of Joint Advisory Board, he had to quit [organ­izing in] Tampa, too. One night, we had to take him, by railroad—by automobile—to Lakeland, so he could go on his way from Tampa, b­ ecause if they catch him, they kill him, too. Mormino: Would you call yourself a socialist, at that time? Vega Díaz: Well, at that time? Yeah. A socialist? Yeah, every­one would be socialist ­because of the—­the laborer get better conditions if the socialists coming. So it’s supposed to be that. Mormino: Would you do it over? Would you be a cigar worker over again, if you had a chance? Vega Díaz: Oh, no, no, no. Mormino: Why? Vega Díaz: You know, ­every time I dream about cigar factory, it’s bad dreams. Mormino: Bad dreams? Vega Díaz: Yeah, bad dreams. Mormino: Why? What are you dreaming? Vega Díaz: (laughs) Bad dreams ­because you know, we start—­when I go to work making cigars, we start at six ­o’clock in the morning, till six ­o’clock in the eve­ ning. Twelve hours in the cigar factory. Well, ­after that, we started ­later than that, but we finished l­ ater . . . When I dream about [the] cigar factory, I dream it’s late, late. I cannot finish, I cannot finish. Every­thing breaks . . . ​. ­Every time I dream about the cigar factory it’s a bad dream. I ­don’t like cigar factories. At first, I liked them, but then a­ fter that, I d­ on’t like the cigar factory. And last time I dreamed about the cigar factory, [I had a] good morning, and wake very good, but I ­don’t like it. Source: Excerpt and edited se­lection from oral history transcript. José Vega Díaz interviewed by Gary Mormino, August 24, 1980. Ybor City Oral History Proj­ect, Special Collections, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Reprinted with permission.

Oral History with Cigar Maker Dolores Patiño Río, 1985 The following document is a transcript of an oral history with cigar maker Dolores Patiño Río. Historian Nancy Hewitt interviewed Mrs. Patiño Río in the 1980s as the last generation of Ybor cigar workers began to fade. This excerpt is part of a longer, three-­part interview that unravels the details of what it was like to be a ­woman, a worker, a wife, and a ­mother in the Cigar City. Dolores Patiño Río was born Dolores Patiño in West Tampa in 1909, and grew up in Ybor City. Her m ­ other was Cuban and born in Key West; her f­ather was of

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Spanish heritage. Patiño Rí­o’s f­ather worked in the Sanchez y Haya cigar factory and ­later opened his own chinchal (small cigar shop). As the oldest of eight siblings, Dolores Patiño Río went to work in the cigar factories at the age of 14 to help support her ­family. Over the course of her ­career as a cigar worker she labored as a bunchera (bunch maker), a rollera (roller), and a machine operator while also raising three c­ hildren of her own. In 1974, Dolores Patiño Rio ended her ­career and was the first tabaquera to receive a pension. Hewitt: Mrs. Río, did you learn to make cigars in a buckeye shop (chinchal)? Patiño Río: No, I went to the factory, Sanchez y Haya. I was 14 years old when I started ­there. Hewitt: How did you get your first job? Patiño Río: I went over t­here [to Sanchez y Haya] to learn to make cigars, and I was working with someone teaching me, helping me. But in town Weeks, the old man who was the foreman ­there (I think he like me or something, he always called me “Lolita”), he says, “­You’re g­ oing to earn money.” My f­ ather worked ­there and my aunt, so he says, “How would you like to learn bunches and your aunt rolls.” I say OK, if you want, I’ll do it. So, the first paycheck I got, I never forget—­$3.25. I went “Ayyyy,” and took it home to my ­mother. Then the old man says, “Do you want to learn to work by hand?” I say yes, I want to learn. So he says, “Go to your f­ ather in the after­noon.” So I used to go and make by hand bunches for my ­father so he can make more cigars. Then one day, I was so scared, but I d­ idn’t say no. He says, “Hey, I’m g­ oing to make you a bunchmaker. ­You’re ­going to make bunches for two rollers.” It’s dif­fer­ent making for two. ­Every time they finish one more, you got to have another ready. Hewitt: ­Were many ­women bunchmakers? Patiño Río: ­Women always worked at the factory d­ oing the stripping, putting bands on, bunching for two rollers. But ­women who made bunches ­were afraid to do this for two men. You know, they w ­ ere embarrassed, standing between t­ hese two men. They look up at you, yell at you that ­you’re too slow, make jokes. But they had dif­fer­ent rooms for the strippers and the packers, just all ­women. Hewitt: ­Were t­here more Cuban w ­ omen who became bunchmakers and rollers? Patiño Río: Way back, at the beginning it was only men. Then they start like they do now. They d­ on’t want the ­women. The only ­thing the ­woman could do in the factory was to strip the tobacco leaves. Italian ­women ­were strippers too. Italian, Cuban, Spanish, they all try to get on as rollers ­because they all want to make more money. Hewitt: Did you get to be friends with the w ­ omen you worked with? Patiño Río: You had to be friendly. I talk if I have a chance sometimes, but if I have fast rollers, I have to be fast. But I talk, and if I ­don’t I hear every­body ­else

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talk. That’s why they used to say, the cigar makers, they know every­thing. You know, we had the man who came to read to us. We paid for that, but the man comes and reads the papers from ­every part. And then we all discuss it. ­There they read to you, and you heard t­hings from all parts of the country. Hewitt: Starting in 1930, with the Depression, times must have been hard again. Patiño Río: Yes, and they had another big strike then. They start accusing most cigar workers of being comunistas (communists). I tell you one t­hing, I see many ­things that have changed in the u­ nions ­today, but still I say, work with the ­union, work with the ­union. Other­wise it’s ­going to be worse. Hewitt: Did you make a lot less money during the Depression? Patiño Río: Oh yes, every­one was making less. We w ­ ere on a limit. You know it’s piece work, but they put you on limit. We only work three days or what­ever. They keep on working, but they earn less. But it’s better to earn less than to be on the streets. Hewitt: When did you get married and how did you meet your husband? Patiño Río: He came one night to visit my f­ amily. My m ­ other and his m ­ other, way, way back w ­ ere relatives. She came to see my m ­ other and brought three of her sons, and one was my husband [Fransisco Río]. We d­ idn’t marry right away. I met him in [November] 1929, and we married on September 30, 1930. Hewitt: Then when you got pregnant, did you quit work? Patiño Río: Oh, I worked ­until six, seven months before I had Sylvia. And then I left b­ ecause they fired me. Around Christmas they fire many ­people ­because they have Christmas o­ rders all done. With Gloria, I worked u­ ntil the last day ­because then I was working in a ­little factory. Hewitt: Then how soon a­ fter the baby did you go back to work? Patiño Río: As soon as they gave me the chance. When my ­daughter Gloria was born, ­after 15 days I was back again in the buckeye . . . ​. I was 40 days when I go back to work. They call me. I say I cannot lose the chance. I got to work. I need the money. Hewitt: And did your ­mother take care of the ­children then? Patiño Río: Oh yes, she took care of them. My m ­ other, she took care of ­children of ­women who worked in the factories, three or four at a time. And when I marry and have c­ hildren, my ­mother takes care of them too. Hewitt: What other kinds of work did your ­mother do? Patiño Río: Ybor City, it was like the frontier. Husbands say their wives ­don’t work, but w ­ omen always work. Like my m ­ other, she raised eight c­ hildren. Grandma and two cousins also lived in the ­house. We got a duplex, ­there w ­ ere so many ­people . . . ​. Laundry, so much laundry. And cooking, of course. She even kept a vegetable garden to help out . . . ​yes, and in the buckeye, the chinchal. Hewitt: So she worked in your ­father’s buckeye?

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Patiño Río: Well, he w ­ ouldn’t say so. She just “helped out.” But she worked ­there, a lot, especially in slow times or when workers ­were hard to get. Hewitt: When did the kind of work you did in the factory start changing? Was it during the Depression? Patiño Río: Yes, then they start pulling every­thing down. But it starts ­because they are putting in machines, taking the skill away. P ­ eople start taking up other trades. Hewitt: When did you change over to machines? Patiño Río: It was in 1950. The machines make more cigars and make them cheaper. At the beginning I ­didn’t like it. I was afraid. Then the man told me, “This [hand work] is ­going down. ­Don’t tell nobody but go to some machine and see how it works.” Then pretty soon, he says, “OK, Monday you go on the machine.” Hewitt: Do you think it was harder for older men and w ­ omen to shift to the machines? Patiño Río: Oh yes, some of them ­couldn’t make it ­because they ­were so used to ­doing it right, and not g­ oing fast. And they cannot go as fast as the machine. Hewitt: So all the fine craft work was gone ­after the machines came in? Patiño Río: At the machines, you have to be fast, fast. To make 5,000 cigars a day, the machines run, r­ eally run. Hewitt: Given all the changes you experienced as a cigar worker, what did you like best about your job? Patiño Río: Cigars, well, the only ­thing I can tell you is ­because I make money. It’s the only way I can make money. ­There was no other way . . . ​. That’s all I know so I had to like it. Source: Excerpted and edited se­lection from oral history transcript. Dolores Patiño Río interviewed by Nancy A. Hewitt, September 4, 1985. “­Women in Ybor City: An Interview with a ­Woman Cigar Worker,” Tampa Bay History Journal, Fall/Winter, 1985, pp. 161–165.

See also: Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City; Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence; ­Labor Activism during the G ­ reat Depression

Further Reading Daniel, Evan Matthew. 2015. “Cuban Cigar Makers in Havana, Key West, and Ybor City, 1850s-1890s: A Single Universe?” in Geoffrey de Laforcade and Kirwin Shaffer, eds., In Defiance of Bound­aries: Anarchism in Latin American History, pp. 25–47. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Federal Writers Proj­ect. 1935. “Ybor City, General Description, Latin Population.” Manuscript, Special Collections, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Greenbaum, Susan D. 2002. More than Black: Afro-­Cubans in Tampa. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Settlement of Ybor City, 1885–1930 | 195 Greenbaum, Susan D. 2010. “Afro-­Cubans in Tampa,” in Miriam Jimenez Roman and Juan Flores, eds., The Afro-­Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, pp. 51–61. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Hewitt, Nancy A. 1985. “­Women in Ybor City: An Interview with a ­Woman Cigar Worker,” Tampa Bay History Journal, Fall/Winter, 161–165. Hewitt, Nancy  A. 2001. Southern Discomfort: ­Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-­1920s. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Hewitt, Nancy A. 2007. “Economic Crisis and Po­liti­cal Mobilization: Reshaping Cultures of Re­sis­tance in Tampa’s Communities of Color,” in Sharon Harley, ed., ­Women’s ­Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices, pp. 62–81. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Ingalls, Robert P. 1985. “Strikes and Vigilante Vio­lence in Tampa’s Cigar Industry,” Tampa Bay History Journal, 117–134. Ingalls, Robert P. 1988. Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa 1882–1936. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Ingalls, Robert P. 1996. “The Life and Work of Jose Yglesias,” Tampa Bay History Journal, Spring/Summer: 5–28. Manach, Jorgé. 1950. Marti: Apostle of Freedom. Trans. Coley Taylor. New York: Devin-­Adair. Mormino, Gary, and George Pozzetta. 1998. The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors, 1885–1895. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Parado, Peter. 2008. Oral History Interview with Sarah McNamara [interview in possession of the author]. Pérez, Louis A. 1978. “Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants,” Florida Historical Quarterly 57 (2): 129–140. Pérez, Louis A. 1978. “Ybor City Remembered,” Southeastern Latin Americanist 22 (1): 174–177. Pérez, Louis A. 2003. Cuba and the United States: Ties of Singular Intimacy (3d ed.). Athens: University of Georgia Press. Poyo, Gerald Eugene. 1989. With All and for the Good of All: The Emergence of Popu­lar Nationalism in the Cuban Communities of the United States, 1848-­1898. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Terkel, Studs. 1970. Hard Times: An Oral History of the ­Great Depression. New York: Pantheon Books. U.S. ­Women’s Bureau. 1932. The Effects on ­Women of Changing Conditions in the Cigar and Cigarette Industries (Bulletin of the U.S. ­Women’s Bureau, No. 100). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Westfall, L. Glen. 1985. “Latin Entrepreneurs and the Birth of Ybor City,” Tampa Bay History Journal 7 (2, Fall/Winter): 6–11.

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Spanish-­American War, 1898 Bonnie A. Lucero

Chronology 1868, On September  23, the Grito de Lares—­a public call for in­de­pen­ September dence in the town of Lares—­initiates the Puerto Rican strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence against Spain. 1868, October

On October 10, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes issues the Grito de Yara, a call for in­de­pen­dence in the town of Yara, initiating the first of Cuba’s three wars for in­de­pen­dence from Spain: the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878).


Cuba’s second war of in­de­pen­dence, la Guerra Chiquita or “­Little War” (1879–1880) erupts following dissatisfaction with the Pact of Zanjón, which ended the Ten Years’ War.


Cuban nationalist and intellectual José Martí establishes the Cuban Revolutionary Party in New York.


On February 24, the Grito de Baire inaugurates Cuba’s final War of In­de­pen­dence against Spanish colonial rule (1895–1898).

1896, February

In Cuba, Spain replaces Captain General Arsenio Martínez Campos y Antón with Valeriano Weyler, who implements the policy of reconcentration.

1896, August

On August 26, rebels ­under General Emilio Aguinaldo begin the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonial rule with the Grito de Balintawak.

1896–1898 U.S. newspapers—­including the New York Journal, owned by William Randolph Hearst, and The New York World, owned by Joseph Pulitzer—­publish graphic press coverage of Spanish atrocities in Cuba. This galvanizes U.S. support for Cuban rebels. 1897

Clara Barton brings the American Red Cross to assist relief efforts for Cuban reconcentrados (­those in concentration camps).

1897, November

Spain grants po­liti­cal autonomy in Cuba and Puerto Rico, scheduling elections for the following year.

1898, February

On February 9, U.S. newspapers publish a letter in which the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, criticizes

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U.S. President William McKinley as vain and weak, helping galvanize anti-­Spanish sentiment. The battleship USS Maine mysteriously sinks in Havana Harbor on February 15, killing 266 men aboard, leading to heightened tensions between the U.S. and Spanish governments. 1898, March

On March 29, the U.S. government threatens war if Spain does not leave Cuba, an ultimatum Spain refuses on April 1.

1898, April

On April 20, President McKinley signs the Joint Resolution with the Teller Amendment declaring war against Spain ­under the condition that the United States renounce any claim over Cuban sovereignty. Spain severs diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21, and the United States initiates a naval blockade of Cuba’s major harbors. Spain formally declares war on the United States on April 23.

1898, June U.S. Marines land at Guantánamo, Cuba, on June 10, initiating the invasion of Cuba. On June  12, General Aguinaldo declares Philippine in­de­pen­dence following American military intervention and the joint defeat of Spanish forces. The United States Congress votes to annex Hawai’i on June 15. Spanish forces in Guam surrender to the United States on June 21. On June 23, the First Volunteer Cavalry, known as the “Rough Riders,” arrives in eastern Cuba. Led by Leonard Wood and Theodore Roo­se­velt, the cavalry was formed in response to McKinley’s call for 125,000 volunteers. 1898, July

Spanish forces surrender at Santiago on July 17. U.S. forces invade Puerto Rico on July  25, escalating the naval blockade.

1898, August

The peace protocol, which serves as the foundation for the subsequent Treaty of Paris, ends all hostilities between Spain and the United States in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam on August 12. Spanish forces at Manila surrender on August 13.

1898, November

On November  29, the Philippine Revolutionary Congress declares the Philippine Republic ­under the Malolos Constitution.

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1898, December

On December  10, Spain and the United States sign the Treaty of Paris in which Spain cedes Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States, relinquishes sovereignty over Cuba, and sells the Philippines to the United States for $20 million. In the Proclamation of Benevolent Assimilation, issued on December 21, McKinley declares the need to annex the Philippines by force if necessary.

1899, January

On January 1, the United States inaugurates its military occupation of Cuba (1899–1902).

1899, January–­ February

Spanish forces leave Cuba.

1899, February

Philippine rebels ­under Emilio Aguinaldo declare war on the United States on February 4, initiating the Philippine-­American War (1899– 1902) to consolidate their in­de­pen­dence.

1900, April

The enactment of the Foraker Act on April 12 allows for the establishment of civilian government in Puerto Rico.

1901, June Facing pressure from the United States, the Cuban Constitutional Convention fi­nally approves the Platt Amendment on June 12, in a 16–11 vote. The amendment limits Cuba’s sovereignty and allows the United States to intervene militarily on the island whenever such action is deemed necessary. 1902, May

On May 20, U.S. troops depart from Cuba, facilitating the establishment of the Cuban Republic.

1902, July

Enactment of the Philippine Organic Act on July 1 allows for limited self-­government, which emerged with the establishment of the Tagalog Republic. On July  4, U.S. forces suppress the Philippine Insurrection, which claimed the lives of 20,000 Philippine soldiers and 200,000 Philippine civilians and inaugurated a half-­century of U.S. colonial rule.


The United States intervenes on behalf of rebels against Colombia, culminating in the establishment of the in­de­pen­dent Republic of Panama; the United States quickly negotiates a treaty for the construction of a trans-­isthmian canal.


The United States intervenes in Cuba following a po­liti­cal revolt, establishing the second military occupation, which lasts from 1906 to 1909.

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The United States intervenes in Cuba to suppress po­liti­cal protests by Cuba’s black po­liti­cal party, the In­de­pen­dent Party of Color, following the prohibition of race-­based associations.

1915–1934 The United States occupies multiple countries in the Ca­rib­bean, including Cuba (1917–1922), the Dominican Republic (1916– 1924), and Haiti (1915–1934). 1916, August

Passage of the Jones Act on August 29 grants autonomy to the Philippines, creating the first elected legislature ­there.

1917, March

On March 17, limited U.S. citizenship is granted to Puerto Ricans via the Jones-­Shafroth Act, ­after 20,000 Puerto Ricans serve in World War I.


The Cuban government successfully negotiates an end to the Platt Amendment as part of United States’ “Good Neighbor Policy.”


A commonwealth government is established in the Philippines in accordance with the 1934 Tydings-­McDuffie Act.


Police in the Puerto Rican town of Ponce assassinate 17 unarmed, peaceful civilian protesters associated with the Nationalist Party, and wound 200 more in the Ponce Massacre.


The Philippines secures sovereignty from the United States.


The United States violently suppresses Puerto Rican Nationalist revolts against U.S. rule, by means including the active aerial bombing of the towns of Utuado and Jayuya.


Puerto Rico becomes a commonwealth ­under its own constitution.


Cuban rebels ­under Fidel Castro march into Havana, proclaiming the triumph of the Cuban Revolution: a movement largely envisioned as a vindication of the stunted Cuban in­de­pen­dence following the Spanish-­American War.

Narrative Conventional narratives of United States history celebrate the Spanish-­American War as one of the early pinnacles of American greatness. It showcased American altruism, as the United States selflessly fought to liberate the Cuban p­ eople from the tyrannical colonial rule of Spain. It also marked the triumphant projection of U.S. military power on an international stage, not only to avenge the lives of 266 men who died in the explosion of the battleship USS Maine on February 15, 1898, but also to vindicate insults to U.S. national honor allegedly perpetrated by Spanish

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The ­Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-­American War. The b ­ attle demolished the Spanish Navy and allowed the United States to acquire the Philippines. (Library of Congress)

officials. The military victory was swift and decisive. Between late April and August 1898, the United States defeated Spanish forces in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam in what U.S. Secretary of State John Hay called a “Splendid ­Little War”—­and annexed the Republic of Hawai’i in the pro­cess. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris in December that year, the United States acquired Puerto Rico and Guam outright, paid $20 million for the Philippines, and claimed pacification privileges over Cuba. The U.S. acquisition of ­these territories transformed the global balance of power, dismantling Spain as one of the world’s most power­ ful empires and ushering in what many historians call the “American ­Century,” a prolonged period of U.S. military dominance on the global stage. Unfortunately, this romantic and triumphalist narrative of the Spanish-­American War implicitly reproduces imperialist and racial hierarchies by erasing the participation of Spain’s former colonies in the conflict. If we examine developments in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam, it becomes clear that the Spanish-­ American War was ­really more of a U.S. intervention in a much longer trajectory of ongoing anti-­colonial strug­gles and colonial negotiations in Spain’s remaining colonies. By interrupting ­these pro­cesses, the United States intervention in 1898 forever transformed the United States’ relationship with the world and with its own growing population of Latino p­ eople, which the war helped create. In Cuba and the Philippines, where nationalists waged wars of in­de­pen­dence long before U.S.

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involvement, the Spanish-­American War marked the erasure of their anti-­colonial victories over Spain and the beginning of a new series of strug­gles for national self-­determination against U.S. rule. In Puerto Rico and Guam, where anti-­colonial strug­gle at the moment of U.S. intervention was ­either temporarily suspended or inactive, the war unleashed more than a ­century of colonial dominance. In the case of Puerto Rico, U.S. rule brought de­cades of anti-­nationalist repression. The enduring significance of Cuban, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Guamanian engagement in the war suggests that a more appropriate name for the war would be the Spanish-­ Cuban-­Filipino-­American War (Foner, 1972).

The Expansionist Antecedents to 1898 The Spanish-­American War built on a solid foundation of expansionism in British North Amer­i­ca and, subsequently, the United States. From the outset of British colonization in North Amer­i­ca, colonists encroached upon Native American land, fighting wars against the diverse native ­peoples of North Amer­ic­ a to expand their dominion over territory. The Anglo-­Powhatan Wars, Pequot War, and King Philip’s War of the 17th ­century aimed to carve out formal control over the 13 original colonies. By the 18th ­century, British colonists fought both Native Americans and Eu­ro­pe­ans to expand their territorial holdings westward. They did just this in the French and Indian War (1754–1763) and the suppression of Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763–1768). As an in­de­pen­dent nation, the United States quickly renewed this penchant for territorial expansion. In 1803, the United States took advantage of major tumult in the French empire following the French and Haitian Revolutions (1789–1799; 1791–1804) to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. This deal expanded U.S. territorial possessions by nearly 1 million miles. The same developments that facilitated U.S. acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France also set in motion a series of changes within the Spanish empire. The French capture of Spanish monarch Fernando VII in 1808, though initially prompting Spanish American monarchal loyalty, eventually led to a series of anti-­colonial wars raging through Spain’s Central and South American colonies during the first three de­cades of the 19th ­century. In the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, U.S. President James Monroe laid official claim to U.S. regional supremacy in the region, denouncing Eu­ro­pean interference in the Amer­i­cas in an effort to stave off the return of Spanish and French presence to newly in­de­pen­dent Latin American republics and to prevent Rus­sian expansion southward through Alaska. The Latin American republic that bore the brunt of 19th-­century U.S. expansionism was Mexico, which had recently gained in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821. The Mexican government had encouraged the settlement of U.S.-­based planters in

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order to strengthen state control over its sparsely populated northern frontier. Many U.S. citizens relocated to the northern Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas to take advantage of favorable land acquisition terms—­and brought their slaves with them. The abolition of slavery in Mexico in 1829, despite its delayed implementation on the northern frontier, prompted a crisis among newly settled Anglo slave ­owners. Refusing to relinquish their “right” to own enslaved ­people, ­these settlers declared in­de­pen­dence from Mexico, and eventually established the short-­lived Republic of Texas (1836–1846). The ensuing Mexican-­American War (1846–1848) set an impor­tant pre­ce­dent for U.S. military engagement in sovereign countries beyond its con­temporary borders. The defeat of Mexico resulted in unpre­ce­dented territorial gains for the United States, including the U.S. annexation of Texas in 1845. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established the Rio Grande as the U.S.-­ Mexico border, and the United States exchanged $15 million for the rest of Mexico’s northern territories, part of which became the f­ ree state of California in 1850. At the same time as other Spanish American colonies ­were declaring their in­de­pen­dence and establishing republics, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam remained loyal to Spain. Cuba’s permanence in the Spanish empire was largely owed to the eco­nom­ically lucrative production of sugarcane cultivated by a growing enslaved population at the turn of the 19th ­century. In the wake of the Haitian Revolution, the formerly profitable sugar plantations of French St. Domingue lay in ruins, making way for Cuba to replace that colony as the world’s largest sugar producer. ­Because the Haitian Revolution had given birth to the first black republic, and even inspired similar revolts, like the 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba, wealthy slave-­owning Cuban sugar planters sought to prevent “another Haiti” by exchanging military protection from slave revolt for continued loyalty to Spain, making Cuba the “Ever-­Faithful Isle.” The survival of Spain’s American empire in Cuba and Puerto Rico represented a consistent thorn in the side of advocates of the Monroe Doctrine—an ongoing challenge to U.S. hemispheric dominance and an obstacle to U.S. trade in the Pacific. U.S. annexationist desires centered most explic­itly on Cuba, located just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Almost e­ very U.S. president since John Adams had expressed explicit interest in acquiring the island, which they viewed as a “natu­ral appendage” of the United States. Cuba was often portrayed in po­liti­cal cartoons as a ripe piece of fruit ready to fall in the lap of U ­ ncle Sam. As U.S. Southern planters continued to cling to slavery into the 1850s, they actively courted Cuba as a potential slave-­holding ally, sponsoring filibustering expeditions (unauthorized military missions in foreign countries) ­under Narciso López in 1849–1851, and to Nicaragua ­under William Walker, who reinstated slavery in 1856. Although the trajectory of U.S. expansionism and expansionist designs before the 1860s set impor­tant pre­ce­dents for the voracious imperial appetite in 1898, many

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of the most impor­tant U.S. military leaders of the Spanish-­American War had built their c­ areers through their participation in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and subsequent expansionist and internally colonizing proj­ects. The Northern military occupations of Southern departments during Radical Reconstruction and the alleged racial instability produced by the 14th and 15th Amendments in par­tic­ul­ ar led some Union veterans, who would ­later serve in Cuba and the Philippines, to conclude that nonwhite populations w ­ ere unfit for self-­government. Moreover, the acceleration of industrialization in the Northeast following the Civil War reinvigorated American interest in Manifest Destiny, in part driving westward expansion, encroachment on Native Americans’ land, and a series of “Indian Wars” during the late 19th ­century. The emphasis on assimilation—of Native Americans and of the Southern and Eastern Eu­ro­pean immigrants pouring into industrial cities in the late 19th ­century—­would also become the prevailing ideology in “pacifying” Spain’s former colonies and the primary rationale for extending U.S. rule in ­these islands. While the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 ended the sectional interest in annexing Cuba as a slave state, the outbreak of anti-­colonial strug­gle in Cuba complicated U.S. relations with the Ever-­Faithful Isle. Cuban rebels waged two unsuccessful strug­gles for in­de­pen­dence against Spain: the Ten Years’ War (1868– 1878) and the Guerra Chiquita (“­little war”) (1879–1880). ­These wars had failed to capture the attention of the American public, but the third and final war of in­de­ pen­dence (1895–1898) commanded broad interest in the United States due in part to the vivid press coverage of Spanish atrocities against Cuban civilians. When General Valeriano Weyler, known as the Butcher, initiated the policy of reconcentration, whereby thousands of w ­ omen and c­ hildren ­were forcibly relocated into concentration camps, images of starving ­children graced the front pages of major newspapers from New York to Boston (Hoganson, 2000). This graphic press coverage also heightened support for Cuban rebels, who ­were sometimes compared to the founding ­fathers of the United States. They ­were led by General-­in-­Chief Máximo Gómez. Despite the broad sympathy of the American public for the suffering of the Cuban ­people, not to mention active agitation among Cuban nationalists in the United States, the U.S. government refused to lend material aid to the rebels. The Cuban Revolutionary Party, founded in 1891 by Cuban nationalist José Martí, pleaded with Congress to recognize Cuban belligerency in order to support their war effort and relieve suffering. However, the United States was starkly divided between imperialists, who sought to continue the U.S. legacy of expansionism, and anti-­ imperialists, who opposed expansion abroad. Anti-­imperialists employed vari­ous arguments, ranging from the idea that government required the consent of the governed to the fear that the nonwhite populations of islands like Cuba would bring the American republic down (Love, 2004). U.S. President William McKinley refused to

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Cuban and Puerto Rican Activism in New York and South Florida The anti-­colonial activism of Cuban and Puerto Rican nationalists in the de­cades leading up to the Spanish-­American War proved to be crucial in the development of po­liti­cally conscious Latino communities in South Florida and New York. Cuban settlement in Key West and Ybor City followed the relocation of the cigar manufacturing factories in the wake of the outbreak of anti-­colonial war in Cuba in 1868. Fleeing militant l­ abor activism, cigar manufacturers again moved their establishments to Tampa, prompting a significant influx of Cuban l­ abor ­there. The late 19th-­century establishment of prominent Cuban communities in South Florida made this area integral to the Cuban strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence, as manufacturers and workers alike donated money and material assistance to the cause and some of the most impor­tant Cuban revolutionaries passed through. The massive destruction caused by 30 years of war in Cuba motivated many of the members of this emerging Cuban community to remain in South Florida following the Spanish-­American War. Other Cubans and Puerto Ricans fled po­liti­cal persecution, mobilizing nationalist activities in New York City. In 1891, José Martí, the intellectual architect of Cuban nationalism, founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which became the civil wing of the Cuban War of In­de­pen­dence (1895– 1898). The black nationalist, journalist, and Cuban po­liti­cal activist Rafael Serra y Montalvo, who had initially migrated to South Florida, established himself in New York in the late 1880s and founded vari­ous nationalist newspapers. Puerto Rican-­born historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg established himself in New York in the early 1890s and became one of the most prominent black intellectuals of the early 20th ­century. The nationalist and diasporic activism of t­ hese and other Puerto Rican and Cuban persons formed the foundation for a vibrant and cosmopolitan Hispanic community in New York (Guridy, 2010).

aid Cuban forces. U.S. nurse and founder of the American Red Cross Clara Barton, then in her seventies, mobilized her organ­ization to aid starving Cuban families in early 1897. By December, despite the lack of military assistance, the Cuban rebels seemed to have secured an impor­tant victory over the Spanish, who granted autonomy to the island, an act widely recognized as an admission of defeat. As the anti-­colonial war seemingly drew closer to an end, relations between Spain and the United States deteriorated. Two developments w ­ ere key to this mounting

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animosity. First, a letter in which the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Enrique Dupuy De Lôme, insulted U.S. President William McKinley was leaked to the U.S. press on February 9, 1898. De Lôme reportedly called McKinley “weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd besides being a would-be politician [politicastro] who tries to leave a door open ­behind himself while keeping on good terms with the jingoes of his party.” Second, just days ­later, the battleship USS Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor, killing 266 men aboard. The United States quickly blamed Spain for torpedoing the ship. Although the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry initially claimed that an e­ nemy mine had provoked the explosion, subsequent investigations suggest that it was more likely caused by an internal fire which ignited the munitions stores. With the sinking of the battleship Maine, the objectives of the United States in Cuba became more complex. Now the U.S. government not only had a pretext to help “liberate” the Cubans from Spanish rule, as many sympathetic Americans demanded; it also had the obligation to vindicate or avenge the deaths of the soldiers and officers on the sunken ship, restore President McKinley’s honor, and punish the suspected perpetrator for the offenses. McKinley sought permission from Congress to go to war against Spain. Likely recognizing the dangers to Cuban sovereignty posed by the long history of U.S. designs on the island, Colorado Republican Senator Henry M. Teller composed an amendment to the Joint Resolution allowing the United States to declare war. The Teller Amendment, as it came to be known, placed conditions on the U.S. role in Cuba, forcing the expansionist nation to renounce any claim over the island’s sovereignty. McKinley signed the Amended Joint Resolution on April 20, 1898, and war commenced the following day with a U.S. naval blockade of Cuba’s major harbors. On May 1, U.S. forces fought the first ­battle at Manila in the Philippines. By early June, U.S. troops, including all four of the black regiments in the United States army—­the 24th and 25th Infantry as well as the 9th and 10th Cavalry—­landed in eastern Cuba. U.S. forces reached Guam on June 20, capturing the island within two days, and continuing on to reinforce troops in the Philippines. In order to bolster military operations in the Pacific theater, the United States expedited the annexation of the Republic of Hawai’i, with a law passed in July 1898. A naval blockade on June 25 preceded a land invasion of Puerto Rico on July 25 (Pérez, 1998). The conflicts w ­ ere most heated in Cuba and the Philippines, where active strug­ gles against Spanish rule already raged well prior to U.S. intervention. In both cases, U.S. and rebel forces held fundamentally dif­fer­ent understandings of the nature of U.S. involvement. Whereas rebel forces in both Cuba and the Philippines envisioned the U.S. role as supplementary to their own goal of po­liti­cal in­de­pen­dence from Spain, U.S. forces regarded their role more as conquerors of t­hese lands. In Cuba, this manifested in the intense animosity between U.S. soldiers and volunteers

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and their Cuban counter­parts, many of who w ­ ere starving and appeared ragged a­ fter years of guerilla-­style warfare. U.S. soldiers found the racial background of their “accidental allies” to be problematic as well. The majority of Cubans residing in the United States and active in the Cuban Revolutionary Party w ­ ere white, wealthy, and formally educated. In contrast, many of the soldiers, particularly in eastern Cuba, ­were of vis­i­ble African descent. ­These pejorative impressions led many prominent U.S. officers to treat their Cuban allies as subordinates rather than equals. U.S. officers treated Cuban forces like laborers rather than soldiers, often ordering them to perform menial tasks in ser­vice of their U.S. counter­parts and excluding them from the front lines. They slandered Cuban nationalists by labeling (and treating) them as looters rather than honorable patriots. U.S. forces ­under General William R. Shafter even refused to permit Cuban forces u­ nder General Calixto García to march triumphantly into Santiago following the defeat of Spain. Subsequent narratives of the war overemphasized the U.S. contribution: for example, in the ­Battle of San Juan Hill, which occurred on July 1, 1898, just outside the eastern Cuban city of Santiago. Although the victory in this b­ attle is typically attributed to the military acumen of Theodore Roo­se­velt with his First Volunteer Cavalry, the “Rough Riders” ­were but a small fraction of the U.S. ser­vicemen involved. The so-­called “Smoked Yankees” of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th Infantry, who fought valiantly in the face of heavy fire, ­were key players. Victory would likely not have been pos­si­ble without significant Cuban intelligence and support, not to mention the years of fighting that had preceded the ­battle (Gatewood, 1987). Similarly, in the Philippines, U.S. forces ignored the June 12 declaration of Philippine in­de­pen­dence, subsequently excluding the Filipino representative from peace talks. The exclusion of Spain’s former colonies from negotiations on the Treaty of Paris essentially negated the sovereignty that Cuban and Philippine leaders had already declared, and transferred Puerto Rico and Guam from the Spanish to the U.S. empire in­def­initely. The absence of an active in­de­pen­dence strug­gle in Guam and the temporary suppression of the Puerto Rican anti-­colonial strug­gle enabled the United States to install lasting colonial regimes in both islands. Cuba and the Philippines ­were another ­matter entirely. Despite the ongoing in­de­pen­dence strug­gles in ­these islands, the United States refused to honor their sovereignty, frustrating Cuban and Philippine nationalists. In order to justify U.S. rule in Cuba and the Philippines, U.S. officials drew on their recent experiences with Reconstruction and Indian assimilation to argue that the nonwhiteness of many Cubans and most Filipinos rendered them unfit for self-­government. In par­tic­ul­ ar, social Darwinism, the application of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to h­ uman difference, provided the pseudo-­scientific backing for claims that the United States, as an Anglo nation, had the responsibility

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to “civilize” the savage and barbaric nonwhite ­peoples of the world. This idea, encapsulated in the concept of the “White Man’s Burden,” suggested that ­peoples who failed to live up to the Anglo-­Saxon ideal needed white American tutelage in order to become more civilized and learn the “art of self-­government.” ­These racial ideas provided a power­ful rationale for violation of the Teller Amendment in Cuba and the violent repression of Philippine nationalists. In order to understand the lasting legacy of the Spanish-­American War, it is necessary to examine the violent strug­gles for national self-­determination in Cuba, the Philippines, and subsequently in Puerto Rico that defined much of the 20th ­century and the U.S. colonial rule in Puerto Rico and Guam that endures to this day.

Eugenics in the United States’ Ca­rib­bean Colony Following the U.S. acquisition of Puerto Rico in 1898, U.S. colonial administrators became increasingly concerned with what they viewed to be the excessive population growth on the island due to high fertility. ­These concerns stemmed from prejudiced preconceptions about Puerto Ricans as racially degenerate, uncivilized, culturally backward, and potentially harmful to the United States (Suárez-­Findlay, 2000). B ­ ecause fertility rates w ­ ere significantly higher among the racially mixed poor and working-­class Puerto Ricans than they w ­ ere among Anglos in the United States, some policymakers worried that, if unchecked, the high fertility of Puerto Rican ­women would not only increase the number of p­ eople living in poverty, but would also negatively affect the racial composition of the United States. As a result, proponents of eugenics, a scientific movement that sought to improve a population’s race through manipulating reproduction, enacted a series of mea­sures to reduce the fertility of Puerto Rican ­women. Initially, U.S. policy centered on regulating prostitution to reduce venereal disease, a threat to mainland w ­ omen and c­ hildren if U.S. troops became infected by Puerto Rican prostitutes. By the 1920s, U.S. efforts focused on reducing Puerto Rican fertility by developing, testing, and disseminating hormonal birth control among Puerto Rican w ­ omen. ­These efforts even included proposals to introduce contraceptive agents into the ­water supply. Between the 1930s and the 1960s, the U.S. government pursued a policy of postpartum sterilization without w ­ omen’s consent. At its apex in 1968, this policy affected more than one-­third of Puerto Rican w ­ omen, leading Puerto Rican nationalists to level the charge of genocide at the U.S. government (Briggs, 2002).

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A Prolonged Strug­gle for In­de­pen­dence in Cuba Following the cessation of hostilities in June and the signing of the Treaty of Paris in December, 1898, U.S. forces remained in Cuba. On January 1, 1899, the United States inaugurated the first military occupation (1899–1902) to “pacify” the island. During the first year of the occupation, Cuba’s first military governor, John Rutter Brooke, disbanded the Cuban Liberating Army, or­ga­nized police and rural guard forces, reformed and expanded public education, inaugurated massive infrastructure proj­ects, and invested heavi­ly in hygiene and public health. Some military officials judged ­these efforts so successful that they claimed the United States had already fulfilled its obligations ­under the Teller Amendment and should end the occupation. High-­ranking U.S. government officials, however, disagreed, seeking to extend the U.S. presence in Cuba. By 1900, the United States prolonged the military occupation by establishing a civil government u­ nder its auspices and replacing Brooke with General Leonard Wood, who had earned a reputation as a  particularly brutal leader during his tenure as military governor of Santiago de Cuba. Cuban nationalists actively protested what they saw as a violation of the Teller Amendment, and voiced their discontent in their elections. Even though the U.S. military officials initially attempted to limit the electorate through suffrage restrictions, and actively committed or encouraged fraud to ensure pro-­U.S. victories, Cuban voters overwhelmingly elected nationalist candidates in 1900 and 1901. The nationalist electoral victories became particularly problematic for the United States in the se­lection of delegates to the Cuban Constitutional Assembly, all but two of whom ran on pro-­independence platforms. In order to counteract ­these “radical” delegates, the United States pressed the Cuban Constitutional Assembly to add to its constitution the Platt Amendment, which limited Cuban sovereignty by allowing for ­future U.S. intervention, among other conditions. Although the majority of the delegates initially rejected the Platt Amendment, they eventually accepted it ­under U.S. pressure, resulting in the birth of the Cuban republic on May 20, 1902 (Pérez, 1983). Due to the restrictions on Cuban sovereignty imposed by the Platt Amendment, the United States launched several military interventions on the island, three of which culminated in full-­blown military occupations. In 1905, following the fraudulent re-­election of U.S. preferred presidential candidate Tomás Estrada Palma, the Liberal Party rebelled in what became known as the August Revolution. The United States sent the “Army of Cuban Pacification” to suppress the disturbance, occupying the island from 1906 ­until 1909. In 1910, the passage of the Moret Law outlawed race-­based po­liti­cal organ­izations, effectively criminalizing the island’s only black

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po­liti­cal party, the In­de­pen­dent Party of Color. Protests against the law culminated in a state-­sponsored massacre in 1912, and U.S. troops again intervened militarily. Again in 1917, U.S. forces responded to a request from American sugar planters in Cuba for protection in the wake of a po­liti­cal uprising, resulting in the longest occupation from 1917 u­ ntil 1922. Even ­after Cubans successfully repealed the Platt Amendment in 1934, the United States still exerted overwhelming po­liti­cal influence in Cuba, backing dictators such as Gerardo Machado and Fulgencio Batista. As a result of popu­lar discontent over the stark social inequalities and po­liti­cal repression in the wake of Batista’s 1952 coup d’etat, Cuban rebels ­under a young ­lawyer, Fidel Castro, or­ga­nized a movement to reclaim Cuba for Cubans. The initial attack on the military installation at Moncada Barracks, on July 26, 1953, marked the abysmal failure of the early movement, known subsequently as the 26th of July Movement. Following a general amnesty in 1955, Castro and the surviving participants of the attack w ­ ere released from prison and fled to Mexico, where they trained for their next attempt against the Batista regime. In 1956, Castro and his followers returned to Cuba, where they employed guerrilla tactics and gained broad popu­lar support for toppling Batista from power. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution on

Spain’s Generación del 98 While the Spanish-­American War was largely heralded as a triumph of civilization and military might in the United States, in Spain the war became known as the Disaster of 1898. The loss of its remaining colonies plunged Spanish po­liti­cal elites into apathy and neglect, following the embarrassing disintegration of what had been one of the most power­ful and wealthiest empires in the world. In response, Spanish intellectuals and artists from a variety of genres sought to redefine Spain by reinvigorating pride in Spanish culture and identity. Writers, poets, playwrights, phi­los­o­phers, and other thinkers who ­were active between 1898 and 1918 turned away from Spain’s imperial past, cultivating pride in Castilian heritage and challenging po­liti­cal stagnation through active involvement in politics. They became known as the Generación del 98 (Generation of ’98) or the Generación Finisecular (­Century’s End Generation), a group of intellectuals and artists defined by their patriotic sentiment, historical pessimism, and critiques of the established order. Among the most prominent thinkers of the Generación del 98 ­were phi­los­op­ her Miguel de Unamuno, writers Azorín and Antonio Machado, and painter Darío de Regoyos.

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January 1, 1959, was widely regarded as the final vindication of Cuba’s stunted in­de­pen­dence in 1898.

Philippine-­American War U.S. forces remained in the Philippines too, refusing to recognize the First Philippine Republic declared by long-­time nationalist Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898. The United States, excluding Filipinos from the peace negotiations, purchased the archipelago from Spain for $20 million. An incident in which a U.S. sentry killed a Filipino ignited conflict between Philippine nationalists and U.S. forces on February 4, 1899. The United States violently suppressed vari­ous Philippine nationalist factions, capturing then-­president Aguinaldo in 1901. A separate faction ­under Macario Sacay proclaimed the Tagalog Republic in 1902, which had limited self-­governing abilities. This marked the formal end of the Philippine-­American War, which claimed the lives of 34,000 Filipino combatants and approximately 200,000 civilians, and inaugurated more than four de­cades of U.S. colonial rule in the Philippines. Periodic rebellions raged on for more than a de­cade, as rebel groups including the Moros and the Pulahanes in the Muslim south resisted U.S. forces ­until 1913. It was not ­until 1946 that the United States relinquished sovereignty over the Philippines—as it had promised in 1917 ­under the Jones–­ Shafroth Act.

The Suppression of Puerto Rican Nationalism Although Puerto Rico lacked the kind of active anti-­colonial insurrection that defined Cuba and the Philippines upon the arrival of U.S. troops in 1898, nationalist strug­ gle in that island stretched at least as far back as Cuba’s first anti-­colonial war. Puerto Rican nationalist leaders had mounted a brief and unsuccessful attempt to secure in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1868, with the Grito de Lares led by Ramón Emeterio Betances. Another series of anti-­colonial attacks, known as the Intentona de Yauco, broke out in 1897, but Spanish forces quickly suppressed them. By November 1897, changing po­liti­cal tides in Spain, not to mention the ongoing conflicts in Cuba and the Philippines, led to the declaration of autonomy in Cuba and Puerto Rico and the brokering of an amnesty deal in the Philippines. Unlike in Cuba, where rebels continued fighting, autonomy in Puerto Rico temporarily pacified advocates of in­de­pen­dence, as Puerto Ricans accepted the Carta de Autonomía (which granted Puerto Ricans self-­rule within the Spanish empire) and ushered in an elected island-­government within the Spanish empire in March 1898. With the defeat of Spain in the Spanish-­American War, control over Puerto Rico was transferred to the United States, and Puerto Ricans lost much of the autonomy

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they had briefly enjoyed ­under Spanish rule. The United States quickly established a military government in Puerto Rico. By 1900, the Foraker Law replaced the military government with a civil government in which the governor was not elected by the p­ eople, but rather appointed by the U.S. president. A series of inept U.S.-­appointed governors effectively transformed the island into a U.S.-­owned agricultural colony and military base, and subjected Puerto Ricans to medical and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal experimentation. Charles Herbert Allen (1900–1901), for example, used his position as Puerto Rico’s first governor to build one of the world’s largest sugar syndicates, American Sugar Refining Com­pany (now Domino Sugar). Even ­after Puerto Ricans gained limited U.S. citizenship ­under the 1917 Jones–­Shafroth Act, they remained disenfranchised in presidential elections and the se­lection of the island’s governor—­resulting in catastrophic disparities between the needs and desires of the p­ eople and the policies of the government. For example, E. Montgomery Reily (1921–1923) made En­glish the official language in Puerto Rican public schools, embezzled public funds for private gain, and openly expressed his racial disdain for Puerto Ricans. ­Under Reily’s mounting campaign against Puerto Rican culture, opposition to U.S. colonial rule surged, resulting in the establishment of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party in 1922. Pedro Albizu Campos, a veteran of World War I, became its president in 1930. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, the United States government violently suppressed nationalists. One of the most severe periods of anti-­nationalist vio­lence occurred during the governorship of Blanton Winship (1934–1939), who crushed or­ga­nized l­abor and mercilessly persecuted nationalists. Police murdered four unarmed nationalists in the 1935 Rio Piedras Massacre. Two nationalists retaliated by assassinating the police chief, whose force executed the men and arrested dozens of nationalist leaders, including Albizu Campos, who served 10 years in prison. In 1937, Winship rescinded permission for a nationalist parade commemorating the anniversary of the abolition of slavery, and ordered police to fire on the unarmed protesters. Police killed 19, wounded more than 200, and arrested 250 in what became known as the Ponce Massacre. In the 1940s, debates over a new status for Puerto Rico as a “­free associated state” with the power to elect its own governor, though still subject to U.S. control, stoked nationalist fires. The Gag Law (Ley de la Mordaza), which made open nationalism illegal—­including displaying a Puerto Rican flag, speaking or writing in ­favor of in­de­pen­dence, or criticizing the U.S. government—­passed in 1948, despite objections that it v­ iolated the freedom of speech. It legalized government persecution of peaceful nationalist protest, prompting a series of nationalist revolts across the island in 1950. Police and National Guard forces slaughtered nationalists in all the revolting towns, and the U.S. government actively bombed the towns of Jayuya and Utuado—­the only time the federal government has bombed its own citizens.

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The ensuing wave of repression and arrests effectively quashed Puerto Rican nationalism and perpetuated U.S. colonial rule on the island thereafter.

Limited Citizenship in Guam Po­liti­cal agitation in Guam did not reach the heights it did in Cuba, the Philippines, or Puerto Rico. Still, re­sis­tance to po­liti­cal subjugation and unrest following the Japa­nese occupation of the island (1941–1944) culminated in 1950 with congressional passage of the Organic Act, which granted limited self-­government and restricted citizenship rights for Guamanians. It was not u­ ntil 1970, however, that Guamanians could elect their own governor. ­Today, as residents of an “unincorporated territory of the United States,” the ­people of Guam cannot vote for president, can only pass laws with U.S. approval, and since 1972 have only a nonvoting member of Congress to represent them. Guamanians may obtain full citizenship by moving to one of the 50 states.

Biographies of Notable Figures Máximo Gómez (1836–1905) A Dominican by birth, Máximo Gómez fought for Cuban in­de­pen­dence, emerging in the final war (1895–1898) as the General in Chief of the Cuban Liberating Army. Gómez was born in 1836 in Baní, a provincial town in what was then the Republic of Haiti, and is now the Dominican Republic. The series of conflicts between what eventually became the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti offered him his first opportunities at military experience. Shortly ­after the declaration of Dominican in­de­pen­dence from Spain in 1821, u­ nder the title of the Republic of Spanish Haiti, Haitian forces invaded the western portion of Hispaniola in 1822, initiating a period of unification u­ nder Haiti. Although the Dominican Republic was declared in 1844, Dominican nationalists fought to repel a series of Haitian invasions and defend national in­de­pen­dence from Haiti ­until 1856. Gómez first participated in the military expulsions of Haitian invasions in the 1850s. He trained as a military officer in Spain and, in his position as captain in the Dominican Reserve Army, he fought alongside Spanish forces during the Dominican Annexation War, in which Spain attempted to restore control over the Dominican Republic between 1861 and 1865. Following the defeat of Spanish annexationist forces in 1865, Gómez retired from the Spanish army and relocated to eastern Cuba. ­There, he joined the first anti-­ colonial insurrection against Spain, the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878). He became well known for his unique military strategies, which included the deployment of

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small units of soldiers using guerrilla tactics and machete charges, as well as a controversial military proposal to expand the incipient insurrection beyond its regional frontiers in the eastern portion of the island. This plan proposed that inflicting severe economic hardship on Spain, through the freeing of slaves and the destruction of sugar plantations, would help the insurgents secure victory. The per­sis­tence of slavery in the profitable sugar-­producing western provinces of Cuba made this plan unpop­u­lar with planters and caused dissension among nationalists. By 1875, Gómez’s attempt to implement his western invasion failed to extend the revolution far beyond the central province of Las Villas, and Gómez was forced to resign his position of command. Though he remained in Cuba u­ ntil 1878, he left the island for Jamaica just prior to the signing of the 1878 Pact of Zanjón, which ended the war in f­ avor of Spain. Between 1878 and 1895, Gómez supported Cuban in­de­pen­ dence from outside the island while earning his subsistence through diverse activities, including a brief tenure as a supervisor of laborers working on the Panama Canal. While in Honduras, Gómez aided rebels in the failed Guerra Chiquita, Cuba’s second attempt at in­de­pen­dence (1879–1880). By 1884, Gómez traveled to the United States, where he met and conspired with Cuban nationalists including José Martí and mulatto general Antonio Maceo. He also lent support to Puerto Rican nationalists following a wave of severe po­liti­cal repression in the late 1880s, though his close personal friend, Puerto Rican nationalist Emeterio Betances, avoided war. By 1895, Gómez heeded a call by the Cuban nationalist José Martí, who had or­ga­nized the Revolutionary Cuban Party in New York in 1891, to act as general-­ in-­chief of Cuba’s final War of In­de­pen­dence (1895–1898). Although the insurrection began in Cuba’s eastern provinces as the two previous wars had, Gómez quickly implemented his invasion plan, extending the revolution throughout the island in a series of successful military campaigns in 1895 and 1896. Despite key military successes, the Spanish offensive following the appointment of Spanish military leader Valeriano Weyler as Captain General led to several impor­tant setbacks including the loss of his second-­in-­command, Antonio Maceo, as well as the death of his own son, Francisco “Panchito” Gómez, in December 1896. This only added more impetus to his military strategy of targeted economic destruction, which contributed to the Spanish decision to grant autonomy to Puerto Rico and Cuba in late 1897. With the outbreak of the Spanish-­American War in April 1898, Gómez refused the proposal of Cuba’s final Captain General, Ramón Blanco, to join rebel and Spanish forces against the U.S. invasion. Gómez led Cuban forces to victory over Spain alongside U.S. forces, although the United States refused to recognize the contributions of Cuban soldiers. Gómez remained an impor­tant, albeit controversial, public figure during the first years of the American military occupation of Cuba (1899–1902). Indeed, he was instrumental in securing the payment of Cuban troops, although the United States did not heed his demands to pay Cuban veterans more

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than $75 each. Leading Cuban nationalists criticized Gómez for his role in the disarmament and disbandment of the Cuban Army in response to such low pay and he was dismissed from his position as commander-­in-­chief of the Cuban Army. He refused to participate in politics, and even rejected the presidential nomination in 1901. He passed away outside Havana in 1905.

Leonard Wood (1860–1927) A prominent officer of the United States military during the Spanish-­American War, Leonard L. Wood emerged as a key figure of U.S. rule in both Cuba and the Philippines. A native of New Hampshire, Wood earned an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1884. ­After being fired from his short-­lived employment at a Boston hospital, Wood entered the Army as a contract surgeon, stationed in Arizona Territory. In this capacity, he witnessed and participated in the final years of the Apache Wars, actively serving ­under Captain Henry W. Lawton in the pursuit of Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo in 1886. He reached the rank of captain and assistant surgeon during his ser­vice in Arizona and other frontier posts. Wood’s connections to prominent U.S. po­liti­cal figures aided him greatly in gaining promotions and securing impor­tant positions. In 1890, he married Louisa A. Condit, the d­ aughter of a well-­connected f­ amily in the nation’s capital. Thereafter, he quickly obtained the prestigious post of assistant attending surgeon, a position that charged him with the medical care of high-­ranking government officials. He was the White House physician during the presidencies of Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. He was even retroactively awarded a Medal of Honor for his ser­vice in the Apache Wars, though some speculated that this was due to the maneuverings of his friends in Washington. His time in Washington’s inner po­liti­cal circle allowed him to cultivate close friendships with some of the most prominent po­liti­cal figures in the United States, including Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roo­se­velt. Upon the outbreak of the Spanish-­American War, Wood, then Col­o­nel of Volunteers, used his po­liti­cal connections to or­ga­nize a volunteer force, the 1st Volunteer Cavalry. He named Roo­se­velt as his second in command of the force, which became known as the “Rough Riders.” Following the U.S. victory at Las Guásimas in June 1898, Wood turned over command of the Rough Riders to his friend Roo­ se­velt, then a lieutenant col­o­nel, who led the volunteer forces in the B ­ attle of San Juan Hill. Wood assumed command of the 2nd Cavalry, being promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers. With the cessation of hostilities in August 1898, Wood was appointed military commander of the city of Santiago. During the first year of the U.S. military occupation of Cuba, Wood assumed control over the w ­ hole province of Oriente in 1899, u­ nder the leadership of John

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Rutter Brooke, the island’s first military governor. ­There, he gained a reputation for a ruthless campaign against Cuban “bandits,” alleged criminals ranging from an impoverished chicken thief to critics of U.S. rule, but rarely the or­ga­nized lawbreakers the term implied. The following year, Brooke was removed, and to the surprise of many U.S. military officials in Cuba, Wood was chosen as his successor. His rise to the position of military governor of Cuba in 1900 proved controversial. Officers with far more experience and se­niority, such as Brigadier General James H. Wilson, a veteran of the Civil War, former military commander of Georgia during Reconstruction, and Major General of Volunteers in Cuba and Puerto Rico, ­were overlooked for the position, causing resentment against Wood. As military governor of Cuba, Wood built on his reputation as a ruthless imperial administrator. Whereas Brooke’s tenure as military governor had been plagued by a lack of clear purpose as McKinley and the War Department negotiated the limits of the Teller Amendment, Wood’s rule in Cuba could best be described as the blossoming of the U.S. imperial trajectory. Perhaps his most impor­tant legacy on the island was his staunch opposition to Cuban nationalism, which inspired his prominent role in electoral engineering and fraud during the 1900 and 1901 elections. Although Wood mobilized his po­liti­cal and personal connections in and outside of Cuba to ensure the election of pro-­U.S. candidates, Cuban voters successfully elected nationalist candidates in many cases. In 1900, Wood authorized funding for scientific research on yellow fever, one of the most significant impediments to prolonged U.S. presence in Cuba. ­These experiments led to U.S. Major Walter Reed being credited with the discovery of the infection vector, rather than the Cuban scientist Carlos Findlay, who had hypothesized the connection between the Aedes aegypti mosquito and yellow fever years earlier. Following a surprising promotion to Brigadier General in the Regular Army in February 1901, Wood successfully pressured the Cuban Constitutional Convention to accept the sovereignty-­limiting Platt Amendment. He served as military governor ­until the inauguration of the Cuban Republic on May 20, 1902. The next chapter in Wood’s ­career centered on the Philippines. Upon his promotion to major general in 1903, he was appointed military governor of the Moro Province, where Muslim-­Philippine nationalists resisted U.S. imperial rule. Wood waged ruthless warfare against Moro rebels, slaughtering 600 (including ­women and ­children) in a single b­ attle. His close personal friendship with Roo­se­velt, by then U.S. president, protected him from the severe criticism and demands for recall ­until 1908. He returned to the United States, where he dabbled in military ser­vice and politics. In 1921, he was appointed to the fact-­finding Wood-­Forbes Mission to report on the prospects for Philippine in­de­pen­dence, in accordance with the Jones-­ Shafroth Act of 1917. The report was issued in October, arguing that Filipinos ­were not ready for self-­government. It even posited that the most intelligent and

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educated Filipinos desired to remain u­ nder U.S. control—­a posture similar to the one Wood had maintained during his tenure in Cuba. The report prompted anger in the Philippines, where Wood served as governor general of the archipelago from 1921 ­until 1927. He returned to the United States in 1927, where he passed away.

Emilio Aguinaldo (1869–1964) Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy emerged as one of the most prominent figures of Filipino nationalism against both Spanish and U.S. rule, and served as the first president of the Philippines from 1899 ­until his capture by U.S. forces in 1901. He was born into an elite Chinese-­Tagalog f­amily on the island of Luzon. His comparatively privileged upbringing facilitated his access to formal education and his ­father’s po­liti­cal influence positioned the young Aguinaldo for a life of prominence. Beginning his po­liti­cal ­career at the early age of 17, Aguinaldo served in vari­ous local leadership positions in his native province of Cavite Viejo, including leading one of the principal towns of his province, and l­ater becoming municipal governor of Cavite Viejo, following in his f­ ather’s footsteps. Already developing a strong nationalist consciousness, in 1894 Aguinaldo joined the secret anti-­colonial organ­ization called the Katipunan, formed by Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, and Ladislao Diwa in Manila in 1892 to or­ga­nize opposition to Spanish colonial rule. He created a local chapter of the organ­ization, calling it the Sanguniang Magdalo, and had it headed by his cousin, Baldomero Aguinaldo. The following year, the budding nationalist joined the F ­ ree Masons. ­These two organ­izations provided crucial support for the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Aguinaldo joined Philippine nationalists u­ nder Bonifacio and led a series of successful b­ attles against Spanish forces. Nationalists convened the Tejeros Convention in 1897, proclaiming the Philippine Republic, drawing up a constitution, and electing Aguinaldo as president. Following a series of internal conflicts among dif­fer­ent factions of Philippine nationalists, which led to the arrest and execution of Bonifacio, and sustained Spanish diplomatic efforts, Aguinaldo signed the Biak-­na-­Bato Pact in December 1897, exchanging amnesty and a small payment of indemnity for the dissolution of the incipient Philippine Republic and agreement to go into exile in Hong Kong. Aguinaldo exploited his exile in Hong Kong to reconstitute the revolutionary movement, which reinvaded the Philippines alongside U.S. forces u­ nder George Dewey. Following a successful siege of Manila, Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine in­de­pen­dence from Spain on June 12, 1898, l­ ater re-­establishing his presidency. Aguinaldo inaugurated the First Philippine Republic in January 1899 u­ nder the Malalos Constitution, even while U.S. forces continued hostilities against the Spanish in an effort to conquer the island. Though Philippine nationalists u­ nder Aguinaldo and U.S. forces had initiated the conflict as allies, the terms of the Treaty of

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Paris by which the United States purchased the Philippines for $20 million quickly created tensions, as the United States established a military government and refused to recognize Aguinaldo’s republic. Hostilities erupted between Philippine nationalists and U.S. forces in February 1899, following the murder of a Philippine nationalist at the hands of an American sentry. Aguinaldo declared war on the United States, initiating the Philippine-­American War. He led guerrilla-­style warfare against U.S. forces in northern Luzon. Aguinaldo was captured by U.S. forces in March 1901 and the First Philippine Republic fell as a result. Macario Sakay established the Tagalog Republic on the heels of Aguinaldo’s capture, but Philippine re­sis­tance against U.S. rule persisted. As Aguinaldo swore his allegiance to the United States shortly ­after his capture, another Philippine nationalist, Miguel Malvar continued the fight ­until surrendering to U.S. forces in April 1902. Theodore Roo­se­velt, the same Rough Rider who had denigrated Cuban forces a few years earlier, declared an end to the Philippine-­American war and granted amnesty in July 1902. However, Muslim-­Filipino (Moro) nationalists in the southern islands of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan continued to wage war for more than a de­cade during the Moro Rebellion (1899–1913), due to U.S. violation of Sulu autonomy granted ­under the Bates Treaty of 1899. Aguinaldo may have sworn his allegiance to the United States and promised to absent himself from Philippine politics, but he remained a prominent figure in the movement for Philippine in­de­pen­dence. He advocated for veterans of the Philippine-­ American War, establishing the Association of Veterans of the Revolution, an organ­ization that fought to secure pensions and access to land for Philippine veterans. He also turned his home into a monument to Philippine nationalism following an amendment of the Sedition Act of 1907, which had prohibited open displays of nationalism. Following a prolonged hiatus from public life, Aguinaldo ran unsuccessfully for president in 1935. ­After defeating Aguinaldo, Manuel Quezón paid homage to the Philippine nationalist leader by officially moving Flag Day to June 12, the day Aguinaldo had proclaimed in­de­pen­dence in 1898. Inspired in part by his feelings of powerlessness a­ fter de­cades of fighting had failed to oust U.S. troops from the Philippines, Aguinaldo collaborated with Japa­nese forces during the short-­ lived Japa­nese occupation of the Philippines (1942–1945) during World War II. For this, he faced arrest a­ fter the surrender of the Japa­nese in 1945 and remained in jail ­until he was released u­ nder presidential amnesty. Despite his ripe age, upon the U.S. recognition of Philippine sovereignty in 1947, Aguinaldo enjoyed a brief po­liti­cal resurgence. He was appointed by President Elpidio Quirino to the Philippine Council of State in 1950. Following his retirement, the University of the Philippines bestowed on him the honorary title of juris doctor in 1953. In 1962, Philippine president Diosdado Macapagal eliminated one of the remaining symbolic vestiges of U.S. colonial rule by formally moving

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In­de­pen­dence Day from the U.S.-­centric date of July 4 to June 12, honoring Aguinaldo’s fateful declaration on that day in 1898. His revolutionary memoirs, titled Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan, ­were published in 1964, following his death from a heart attack in February that year. ­Today, his face graces the five peso coin.

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Teller Amendment, 1898 Named ­after its author, Colorado Senator Henry M. Teller, the Teller Amendment was an addendum to the Joint Resolution providing U.S. President William McKinley permission to go to war with Spain. The Amendment, approved in the Senate and House of Representatives on April 20, 1898, and signed by McKinley the following day, set the conditions by which the United States could wage war against Spain. It forced the United States to relinquish any claim over the sovereignty of Cuba, rendering the sole aim of the war to be helping the Cubans secure in­de­pen­dence from Spain. The Teller Amendment marked a crucial renunciation of the historic desire of the United States to annex Cuba, expressed by nearly e­ very U.S. president since John Adams. Although it offered the Cuban rebels the assurance they needed to welcome U.S. assistance, the United States l­ater reneged on its promise, establishing the American military occupation of the island (1899–1902) u­ nder the pretense of pacifying the island. Whereas the abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the ­people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization, culminating, as they have, in the destruction of a United States ­battle ship, with two hundred and sixty-­six of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana, and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April eleventh, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­ eight, upon which the action of Congress was invited: Therefore, Resolved, First. That the p­ eople of the Island of Cuba are, of right o­ ught to be, ­free and in­de­pen­dent. Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban w ­ aters. Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to

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call into the a­ ctual ser­vice of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry t­hese resolutions into effect. Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the Island to its ­people. Source: U.S. Congressional Rec­ord, 31, April 16, 1898, pp. 3988–3989.

Treaty of Paris, 1898 Following the cessation of hostilities in August 1898, the United States and Spain entered into peace talks beginning October 1 in Paris. No representatives from Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, or Guam w ­ ere allowed to attend. In fact, the request of a representative of the First Philippine Republic, l­ awyer Felipe Agoncillo, to participate in the negotiations was denied. The two most significant discussions of the peace talks revolved around the fate of Cuba and that of the Philippines. The United States demanded that Spain assume the national debt of Cuba, and penned in an impending military occupation of the island, which lasted from 1899 to 1902. Spain sought to keep the Philippines, arguing that U.S. forces had captured Manila ­after the signing of the Peace Protocol. However, the United States demanded the cession of the entire archipelago, offering a payment of $20 million in return. The result was a massive transfer of territories from Spain to the United States without considering the demands of Cuban and Philippine nationalists, who had fought and in their view won their in­de­pen­dence from Spain. Representatives of Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The United States of Amer­i­ca and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of her august son Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to end the state of war now existing between the two countries . . . . ​­After discussion of the m ­ atters before them, [the representatives] agreed upon the following articles:

Article I Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba. And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by the United States, the United States w ­ ill, so long as such occupation ­shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may u­ nder international law result from the fact of its occupation, for the protection of life and property.

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Article II Spain cedes to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now ­under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones.

Article III Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands . . . . ​ The United States w ­ ill pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months a­ fter the exchange of the ratifications of the pres­ent treaty.

Article IV The United States ­will, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the pres­ent treaty, admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States. ***

Article XVI It is understood that any obligations assumed in this treaty by the United States with re­spect to Cuba are limited to the time of its occupancy thereof; but it ­will upon termination of such occupancy, advise any Government established in the island to assume the same obligations.

Article XVII The pres­ent treaty ­shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain; and the ratifications ­shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from the date hereof, or earlier if pos­si­ble. In faith whereof, we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals. Done in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-­eight. [Seal] William R. Day [Seal] Cushman K. Davis [Seal] William P. Frye

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[Seal] Geo. Gray[Seal] Whitelaw Reid [Seal] Eugenio Montero Rios [Seal] B. de Abarzuza [Seal] J. de Garnica [Seal] W. R. de Villa Urrutia [Seal] Rafael Cerero Source: “A Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain,” U.S. Congress, 55th Cong., 3d sess., Senate Doc. No. 62, Part 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899), 5–11.

Creating Tropical Yankees: “School Begins,” 1899 This po­liti­cal cartoon, published in the United States mere weeks ­after the inauguration of U.S. military occupations in Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam, illustrates some of the racial ideas undergirding the United States expansionism during the 19th ­century. Studious, well-­groomed white ­children, representing some of the territories acquired during the Mexican-­American War and a slightly darker, but still orderly child representing Alaska read quietly in the background. Four unkempt, squirming figures depicted as smaller black and brown c­ hildren represent the newest territorial acquisition that resulted from the Spanish-­American War. An imposingly authoritative figure of U ­ ncle Sam leans over the desk, threatening

“School Begins” cartoon.

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the c­ hildren into submission, in an effort to “civilize” them and transform them into “Tropical Yankees.” The musings on the “consent of the governed” on the chalkboard ­behind them remind them that the strict civilizing education ­Uncle Sam is giving them is for their own good. Allusions to the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War, the “benevolent” subordination of black workers in the North, Indian assimilation policies, and Chinese exclusion appear in the backdrop. Source: Library of Congress.

Platt Amendment, 1901 The U.S. military occupation of Cuba (1899–1902) clashed with the desires of Cuban nationalists to crown their in­de­pen­dence strug­gle by establishing an in­de­ pen­dent Cuban republic. During the elections of June and August 1900, Cubans voted strongly nationalist candidates into municipal positions of power and as delegates to the Cuban Constitutional Convention (1900–1901), despite the suffrage restrictions imposed by the U.S. military government. The defeat of pro-­U.S. candidates in both elections underscored Cuban demands for in­de­pen­dence, quashing the dreams of imperialists who sought to prolong U.S. rule in or even to annex Cuba. Advocates of extending U.S. rule in Cuba developed creative strategies to work around the requirements of the Teller Amendment. One of the principal preoccupations of pro-­imperialists was the fact that they had failed to ensure the electoral victories of pro-­U.S. candidates in municipal elections on the island. Connecticut Republican senator Orville Platt proposed a strategy whereby the United States would retain influence over Cuban affairs, even ­after the formation of a Cuban Republic, by imposing sovereignty-­limiting conditions on the Cuban Constitution of 1901. Although the majority of delegates at the Cuban Constitutional Convention initially rejected the Platt Amendment, they eventually caved in to pressure from the United States, understanding that rejecting the amendment would only prolong U.S. rule in Cuba. ­Until its abrogation in 1934, the Platt Amendment allowed the United States to intervene in Cuba, among other restrictions on its sovereignty, which produced four major U.S. military interventions in the first three de­cades of the Cuban republic. Whereas the Congress of the United States of Amer­ic­ a, by an Act approved March 2, 1901, provided as follows: Provided further, That in fulfillment of the declaration contained in the joint resolution approved April twentieth, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­eight, entitled “For the recognition of the in­de­pen­dence of the p­ eople of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of

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Cuba, and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban w ­ aters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry t­hese resolutions into effect,” the President is hereby authorized to “leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its p­ eople” so soon as a government s­ hall have been established in said island u­ nder a constitution which, ­either as a part thereof or in an ordinance appended thereto, ­shall define the ­future relations of the United States with Cuba, substantially as follows: “I. That the government of Cuba ­shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which ­will impair or tend to impair the in­de­pen­dence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes or other­wise, lodgement in or control over any portion of said island.” “II. That said government ­shall not assume or contract any public debt, to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking fund provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of the island, ­after defraying the current expenses of government ­shall be inadequate.” “III. That the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban in­de­pen­dence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with re­spect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba.” “IV. That all Acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder ­shall be maintained and protected.” “V. That the government of Cuba w ­ ill execute, and as far as necessary extend, the plans already devised or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby assuring protection to the p­ eople and commerce of Cuba, as well as to the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the p­ eople residing therein.” “VI. That the Isle of Pines s­ hall be omitted from the proposed constitutional bound­aries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to f­ uture adjustment by treaty.” “VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the in­de­pen­dence of Cuba, and to protect the ­people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the government of Cuba ­will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.” “VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba ­will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States.”

224 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 Source: Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Cuba Embodying the Provisions Defining Their ­Future Relations as Contained in the Act of Congress, approved March 2, 1901, signed 05/22/1903; General Rec­ords of the United States Government, 1778 -­2006, RG 11, National Archives.

See also: Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence; Insular Cases; U.S.-­Mexican War

Further Reading Briggs, Laura. 2002. Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Berkeley: University of California Press. De la Fuente, Alejandro. 2001. A Nation for All: Race, In­equality, and Politics in Twentieth-­ Century Cuba. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Espinosa, Mariola. 2009. Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban In­de­ pen­dence, 1878–1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Ferrer, Ada. 1999. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation and Revolution, 1868–1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Foner, Philip S. 1972. The Spanish-­Cuban-­American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, 1895–1902 (2 vols.). New York: Monthly Review Press. Gatewood, Jr., Willard. 1987. “Smoked Yankees” and the Strug­gle for Empire: Letters from Negro Soldiers, 1898–1902. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas. Go, Julian. 2008. American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Po­liti­cal Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico during U.S. Colonialism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Guerra, Lillian. 2005. The Myth of José Martí: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth-­ Century Cuba. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Guridy, Frank Andre. 2010. Forging Diaspora: Afro-­Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Hitchman, James H. 1971. Leonard Wood and Cuban In­de­pen­dence, 1898–1902. The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff. Hoganson, Kristin L. 2000. Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-­American and Philippine-­American Wars. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Horne, Gerald. 2014. Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba ­under Slavery and Jim Crow. New York: Monthly Review Press. Iglesias Utset, Marial. 2011. A Cultural History of Cuba during the U.S. Occupation, 1898– 1902. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Kaplan, Amy, and Donald E. Pease. 1994. Cultures of United States Imperialism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Love, Eric Tyrone Lowery. 2004. Race over Empire: Racism and U.S. Imperialism, 1865– 1900. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. McCoy, Alfred W., and Francisco A. Scarano. 2009. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State. Madison: University of Wisconsin.

Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City, 1870s–1920s | 225 Pérez, Jr., Louis A. 1983. Cuba Between Empires, 1878–1902. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Pérez, Jr., Louis A. 1998. The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Pérez, Jr., Louis A. 2005. Cuba Between Reform and Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press. Pérez, Jr., Louis A. 2008. On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Pérez, Jr., Louis A. 2013. The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Suárez-­Findlay, Eileen. 2000. Imposing Decency: The Politics of Sexuality and Race in Puerto Rico, 1870–1920. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City, 1870s–1920s William Noseworthy

Chronology 1613

Juan Rodríguez is the first Latino person to become a long-­term resident of what is now the island of Manhattan, and the first of mixed Portuguese-­African ancestry to do so.


Puerto Ricans found the Spanish Benevolent Society in New York to promote trade.


The first Puerto Ricans migrate to New York City.


Cuban po­liti­cal exile, Emilia Casanova Villaverde, establishes La Liga de Las Hijas de Cuba (The League of the D ­ aughters of Cuba), an all-­women’s po­liti­cal society in New York City.


Approximately 4,500 Cubans are living in New York City. Many are supporters of in­de­pen­dence for Cuba from Spanish colonial rule.


Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Puerto Rican revolutionary and a leading figure in the Harlem Re­nais­sance, arrives in New York City.


More than 5,000 Dominicans move to New York City.

1892, January

José Martí forms the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC). The PRC’s central office is in New York City.

1892, October

Renowned Afro-­Puerto Rican composer and soldier Rafael Hernández Marín is born.

226 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898


Hispanic American associations form in South Central Harlem, the Mid-­West Side, the Lower West Side, and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. ­Others form in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Bushwick, and Park Slope.


The Treaty of Paris assigns the Spanish Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba to the United States, although the United States removes its occupying military force from Cuba three years ­later.


Abel Linares begins the U.S. tour of his baseball team, the All Cubans, in New York City. The team plays against semi-­professional, minor-­league, and African American teams in the Northeast and Midwest. Other teams from the Ca­rib­bean regularly travel to New York where they have a following among Ca­rib­bean fans.


Afro-­Puerto Rican intellectual leader Arturo Alfonso Schomburg publishes his critical essay “Is Hayti De­cadent?”


Approximately 641 Puerto Ricans are living in New York City. The community is small compared to the larger Cuban and Dominican communities, although it expands more rapidly in the coming de­cade.


Alejandro Pompez arrives in New York City from Ybor City, Florida, and begins working as a cigar maker.


Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and John Edward Bruce co-­found the Negro Society for Historical Research, dedicated to documenting the historic, scholarly, and cultural contributions of black p­ eople throughout the world.


Alejandro Pompez forms the Cuban Stars, an in­de­pen­dent professional baseball team, in New York City. The team tours throughout the Ca­rib­bean and plays to enthusiastic crowds of Latino fans in New York over the next two de­cades.


Bernardo Vega, a skilled tobacco worker, arrives in New York from Puerto Rico.

1917, April

The Jones-­Shafroth Act grants citizenship rights to Puerto Ricans born a­ fter April 25, 1898. This makes more than 236,000 Puerto Rican men eligible for the draft.

1917, May

The Selective Ser­vice Act is signed, allowing approximately 18,000 Puerto Rican men from the island to be drafted into the United States Armed Forces during World War  I. They include b­ rothers Rafael and Jesús Hernández Marín who join the “Harlem Hell Fighters.”

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Puerto Ricans in New York City make up 64.3 ­percent of the Puerto Rican population in the continental United States; 12,000 live in the continental United States at the time. Puerto Rican migration to the city accelerates through the 1940s.


Rafael Hernández Marín forms the Trío Borinquen with Pedro Flores, a famous Puerto Rican composer.

1920s–­1930s Thousands of Cubans flee the Machado regime and declining economic conditions in Cuba. 1925

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg publishes “The Negro Digs Up His Past” in the Survey Graphic, a so­cio­log­i­cal and po­liti­cal research magazine that ran from 1921 to 1952. The essay appears in the Survey Graphic special issue on “Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro.”


“Linda Borinquen” (“Beautiful Puerto Rico”) is composed, and ­later recorded as “Linda Quisqueya,” from the Taíno word “Kisekeya,” which is thought to mean “­mother of all lands.”


Pedro Flores splits with Rafael Hernández Marín and forms a new trio. Rafael forms a quartet, Cuarteto Victoria, named in honor of his booking agent and s­ ister, with Myrta Silva, also known as La Gorda de Oro, as the lead vocalist.


Arturo Alfonso Schomburg visits Cuba, with the explicit intention of collecting works of art, knowledge about culture and history, and ­music to bring back to the Harlem community in New York.


Rafael Hernández Marín composes two of his best known songs, out of some 3,000 total works: “Lamento Borincano” and “Preciosa.”


The United States drafts thousands of Puerto Ricans from the mainland and the island during World War II. The booming war­time economy spurs a ­Great Migration to New York City that continues for more than a de­cade.


Composer Rafael Hernández Marín returns to live in Puerto Rico.


A division of the Department of ­Labor of Puerto Rico opens an office in New York to assist Puerto Rican immigrants who are coming to the city by the thousands.


Rafael Hernández Marín gives his last radio address to the ­people of Puerto Rico. He dies l­ater the same year.

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Narrative The Latino population of New York City can be traced to the earliest migrations of Ca­rib­bean ­peoples in the late 1800s and early 1900s. ­These early mi­grants included business o­ wners, po­liti­cal exiles, advocates of in­de­pen­dence, musicians, students, and ­others. This diverse migration from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico marked the beginning of a flourishing Antillean (Ca­rib­bean) community in the city. From the 1870s to the 1920s, New York’s Antillean populations engaged in rich and vibrant cultural production of m ­ usic, art, and lit­er­a­ture. ­These early mi­grants provided the po­liti­cal, economic, and social foundation for much larger subsequent migrations of all three groups in l­ater de­cades. New York and the Ca­rib­bean had close relations in the U.S. colonial period ­because of ongoing trade and commerce—the shipping and exchange of ­people (slave ­labor and other mi­grants) as well as goods like rum, sugar, and tobacco. The first non-­Native American person to inhabit the area that became New York City was in fact, not Dutch, as many history texts would suggest, but rather Latino. Juan

Residents of a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City sit at their win­dows, 1955. (Library of Congress)

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Rodríguez was born to a Portuguese ­father and African ­mother on Santo Domingo (­later the Dominican Republic) when Spain and Portugal ­were a unified kingdom. He was raised in a Spanish settlement on the island. He was a merchant and translator who worked with the Dutch fur trading mission. However, he spoke Algonquin much better than his shipmates, and became a resident of the area as early as 1613, several years before the Dutch claimed “New Netherland.” He was both the first Latino and the first person of mixed Iberian and African ancestry to s­ ettle in what is now New York City (Grasmuck and Pessar, 1991; Remeseira, 2010). In the late 1800s, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans traveled to New York City on the trade routes that brought goods from the G ­ reat Antilles in exchange for American goods shipped back to the Ca­rib­bean. Some mi­grants also came to New York fleeing po­liti­cal and economic turmoil as a result of Cuba’s in­de­pen­dence wars, ­labor unrest, or changes in Ca­rib­bean economies. The emergence of Puerto Rican and Cuban communities in New York was therefore directly related to American imperialism, just as much as it was related to the history of Spanish colonialism. The Ca­rib­bean transplants reflected g­ reat diversity in their ancestry and skin color. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic had racially “mixed” populations with p­ eople of varying degrees of Eu­ro­pean and African descent. Still, in the 19th and 20th centuries U.S. definitions of “whiteness” w ­ ere more absolute, and individuals who might have been classified as “pardo,” or “mulatto” in Spanish socie­ties, ­were frequently reclassified as simply “negro” or “black” in the United States. B ­ ecause of their diversity of skin color and the much more rigid binary racial classification system in the United States, Ca­rib­bean ­people encountered a perplexing American racial order. ­Those who ­were darker-­skinned tended to socialize and integrate themselves among African Americans. Nineteenth-­century Cuban migrations to New York City w ­ ere fueled by the collapse of the colonial tobacco industry in Cuba and during that time w ­ ere increasingly centered around the importance of finding a new home for skilled expatriate l­abor. During the 19th ­century, Cubans migrated to Texas, New Orleans, and Key West, but by 1870 the largest number—­some 4,500—­lived in New York City. From the 1840s through the 1860s, Cubans in New York moved to new neighborhoods, including Rose Hill, which gave a few select families easier access to St. John’s College, the pre­de­ces­sor to Fordham University (Mirabal, 2017; Abreu, 2015). The first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, Esteban Bellán, was a gradu­ate of St. John’s (Burgos, 2007). ­These expatriate concentrations of skilled ­labor, however, w ­ ere also ideal breeding grounds for anti-­colonial organ­izing. Not all had supported in­de­pen­dence before their arrival, but some had, and they used their networks in the new community to expand their revolutionary platform. Initially, in the 1860s, some Cubans supported American annexation of the island as a means to

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end slavery. However, their position was harshly and effectively critiqued by organizers such as Emilia Casanova de Villaverde, who or­ga­nized for Cuban in­de­ pen­dence between the 1860s and 1880s (Mirabal, 2017). The central topic that captivated Cubans’ and Puerto Ricans’ po­liti­cal imagination before the turn of the ­century was the question of in­de­pen­dence. Cuban po­liti­ cal exiles and in­de­pen­dence advocates of all races wrote extensively on the topic and discussed their vision of what a liberated Cuban nation might look like. The question of race figured centrally in ­these conversations, as Cuba had a large enslaved African population in the 19th ­century (Mirabal, 2017). From the 1860s to the 1880s in New York City, affiliated Cuban American organ­izations, business networks, funding, and printing presses ­were key tools for the revolutionary cause. Furthermore, José Martí had a long track rec­ord of independence-­oriented activities before he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Cubano; PRC) in 1892. Living in exile from Cuba, he based the PRC’s operation in his a­ dopted New York City (Whalen, 2005, p. 5; Sanchez-­Korrol and Hernández, 2010, p. 10). Like Cubans, many Dominicans moved to New York at the end of the 19th century, predominantly as a result of shifts in the sugar, cacao, and coffee industries, along with the U.S. occupation of the island from 1916 to 1924. Between 1892 and 1924, an estimated 5,000 Dominicans moved through Ellis Island to New York City, often settling in Spanish Harlem, Brooklyn, and, ­later, the South Bronx. Spanish Harlem, also known as East Harlem or “El Barrio,” became a site for Latin American immigration in the city, especially the blocks between 110th Street and Lexington Ave­nue. The community was increasingly “Pan-­Latino,” attracting Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans, particularly by the 1920s (Grasmuck and Pessar, 1991; Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994). Hispanic American associations ­were active in South Central Harlem, the mid-­ West Side, the Lower West Side, and the Lower East Side of Manhattan, along with Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Park Slope, and Bushwick, in 1895 (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994, p. 171). By the turn of the c­ entury, New York Latinos found themselves living amongst very diverse populations. ­Those who ­were fair-­skinned found housing among Italians, Rus­sian Jews, and other Southern and Eastern Eu­ro­pean immigrants (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994, pp.  54–56). They settled in East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and parts of Brooklyn. Dark-­skinned Latinos who would have been recognized as “black” in the United States often settled in Harlem among African Americans and a wide range of other black mi­grants—­Antiguans, Trinidadians, Barbadians, and Jamaicans (Burgos, 2007, p. 126). One of the most famous and financially successful early Cuban residents of Harlem was Alejandro Pompez. Born in Key West, Florida, to Cuban parents, Pompez became a very successful businessman through his involvement in illegal gambling

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El Partido Revolucionario Cubano The Revolutionary Party of Cuba (PRC) was a po­liti­cal organ­ization founded by José Martí while he was in exile in Florida, on April 10, 1892. The party headquarters ­were quickly relocated to New York City, where t­here w ­ ere already strong printing and funding networks, along with a deep base of support for revolutionary activity. For example, the organ­ization founded by Emilia Casanova de Villaverde, La Liga de Las Hijas de Cuba (The League of the ­Daughters of Cuba), a revolutionary ­women’s group, had been active in the city since 1869. The organ­ization critically stamped out “annexationist” sentiments, which favored the annexation of Cuba by the United States to abolish slavery on the island. With the annexationist position all but dissolved, the New York City community was primed for broader support of a violent revolution in support of in­de­pen­dence. The PRC’s stated purpose was to work for the in­de­pen­dence of Spanish colonies broadly, and Cuba specifically. Given the proximity to Puerto Rico, the Cuban-­Puerto Rican alliance was natu­ral, and the PRC sought to prevent the expansion of American imperialism in the Ca­rib­bean as well. Martí had likely developed many of the under­lying po­liti­cal philosophies of in­de­pen­ dence (in­de­pen­dentista), Latin Americanism (Latino-­americanista), anti-­ imperialism (anti-­imperialista), anti-­racism (anti-­racista), and democracy (democrático) earlier, but the idea of forming a party to accomplish ­these aims was shared with compatriots on January 3, 1892. By the end of January, ­there ­were already approvals for branches in Key West and Tampa, Florida, as well as New York City. The Puerto Rican section of the PRC became a subor­ga­ni­za­tion in 1895, marked by the ac­cep­tance of its flag as a symbol for the Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence movement.

operations and as the owner of professional baseball teams. He arrived in New York in 1910 and began booking baseball games. By 1916, he owned his own team, the Cuban Stars, whose Cuban players ranged from the fairest-­skinned men, who went on to play in the segregated white professional leagues; to Afro-­Cubans, who went on to the “Negro” leagues. Pompez was one of many Afro-­Caribbean leaders in New York and Harlem, specifically. He became a popu­lar figure among black and white Ca­rib­bean mi­grants as well as African Americans (Burgos, 2007, pp. 111–134; Burgos, 2012). Between 1900 and the 1930s, Cuban immigration to New York shifted, as new mi­grants ­were predominantly laborers, fleeing the remnants of the plantation

Latino Baseball Players in the Early 1900s The all-­American sport of baseball was popu­lar among early Ca­rib­bean communities in New York City. Latinos played in professional leagues as early as 1869. Cuban player Esteban Bellán, a gradu­ate of St. John’s College (class of 1868; now Fordham University), played for the Troy Haymakers in 1869, before he returned to Cuba and founded the island’s first baseball team in 1872. Ca­rib­bean teams frequently played games in New York City as well, assured that they would draw large crowds from the city’s Spanish-­speaking residents. Perhaps the most famous early team owner and promoter of Latino baseball players was Alejandro Pompez, an Afro-­Cuban native of Key West who migrated to New York in 1910. Pompez successfully navigated the racial segregation of American sports. His team, the Cuban Stars, played in the Eastern Colored League from 1923 to 1928 b­ ecause some of its players would have been barred from playing against white professional teams. Latino players confounded the rigid color line in the United States. Many Latino players who would have been described as “pardo” (part Amerindian, African, and Eu­ro­pean) or “mulatto” (mixed black and white) in the Ca­rib­ bean ­were restricted to the Negro Leagues in the United States. The ambiguity of Latino identity allowed a very small number of light-­skinned players from the New York City area, such as Adolfo Luque and Armando Marsans, to play on both black and white teams at vari­ous points during their c­ areers. Furthermore, the allure of an exotic and “foreign” identity could make some Latino players appealing as a way to attract fans to the games. Pompez brought a number of very talented players to New York, including Afro-­Cuban Martin Dihigo, Alejandro Oms, and Pelayo Chacon. The New York Cubans team experienced its heyday from 1935 to 1950, when the racial integration of professional baseball spelled the demise of Negro League teams. Other Latinos played for other New York City teams: Angel Aragon, who started with the Yankees in 1914; Emilio Palmero and Jose Rodriguez, both Cubans, who debuted with the New York G ­ iants in 1915 and 1916, respectively; and Al Lopez and Adolfo Luque, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers beginning in 1929 and 1930, respectively (Burgos, 2007, pp. 269–272). A poster dated Sunday, July 20th, 1924, recounts a game series at Howard Field, on Atlantic and Ralph Ave­nues in Brooklyn, New York. The game included the San Juan BBC, from the East Side of New York, which advertised Rebollo and Accordo “the southpaw twirler” as all-­stars. At 1:30 p.m., they faced off against the Porto Rican Stars, who ­were to play the second game that day (against the “Sheridan Caseys” from Knights of Columbus) at 3:30 p.m. Although the Porto Rican Stars played primarily in Puerto Rico, the San Juan BBC w ­ ere a local team, but they ­were not the only ones.

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economy. A significant number of Cuban mi­grants ­were Afro-­Cubans. ­There w ­ ere individuals of all races who w ­ ere fleeing the collapse of the plantation industry, but ­there w ­ ere also young students and musicians. For the musicians, the favored destination was the Harlem jazz clubs where they went to play for black and white audiences. ­There w ­ ere also activists who fled the 1920s Machado government in Cuba, journalists, and young intellectuals (Mirabal, 2017, pp. 139–192; Davila and Lao-­Montes, 2001; Abreu, 2015). ­After 1902, the cause of Cuban in­de­pen­dence no longer occupied the central place in Cuban mi­grants’ politics. Instead of organ­izing to help liberate the island from the grip of Spanish colonialism, Cubans turned to leftist politics and other ­causes. In the 1930s, General Batista took the reins of the government and—­with U.S. approval—­controlled Cuban politics u­ ntil he was forced into exile by the Cuban revolution in 1958. Many Cuban activists in New York became affiliated with the International Worker’s Order (IWO), a Communist-­affiliated organ­ization, whose meetings served as a point of interaction between like-­minded young literary figures, activists, musicians, and u­ nion organizers. By the end of the 1930s, t­here w ­ ere already 43,000 Cubans in the United States, although the ever-­changing po­liti­cal situation, led by Batista, resulted in fluctuations in Cuban migration to the United States, as a ­whole, from the 1940s through the 1950s (Mirabal, 2017, pp. 139–192). Much like the history of the Cuban New York City population, the history of the migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States is marked by American imperialism. Merchants from Puerto Rico founded the Spanish Benevolent Society in New York, as a way of promoting trade and business, in 1830 (Whalen, 2005, p. 4). Still, it would be years before Puerto Ricans migrated to the city as full-­time residents. Furthermore, although Puerto Ricans first immigrated to New York City in 1838, ­there w ­ ere only an estimated 641 Puerto Ricans living in the city by 1910 (Whalen, 2005, p. 11). ­After Puerto Rico became a U.S. possession, however, the question of Puerto Ricans’ citizenship status in the United States drew the attention of the ­legal system. In 1902, a Puerto Rican w ­ oman by the name of Isabel Gonzalez was denied entry at Ellis Island. Gonzalez brought her case to the Supreme Court, and in 1904 the Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans could not be denied entry to the United States. Like early Cuban mi­grants, early Puerto Rican migration to the city was closely related to the shifting tobacco economy, which by the beginning of the 20th ­century was increasingly focusing on the production of cigars (Whalen, 2005, p. 4). The most famous Puerto Rican cigar maker, Bernardo Vega, arrived in the city in 1916. He recalled that the “theme of . . . ​conversations, however, was what we expected to find in New York City. With our first earnings, we would send for our nearest relative” (Whalen, 2005, p. 12). The indication was that Puerto Ricans ­were building ethnic enclaves in New York City around ­family relations, even though they

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­ ere not yet guaranteed the rights of full citizenship. With the Jones-­Shafroth w Act (1917), the U.S. Congress approved the citizenship rights of Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico, so long as they ­were born ­after April 25, 1898. That act also allowed Puerto Ricans to travel between the island and the U.S. mainland without a passport. Thousands of Puerto Ricans came to New York City as a result of World War I. The Selective Ser­vice Act (1917), made effective in May, ensured that Puerto Ricans could be drafted into the U.S. military, resulting in the substantial draft of 20,000 Puerto Ricans from the mainland and the island, or roughly 10% of the registered draft-­eligible population, into the U.S. armed forces during World War I. Sixteen Puerto Ricans, who ­were classified as “Negro” by American racial standards, joined the “Harlem Hellfighters” (the 369th  Infantry Division of the U.S. Army) which served in Germany, and w ­ ere alternatively known as “The Black Rattlers” or “The Men of Bronze.” Among them was Rafael Hernández Marín (1892–1965), who was born in Puerto Rico before the Spanish-­American War, but lived in North Carolina in 1917. Like many of his compatriots, Hernández Marín moved to New York City ­after World War I in search of employment and economic opportunities (Harris, 2003). Several Puerto Rican musicians who had served in all-­black segregated bands during the war settled in New York by the 1920s. They played in many black jazz bands and orchestras throughout the city, although they often faced lower pay and discrimination at certain h­ otels and nightclubs (Glasser, 1995). Still, the interracial and intercultural mingling of African American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban musicians in the city eventually led to a creative fusion of vari­ous musical influences that produced some of the most popu­lar and innovative m ­ usic of the ­century. By 1926, Puerto Ricans in New York reached an estimated almost 100,000, according to some sources (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994, p. 59), although other estimates for the early 1930s are as low as 45,000 (Mirabal, 2017, p. 167). Mi­grants established new businesses, po­liti­cal organ­izations, and social clubs. They built boarding ­houses, barbershops, and restaurants. They also founded Spanish-­language newspapers like La Prensa. Crucially, by the 1910s and 1920s, many of ­these Puerto Ricans, along with their Cuban and Dominican counter­parts, had broken “color lines” in the professional world, becoming licensed doctors, dentists, and ­lawyers, in addition to t­ hose who worked in the world of professional sports (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994; Burgos, 2012). The 1940s through the 1950s saw the largest migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland United States, an influx known as the Puerto Rican “­Great Migration” and closely resembling the migration of African Americans from southern states to the north during this same period. In 1940, 40,000 Puerto Ricans left the island for New York City alone. By 1950, 254,880 (84.5 ­percent) of the 301,375 Puerto Ricans in the United States lived in New York City (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994, p. 213);

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63,000 Puerto Ricans arrived in 1950 alone. Another 58,500 mi­grants came in 1952. Fi­nally, in 1953, Puerto Rican migration to the United States hit an all-­time high, with 75,000 mi­grants in a single year. The development of air travel in the 1940s and the 1950s made migration easier and less expensive. In addition, the G ­ reat Depression and the war economy during World War II, which deepened as the United States committed more and more troops abroad, both pushed and pulled Puerto Ricans off the island to the mainland. As jobs opened up for w ­ omen and other Americans in defense industries, l­ abor shortages in agriculture, on the railroads, and in domestic work prompted large-­ scale recruitment of Puerto Ricans. Additionally, as in World War I, ser­vice in the military was a reliable way to earn a living. Thus, some mi­grants resettled in New York ­after serving in the armed forces. Migration to New York grew so rapidly that by 1948, the Puerto Rican Department of ­Labor opened a Migration Division office in New York to help mi­grants transition to life in the big city and find employment (Sanchez-­Korrol, 1994). Puerto Ricans remained the largest Latino ethnic group in New York City, comprising almost 80 ­percent of all Hispanics, ­until the 1990s when the Latino community began to diversify with new mi­grant populations. According to the Department of City Planning, in 2005, Mexico, Ec­ua­dor, Colombia, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic w ­ ere the most common “countries of origin” for the Latino community. Puerto Ricans currently represent some 32 ­percent of New York’s Hispanic community, which altogether currently makes up more than an estimated 27.5 ­percent of the city’s population.

Biographies of Notable Figures Rafael Hernández Marín (1892-­1965) Rafael Hernández Marín was an Afro-­Puerto Rican soldier in the American military during World War I. He was best known, however, for his work as a composer. Born on October 24, 1892, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, like many Puerto Ricans at the turn of the ­century, he learned the craft of cigar making at an early age. His true love, however, was ­music. With the permission of his parents, at the age of 12, he enrolled in his first studies in San Juan ­under Jesús Figueroa and José Ruellan Lequenica, renowned professors of m ­ usic on the island. He studied piano, violin, clarinet, tuba, and guitar, among other instruments, and played in his first orchestra at the age of 13. He worked as a professional musician for eight years before he had his first child, with Ana Bone: a son, Antonio Hernández. As a young unmarried father and a musician, he was left with no other options but to continue to play ­music, make as much money as he could, and support his child as much as

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pos­si­ble. When he had the opportunity to tour in the United States, he took it. While he was on tour in 1917 in North Carolina, the jazz musician James R ­ eese Eu­rope recruited him, his b­ rother (Jesús), and at least 16 other Puerto Ricans to join the United States Army. ­Because the b­ rothers w ­ ere visibly of African descent, they ­were assigned to the infamous segregated “Harlem Hellfighters,” the U.S. 369th Infantry Regiment. They served in France and their regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the President of France. Hernandez also earned a World War I Victory Medal for his ser­vice in the American forces (Glasser, 1995). Even during World War I, Hernandez never stopped playing, touring through Eu­rope with the Orchestra Eu­rope. As soon as the war ended, he moved to New York City to pursue a ­music ­career. In the 1920s he formed the Trío Borinquen (the Puerto Rican Trio), which included another famous musician, Pedro Flores. The two competed as they composed, even as they became close friends. For example, when Flores wrote the song “Sin Bandera,” Hernandez followed upon his heels, rapidly finishing the composition “Preciosa.” However, Flores preferred faster tempos and left the group to form his own trio in 1930. In response, Hernandez formed a quartet known as the Cuarteto Victoria, named in honor of Hernandez’s ­sister and booking agent. His new quartet included the famous singer Myrta Silva, another Puerto Rican, who was particularly well known for her rendition of boleros, a genre of romantic m ­ usic. Silva was also known as La Gorda de Oro and La Guarachera. With both Trío Borinquen and Cuarteto Victoria, Hernandez toured all over Latin Amer­i­ca and North Amer­i­ca. He also remained relatively close with Flores and Silva would go on to perform with Pedro Flores’s new sextet in the 1940s. In t­ hese musical ventures, “the ­family” (la familia) was an especially impor­tant inspiration for Hernandez. His younger s­ ister, Victoria, had opened a m ­ usic store in 1927 and ran the booking agency for Hernandez from its office. In 1929, the song “Linda Borinquen” was written in her honor, and was ­later recorded as “Linda Quisqueya” by the Trío Borinquen. Hernandez’s musical ­career made him a truly international figure in the Latin American world, even though he remained based in New York City. He moved his artistic residence to Mexico in 1932, where he married and became involved in the burgeoning film industry. During this “golden age” of Mexican cinema, he composed musical scores and acted in movies. L ­ ater in his c­ areer, he developed a passion for a return to study, and enrolled in Mexico’s National ­Music Conservatory, even while he worked as a professional composer and directed his orchestra. In 1947, Hernandez returned to Puerto Rico to become the director of WIPR Radio’s government-­funded orchestra. In total, Hernandez composed nearly 3,000 works, but he never stopped being involved in all aspects of community life. He ­later became Honorary President of the Authors and Composers Association. Upon his return to Puerto Rico, he founded

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­ ittle League baseball on the island. He remained an influential part of the transL national San Juan-­New York community and was even invited to give a national address broadcast on all stations in Puerto Rico in 1965. Although he died that year, his memory lived on, particularly among musically inclined Puerto Ricans in New York, who recalled his 1937 compositions “Lamento Borincano” and “Preciosa” for many years ­after his death.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874–1938) Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was a half-­German, half-­Afro Puerto Rican who first arrived in New York City in 1891. In Puerto Rico he would have been considered “mulatto” or of mixed white and black ancestry. However, in the United States, the fact that his ­mother was a Puerto Rican of African ancestry made him simply “black.” He was born on January 24, 1874, in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Schomburg was active in the revolutionary circles in New York City before he became an early intellectual leader in the Harlem Re­nais­sance. His ­mother, María Josefa, was a midwife who had been born ­free, in St. Croix. His ­father was Carlos Federico Schomburg, a German merchant. As was common in the 19th ­century for c­ hildren of mixed parentage, Schomburg was allowed to attend primary school. However, as was also common, he was confronted with teachers who claimed that Africans had no history, no notable figures, and no par­tic­u­lar culture that was worth studying. This motivated Schomburg to research African history, and he became particularly interested in the development of the Afro-­Atlantic world. He went on to be educated at the Instituto Popu­lar in San Juan, as well as St. Thomas College (Danish Virgin Islands), having achieved a meaningful education by the time that he arrived in New York when he was just 17 years of age. He referred to himself as an “Afro-­Puerto Rican” (Afroborinqueno) member of the Puerto Rican division of the PRC in­de­pen­dence organ­ization, expressing a ­great deal of pride in his African heritage (Sanchez-­Korrol and Hernández, 2010, p.10; Sinnette, 1989). In New York, Arturo married at the age of 21. His wife, Elizabeth Hatcher, of Staunton, ­Virginia, was part of the early “­Great Migration” of African Americans from the U.S. South to cities in the north. Schomburg began teaching Spanish the year ­after marrying. The c­ ouple had three sons in rapid succession: Maximo Gomez, Arthur Alfonso Jr., and Kingsley Guarionex Schomburg. Elizabeth died young, in 1900. A year ­later Schomburg changed jobs. He got a position at Pryor Mellis & Harris Law Firm, where he worked as a messenger and a clerk. In 1902, he married his second wife, Elizabeth Morrow Taylor, of Williamsburg (Rockingham County), North Carolina, and they had two sons: Reginald Stanton and Nathaniel José Schomburg. It was at this time that Schomburg began to have an impact as an author (Sinnette, 1989).

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In 1904, his first essay, “Is Hayti De­cadent?,” was published in The Unique Advertiser, as a short rebuttal to the widespread portrayal of Haitian society as de­cadent and descending rapidly away from civilization. Schomburg aimed, instead, to promote the understanding of Haiti as a society that had fought for in­de­pen­dence, like the United States. By 1906, he changed positions again and began work for the Bankers Trust Com­pany. He then became supervisor of the Ca­rib­bean and Latin American mail section, a position that he held u­ ntil 1929, as a day job. In 1909, he put out a short pamphlet publication, Placido, A Cuban Martyr. The po­liti­cal pamphlet was a common form among the early authors of the Harlem Re­nais­sance, and the release gained a substantial audience. It was a sort of biographical vignette of the rather romantic figure of Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés, a poet and revolutionary. In 1911, John Edward Bruce and Schomburg co-­founded the Negro Society for Historical Research. Their aim was to create a scholarly society to support the efforts of African, West Indian, and Afro-­American scholars, and effectively included the efforts of many African-­descended Latino academics, such as Schomburg. He subsequently was appointed president of the American Negro Acad­emy, a scholarly association that W.E.B. DuBois had co-­founded in 1897 with many contemporaries (Sinnette, 1989). By 1912, Schomburg was co-­editor of that year’s edition of the Encyclopedia of the Colored Race. In 1916, he published A Bibliographical Checklist of American Negro Poetry, the first such bibliographic survey work of its kind. His impact was so substantial that years ­later he was featured in the 1925 special issue of Survey Graphic: “Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro.” His essay “The Negro Digs Up His Past” was devoted to a type of intellectual proj­ect that aimed to excavate the history of Africa and the Afro-­Atlantic world. Schomburg aimed to demonstrate his own place in history, therefore, by digging into the past and revealing pieces of the narrative that w ­ ere previously unknown. The essay was so influential that John Henrik Clarke cited it as his sole reason for leaving his home in Columbus, Georgia, at the age of 17, making his way across the country, and studying African and Afro-­Atlantic history in New York with Schomburg. The essay was ­later included in the edited edition of The New Negro by Alain Locke. By 1926, the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library appointed Schomburg the curator of a collection that is now named in his honor. ­After a term as curator of the Negro Collection at the Fisk University Library in Nashville, Tennessee, between 1931 and 1932, Schomburg visited Cuba. ­There he met artists, authors, and musicians, all the while adding to his library collection. Upon his return to New York City, the Men’s Business Club of Yonkers, New York, granted him an honorary membership, and he also held a position as the Trea­surer of the Loyal Sons of Africa. In 1938, he fell ill a­ fter dental surgery and died shortly thereafter. By that time, he had amassed a substantial collection of Puerto Rican,

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Cuban, and Afro-­Atlantic materials that included art, books, manuscripts, slave narratives, and historical rec­ords. This exclusive collection is now held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located at 103 West 135th Street, Manhattan, New York City (Sinnette, 1989).

DOCUMENT EXCERPT Fermín Souto, WPA Oral History, 1939 During the 1930s, the Works Pro­gress Administration (WPA) collected oral interviews in its American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Proj­ect. The following is an excerpt from an oral history with Fermín Souto, a secretary of the Centro Español de Tampa (Spanish Club of Tampa). Souto was originally from Galicia in Spain, but migrated to Florida ­after living in Cuba for some time. He ­later migrated to New York City. He is representative of Ca­rib­bean cigar makers who created the city’s early Latino community. I was born in the l­ ittle village of “Perrol de Galicia,” Spain in June of [1858?]. I have reached the advanced age of 77 years. My f­ ather was a stone-­cutter, toiling from sun up ­until night. My ­mother was born and raised in the country. I am, therefore a plebeian. My parents ­were poor ­people, and in ­those days a poor man could only look forward to very meager education. This was the education that I acquired. I never obtained a degree or title of any kind. I was especially interested in Universal History and Geography. ­These w ­ ere my pet studies. On October 30th of 1870, a friend took me to Havana, Cuba, although usually the p­ eople from Galicia (my province) went to Argentina and Uruguay; while the Asturianos and ­those from the region of Santander went to Cuba. I was then only twelve years of age. This friend put me to work, at that tender age, in a hat factory situated in Monte Street, No. 165. I was very badly treated during the time I worked at this place. Part of my duties consisted in ­going ­every day to a coal yard and fetch coal with which to heat the flat irons. The owner of this coal yard was a kind and sympathetic man. I made him a confidante of all my trou­bles, telling him of the ill treatment I was receiving at the hat factory. This man had a nephew who owned a variety store in the town of Santiago de las Vegas, some seventeen miles from Havana. One day, to my im­mense joy, he took me ­there to work for his nephew. In a comparatively short time I knew every­one in town, and was much esteemed by all. ­Here I passed the best years of my life. It was the custom of the owner of this variety store to purchase old newspapers at a very low price. With t­ hese newspapers he would wrap the dif­fer­ent articles that ­were sold. I remember that I used to dig into this pile of old newspapers, reading

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avidly e­ very scrap of news I could find. One day, while looking over t­ hese newspapers, I came upon a very old number of the “[Gaceta?] de la Havana” (“Gazette” of Havana) in which I found many in­ter­est­ing articles of the Civil War of the United States, depicting the vari­ous ­battles that had been fought between the North and the South. From then on, I would seek e­ very bit of news from the United States, reading with the keenest interest anything about Washington or Lincoln, in fact anything I could got a hold of that dealt with the United States. *** At about this time I met a cigar maker by the name of Don Federico, who had been in New York for many years. I told him that I was very desirous of ­going to the United States, but did not know what to do, for although I should be able to save a ­little money, what was I to do in New York when this money gave out, not even knowing how to speak En­glish. He then told me that the best ­thing I could do was to learn how to make cigars. In that manner I could easily find work in New York. I, therefore, deci­ded to learn the trade, and come to the United States. When I imparted my decision to the owner of the variety store, he told me that it was pure foolhardiness, that the cigar makers ­were always needy, and that I should remove such a foolish idea from my head. He took the w ­ hole t­ hing hard, but nothing daunted me. I went to see a cigar manufacturer, who was a friend of mine, in Santiago de las Vegas, and he told me that I must pledge myself to work two years as an apprentice. ­There and then I signed the contract, and bent my energies to the learning of the cigar business. As soon as I left the variety store, the owner closed that store and another branch he had. At the end of the two years I was well versed in the cigar industry. It was about this time that I came across a friend of mine, who had been a co-­worker with me at the variety store. He was at that time planning on setting up a general variety store, and asked me if I would go to work with him. I foresaw that this was the very t­ hing I needed in order to obtain sufficient funds for my trip to New York. I worked one year and eleven months at this place, during which time I saved every­thing I could. Another t­hing that proved favorable to me was that Mr. Diego López Trujillo was established in New York City, operating a small cigar factory. He had been a resident of Santiago de las Vegas, so I procured myself with a recommendation to him. As soon as I reached New York City (the place of my dreams) I was employed by Mr. Trujillo, and my worries for the pres­ent ­were over. One of the first ­things I did was to become a citizen of my chosen country. My citizenship papers w ­ ere issued on October 13th, 1886. It was in this same year that I married the ­daughter of Mr. Diego López Trujillo. We had three ­children in New York: two d­ aughters and one son. Of t­ hese, two died: a girl and a boy. The l­ ittle girl died of scarlet fever, due to a very crowded . . . ​apartment ­house, which my b­ rother

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had chosen for me. For several days we w ­ ere unable to bury her due to a terrible blizzard, and a ­great amount of snow that had fallen. We had to wait ­until the railroad tracks between Broadway and Williamsburg to Cypress Hill Cemetery had been cleared. The reader can well imagine the anguish we went through seeing our ­little ­daughter in state day in and day out. The boy died when he was teething. Shortly a­ fter my marriage, my father-­in-­law moved his l­ ittle factory to Key West. ­There, fortune smiled at his constant efforts, and he built one of the largest factories in Key West. He became im­mensely rich. In the year 1889, t­here was a g­ reat epidemic of flu in New York City. It spread like wild fire throughout the city. My wife contracted the disease, and as a result her lungs ­were seriously affected. Due to her condition, I found it impossible to allow her to remain in New York City during the winter months, so I took advantage of an invitation from my father-­in-­law to come to Key West with my wife and only remaining d­ aughter and pass the winters t­here, as the climate was very temperate. Upon my arrival in Key West with my wife and l­ ittle ­daughter, I found that a strike had been declared in all the cigar factories. The cigar makers w ­ ere demanding $1.00 increase per thousand on the cigar brands, and also that a Regulation Committee be appointed. Seeing this state of affairs, and realizing that if I remained t­here I would be living off my father-­in-­law, I deci­ded to return to New York, and leave my wife and ­daughter in Key West, u­ ntil winter was over. On my way to New York, however, I passed through Tampa, and noted that every­one was well satisfied and working hard. H ­ ere I found an old friend of mine from New York, Mr. Enrique Pendas of the factory of Lozano Pendas & Co. Talking with him, he showed me the many advantages in Tampa, and prevailed upon me to remain. I, therefore, deci­ded to stay h­ ere and work for Mr. Pendas. When winter was over, I went back to Key West for my f­amily, and from t­here returned to New York City. ­There, I went to work at the principal factory of Mr. Enrique Pendas which was situated on Pearl Street. Several years afterwards, however, Mr. Pendas removed that factory, and enlarged the one in Tampa. In the winter of 1890, my wife once more took sick, and I hurried her off to Key West. I remained alone in New York, and experienced the severest cold weather that I can remember. I would think of the wonderful winter I had passed in Tampa, and remember that while winter was at its worse in New York, the flowers bloomed ­here. I felt something akin to homesickness for Tampa, although I had spent only a few months ­here. One day while looking over the vari­ous t­hings of my wife, and which goes to make a home, I deci­ded that I would not remain another day in New York. I, therefore, wrote to my wife saying that I was leaving for Tampa; bade “good-­ bye” to all my friends in New York, and arrived ­here in January of 1891. Since then I have remained ­here for good.

242 | Remaking the U.S. Map, 1846–1898 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers’ Proj­ ect Collection.

See also: Birth of Latin Jazz; Cuban Wars of In­de­pen­dence; Operation Bootstrap and Puerto Rican Migration; Settlement of Ybor City

Further Reading Abreu, Christina. 2015. Rhythms of Race: Cuban Musicians and the Making of Latino New York City and Miami, 1940-­1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Andreu Iglesias, Cesar, ed. 1984. Memoirs of Bernardo Vega: A Contribution to the History of the Puerto Rican Community in New York. New York: Monthly Review Press. Bloch, Peter. 2000. La-­le-­lo-­lai: The Story of Puerto Rican ­Music. New York: Association for Puerto Rican-­Hispanic Culture. Burgos, Adrian. 2012. Cuban Star: How One Negro League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball. New York: Hill & Wang. Burgos, Jr., Adrian. 2007. Playing Amer­i­ca’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line. Berkeley: University of California Press. Butterworth, Douglas, and John K. Chance. 1981. Latin American Urbanization. New York: Cambridge University Press. Davila, Arlene M., and Agustin Lao-­Montes. 2001. Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York. New York: Columbia University Press. Fernandez, Aurea Matilde, and José Martí. 1998. El Partido Revolucionario Cubano. Asturias, Spain: University of Oviedo. Glasser, Ruth. 1995. My ­Music Is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917-­1940. Berkeley: University of California Press. González, Lisa Sánchez. 2001a. Boricua Lit­er­at­ ure: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. New York: NYU Press. González, Lisa Sánchez. 2001b. “Modernism and Boricua Lit­er­a­ture: A Reconsideration of Arturo Schomburg and William Carlos Williams.” American Literary History 13 (2): 242–264. Grasmuck, Sherri, and Patricia R. Pessar. 1991. Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Harris, Stephen L. 2003. Harlem’s Hellfighters: The African American 369th Infantry in World War I. Washington, DC: Brassey’s Corp. Maldonado-­Denis, Manuel. 1981. “Puerto Rican Emigration: Proposals for Its Study.” Con­ temporary Marxism 5: 19–26. Mirabal, Nancy Raquel. 2017. Suspect Freedoms: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Cubanidad. New York: NYU Press. Remeseira, Claudio Iván. 2010. Hispanic New York: A Sourcebook. Perseus Books. [E-­book.] Salazar, Max. 2002. Mambo Kingdom: Latin ­Music in New York. New York: Schirmer Trade Books. Sanchez-­Korrol, ­Virginia  E. 1994. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City, 1870s–1920s | 243 Sanchez-­Korrol, ­Virginia E., and Pedro Juan Hernández. 2010. Pioneros II: Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1948-­1998. Chicago: Arcadia. Sinnette, Elinor des Verney. 1989. Arthur Alfonso Schomburg: Black Bibliophile & Collector. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Whalen, Carmen Teresa. 2005. “Colonialism, Citizenship, and the Making of the Puerto Rican Diaspora: An Introduction,” in Carmen Teresa Whalen and Victor Vázquez-­Hernández, eds., The Puerto Rican Diaspora, 1–20. Philadelphia: ­Temple University Press.

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4 Immigration, World War I, and Community Formation, 1900–1929

Insular Cases, 1901–1922 Gabriel Mayora

Chronology 1859

Luis Muñoz Rivera is born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, on July 17.


Isabel González is born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 2.


In March, Luis Muñoz Rivera co-­founds the Autonomist Party. Members of the party travel to Spain to meet with the nation’s prime minister, who authorizes the creation of a Puerto Rican local government elected by the p­ eople of Puerto Rico.

1897, November

Spain grants Puerto Rico autonomy in response to calls for in­de­pen­dence.

1898, February

Tensions between the United States and Spain arise as Cuba’s fight for in­de­pen­dence from Spain continues to gain momentum.

1898, April

Despite his initial reluctance to help Cuba, on April 11 President McKinley asks the U.S. Congress to authorize military intervention to support Cuba’s in­de­pen­dence efforts against Spain. The Spanish-­American War begins with the United States sending troops to Cuba and Spanish colonies in the Pacific. On April 25, the U.S. Congress states that war against Spain began on April 21.

1898, June President McKinley writes a letter to Lord Salisbury, a British statesman and war intermediary, stating that Spain must relinquish Puerto Rico, one of Spain’s colonies in the Ca­rib­bean, to the United States. 245

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1898, July

In mid-­July, an executive council is formed on the island. Luis Muñoz Rivera is elected the council’s leader and serves as secretary of state. A week l­ater, on July 25, U.S. General Nelson Appleton Miles and his troops occupy Puerto Rico, effectively ending the autonomous local government authorized by Spain.

1898, August

U.S. troops finish their military operations in Puerto Rico.

1898, October

Spain surrenders San Juan to the United States. The United States establishes a U.S.-­controlled military government in Puerto Rico. This government changes the spelling of the island name to “Porto Rico.”

1898, December

The Treaty of Paris, a peace agreement between the United States and Spain, is signed on December 10, ending the Spanish-­American War. Cuba gains in­de­pen­dence while Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines become U.S. territories.


The Treaty of Paris is ratified in February. The same year, Luis Muñoz Rivera leaves Puerto Rico and moves to New York ­after facing persecution from the U.S. military government of the island.

1900, April

The Foraker Act is enacted. The bill establishes a Puerto Rican government with officials selected by the U.S. president, imposes taxes on trade between the United States and Puerto Rico, and determines that the p­ eople of Puerto Rico are Puerto Rican citizens.

1900, May

The U.S. military government in Puerto Rico is replaced by a U.S.-­ civilian government established by the Foraker Act.


On May 27, the Supreme Court delivers a series of decisions known as the “Insular Cases” following confusion over the Foraker Act. Six of ­these cases ­were specific to Puerto Rico: De Lima v. Bidwell, Goetze v. United States, Armstrong v. United States, Downes v. Bidwell, and Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Com­pany. The Court’s decisions establish that the U.S. Constitution does not apply to the ­people of Puerto Rico.


Isabel González, a young w ­ oman from Puerto Rico, is detained as an alien immigrant at Ellis Island and denied entry into the United States.


­ fter multiple appeals, González’s case goes to the Supreme Court. In A Gonzales v. Williams (with the misspelling in the official case caption), the Supreme Court decides that the p­ eople of Puerto Rico are not aliens, while reaffirming that they are not U.S. citizens. González becomes an activist for the rights of Puerto Ricans following the Court’s decision.

Insular Cases, 1901–1922 | 247

1906–1910 Luis Muñoz Rivera is elected to public office in 1906 ­after returning to Puerto Rico. In 1910, he is elected the Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1910. As part of this position, Muñoz Rivera strongly lobbies for the elimination of the Foraker Act. 1916

Luis Muñoz Rivera dies on November  25, before the Jones Act is passed.


The Jones-­Shafroth Act of 1917 replaces the Foraker Act. The bill grants Puerto Ricans  U.S. citizenship for the first time, though it establishes key limitations distinguishing this citizenship from that of ­people in the mainland United States.


President Woodrow Wilson signs the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, to regulate shipping between U.S. ports.


The Supreme Court reaches a decision on the last of the Insular Cases, Balzac v. ­People of Porto Rico. The decision clarifies that the Jones Act does not grant Puerto Rico’s inhabitants constitutional rights. This law remains in place ­today.


The spelling of “Porto Rico” is officially changed back to “Puerto Rico.”

Narrative The Insular Cases ­were a series of Supreme Court decisions delivered between 1901 and 1922 that determined the rights and protections of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants in the aftermath of the Spanish-­American War of 1898. ­After the United States acquired the island of Puerto Rico as a colonial possession, vari­ous plaintiffs brought forth lawsuits to clarify w ­ hether or not they had to pay import tariffs for shipping goods to the mainland United States, and ­whether Puerto Ricans had to submit to immigration procedures like foreigners did. The cases thus presented critical issues about the status of the island and its ­people. Given the numerous decisions that the Supreme Court delivered regarding U.S. territories during this time period, historians widely disagree as to exactly which cases constitute the Insular Cases. However, all historians include six cases specific to Puerto Rico deci­ded on May 27, 1901, as part of the Insular Cases: De Lima v. Bidwell (1901), Goetze v. United States (1901), Dooley v. United States (also known as Dooley I) (1901), Armstrong v. United States (1901), Downes v. Bidwell (1901), Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Com­pany (1901). Moreover, a significant number of historians include Balzac v. ­People of Porto Rico, a 1922 ruling, as part of this group. ­Because t­ hese decisions determined—­and continue to determine—­the ­legal status of Puerto Rico and the rights and protections afforded

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to Puerto Rico’s inhabitants, the Insular Cases represent essential and timely landmarks in the history of Latinos in the United States.

The Spanish-­American War of 1898 The Insular Cases are a direct byproduct of the Spanish-­American War of 1898. The war between the United States and Spain began as a result of Cuba’s efforts to gain in­de­pen­dence from Spain. Given the island’s close proximity, the United States was invested in Cuba’s po­liti­cal and financial stability. Therefore, Cuba’s in­de­pen­ dence movement was widely publicized in the United States, leading to increasing support for Cuban in­de­pen­dence among the American public. At the same time, in early 1898, the diplomatic relationship between Spain and the United States was becoming increasingly strained. ­After failed attempts to buy Cuba from Spain, President William McKinley asked the U.S. Congress to authorize military intervention to support Cuba (Sparrow, 2006). Concerned that McKinley would try to seize control of Cuba ­after defeating Spain, Congress devised the Henry Teller Amendment, which was signed into law on April 20, 1898. The amendment authorized U.S. military intervention in Cuba, but prevented the United States from claiming owner­ship of the island once Spain was defeated (Sparrow, 2006). Between April 21 and April 24, 1898, the United States sent military forces to Cuba and the Philippines, one of Spain’s colonies in the Pacific. On April 25, 1898, Congress retroactively proclaimed that war against Spain had been declared on April 21, 1898 (Sparrow, 2006). Based on his well-­known rec­ord of victories against Native Americans, the U.S. military gave General Nelson Appleton Miles control over the occupation of Spanish colonies in the Ca­rib­bean. Occupying Puerto Rico was a priority for Miles, especially since as early as June  3, President McKinley had written a letter to Lord Salisbury, a British statesman who served as an intermediary between Spain and the United States during the war, stating that Spain had to relinquish Puerto Rico to the United States as a reward for its inevitable victory in the war (Monge, 1997). By mid-­July, peace talks between the two nations had begun, with the United States continuing to demand possession of Puerto Rico and other Spanish territories before agreeing to cease fire (Monge, 1997). ­After a quick victory in Santiago de Cuba, Miles and his troops arrived in Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898 (Monge, 1997). Most accounts of the U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico emphasize the relatively minor vio­lence that took place during the invasion as well as the swiftness with which the U.S. forces defeated Spanish troops. One historian writes that Miles’s troops “­were joyously received” and cites newspapers that characterized the invasion as a “military picnic” (Monge, 1997, p. 26). Similarly, another Puerto Rican scholar writes that Puerto Ricans “[embraced] the invaders

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with open arms,” welcoming American troops, assisting them, and proclaiming their love of Amer­i­ca (Negrón-­Muntaner, 2004, p. 11). Yet another historian points out that even though the invasion was not particularly brutal or lengthy, “young men on both sides died and t­ hose who lived did so in fear” (Malavet, 2004, p. 35). The U.S. military seizure of Puerto Rico was over by August 12, with the majority of the Spanish soldiers gone by September 14 and the official surrender of San Juan to the United States taking place on October 23 (Malavet, 2004). The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, and ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 6, 1899, thus ending the Spanish-­American War. As part of the treaty, Cuba gained its in­de­pen­dence, and a defeated Spain agreed to hand over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The Treaty of Paris would go on to become an essential blueprint for the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Insular Cases, especially as the treaty did not delineate the exact status or rights of the ­people in the newly acquired territories. Article IX of the treaty simply stated that “the civil rights and po­liti­cal status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States s­ hall be determined by Congress” (quoted in Burnett and Marshall, 2001, p. 3).

The Foraker Act and Its Aftermath ­ fter the acquisition of t­ hese territories, the United States had to determine how to A approach the po­liti­cal status of the territories and their inhabitants. In Puerto Rico, the U.S. Department of War—­known as the War Department at the time—­established and controlled a military government that ruled the island from October 18, 1898, to May 1, 1900 (Monge, 1997). It was during the term of this military government that the spelling of the island’s name was changed to “Porto Rico,” which remained its official spelling ­until 1923 (Library of Congress, n.d.b; Sparrow, 2006). On April 12, 1900, the United States approved the Foraker Act, which consisted of three major provisions that served to distinguish Puerto Rico from states in the Union. The Foraker Act designated a civilian government in Puerto Rico consisting of officials in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches who—­except for the lower legislative body—­were appointed by the president of the United States. The act also imposed a tax on the exchange of goods between Puerto Rico and the United States and declared that Puerto Ricans in the island ­were Puerto Rican—­not American—­ citizens (Sparrow, 2006). The enactment of the Foraker Act more than a year a­ fter the ratification of the Treaty of Paris engendered numerous disputes over duties collected post-­treaty but prior to the Foraker Act as well as the period a­ fter the Foraker Act. ­These disputes led to the Insular Cases of 1901, a series of Supreme Court cases in which the Court was forced to determine how the United States would approach its newly acquired

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Justifying a Colonial Enterprise The acquisition of territories in the aftermath of the Spanish-­American War of 1898 proved to be highly controversial among Americans. This controversy was widely publicized, covered, and discussed in newspapers, scholarly journals, and politics. Following the Treaty of Paris, a national debate began between what historians tend to refer to as “imperialist” and “anti-­imperialist” camps. The side traditionally perceived as anti-­imperialist strongly believed that the anti-­colonial origins of the U.S. Constitution meant that the United States could not “constitutionally acquire territories and govern them as colonies” (Rivera Ramos, 2001, p. 74). Anti-­imperialists wanted the United States ­either to give up the territories or to fully incorporate them as states. The side traditionally perceived as imperialist mainly thought the United States had the right to acquire territories and treat them “as permanent dependencies” much like the power­ful Eu­ro­pean nations did (Rivera Ramos, 2001, p. 74). Negative perceptions in the United States ­toward Puerto Ricans played a major role in ­these debates. For instance, Congressman Henry Teller characterized the fact that Puerto Ricans did not fight Spain for their in­de­pen­dence as a weakness that made Puerto Ricans “unworthy of American citizenship” (Negrón-­ Muntaner, 2004, p. 13). Senator Albert J. Beveridge believed it was the duty of the United States to own Puerto Rico and eliminate what he perceived as the island’s “debased civilizations and decaying races” through colonialism (Negrón-­Muntaner, 2004, p. 13). ­These congressmen’s opinions proved to be central to the policies that Congress devised and a­ dopted in key documents such as the Foraker Act and the Jones Act.

territory. Decisions in all six cases ­were delivered on May 27, 1901. Newspapers published on that day indicate that the entire nation was focused on the Supreme Court’s decisions, which ­were considered key to the widely debated topic of the United States’ global expansion (Sparrow, 2006). Even the Supreme Court Justices involved ­were keenly aware of the decisions’ historical significance. For example, in a letter to ­future president William Howard Taft, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan expressed his concerns over the decisions’ de facto granting of unpre­ce­dented power to Congress as well as the decisions’ potential “radical departure” from American values and ideals (Sparrow, 2006, p. 79). Four of the 1901 Insular Cases, De Lima v. Bidwell, Goetze v. United States, Dooley v. United States, and Armstrong v. United States, specifically focused on taxes and trading that took place ­after the signing of the Treaty of Paris and prior

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to the enactment of the Foraker Act. De Lima v. Bidwell and Goetze v. United States focused on the taxes imposed on imports from Puerto Rico into the United States. The Court’s decision in De Lima, the first of the Insular Cases, informed the other three cases. In De Lima v. Bidwell, the firm D.A. de Lima and Co. demanded to be refunded money paid for taxes imposed on sugar imports from San Juan by the collector of the Port of New York (Rivera Ramos, 2001). De Lima’s case was built on the agreement that a tax on Puerto Rican imports that did not also apply to other parts of the United States was unconstitutional. The Court’s decision favored De Lima, declaring that with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, Puerto Rico was no longer a foreign country. Key to the eventual implication of this decision was the majority opinion’s argument that the acquisition of a territory gave Congress “complete authority over the ­people of the territories” (Rivera Ramos, 2001, p. 77). In Goetze v. United States, the Court similarly deci­ded that the collection of taxes on merchandise imported from Puerto Rico prior to enactment of the Foraker Act was invalid. Dooley v. United States and Armstrong v. United States dealt with imports from the United States into Puerto Rico, with the Court ruling that the taxing of ­these imports at the time was illegal (Rivera Ramos, 2001). Though each of the six decisions in the 1901 Insular Cases had significant implications for the status and rights of Puerto Ricans, the majority of scholars and historians agree that Samuel B. Downes v. Thomas G. Bidwell stands out as the most impactful. Unlike the previous four cases, Downes v. Bidwell dealt with the collection of taxes on imports from Puerto Rico to the United States ­after the Foraker Act was enacted. Given the Foraker Act’s provision establishing this kind of tax on trade between Puerto Rico and the United States, the Supreme Court had to decide on the constitutionality of the provision. Though the case on its face had to do with taxation, the larger question the Supreme Court faced was ­whether the rights and protections provided in the U.S. Constitution applied to Puerto Rico as a territory of the United States (Neuman, 2015). Moreover, the Court had to determine w ­ hether the United States had any responsibility to provide Puerto Rico with a pathway to statehood (Burnett and Marshall, 2001). In a controversial 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court declared that the tax established in the Foraker Act did not violate the U.S. Constitution. Most scholarship on Downes v. Bidwell highlights Justice Edward Douglass White’s decision, which became the basis for what would be known as the United States’ “Incorporation Doctrine” (Burnett and Marshall, 2001). In his decision, White wrote that Puerto Rico was “foreign to the United States in a domestic sense, ­because the island had not been incorporated into the United States,” adding that the island was a possession of the United States (Downes, 182 U.S. 244, at 341–342). Thus, the Court determined that the p­ eople of Puerto Rico had no claim to the protections and rights provided by the U.S. Constitution, such as po­liti­cal repre­sen­ta­tion in the federal

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government or the right to vote in presidential elections, even though Puerto Rico was ­under the control of the United States. The Court’s decision established that Congress had full control over incorporation of a territory. Thus, it eliminated any guarantees that unincorporated territories would eventually become states—­similar to previous territories like Hawai’i or California—or gain in­de­pen­dence (Burnett and Marshall, 2001). The decision was widely debated in the U.S. media, with vari­ous outlets celebrating or condemning the Supreme Court. Regardless of their position, all newspapers agreed that Downes v. Bidwell was the most impor­tant of the Insular Cases ­because of its impact on the United States’ relationship to the rest of the world (Sparrow, 2006). The last of the Insular Cases, Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Com­ pany, deci­ded on May 27, 1901, similarly dealt with issues of trading. Much like Downes v. Bidwell, the case had to do with the piloting of ships between New York and Puerto Rico ­after the Foraker Act. Nonetheless, the Court pointed to language in the Foraker Act that allowed the Justices to decide that vessels used for trading between Puerto Rico and U.S. ports ­were considered to be participating in “coasting trade”—­a term used to describe trading between ports that belonged to the United States. Hence, t­hese vessels would not be regulated any differently from coasting trade between two U.S. ports (Rivera Ramos, 2001).

The Jones-­Shafroth Act Much like the original six Insular Cases ­were a direct result of the Foraker Act, the last of the Insular Cases was a byproduct of the Jones-­Shafroth Act, which replaced the Foraker Act. Influenced by pressure from Puerto Rican politician Luis Muñoz Rivera, a major opponent of the Foraker Act, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones Act of 1917 into law on March 2 of that year. The main effect of the Jones-­ Shafroth Act was to confer U.S. citizenship on Puerto Ricans; however, this citizenship came with several limitations. Mainly, Puerto Ricans whose permanent residence was Puerto Rico ­were not eligible to vote in federal elections (i.e., U.S. president, U.S. Congressional representatives). To vote in t­hese elections, Puerto Ricans had to establish permanent residency in the continental United States. In addition, the new bill did not grant Puerto Rico repre­sen­ta­tion in Congress or a path to statehood. Though many elected officials in Puerto Rico opposed the bill, their lack of voting repre­sen­ta­tion in the U.S. government meant that they had no input on Congress’s decision to pass the Jones-­Shafroth Act. The law led to Balzac v. ­People of Porto Rico, which the Supreme Court deci­ ded on April 10, 1922, once again confirming Puerto Rico’s lack of constitutional rights. The case centered on Puerto Rican newspaper editor Jesús M. Balzac, who had been denied trial by jury on a misdemeanor charge on the basis that Puerto

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Rican law only grants trial by jury on felony charges (Rivera Ramos, 2001). Balzac claimed that ­because he was now a U.S. citizen as established by the Jones-­ Shafroth Act, he had the right to a trial by jury for a misdemeanor ­under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. The Court had to decide ­whether the provisions in the Jones-­Shafroth Act meant that Puerto Rico was now an incorporated territory and ­whether U.S. citizenship in Puerto Rico meant that the island’s inhabitants could claim constitutional rights. The Court deci­ded that no part of the Jones-­Shafroth Act indicated that Puerto Rico had been incorporated and also reaffirmed that as Luis Muñoz Rivera was an activist for Puerto Rican long as a person born in Puerto in­de­pen­dence, first from Spain and then from the Rico resided on the island, that United States. He died before seeing his efforts person had no claim to the rights come to fruition. (Puerto Rican Cultural Institute) provided by the U.S. Constitution (Rivera Ramos, 2001). In 1920, Congress signed a second Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, which requires ships transporting goods between U.S. ports to be owned, built, and staffed by Americans. Such cabotage laws, as they are known, are common in many countries. They reflect a protectionist trade stance aimed at promoting a nation’s workers and manufacturing industries over competition from other countries. The law also serves a national security or defense purpose of ensuring that private American ships can be pressed into ser­vice to transport military goods and troops during war­time. Nonetheless, the law has had a disproportionately negative impact on Puerto Rico and other remote parts of the nation (such as Alaska, Hawai’i and Guam), ­because t­hese places import almost all of their food and goods from the mainland United States. ­Because t­hese locales are unable to have commodities transported on non-­U.S. ships, by non-­American crews, this raises the price of shipping and therefore the cost of consumer goods for their residents. In 2017, ­after the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans and other Americans called for a permanent waiver of the Jones Act to help

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Voting for Statehood Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory of the United States has divided the island’s population into dif­fer­ent factions. Some islanders believe Puerto Rico’s current status is the most beneficial to its p­ eople, while o­ thers advocate for statehood or in­de­pen­dence. As of 2017, ­there have been five referendums on the island in which the p­ eople in Puerto Rico have voted on their preferred option. However, the results have been mixed. For instance, in a 1998 referendum, the majority of voters chose “none of the above,” indicating their support for the continued status of Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory (Robles, 2017). On June  11, 2017, in the midst of a major financial crisis on the island, Puerto Rico’s government once again held a referendum. This time, only 23 ­percent of registered voters participated, which represents a major deviation from the average 80  ­percent voting participation on the island (Robles, 2017). Though 97 ­percent of votes favored statehood, reports indicate that the low voter turnout w ­ ill pose a major challenge in realizing the objective of the referendum. Ricardo A. Rosselló, who serves as Puerto Rico’s governor and supports statehood, plans on ­going to Washington, D.C., and pushing the U.S. Congress to honor the results of the referendum. Though many ­people on the island and in the U.S government remain skeptical, President Donald Trump indicated during his presidential campaign that he would be open to incorporating Puerto Rico as the 51st state (Bernal, 2017).

alleviate high consumer costs on the island. The U.S. Virgin Islands, for example, are currently exempt from the law. Though the Insular Cases w ­ ere controversial and widely publicized at the time, historians and law scholars writing about the subject in the 21st ­century consistently lament the fact that the Insular Cases remain largely forgotten in the United States. This is a major area of concern for scholars given that ­these decisions led to what ­these scholars generally perceive to be an unequal and subordinate citizenship for the ­people of Puerto Rico as well as for the inhabitants of other unincorporated U.S. territories like Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Sparrow, 2007; Neuman, 2015). In his introduction to the 2015 edited collection Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and F ­ uture of the American Empire, Gerald L. Neuman illuminates the need for learning about the Insular Cases. Neuman highlights the fact that ­these decisions continue to define and limit the civil rights of the territories’ inhabitants by “limiting their po­liti­cal rights, which in turn reduces their ability to influence the laws that regulate them” (p. xv). Hence, the Insular Cases continue to play a

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significant role in issues of citizenship and ­human rights in Puerto Rico and other areas of the world.

Biographies of Notable Figures Luis Muñoz Rivera (1859–1916) Luis Muñoz Rivera was a Puerto Rican politician and writer, who became a prominent supporter of Puerto Rican autonomy and played a crucial role in the enactment of the Jones Act of 1917. Muñoz Rivera was born in the rural town of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, on July 17, 1859. His f­ ather, Luis Ramón Muñoz Barrios, worked in commerce prior to entering politics as the mayor of Barranquitas. L ­ ittle is known about his m ­ other, Monserrate Rivera Vásquez, except that she died when he was 12  years old (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013). Although Muñoz Rivera attended public school and l­ater had a private tutor, evidence suggests that he was primarily self-­taught. As an adult, Muñoz Rivera became a nationally known poet and writer. He founded numerous newspapers and published two poetry books, Retamas (1891) and Tropicales (1902). His writings usually expressed his desire for Puerto Rican autonomy (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013). In 1883, he married stage actress Amalia Marín Castillo (dif­fer­ent sources spell her name as “Castillo” or “Castilla”), who was known as a vocal supporter of Puerto Rican autonomy. On February 18, 1898, the ­couple had a son, Luis Muñoz Marín, who went on to become a renowned politician and historical figure much like his ­father (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013). Growing up, Muñoz Rivera was exposed to politics both through his f­ ather, who was a prominent member of Puerto Rico’s Conservative Party, and through his u­ ncle, a member of the Liberal Party. In the mid-­to late 1800s, the Conservative Party supported loyalty to the Spanish crown, while the Liberal Party sought autonomy for the island (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013). However, a­ fter facing a series of po­liti­cal losses to the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party modified its stance to support the incorporation of Puerto Rico as a Spanish province (Malavet, 2004). Dissatisfied with this development, Muñoz Rivera and other disgruntled nationalists cofounded the Autonomist Party (Partido Autonomista) in March, 1887. As historian Pedro A. Malavet notes, autonomists differed from Cuban nationalists (i.e., Cuban rebels fighting for complete in­de­pen­dence from Spain) in that they w ­ ere not seeking in­de­pen­dence; rather, autonomists sought “decentralized control” from Spain and “the strongest pos­si­ble local government” (Malavet, 2004, p. 54). Muñoz Rivera and members of the Autonomist Party proposed this type of government to the Prime Minister of Spain, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, who became an ally to the autonomists when he came to power in 1897. With Sagasta’s support,

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a Puerto Rican local government elected by the p­ eople of Puerto Rico was established, with elections taking place on March 27, 1898 (Malavet, 2004). In July 1898, an executive council was created, and Muñoz Rivera was elected as its leader in addition to acting as Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State. However, a week ­after the council’s first session, the United States invaded the island, effectively ending the newly established government (U.S. House of Congress, 2013). Initially, Muñoz Rivera saw the U.S. invasion as a positive development that would facilitate the emergence of the strong local Puerto Rican government that he advocated. Yet, with the establishment of a U.S. military government in Puerto Rico and the passing of the Foraker Act—­which gave the United States full control over ­matters on the island—­these hopes ­were quickly dashed (Negrón-­Muntaner, 2004). As the owner of one of the island’s major newspapers, Muñoz Rivera wrote editorials in which he called for the end of the military government. When U.S. General Guy V. Henry took over control of the island’s administration, he targeted Muñoz Rivera, denouncing the newspaper and demanding criminal prosecution. In light of this situation, Muñoz left Puerto Rico and moved to New York with his ­family in 1899. In New York, Muñoz Rivera remained a strong opponent of the United States’ treatment of Puerto Rico, denouncing the Foraker Act as undemo­ cratic and anti-­American (Monge, 1997). He returned to Puerto Rico in 1904. In 1906, Muñoz Rivera successfully ran for public office and was elected to the House of Delegates. ­After this election, Muñoz Rivera would never lose an election (Monge, 1997). He was reelected twice to the same position ­until he was elected to represent Puerto Rico as the Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1910 (Library of Congress, n.d.a). Throughout his c­ areer as a politician in the United States, he continued to be a vocal opponent of the Foraker Act and was instrumental in the drafting of the Jones Act of 1917, though he acknowledged that certain provisions in the final version of the bill ­were detrimental to the p­ eople of Puerto Rico (Monge, 1997). By 1916, Muñoz Rivera’s health had deteriorated, and on November 15, 1916, he died in San Juan, unable to witness the end of the Foraker Act and the enactment of the Jones Act in 1917 for which he was largely responsible (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013). ­Today, Luis Muñoz Rivera is remembered both as a key po­liti­cal figure in Puerto Rico’s transition from Spanish colony to U.S. unincorporated territory and as a notable Puerto Rican author whose nationalist ideals ­were embodied in his poetry and writings. His role in the creation of the Jones Act has s­ haped his legacy as a controversial figure. Though he helped the p­ eople of Puerto Rico gain rights denied to them by the Foraker Act, in the eyes of his critics his championing of the Jones Act has made him complicit in the limitation of civil rights of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants. His son Luis Muñoz Marín continued Muñoz Rivera’s aspiration for a strong local government on the island, as he became the first governor elected by the ­people

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of Puerto Rico and made considerable efforts to strengthen the autonomy of the island’s government in the 20th ­century (U.S. House of Representatives, 2013).

Isabel González (1882–1971) Isabel González was a Puerto Rican activist whose role in the Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Williams in the early 1900s contributed to the recognition of the ­people of Puerto Rico as U.S. citizens. González was born on May 2, 1882, in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Severo González and Antonia Dávila when Puerto Rico was still a Spanish colony. Through her mid-­teens, native Puerto Ricans like González ­were considered subjects of the Spanish crown. When the Treaty of Paris handed over control of the island from Spain to the United States, their citizenship status became unclear. Section 7 of the Foraker Act attempted to resolve this. It states that Puerto Rico’s inhabitants would become Puerto Rican citizens as long as they renounced their allegiance to Spain and resided on the island when the treaty was ratified. ­Little is known about Isabel González’s early life prior to her decision to leave Puerto Rico and move to New York in 1902. Historians consistently highlight the fact that in 1902 González was an unemployed single ­mother and had become pregnant with a second child, but few sources address González’s first son, who, according to her testimony, was the result of a first marriage that ended with the death of her husband (Erman, 2008). González became pregnant with her second child when she was 20. The ­father was Juan Francisco Torres, González’s fiancé and a native islander, who had secured employment at a factory in New York prior to learning about the pregnancy and moved off the island (Erman, 2008). Soon thereafter, González deci­ded to move to New York to join Torres. However, while she was aboard the SS Philadelphia, the U.S. Trea­sury Department issued new immigration regulations that established Puerto Ricans as aliens (i.e., foreigners) for immigration purposes (Suarez, 2013). For González, the new regulations meant that despite the fact that she was native to a territory ruled by the United States, she was now subject to the same limitations imposed on aliens attempting to enter the United States (Erman, 2008). On August 4, 1901, González was detained upon arrival to New York and sent to Ellis Island, the New York port where U.S. immigration authorities pro­ cessed immigrants (Suarez, 2013). Following the new law, immigration authorities at Ellis Island denied González entry to the country on the basis that she was an alien who, due to her pregnancy, was likely to become a “public charge” or be unable to support herself financially (Suarez, 2013). González deci­ded to appeal the decision. Initially, her l­ egal defense countered the claim that she would pose a financial burden to the United States, but multiple courts continued to deny her entry to the country.

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When the case went to the Supreme Court, González’s l­ egal team built the case on a dif­fer­ent argument. Rather than focusing on the reasons for denying entry to aliens, they argued that the ­people of Puerto Rico could not be treated as aliens ­because U.S. rule over the island meant that its p­ eople w ­ ere American citizens (Suarez, 2013). In its decision in the case, Isabella Gonzales v. William Williams (U.S. officials misspelled both of González’s names), issued on January 4, 1904, the Court ruled that the Treaty of Paris and the Immigration Act of 1891 prevented the United States from treating the inhabitants of U.S. territories as aliens. However, in the decision, the Supreme Court Justices made sure to state that the p­ eople of Puerto Rico w ­ ere not U.S. citizens (Sparrow, 2006). During the trial, González married Torres, whose residence in New York prior to the new immigration rules allowed him to become an American citizen. Thus, through marriage, González became an American citizen, which meant that she thus had the right to stay in the United States regardless of the Court’s decision. However, she believed her case represented a valuable opportunity to force the Supreme Court to recognize all of the ­people of Puerto Rico as American citizens, so she kept her marriage secret throughout the case (Erman, 2008). In the years following the decision, González denounced the Supreme Court and the United States in a series of letters to The New York Times (Erman, 2008). In New York, she became an activist for the right of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants to be recognized as U.S. citizens. Thus, she contributed to the passage of the Jones Act and is considered to have influenced the migration of the 7,000 Puerto Ricans estimated to have moved from the island to the mainland between 1908 and 1916 (Suarez, 2013). She died on June 11, 1971, and is still remembered as one of the most influential figures in the development of the citizenship status of Puerto Ricans.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT The Foraker Act, 1900 In the aftermath of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1899, the U.S. Congress was responsible for establishing the rights and limitations on Puerto Rico as a newly acquired territory. As a result, the Foraker Act was signed into law in 1900. The following excerpts highlight the bill’s approach to the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico—an approach that became the basis for the six Insular Cases of 1901. Sec. 2. That on and a­ fter the passage of this Act the same, tariffs, customs, and duties ­shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles imported into Porto Rico from ports other than ­those of the United States which are required by law to be

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collected upon articles imported into the United States from foreign countries: Provided, That on all coffee in the bean or ground imported into Porto Rico ­there ­shall be levied and collected a duty of five cents per pound, any law or part of law to the contrary notwithstanding: And provided further, That all Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works, not subversive of public order in Porto Rico, ­shall be admitted ­free of duty into Porto Rico for a period of ten years, reckoning from the eleventh day of April, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, as provided in said treaty of peace between the United States and Spain: And provided further, That all books and pamphlets printed in the En­glish language s­ hall be admitted into Porto Rico f­ ree of duty when imported from the United States. *** Sec. 6. That the capital of Porto Rico s­ hall be at the city of San Juan and the seat of government ­shall be maintained t­here. Sec. 7. That all inhabitants continuing to reside therein who ­were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, and then resided in Porto Rico, and their ­children born subsequent thereto, ­shall be deemed and held to be citizens of Porto Rico, and as such entitled to the protection of the United States, except such as ­shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain on or before the eleventh day of April, nineteen hundred, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain entered into on the eleventh day of April, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine; and they, together with such citizens of the United States as may reside in Porto Rico, ­shall constitute a body politic ­under the name of The ­People of Porto Rico, with governmental powers as hereinafter conferred, and with power to sue and be sued as such. Sec. 8. That the laws and ordinances of Porto Rico now in force ­shall continue in full force and effect, except as altered, amended, or modified hereinafter, or as altered or modified by military o­ rders and decrees in force when this Act s­ hall take effect, and so far as the same are not inconsistent or in conflict with the statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, or the provisions hereof, ­until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislative authority hereinafter provided for Porto Rico or by Act of Congress of the United States: Provided, That so much of the law which was in force at the time of cession, April eleventh, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, forbidding the marriage of priests, ministers, or followers of any faith b­ ecause of vows they may have taken, being paragraph four, article eighty-­ three, chapter three, civil code, and which was continued by the order of the secretary of justice of Porto Rico, dated March seventeenth, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, and promulgated by Major-­General Guy V. Henry, United States Volunteers, is hereby repealed and annulled, and all persons lawfully married in Porto Rico ­shall have all the rights and remedies conferred by law upon parties to ­either

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civil or religious marriages: And provided further, That paragraph one, article one hundred and five, section four, divorce, civil code, and paragraph two, section nineteen, of the order of the minister of justice of Porto Rico, dated March seventeenth, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, and promulgated by Major-­General Guy  V. Henry, United States Volunteers, be, and the same hereby are, so amended as to read: “Adultery on the part of e­ ither the husband or the wife.” Sec. 9. That the Commissioner of Navigation s­ hall make such regulations, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Trea­sury, as he may deem expedient for the nationalization of all vessels owned by the inhabitants of Porto Rico on the eleventh day of April, eigh­teen hundred and ninety-­nine, and which continued to be so owned up to the date of such nationalization, and for the admission of the same to all the benefits of the coasting trade of the United States; and the coasting trade between Porto Rico and the United States s­ hall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to such trade between any two g­ reat coasting districts of the United States. *** Sec. 16. That all judicial pro­cess ­shall run in the name of “United States of Amer­i­ca, ss: the President of the United States,” and all criminal or penal prosecutions in the local courts ­shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of “The ­people of Porto Rico;” and all officials authorized by this Act ­shall before entering upon the duties of their respective offices take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Porto Rico. Sec. 17. That the official title of the chief executive officer ­shall be “The Governor of Porto Rico.” He s­ hall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; he s­ hall hold his office for a term of four years and u­ ntil his successor is chosen and qualified u­ nless sooner removed by the President; he ­shall reside in Porto Rico during his official incumbency, and ­shall maintain his office at the seat of government; he may grant ­pardons and reprieves, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses against the laws of Porto Rico, and respites for offenses against the laws of the United States, ­until the decision of the President can be ascertained; he s­ hall commission all officers that he may be authorized to appoint, and may veto any legislation enacted, as hereinafter provided; he s­ hall be the commander in chief of the militia, and ­shall at all times faithfully execute the laws, and he ­shall in that behalf have all the powers of governors of the Territories of the United States that are not locally inapplicable; and he ­shall annually, and at such other times as he may be required, make official report of the transactions of the government in Porto Rico, through the Secretary of State, to the President of the United States: Provided, That the President may, in his discretion, delegate and assign to him such executive duties and functions as may in pursuance with law be so delegated and assigned.

Insular Cases, 1901–1922 | 261 Source: The Foraker Act, Pub. L. No. 56–191, 31 Stat. 77, enacted April 12, 1900.

See also: Ca­rib­bean Migration to New York City; Rise of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; Spanish-­American War

Further Reading Bernal, Rafael. 2017, June 7. “Puerto Rico Goes to the Polls.” The Hill. Retrieved fromhttp://­ thehill​.­com​/­latino​/­336667​-­puerto​-­rico​-­goes​-­to​-­the​-­polls​-­for​-­statehood Burnett, Christina Duffy, and Burke Marshall. 2001. Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Erman, Sam. 2008. “Meanings of Citizenship in the U.S. Empire: Puerto Rico, Isabel Gonzalez, and the Supreme Court, 1898 to 1905.” Journal of American Ethnic History 27: 5–33. Library of Congress. (n.d.a). “Luis Muñoz Rivera.” The World of 1898: The Spanish-­ American War. Retrieved from https://­www​.­loc​.­gov​/­rr​/­hispanic​/­1898​/­munoz​.­html Library of Congress. (n.d.b). “Military Government in Puerto Rico.” The World of 1898: The Spanish-­American War. Retrieved from https://­www​.­loc​.­gov​/­rr​/­hispanic​/­1898​ /­milgovt​.­html Malavet, Pedro A. 2004. Amer­i­ca’s Colony: The Po­liti­cal and Cultural Conflict Between the United States and Puerto Rico. New York: New York University Press. Monge, José Trías. 1997. Puerto Rico: The ­Trials of the Oldest Colony in the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Negrón-­Muntaner, Frances. 2004. Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture. New York: New York University Press. Neuman, Gerald L. 2015. “Introduction,” in Gerald L. Neuman and Tomiko Brown-­Nagin, eds., Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and ­Future of the American Empire. Cambridge, MA: ­Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School. Rivera Ramos, Efrén. 2001. The ­Legal Construction of Identity: The Judicial and Social Legacy of American Colonialism in Puerto Rico. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Robles, Frances. 2017, June 11. “23% of Puerto Ricans Vote in Referendum, 97% of Them for Statehood.” New York Times. Retrieved from https://­www​.­nytimes​.­com​/­2017​/­06​/­11​ /­us​/­puerto​-­ricans​-­vote​-­on​-­the​-­question​-­of​-­statehood​.­html​?­mcubz​=­0&​_­r​=­0 Sparrow, Bartholomew H. 2006. The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Suarez, Ray. 2013. Latino Americans: The 500-­Year Legacy That ­Shaped the Nation. New York: Penguin Group. U.S. House of Representatives. 2013. Hispanic Americans in Congress: 1822–2012. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Walsh, Mary Williams. 2017, May 5. “Puerto Rico: A Debt Prob­lem That Kept Boiling Over.” New York Times. Retrieved from https://­www​.­nytimes​.­com​/­2017​/­05​/­05​/­business​ /­dealbook​/­puerto​-­rico​-­debt​.­html​?­mcubz​=­0

262 | Immigration, World War I, and Community Formation, 1900–1929

The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921 Lilia Fernández

Chronology 1876

Porfirio Diaz becomes president of Mexico on a campaign that champions a “liberal revolt” meant to enact po­liti­cal reforms. He remains in power for 35 years.


The Flores Magón ­brothers—­Ricardo, Jesus, and Enrique—­ begin publishing their newspaper Regeneración in Mexico City and call for the overthrow of Diaz.


Diaz oversees the modernization and industrialization of Mexico by inviting foreign investors to mine for mineral resources (silver and copper) and drill for petroleum. Foreign corporations also begin building a railroad network to transport t­hose raw materials to the United States.


Railroad construction, which had been ongoing throughout the United States but more recent in Mexico, fi­nally connects the two countries, making the transportation of goods and ­people between them much easier.


­ fter Diaz closes their newspaper, imprisons Ricardo, and the A Mexican Supreme Court bans the Flores Magón ­brothers from publishing or writing in Mexico again, the three flee to San Antonio, Texas, where they resume publication of their paper and get help smuggling it into Mexico. ­ fter they are pursued in San Antonio, the Flores Magón brothA ers relocate to St. Louis, Missouri; resume their publishing; and create the Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party, PLM).


Francisco Madero, a wealthy northerner from the state of Chihuahua, publishes La Sucesion Presidencial en 1910 (The Presidential Succession in 1910) supporting Diaz’s re-­election but calling for an in­de­pen­dent vice-­presidential election in hopes of establishing a legitimate successor. Emiliano Zapata begins a land re­distribution plan among peasants in the state of Morelos.

The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921 | 263


Early in the year, Diaz announces his bid for re-­election and Madero announces that he w ­ ill challenge the Diaz candidacy; Madero has a strong following among supporters.

1910, October

Diaz jails Madero, but he manages to escape and flees to San Antonio, Texas, where he publishes El Plan de San Luis Potosí, calling for armed revolt.

1910, November

Several small uprisings erupt in the state of Chihuahua. Madero comes to the area but returns to the United States a­ fter he is unable to marshal an army.

1911, May

On May 11, Pasqual Orozco and Pancho Villa, northerners allied with Madero’s cause, attack Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across from El Paso, Texas, despite Madero’s o­ rders that they retreat. They succeed in capturing the city.

1911, May

Porfirio Diaz, who finds himself in poor health, resigns on May 25 and exiles himself to Paris.

1911, September

Jovita Idar and ­others join a fraternal organ­ization in convening the First Mexican Congress of Texas in Laredo to discuss po­liti­cal issues affecting the Mexican American community. The meeting welcomes w ­ omen’s participation, making it a significant attempt to foment a militant ­women’s movement.

1911, October

Francisco Madero is elected president and calls for an end to rebellion.

1911, December

Emiliano Zapata releases El Plan de Ayala, calling for land reforms and denouncing Madero for betraying the Revolution and taking the presidency.


Several generals, including Victoriano Huerta, plot with U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson to oust Madero from office.

1913, February “La Decena Tragica” (The Tragic Ten Days) take place in Mexico City on February 9, with rebels exchanging fire in a military coup to oust President Madero. General Victoriano Huerta helps force Madero and his vice president, Pino Suarez, to resign from their posts. 1913, February On February  22, Madero and vice president Suarez are executed, most likely by General Huerta. 1913

Victoriano Huerta assumes the presidency.

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Venustiano Carranza, who had announced his Plan de Guadalupe in the state of Coahuila, denounces President Huerta for plotting Madero’s death and names himself First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army. Francisco Villa returns to Mexico from the United States seeking to avenge Madero’s assassination. He leads his troops, La Division del Norte (The Northern Division), against Huerta’s army. 1914

Emiliano Zapata seizes towns allied with Huerta and redistributes their land to peasants. He urges peasants to arm themselves and defend the land. Huerta’s army brings brutal force against them. Pancho Villa captures much of northern Mexico.

1914, July

Victoriano Huerta is forced out of the presidency and flees to the United States.

1914, Factions develop between Constitutionalists and ConventionalJuly-­December ists. Venustiano Carranza supports the Constitutionalists, though Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata ultimately oppose them. Carranza, ­after declaring himself de facto leader, moves his central government from Mexico City to Veracruz. Villa and Zapata occupy Mexico City with plans to defeat revolutionary general Alvaro Obregon, a Carranza ally, though Obregon eventually prevails. 1915

Obregon defeats Villa’s army in the north. Carranzista forces capture Morelos away from Zapatistas (Zapata’s followers).

1915, October

U.S. President Wilson recognizes the Carranza government, which outrages Pancho Villa.


Victoriano Huerta dies while in U.S custody in El Paso, Texas.

1916, March

On March 9, Pancho Villa and his soldiers create a diplomatic crisis for President Carranza by leading an attack on Fort Furlong in Columbus, New Mexico, the first foreign invasion of the United States in more than 100 years.

1916, March–­ President Wilson ­orders General John J. Pershing and his troops 1917, February to invade Mexico to capture Villa. 1916–­1917

­ fter participating in a constitutional convention in Queretaro A in late 1916, Carranza oversees the signing of a new Mexican constitution that continues to be in effect into the 21st ­century.

The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921 | 265

1917, May

Mexico holds its first presidential elections on May 1 ­under the new constitution, and Venustiano Carranza becomes the nation’s president.


Zapatistas suffer ­under an intense campaign by Carranza, a lack of supplies, defections, and an influenza epidemic.


Carranza o­ rders the assassination of Zapata.


Alvaro Obregon issues his Plan de Agua Prieta and marches to Mexico City. President Carranza again relocates his government to Veracruz but is assassinated. Obregon gains enough broad-­based support to win the presidency.


Obregon remains in office u­ ntil 1924. Po­liti­cal stability fi­nally reigns, with the exception of brief rebellions in 1923 and 1924, and the revolution comes to an end.


Pancho Villa is killed in an ambush, possibly by former rivals.


As the po­liti­cal instability of the revolution dies down, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), is established, based on the revolution’s ideals. The PRI remains in control of the Mexican presidency ­until 2000, with the election of Vicente Fox.


Alvaro Obregon is assassinated.

Narrative The Mexican Revolution was a series of social and po­liti­cal insurrections that wracked Mexico from 1910 ­until about 1920. The uprisings ­were aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz and spreading democracy and reforms in Mexico. At their core, the Revolution’s ideals included extending democracy to all of the nation’s p­ eople, diminishing the population’s gaping economic inequalities, and limiting the power and influence of the Catholic Church. Revolts w ­ ere led by a variety of rebels from vari­ous social classes and backgrounds who w ­ ere unhappy with existing social, economic, and po­liti­cal conditions. Many ­were deeply dissatisfied with the way in which Diaz had modernized and industrialized the nation with the help of foreign investors, something that benefited ­those investors and only a limited sector of Mexican society. ­Others w ­ ere troubled by the increasing power of the federal government. Still ­others bristled ­under the heavy hand of the Catholic Church and its control over education. ­After Diaz’s ouster, however, vari­ous factions fought for power throughout the country, creating tremendous po­liti­cal instability for several years. The po­liti­cal upheaval and ongoing warring across the countryside created extensive social and

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economic turmoil and severe hardship for most Mexicans. Food shortages and the destruction of crops caused widespread hunger as well. ­These effects, and indeed the warring, spilled over the U.S.-­Mexico border. Although many Americans might consider the Mexican Revolution to be a historical event that occurred in a separate nation with ­little relation to the United States, the U.S.-­Mexico border saw a ­great deal of traffic—­military generals, dissidents, and refugees all sought refuge across the Rio Grande. Indeed, the Mexican Revolution had an enormous impact on cities like San Antonio, Los Angeles, El Paso, Chicago, and even St. Louis, Missouri—­thus making the revolution a much more binational or transnational phenomenon than might be ­imagined. Though the end of the revolution promised demo­cratic reforms, greater popu­ lar participation in governance, and improved conditions for Mexican citizens, many of ­those promises ­were difficult to realize. Still, the Mexican Revolution represented a  significant historical event for the impact it had on Mexico, on the U.S.-­Mexico border, and on the massive migration it set in motion. Approximately one-­tenth of Mexico’s population, well over 1 million ­people, perished. Another 1.5 million fled the country, dislocated by the military ­battles, po­liti­cal turmoil, vio­lence, and hunger. Some w ­ ere modest business o­ wners, skilled craftsmen, or ­humble farmers; ­others were educated and wealthy ­ (McCaa, 2003). They sought shelter and a means to make a living in Texas, California, and Midwestern states like Illinois and Indiana. Many of them never returned home. ­Those refugees and exiles planted settlements in old and new destinations, expanding the Pancho Villa was one of the ­great revolutionary Mexican American population in heroes of the Amer­i­cas. A general in the epic strug­gle of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Villa the United States dramatically and took on legendary importance in Mexico for his establishing the roots for commusocial ideals and daring military exploits. ­Today he nities that would continue to grow remains an easily recognizable symbol of Mexican nationalism and social justice. (Library of Congress) throughout the 20th ­century.

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Life during the Porfiriato Porfirio Diaz is credited with having made ­great strides in modernizing and industrializing Mexico and introducing po­liti­cal stability ­after years of foreign occupation and internal strife—­but for average Mexican citizens, his achievements came at a ­great cost. Diaz came to power a­ fter ousting President Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada in November 1876, campaigning on a reform platform. In the previous 55 years, Mexico’s presidency had changed hands 75 dif­fer­ent times. Though Diaz forced Lerdo out of office through a military revolt, he waited ­until he was officially elected to office three months ­later before assuming the presidency. To maintain his commitment to prohibiting presidential re-­election ­after amending the 1857 constitution, Diaz stepped down in 1880 and allowed his chosen successor to take office for four years. As the nation expressed dissatisfaction with his successor, he easily returned to the presidency, to which he was re-­elected seven times (defying his earlier opposition to re-­election). He remained in office ­until 1911 (Ceeko, 2016). Diaz surrounded himself with scientists and po­liti­cal conservatives who looked to Eu­rope for its modernity and pro­gress. The United States was also a favored role model, for its rapid economic development and shift from an agrarian society. In the span of only a few de­cades, Americans had built extensive railroad networks, factories, and commercial farms. Diaz sought the same for Mexico. He promoted his country’s economic and industrial development, such as the textile industry, which brought new workers to urban areas. He introduced electricity in Mexico City and oversaw the installation of thousands of miles of telegraph wires (Ceeko, 2016). Diaz also facilitated the building of 12,000 miles of railroad tracks (Easterling, 2012). Contradicting his earlier critiques of President Lerdo for allowing foreigners to dominate Mexico’s economy, Diaz invited American and British investors to build railroads, buy enormous tracts of land, and extract the nation’s oil and mineral resources. The sleepy village of Cananea, Sonora, in northern Mexico, for example, went from only 100 residents in 1891 to 25,000 by 1906 as mining operations boomed (Easterling, 2012). As a result of ­these extractive industries, Mexico became “the largest producer of silver in the world, second in copper, and third in gold” in t­hese years (Sosa and Noriega, 2012, p. 33). Diaz also facilitated the massive transfer of large tracts of public lands into private hands. This reversed the traditional practice of communal owner­ship through ejidos. As railroad corporations extended their networks throughout the country, they made the surrounding land much more valuable and desirable for investors, ranchers, and large farmers. Thus, the coming of the railroads brought greater pressure on public lands. An elite few citizens managed to acquire large swaths of this land very cheaply and turned it into enormous ranches and commercial farms, leaving peasants landless and forced into debt peonage, working for the hacendados

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The Railroads Railroads in both the United States and Mexico played a central role during the Mexican Revolution, for a variety of reasons. Mexico’s railroad systems had been developed primarily in the years of the Porfiriato and w ­ ere essential to the country’s economic growth, moving raw materials from Mexico’s interior to port cities and to the United States. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line, for example, connected the United States to Mexico. During the war, trains w ­ ere essential for transporting soldiers, the w ­ omen who accompanied them, weapons, and goods. Many often rode on top of the railroad cars, making it a very dangerous journey. The trains also transported citizens who w ­ ere trying to escape the fighting and seek shelter and safety in the United States. Middle-­and upper-­class refugees who could afford a train ticket rode in the comfort of passenger trains for the hundreds of miles it took to deliver them to safety in Texas or further away. ­Those who could not afford a train ticket simply followed the tracks on foot (Ceeko, 2016, p. 51). San Antonio became an impor­tant destination for many refugees and a Mexican immigrant community rapidly grew on the city’s west side, just steps from where the International and G ­ reat Northern Railroad stopped on its northward journey from Laredo. U.S. railroads also provided employment for many Mexican men (and some w ­ omen) who arrived in El Paso and Laredo and w ­ ere quickly recruited to do track maintenance and other l­abor. Working on the rails allowed p­ eople to travel throughout the country, as far as the Midwest, the Northeast, and the West Coast, wherever the trains took them. Many immigrants rode the trains to places like Kansas City and Topeka, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; ­Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Chicago, Illinois, where they began new lives. In many ways, the railroads played an overlooked yet fascinating role in the Mexican Revolution and the ­human migration that accompanied it.

(large landholders). Indigenous p­ eople, who made up most of the nation’s lowest classes and rural population, suffered very poor living conditions. A crisis in the national food supply in 1909 and 1910 had a widespread effect on the populace. Other f­ actors also contributed to the citizenry’s discontent. Population growth created greater pressures for employment, schooling, health care, transportation, and homes. Mexico’s population nearly doubled during the Diaz administration, ­going from 8.7 to 15 million over 3 de­cades. In addition, Diaz had centralized Mexico’s government, giving the federal administration in Mexico City greater power over the states. Many middle-­class po­liti­cal and business leaders, particularly in the

The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1921 | 269

north, resented the loss of their autonomy and po­liti­cal power, especially b­ ecause their regions generated so much of the nation’s mineral resources. They felt constrained in their financial and social status ambitions by a regime that rewarded its own friends and cronies but did ­little for the rest of the nation. Most Mexicans did not reap the benefits of Diaz’s economic advancements. A select group of upper-­class citizens amassed enormous wealth, but for the m ­ iddle and lower classes, life did not improve. The majority of the population remained illiterate, without access to education, in poor health, and unable to exert their vote in any meaningful way. Even urban skilled workers faced stagnant wages despite the nation’s growing wealth. In the United States, this was the age of the robber barons, and the convulsions of modern industrial capitalism w ­ ere occurring elsewhere as well. Just as workers in the United States and Eu­rope strug­gled against bosses to determine the conditions u­ nder which they would toil on railroads, in mines, and in factories during ­these years, Mexican workers ­were also trying to determine the conditions ­under which they would work for wages and produce wealth for corporations and their investors. Mexicans became especially critical of Diaz’s laissez-­faire government that allowed foreigners to extract so much of Mexico’s riches with ­little regulation or accountability to its ­people (Sosa and Noriega, 2012, p.  33). As one historian described it, “In Chihuahua, the Hearsts, starting with U.S. Senator George Hearst and continuing with his son, William Randolph Hearst, secured more than 1,600,000 acres of land, which they used to operate a massive cattle-­ranching operation. In Sonora, William Greene developed the mining town of Cananea through his acquisition of the largest copper ore body in Mexico. Along the Gulf of Mexico, in Tampico and Tuxpan, Tamaulipas, the fortune hunter Edward Doheny first struck oil and then took hold of more than 600,000 acres of land, only to prompt Standard Oil to expand its operations in Mexico” (Flores, forthcoming, pp. 107–108). Mexico became such an impor­tant center of commercial activity for Americans that “by 1910, more than 75,000 Americans ­were living” ­there (Flores, forthcoming, 108). Perhaps the most frustrating characteristic of Mexican society at this time was that po­liti­cal dissent was met with severe repression. Diaz did not tolerate critics and often found ways to silence them and prevent them from sowing seeds of rebellion. This eventually reached a boiling point when, in 1910, the 80-­year old dictator announced in an interview that he would soon retire but then reversed his stance and sought re-­election yet again. A rival would soon emerge, surprisingly, among the upper classes in the north. Francisco Madero, who hailed from the Porfirian elite, became po­liti­cally emboldened with po­liti­cally progressive ideas and would challenge the long-­standing ruler. Although most Mexicans would never become ardent followers of him personally, his po­liti­cal insurgency unleashed multiple uprisings throughout the country. Over the next de­cade, Mexico became

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consumed by civil war, with vari­ous factions sparring over po­liti­cal power using military force.

Po­liti­cal Uprisings Begin When Francisco Madero challenged Porfirio Diaz’s rule by announcing that he would run against Diaz for the presidency, Diaz ordered him arrested and kept him in jail during the election, thus easily winning office yet again. Upon his release, Madero fled to San Antonio, Texas. From ­there, he issued a manifesto, El Plan de San Luis Potosí, calling for a po­liti­cal revolution. In fact, he indicated the day and time it should begin: November 20, 1910, at 6:00 pm. Upon returning to Mexico, presumably to lead the rebellion, he was disappointed to find that no large-­scale army had formed prepared to do ­battle, so he went back to the United States. He returned in February 1911, this time able to mobilize an army but he faced defeat. He deci­ded to enlist Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa to lead the revolution’s military operations. ­Those two men secured a decisive victory by capturing Ciudad Juarez, just across the river from El Paso, Texas. By May of 1911, Madero had convinced Diaz to resign. Diaz and his vice-­ president did just that in late May, thereby opening the way for new elections in October. Perhaps the greatest betrayal to t­hose who had supported Madero’s call for revolution, however, was Madero’s promise to demobilize the revolutionary army and allow Diaz’s federal army to remain in power. Madero’s military allies ­were infuriated. They refused to put down their arms and instead planned their next moves. In the state of Morelos, Emiliano Zapata, who had been organ­izing indigenous peasants, issued El Plan de Ayala demanding agrarian reforms. He denounced Madero for betraying the revolution. Ultimately, Madero was a po­liti­cal moderate. While he believed he had achieved the revolution’s objectives by removing Porfirio Diaz from power, his limited goals did not include or attain the massive social and economic reforms that most Mexican urban workers and peasants had hoped for. His class position may also have ­shaped his po­liti­cal imagination and his perspective on what the nation needed. Madero proceeded to initiate demo­cratic po­liti­cal reforms, but dissent among the revolutionaries who had supported him spread rapidly. Pascual Orozco rebelled against him and Madero called Pancho Villa to suppress the revolt. By 1913, Madero was ousted and murdered, likely in a plot by General Victoriano Huerta. Pancho Villa was particularly devastated by the death of Madero, a man whom he considered a dear friend and hero. General Huerta then assumed the presidency, but Villa and Emiliano Zapata immediately opposed him. Huerta crushed the insurgencies that ­rose up against him. By mid-1914, however, he too was removed from power. In his wake, two major factions had developed, the Constitutionalists and the Conventionalists.

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Las Adelitas/Soldaderas War and military conflicts are generally characterized by the male actors who participate in t­hese events: the soldiers, generals, rebels, and po­liti­cal leaders who take up arms, make public declarations, and inspire the general citizenry. In the case of the Mexican Revolution, however, ­women played a prominent and critical role, w ­ hether they participated voluntarily or against their w ­ ill. The iconic figure of the Adelita or soldadera (literally, the female soldier) remains impor­tant to the history of the Revolution. The term “Adelita” originated in a popu­lar corrido of ­those years, a genre of Mexican folksong that served as a form of storytelling or a way to spread news about brave heroes and impor­tant events. Adelita became the generic term used for ­women who accompanied male troops into ­battle, in both the federal and rebel armies, often performing a variety of essential duties. ­Women fed, nursed, and washed clothes for soldiers on the road. Some ­women joined troops to support their husbands, lovers, ­brothers, ­fathers, or sons who ­were fighting in the war. ­Others joined out of their own po­liti­cal conviction and commitment to the ideals of the revolution. Still o­ thers w ­ ere kidnapped from their homes and pressed into ser­vice against their ­will. Although they might be forced to find food, fetch w ­ ater, do laundry, heal wounds, or carry and care for weapons, some ­were also forced to entertain the troops or perform sexual ser­vices for them. Some ­women actually engaged in direct military action—­again, ­either by choice or by necessity—­ sometimes taking up arms, transporting or smuggling weapons, delivering messages, or working as spies. A number of w ­ omen, in some cases disguised as men, actually led battalions and became famous for their heroism in the face of danger. Two popu­lar images endure of the soldadera or Adelita: one is of a w ­ oman in a blouse and long skirt or dress, wrapped in a shawl, as was traditional for Mexican w ­ omen to wear in t­ hese years. The other is of a w ­ oman in a similar style but with a bandolier of bullets strapped across her torso. ­These images, much like the American “Rosie the Riveter” icon of World War II, embody ­women’s strength, bravery, resilience, and commitment to democracy and freedom. The Adelita and soldadera figure became inspirational to young Mexican American w ­ omen in the 1960s and 1970s, who embraced them as a symbol of feminism and female empowerment. Venustiano Carranza, a former governor of Coahuila, who had served as Madero’s minister of war and opposed Victoriano Huerta’s presidency, aligned himself with the Constitutionalists. In 1913, Carranza had issued his Plan de Guadalupe in which he appointed himself “First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army” and

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eventually president once the Revolution came to a close. He initially counted on Pancho Villa’s allegiance, but eventually found himself at odds with Villa as well. While Carranza tried to unify the military forces, the civil warfare only worsened. The year of 1915, one of the most difficult of the Revolution, is remembered as the year of hunger, as food supplies dwindled and Mexicans experienced scarcity and severe hardship. In early 1916, Pancho Villa initiated his infamous raid on Columbus, New Mexico, marking the first time in more than a ­century that foreign forces had invaded U.S. soil. Villa did this intentionally to create a diplomatic crisis for the Carranza regime, though he thereby invited the wrath of President Woodrow Wilson, who dispatched General John J. Pershing in a “punitive expedition” to capture Villa. Pershing fi­nally retreated in early 1917 at the same time that Carranza unveiled a new constitution. In 1916, delegates had gathered in the city of Querétaro to create a new constitution. President Venustiano Carranza initially offered only a moderately modified version of the 1857 Constitution, much to the disappointment of delegates who wanted a document that reflected the revolution’s core ideals. Like Madero, Carranza focused on po­liti­cal reforms, such as the “no re-­election” princi­ple but cared less about instituting widespread social and economic changes. However, the delegates negotiated a more radical document, and by May of 1917, Carranza was officially elected and took office as the nation’s constitutional president. ­Because the constitution allowed presidents to serve only one term, Carranza sought to hand-­pick his replacement. Alvaro Obregon, who had helped Carranza do ­battle with Pancho Villa, wanted the position and hoped Carranza would support his candidacy in 1920. Carranza and his supporters tried once again to relocate the central government to Veracruz, but w ­ ere routed by Obregon’s forces in spring of that year. ­After Obregon’s election, the nation experienced a mea­sure of stability. The uprisings and insurgencies that had wracked the country for so many years fi­nally dissipated and Mexicans enjoyed relative peace. Though it would take years for the Mexican government to enact some of the most significant ideals of the revolution, Mexicans witnessed some decline in the Catholic Church’s power, greater democracy and enfranchisement, and agrarian policies aimed at redistributing land and easing the enormous economic inequalities that had plagued them for so many years.

The Impact of the Revolution on Mexican Migration The Mexican Revolution coincided with a number of developments internationally. In Eu­rope, the outbreak of World War I created economic reverberations throughout the world. In the United States, ­labor militants, anarchists, and radicals, many of

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them immigrants from Southern and Eastern Eu­rope, prompted American officials to crush leftist po­liti­cal rumblings in what became known as the Red Scare. Many of ­these activists focused their efforts on ­labor issues, insisting on controlling the conditions u­ nder which they worked for wages. Moreover, b­ ecause so many radicals ­were foreigners, and ­because nativist and xenophobic sentiment had reached fever pitch in the United States, Americans began enacting stricter immigration laws, thus reducing the volume of immigrant workers, who ­were generally more willing to take on the nation’s least desirable jobs. ­These varied f­ actors contributed to an interest in recruiting Mexican immigrant ­labor in many sectors. Employers in agriculture, mining, railroads, and construction flocked to the U.S.-­Mexico border ­eager to recruit strong, able-­bodied young men looking for work. Indeed, Laredo, El Paso, and San Antonio became impor­ tant locations where enganchistas (literally, “­those who hook you”) enticed mi­grants with promises of good wages, favorable work conditions, and a chance for adventure. As a result, w ­ hether mi­grants ­were prompted by the turmoil of the revolution or not, the U.S. l­abor market functioned as a g­ reat magnet drawing many Mexicans northward. This mass migration would change the U.S. Southwest and Midwest as well. Cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio, and even Chicago welcomed thousands of new residents in the 1910s and 1920s. San Antonio’s population, for example, went from 96,614 in 1910 to more than 161,000 just a de­cade l­ ater (Ceeko, 2016, p. 51). Though not all of t­hese ­were Mexican mi­grants, an overwhelming majority w ­ ere. Some of them ­were middle-­and upper-­class refugees—­newspaper publishers, doctors, teachers, craftsmen, and professors—­who would try to re-­create their home lives for what many anticipated would be temporary stays. Some soon established businesses and ser­vices to cater to their compatriots. O ­ thers came from more h­ umble origins: peasants, farmers, and ordinary laborers, who picked fruits and vegetables, constructed roads, repaired railroad tracks, or built irrigation channels throughout the Southwest and Midwest. Mexican immigrants had an enormous impact on the places where they settled. In San Antonio, for example, the city’s Mexican barrios grew out of this revolutionary mi­grant generation (Sosa and Noriega, 2012). Refugees and o­ thers established communities, infusing their culture, language, cele­brations, and social practices into the fabric of local life. This migration during the Revolution was also remarkable in its po­liti­cal diversity. Spanish-­language newspapers, such as the numerous ones published in Chicago in the 1920s, reveal that refugees from the Revolution and subsequent Cristero Wars ­were not homogenous and monolithic as a group; rather, they had strong po­liti­ cal and ideological leanings; held varying opinions about life in Mexico, politics

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and relations between the sexes; and about their ­future in the United States. Some called themselves “liberals,” promoted demo­cratic ideals, and issued anti-­imperialist critiques of foreign influence in Mexico. They also discouraged fellow Mexicans from naturalizing (becoming U.S. citizens). The conservatives, who w ­ ere more ardently Catholic, supported naturalization and assimilation into American culture and society. ­These competing ideologies appeared at war in the pages of local publications. Conservatives espoused traditional ideas about gender relations and implored Mexican ­women to fulfill their duties as ­mothers and wives, whereas liberals had much more permissive views on the same topic. The adherents of ­these po­liti­cal ideas also formed separate mutual aid socie­ties, social clubs, and patriotic organ­izations (Flores, forthcoming).

Biographies of Significant Figures Jovita Idar (1885–1946) Jovita Idar was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1885, as one of eight c­ hildren, to Jovita and Nicasio Idar. Idar’s ­father had been a railroad worker and u­ nion or­ga­nizer in Texas and Mexico before he settled his f­ amily in Laredo in the 1890s. ­There, he opened a printing shop, served in local government, and became active in a fraternal association. Although Laredo had several Spanish-­language newspapers (Mexicans ­were the majority in town), Idar began publishing his own weekly paper, La Cronica, in 1895. His sons Clemente and Eduardo joined him. Idar did not join the ­family business immediately. Instead, she had attended the Holding Institute, a Methodist school, and trained to be a teacher, earning her  certificate in 1903. She went to work in Laredo’s segregated schools that served Mexican American or Tejano c­ hildren and grew increasingly frustrated by and disappointed with the poor conditions in which Mexican c­ hildren w ­ ere educated. She quit her position and deci­ded to join her f­ ather and ­brothers in the newspaper business, traveling throughout the Rio Grande Valley (South Texas) as a correspondent reporting on stories and events of interest in the region. The ­family paper became an impor­tant and highly respected publication along the border for vividly documenting the Mexican American experience, especially the injustices Mexican Americans often faced at the hands of a po­liti­cally dominant Anglo minority. Idar became a talented journalist in her own right, exposing the unequal conditions in public schools, the lynching of Texas Mexican Americans, and the seizures of Tejano lands. La Cronica often included fervent editorials urging Mexicans to embrace their culture and heritage and preserve their language. Such writing was dangerous in South Texas, as newspaper editors could experience reprisals from

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local white residents. Writing about po­liti­cal issues became even more dangerous as revolution erupted in Mexico. Idar became a supporter of Francisco “Pancho” Villa, a northern rebel leader in the Mexican Revolution. In 1913, she joined a friend, Leonor Villegas de Magon, to care for Villa’s wounded soldiers across the border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Villegas de Magon founded La Cruz Blanca (The White Cross) and enlisted Idar to travel with her for several months tending to the wounded. ­After returning home, Idar became the editor of another radical Laredo newspaper, El Progreso, and published an editorial critical of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to dispatch U.S. troops into Mexico. ­After learning of Idar’s critical writings, Texas Rangers came to the offices of El Progreso to shut the paper down. Idar reportedly stood in the doorway and refused to let them in. However, they eventually succeeded in shuttering the paper, forcing Idar to return her ­father’s La Cronica. When he died in 1914, she took over as publisher of that paper. In 1916, she joined her ­brother Eduardo in forming their own weekly paper, Evolucion. Idar’s f­ amily had rather feminist leanings, enlisting the contributions of another Mexican American ­woman writer, Sara Estela Ramirez, to write for their paper. Ramirez was also a close friend of Ricardo Flores Magon and edited her own radical publications in Laredo, La Corregidora (The Corrector) and Aurora (Dawn). Idar was a teacher, w ­ omen’s rights activist, journalist, and president of the Mexican Feminist League, which she helped found in 1911.

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS Ricardo Flores Magón: “­Women Comrades: The Revolution Approaches!” 1910 The Mexican Liberal Party (PLM) was primarily concerned with organ­izing a revolutionary movement of workers and peasants to win a classless society in Mexico, but it also paid attention to the par­tic­u­lar exploitation and oppression of ­women. Aside from the handful of feminist organ­izations and publications that existed prior to the Mexican Revolution, the PLM was the only po­liti­cal party to consistently call for equality between men and w ­ omen and for regulations to protect the interests of ­women in the workplace. The PLM was also the only revolutionary organ­ization in 1910 to make an explicit appeal to w ­ omen to support and participate in the armed strug­gle against the Porfirian regime. The following document, penned by Ricardo Flores Magón and published in the PLM newspaper Regeneración, explains the oppression of ­women as systemic in class-­based socie­ties and historically developed, but not as an inevitable or natu­ral condition. The solution, Magón argued, lay in overthrowing class society.

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­Women Comrades: Revolution approaches! With angered eyes and flaming hair, her trembling hands knock anxiously on the doors of our nation. Let us welcome her with serenity, for even though she carries death in her breast, she is also the herald of life and hope. She ­will destroy and create at the same time. Hers are the invincible fists of a p­ eople in rebellion. She does not offer roses or caresses; she offers an axe and a torch. Interrupting the millennial feast of the contented, sedition raises her fist against the so-­called ruling class. Revolution approaches! Her mission ­will ignite the flames in which privilege and injustice w ­ ill burn. ­Women comrades, do not fear the revolution. You are one-­half of the h­ uman species and what affects humanity affects you. If men are slaves, you are too. Bondage does not recognize sex; the infamy that degrades men degrades you also. You cannot escape the shame of oppression. We must stand in solidarity in the strug­gle for freedom and happiness. Are you ­mothers? Are you wives? Are you s­ isters? Are you ­daughters? Your duty is to help your man, to encourage him when he vacillates, to stand by his side when he suffers, to lighten his sorrow, to laugh and to sing with him when victory smiles. You ­don’t understand politics? This is not a question of politics; this is a m ­ atter of life or death. Man’s bondage is yours and yours is more sorrowful, more sinister, and more infamous. Are you a worker? B ­ ecause you are a w ­ oman you are paid less than men, and must work harder. You suffer the impertinence of the foreman or proprietor, and if you are attractive, the bosses w ­ ill make advances. Should you weaken, they would rob you of your virtue in the same cowardly manner as you are robbed of the product of your ­labour. ­Under this regime of social injustice which corrupts humanity, the existence of ­women wavers in the wretchedness of a destiny which fades away ­either in the blackness of fatigue and hunger or in the obscurity of marriage and prostitution. In order to fully appreciate ­women’s part in universal suffering, it is necessary to study page by page this sombre book called Life, which like so many thorns strips away the flesh of humanity. So ancient is w ­ omen’s misfortune that its origins are lost in the obscurity of legend. In the infancy of humankind, the birth of a female child was considered a disgrace to the tribe. ­Women tilled the land, carried firewood from the forest and w ­ ater from the stream, tended the livestock, constructed shelters, wove cloth, cooked food, and cared for the sick and the young. The filthiest work was done by w ­ omen. If an ox died of fatigue, ­women pulled the plough. When war broke out, ­women changed masters and continued ­under the lash of new ­owners to work as beasts of burden. ­Later, u­ nder the influence of Greek civilization, ­women w ­ ere elevated one step in the esteem of men. No longer ­were they beasts of burden as in the primitive clan, nor did they lead secluded lives as in oriental socie­ties. If they belonged to a ­free

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class, their role was one of procreators of citizens for the state; if they w ­ ere slaves, they provided workers for the fields. Chris­tian­ity aggravated the situation of ­women with its contempt for the flesh. The founding ­fathers of the Church vented their rage against feminine qualities. St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and ­others, before whose statues w ­ omen now kneel, referred to ­women as d­ aughters of the devil, vessels of impurity, and condemned them to the tortures of hell. ­Women’s position in this ­century varies according to their social stature, but in spite of refined customs and the pro­gress of philosophy, w ­ omen continue subordinated to men by tradition and laws. ­Women are treated as minors when the law places the wife ­under the custody of the husband. She cannot vote or be elected, and to enter into civil contracts she must own a sizeable fortune. Throughout history ­women have been considered inferior to men, by law and by custom. From this derives the misfortune which she has suffered since humanity differentiated itself from lower animal forms. Humiliated, degraded, bound by chains of tradition, indoctrinated in the affairs of heaven by clerics, but ignorant of world prob­lems, she is suddenly caught in the grind of industrial production which requires cheap ­labour to sustain the profits of the voracious “princes of capital” who exploit her. She is not as prepared as men for industrial strug­gle, nor is she or­ga­nized with the ­women of her class to fight alongside her ­brother workers against the rapacity of capitalism. Thus, ­women work more than men, but are paid less, and misery, mistreatment, and insult are the b­ itter harvest for a life of sacrifice. So meagre are w ­ omen’s salaries that frequently they must prostitute themselves to meet their families’ basic needs, especially when in the marketplace of marriage they do not find a husband. When it is motivated by economic security instead of love, marriage is another form of prostitution, sanctioned by the law and authorized by public officials. That is, a wife sells her body for food exactly as does a prostitute; this occurs in most marriages. And what can be said of the vast army of w ­ omen who do not succeed in finding a husband? The increasing cost of life’s basic necessities, the displacement of ­labour by machinery, the ever-­decreasing price of h­ uman l­abour—­all contributes to the burden. The compulsory draft tears strong and healthy young men from the bosom of society and lessens the number eligible for marriage. Migration of workers, caused by economic and po­liti­cal phenomena, also reduces the number of men capable of marriage. Alcoholism, gambling and other ills further reduce the number of available men. Consequently, the number of single ­women grows. Since their situation is so precarious, they swell the ranks of prostitution, accelerating the degeneration of the h­ uman race by this debasement of body and spirit. Comrades: This is the frightful picture offered by modern society. In it you see men and w ­ omen alike suffering the tyranny of a po­liti­cal and social environment

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in complete discord with the pro­gress of civilization and the advances of philosophy. But in times of anguish, do not look to the heavens for solutions and explanations, for ­there lies the greatest contribution to your bondage. The solution is ­here on earth! That solution is rebellion. Demand that your husbands, b­ rothers, ­fathers, sons and friends pick up the gun. Spit in the face of t­hose who refuse to pick up a weapon against oppression. Revolution approaches! Source: Regeneración, September 24, 1910. Translated by Chris Frazer.

PLAN OF SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, 1910 In 1910, the Mexican presidential election was stolen by the incumbent president and longtime dictator Porfirio Diaz, who ordered his opponent Francisco Madero imprisoned. Instead, Madero fled into exile and issued this statement on November 20, which became known as the Plan of San Luis Potosí. An excerpt appears ­here. With this plan, Madero called for the Mexican ­people to rise up against Diaz’s government and demand new, legitimate elections. His call to arms initiated the Mexican Revolution of 1910. ­ eoples, in their constant efforts for the triumph of the ideal of liberty and jusP tice, are forced, at precise historical moments, to make their greatest sacrifices. Our beloved country has reached one of t­hose moments. A force of tyranny which we Mexicans ­were not accustomed to suffer a­ fter we won our in­de­pen­dence oppresses us in such a manner that it has become intolerable. In exchange for that tyranny we are offered peace, but peace full of shame for the Mexican nation, b­ ecause its basis is not law, but force; ­because its object is not the aggrandizement and prosperity of the country, but to enrich a small group who, abusing their influence, have converted the public charges into fountains of exclusively personal benefit, unscrupulously exploiting the manner of lucrative concessions and contracts. The legislative and judicial powers are completely subordinated to the executive; the division of powers, the sovereignty of the States, the liberty of the common councils, and the rights of the citizens exist only in writing in our ­great charter; but, as a fact, it may almost be said that martial law constantly exists in Mexico; the administration of justice, instead of imparting protection to the weak, merely serves to legalize the plunderings committed by the strong; the judges instead of being the representatives of justice, are the agents of the executive, whose interests they faithfully serve; the chambers of the u­ nion have no other w ­ ill than that of the dictator; the governors of the States are designated by him and they in their turn designate and impose in like manner the municipal authorities.

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From this it results that the ­whole administrative, judicial, and legislative machinery obeys a single w ­ ill, the caprice of General Porfirio Diaz, who during his long administration has shown that the principal motive that guides him is to maintain himself in power and at any cost. For many years profound discontent has been felt throughout the Republic, due to such a system of government, but General Diaz with ­great cunning and perseverance, has succeeded in annihilating all in­de­pen­dent ele­ments, so that it was not pos­si­ble to or­ga­nize any sort of movement to take from him the power of which he made such bad use. The evil constantly became worse, and the deci­ded eagerness of General Diaz to impose a successor upon the nations in the person of Mr. Ramon Corral carried that evil to its limit and caused many of us Mexicans, although lacking recognized po­liti­cal standing, since it had been impossible to acquire it during the 36 years of dictatorship, to throw ourselves into the strug­gle to recover the sovereignty of the p­ eople and their rights on purely demo­cratic grounds. . . . In Mexico, as a demo­cratic Republic, the public power can have no other origin nor other basis than the w ­ ill of the ­people, and the latter can not be subordinated to formulas to be executed in a fraudulent manner. . . . For this reason the Mexican p­ eople have protested against the illegality of the last election and, desiring to use successively all the recourses offered by the laws of the Republic, in due form asked for the nullification of the election by the Chamber of Deputies, notwithstanding they recognized no l­egal origin in said body and knew beforehand that, as its members ­were not the representatives of the ­people, they would carry out the ­will of General Diaz, to whom exclusively they owe their investiture. In such a state of affairs the p­ eople, who are the only sovereign, also protested energetically against the election in imposing manifestations in dif­fer­ent parts of the Republic; and if the latter ­were not general throughout the national territory, it was due to the terrible pressure exercised by the Government, which always quenches in blood any demo­cratic manifestation, as happened in Puebla, Vera Cruz, Tlaxcala, and in other places. But this violent and illegal system can no longer subsist. I have very well realized that if the ­people have designated me as their candidate for the Presidency it is not ­because they have had an opportunity to discover in me the qualities of a statesman or of a ruler, but the virility of the patriot determined to sacrifice himself, if need be, to obtain liberty and to help the p­ eople f­ ree themselves from the odious tyranny that oppresses them. From the moment I threw myself into the demo­cratic strug­gle I very well knew that General Diaz would not bow to the ­will of the nation, and the noble Mexican ­people, in following me to the polls, also knew perfectly the outrage that awaited them; but in spite of it, the ­people gave the cause of liberty a numerous contingent

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of martyrs when they w ­ ere necessary and with wonderful stoicism went to the polls and received ­every sort of molestation. But such conduct was indispensable to show to the ­whole world that the Mexican ­people are fit for democracy, that they are thirsty for liberty, and that their pres­ ent rulers do not mea­sure up to their aspirations. Besides, the attitude of the ­people before and during the election, as well as afterwards, shows clearly that they reject with energy the Government of General Diaz and that, if ­those electoral rights had been respected, I would have been elected for President of the Republic. Therefore, and in echo of the national ­will, I declare the late election illegal and, the Republic being accordingly without rulers, provisionally assume the Presidency of the Republic ­until the ­people designate their rulers pursuant to the law. In order to attain this end, it is necessary to eject from power the audacious usurpers whose only title of legality involves a scandalous and immoral fraud. With all honesty I declare that it would be a weakness on my part and treason to the p­ eople, who have placed their confidence in me, not to put myself at the front of my fellow citizens, who anxiously call me from all parts of the country, to compel General Diaz by force of arms, to re­spect the national ­will. Source: Excerpted from United States Congress, Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Relations, Revolutions in Mexico, 62nd Congress, 2nd Session. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1913, 730–736, passim.

See also: ­Labor Activism during the ­Great Depression; Mexican Repatriation; Texas Revolt

Further Reading Baker Jones, Nancy. 2017, January 19. “Idar, Jovita.” Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved from http://­www​.­tshaonline​.­org​/­handbook​/­online​/­articles​/­fid03 Ceeko, Jessica K. 2016. “The Effect of the Mexican Revolution on San Antonio.” Touchstone 35: 46–55. Easterling, Stuart. 2012. The Mexican Revolution: A Short History, 1910-­1920. Chicago: Haymarket Books. Flores, John. (forthcoming). The Mexican Revolution in Chicago. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Hall, Linda B., and Don M. Coerver. 1988. Revolution on the Border: The United States and Mexico, 1910-­1920. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Hart, John M. 1987. Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Pro­cess of the Mexican Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. Heatherton, Christina. 2014. “University of Radicalism: Ricardo Flores Magon and Leavenworth Penitentiary.” American Quarterly 66 (3): 557–581. Knight, Alan. 1986. The Mexican Revolution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Texas Revolt, 1915 | 281 MacLachlan, Colin M., and William H. Beezley. 1994. El Gran Pueblo: A History of Greater Mexico. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. McCaa, Robert. 2003. “Missing Millions: The Demographic Costs of the Mexican Revolution.” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos (2): 367. Salas, Elizabeth. 1990. Soldaderas in the Mexican Military: Myth and History. Austin: University of Texas Press. Sosa, Lionel, and Cristina Noriega, eds. 2012. The ­Children of the Revolución: How the Mexican Revolution Changed Amer­i­ca. Austin: University of Texas Press. Smith, Stephanie J. 2009. Gender and the Mexican Revolution: Yucatán ­Women and the Realities of Patriarchy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Womack, John. 1969. Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (1st ed.). New York: Knopf.

Texas Revolt, 1915 Trinidad Gonzales

Chronology 1835

The Texas Rangers form as a force to fight Indians. Over time they become known as heroes by Anglo Texas but as brutal persecutors by Tejanos (Mexican American Texans) and Mexicans.


Texas declares its in­de­pen­dence from Mexico.


The United States annexes Texas, a move that brings it closer to war with Mexico.


The United States and Mexico are at war; at the war’s conclusion, the United States annexes nearly half of Mexico’s northern territory.


The Cart War erupts—­a series of violent Anglo attacks on Mexicans and Mexican Americans in retaliation for the competition their freight-­ hauling operations posed to Anglos.


­ fter San Antonio’s Tejano and Mexican population is forced out of A the city by Anglo vio­lence, former mayor Juan Nepomuceno Seguin describes feeling like “a foreigner in my native land.”

1859, July

Tejano Juan Nepomuceno Cortina confronts and shoots an Anglo Brownsville marshal who had beaten Cortina’s former Mexican ranch hand. This sets off about 10 years of raids and confrontations between Cortina, his supporters, and Anglo Texans. Cortina issues proclamations demanding full recognition of Tejano rights as outlined in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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A challenge to the legitimacy of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz and several uprisings occur in northern Mexico, setting off what becomes the Mexican Revolution.

1915, January

The Plan de San Diego (PSD) is drafted in a Monterrey, Mexico jail by Augustín S. de la Garza. Basilio Ramos, Jr., is arrested in McAllen, Texas, for attempting to recruit members for the revolt. The launch date for the PSD is set as February 20.

1915, February

The PSD fails to take place as planned on the 20th, but a second manifesto is published: ¡Los Pueblos Oprimidos de América! (The Oppressed ­People of Amer­i­ca!). Augustín S. de la Garza is the lead author.

1915, July

Beginning of Mexican American re­sis­tance to Anglo oppression through vari­ous insurgent activities such as stealing h­ orses and supplies, burning a railroad bridge, and cutting telegraph wires. Lorenzo Manriquez, Gregorio Manriquez, and Rodolfo Muñiz are killed while in law enforcement custody.

1915, August

August 3: Aniceto Pizaña’s ranch, Los Tulitos, is attacked. August  4: A second railroad bridge is burned and more telegraph and telephone lines are cut. August  4–5: Desiderio Flores and his sons Desiderio and Antonio are killed at the Armendaiz Ranch by Texas Rangers. August 5: The Brownsville Herald publishes an editorial titled “Possibly a Filibuster Movement.” August 6: A. L. Austin, the Sebastian Law and Order League president, and Charles Austin, his son, are executed by insurgents. August  7: Luis de la Rosa leads an attack on the Norias Division headquarters of the King Ranch. August 13: A report surfaces that 30 Mexicans have been killed in San Juan. August 16: The Hearst-­Selig s­ ilent movie news ser­vice arrives to film events. August 17: A Brownsville Herald editorial, titled “The Cause of the Border Trou­bles,” provides six dif­fer­ent reasons for pos­si­ble insurgency: German machinations, local po­liti­cal infighting, factions seeking U.S. intervention against Venustiano Carranza, Huertista ele­ ment seeking U.S. intervention against Carranza, banditry, and Plan

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de San Diego. On the same day, a Galveston News editorial warns that “necessary mea­sures of repression ­will degenerate into a man hunt, on which we ­shall look back with shame and humiliation.” August 26: Luis de la Rosa and Aniceto Pizaña publish a manifesto, A Nuestros Compatriotas Los Mexicanos en Texas. 1915, September 3: A Brownsville Herald editorial, “The Time Has Come!,” September states that supporters of the insurgency are just as guilty as insurgents and are liable to face extralegal vio­lence. September 5: A cross-­border firefight at Cavazos crossing takes place. It lasts 8 hours, with more than 2,000 rounds fired. September 8: The town of San Benito disarms Mexicans within its city limits. September 9: The Brownsville Herald estimates that 300 Mexican refugees fled to Brownsville and more than 1,000 fled to Matamoros as a result of vio­lence from Texas Rangers and other paramilitary groups. September 16: Cameron County Sheriff W. T. Vann renews ­orders to his deputies to protect prisoners in their custody, as it was becoming common practice for prisoners to be executed by vigilantes or law enforcement such as the Texas Rangers. September 21: Josiah Turner, owner of a Galveston ranch, writes a letter condemning the killing of Mexican prisoners. September 24: The Brownsville Herald writes an editorial supporting the publication of the Josiah Turner letter condemning the killing of prisoners, ­after receiving threats to desist from publishing such information. The same day, prominent land o­ wners Jesus Bazán Villarreal and Antonio Longoria are killed by Texas Rangers; James B. McAllen kills several pos­si­ble raiders at his ranch; and ­there is a cross-­border firefight between U.S. soldiers and Carranzistas, with an estimated 3,000 rounds fired. 1915, October

October 2: Fourteen bodies are discovered along the road from Donna to Ebenezer. The deceased had been dead for a week or two. October 4: Constitutionalist General Eugenio Lopez replaces General Nafarrate as commander of Matamoros. October 18: A train is derailed six miles north of Brownsville, resulting in the death of three individuals.

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October 19: Five Mexicans are killed, likely in retaliation for the train derailment. The same day, the United States recognizes Venustiano Carranza as Mexico’s po­liti­cal leader. October 20: The B ­ attle of Ojo de Agua, the last military engagement of the Revolt, takes place; three U.S. soldiers are killed. 1919

The Texas legislature holds a joint hearing to investigate Ranger abuses against Mexicans.


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is founded.

Narrative During the summer and fall of 1915, Mexican Americans and Mexicans launched the last insurgency against the United States in an effort to return territory lost during the U.S.-­Mexican War (1846–1848). Numerous ­battles, skirmishes, and ambushes occurred from July to October in the Texas counties of Willacy, Cameron, and Hidalgo in an attempt to return the Nueces Strip—­territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers—to Mexico. The United States responded by sending more than 4,000 troops to the area, while Texas increased the presence of its

The ­Battle of the Alamo (February 23–­March 6, 1836) stands out in American history as a turning point in the Texas Revolution. Won by the Mexicans, it drove Texans to defeat the Mexican Army in the decisive ­battle at San Jacinto in 1836. (Library of Congress)

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Ranger force. Local paramilitary organ­izations ­were also formed that worked with state and local law enforcement in extralegal killings of prisoners and suspected supporters. Several labels ­were (and still are) utilized for this historical event. Con­temporary Spanish-­language accounts refer to the insurgency as the revolución de Texas (Texas Revolution). English-­language newspapers at the time referred to it as the Plan de San Diego, with l­ ater generations referring to it as the Bandit War. Insurgents w ­ ere labeled sediciosos (seditionists) or bandits. ­There was no con­temporary En­glish label for the mass extralegal killings of Mexican Americans and Mexicans, but in Spanish t­hese killings ­were labeled the matanza (massacre). Much as this difference in labels for the insurgency exists, scholars differ on two major historical points. First, was the insurgency a po­liti­cal movement? Second, was the insurgency a locally or­ga­nized effort, or part of a plan by Venustiano Carranza, the First Chief of the Mexican Constitutional forces, to gain U.S. recognition as the legitimate leader of Mexico in the midst of the Mexican Revolution? Historians who dismiss the revolt was a po­liti­cal movement tend to view the insurgents as social bandits who w ­ ere responding to U.S. modernization efforts. Indeed, the United States witnessed a populist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in rural areas in the Midwestern and Western states, against technology, modernization, and the commercialization of agriculture. In many places this was manifested by fence-­cutting, the destruction of railroads, and other acts of vandalism. In the case of Mexican Americans in Texas, historians who insist that the insurgents ­were engaged in a po­liti­cal movement point to the vari­ous manifestos issued by its leaders. The debate over w ­ hether the insurgency had local or nonlocal origins centers on the extent to which Carranzista forces supported the revolt. (Support included providing soldiers and supplies and providing a safe base of operation from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.) Did Carranza support such efforts, e­ ither willingly or through the purposeful neglect of his local commander? While it is clear at this point that the insurgents engaged a po­liti­cal ideology to justify their efforts, a lively debate continues concerning ­whether Carranza orchestrated and/or allowed the insurgency to continue, in a master stroke of diplomacy to gain U.S. recognition. The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) is composed of the Texas counties of Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr, and is the southern tip of Texas along the Rio Grande. The Spanish settled the area along both sides of the river during the 1740s with the first cities, known as the villas del norte of Nuevo Santander. The cities included Camargo, Reynosa, Matamoros, and Guerrero Viejo on the south side of the river. San Ygnacio and Laredo w ­ ere established on the north side, which was primarily divided into porciones and land grants. Unlike other Spanish colonization efforts, Nuevo Santander was settled by ranchers who took on both roles normally

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given to soldiers and missionaries. In return for developing the territory and pacifying Native Americans ­either militarily or through Christian conversion, settlers ­were given land and tax exemptions for 10 years. This unique settlement pro­cess led to Nuevo Santander being one of the most productive Spanish colonies of Northern Spain. ­After the Spanish War of In­de­pen­dence (1810–1821), Nuevo Santander was renamed Tamaulipas, and retained its northern boundary of the Nueces River and west to Laredo and following the current bound­aries of Tamaulipas south of the river. The Texas War of Secession (1836) did not lead to any po­liti­cal changes in the Nueces Strip even though the Republic of Texas claimed the territory. The new republic’s government was too militarily weak to enforce its claim, ­because the area was heavi­ly populated with loyal Mexicans. It was not ­until the U.S.-­Mexican War that Mexico lost the Nueces Strip. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) that ended the war granted U.S. citizenship to Mexicans who chose to remain on U.S. territory, and promised to recognize Mexican land titles that could be proven valid. Although granting U.S. citizenship was easily accomplished, the ac­cep­tance of Mexican land titles varied based on where the claims occurred. For Mexicans living in the Nueces Strip, the vast majority of claims ­were accepted, but many Mexicans lost their ranches due to environmental and economic crises during the late 19th ­century. ­There ­were also cases of land loss due to vio­lence. By 1900, the majority of landowners in the Lower Rio Grande Valley ­were no longer Spanish-­surnamed p­ eople, with the exception of Starr County. Nevertheless, Mexicans continued to hold onto land and po­liti­cal power well into the 20th ­century in that county. By the early 20th ­century, Mexican Americans and Mexicans in Texas began to face increased extralegal vio­lence. El Primer Congreso Mexicanista (1911), the first statewide civil rights meeting, was held in response to that vio­lence. At that meeting, which was held in Laredo, participants spoke out against the mistreatment and segregation their communities suffered. La ­Gran Liga Mexicanista was formed as a statewide civil rights organ­ization, but failed to materialize; local mutualistas (mutual aid socie­ties) continued to carry the responsibility for addressing local civil rights abuses throughout the state. By 1904, the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad had built a line south to Brownsville and west to the boundary of Hidalgo and Starr counties. New cities ­were built along the railroad as ranchland was subdivided into farmland. With a shift from ranching to farming, long-­standing cooperative po­liti­cal ties between Mexican Americans and ethnic white ranchers changed dramatically. Newcomer farmers brought racist views of Mexican Americans and Mexicans. The new cities of Raymondville, San Benito, Harlingen, McAllen, and Mission practiced racial

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segregation. Much like the rest of Texas, Mexican Americans and Mexicans faced increased extralegal vio­lence as a result of the upending of the old po­liti­cal order. The Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) created three opportunities for armed rebellion in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. First, the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico allowed insurgents to acquire weapons easily. Second, ­because of the continued fighting and lack of policing on the Mexican side of the border, insurgents could easily set up bases of operation to launch raids and retreat from pursuing forces. Third, Mexican Americans and Mexicans who served in the vari­ous factions of the revolution learned impor­tant military skills that they used during the insurgency. The Plan de San Diego (PSD) was written during January 1915 in a Monterrey, Mexico, jail, most likely by Augustín S. de la Garza. The PSD called for the capture of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California through a revolution that would align itself with Native Americans and African Americans. Native Americans ­were to be given land back, and African Americans ­were to capture six states that bordered the newly acquired territories. In addition to providing general instructions concerning military occupations, the PSD ordered all Anglo males over the age of 16 to be killed. Basilio Ramos, Jr., went to the LRGV during late January to recruit members for the movement, but was arrested in McAllen, Texas, for sedition. The launch date for the rebellion was February 20, but nothing occurred. A second PSD document released on that day, titled ¡Los Pueblos Oprimidos de América! (The Oppressed P ­ eople of Amer­i­ca), included specific civil rights grievances and added Utah and Nevada as states that should be taken. The second manifesto used more anarchist language than the first. However, no uprising began a­ fter its release. The fact that the ­actual insurgency erupted several months a­ fter the manifestos circulated pres­ents a challenge in linking t­ hese events together. In addition, the two recognized leaders of the insurgency, Luis de la Rosa and Aniceto Pizaña, released their manifesto A Nuestros Compatriotas, Los Mexicanos en Texas (To Mexican Compatriots in Texas) on August 26th with no reference to the PSD. Like the previous manifestos, A Nuestros Compatriotas included a call to liberate Texas, New Mexico, California, and Arizona, but this one also included parts of Mississippi and Oklahoma. However, a customs official located in Brownsville, Texas, indicated that the primary territorial goal was the Nueces Strip. The territory identified in the vari­ous manifestos is part of the México perdido (lost Mexico) imagination that dates back to the 19th ­century. Hence, the inclusion of ­these territories in the vari­ ous manifestos as goals is not surprising. Although we cannot find a direct link between PSD documents and the ­actual leaders of the insurgency, what is clear is that the insurgency began during July of 1915.

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In early July, authorities did not readily recognize that it was insurgents who ­were stealing h­ orses and supplies. Even the burning down of a railroad bridge on July 24 and the cutting of telegraph wires w ­ ere first thought to be acts of vandalism. However, continued skirmishes between soldiers and insurgents through the last days of July and the burning of a second bridge in early August made it clear that an insurgency was occurring. The Brownsville Herald wrote an editorial speculating about this point following the second bridge burning. Si­mul­ta­neously during the last days of July, three Mexicans or Mexican Americans ­were killed by e­ ither law enforcement or vigilantes, further spurring local support for the insurgency. Although, it is unclear to what extent locals actually supported the insurgency, both Mexican Americans and Mexicans w ­ ere identified as participants by government officials, who indicated that extralegal killings and the development of postcards of dead Mexicans tended to prompt support. (The use of postcards of lynched African Americans as well as of killed Mexicans was common during the early 20th ­century.) Extralegal killings w ­ ere viewed as a means of publicly enforcing racial control over minority communities. Postcards of dead Mexicans labeled the dead as bandits to justify such killings. For the Mexican Americans and Mexicans, it reinforced the racist nature of American society. Local po­liti­cal leaders responded by requesting increased military troops and Texas Rangers for the area. Local ethnic white paramilitary groups developed blacklists of individuals targeted for “evaporation,” the term that was used to describe the extralegal killing of Mexican Americans and Mexicans. Many times individuals dis­appeared and their remains ­were found in the brush years ­later. As a result of the matanza, many Mexican Americans and Mexicans abandoned their farms and ranches and moved across the river to Mexico for safety. The matanza that ensued resulted in large part due to the inability of the military and local authorities to capture insurgents who engaged in hit-­and-­run guerrilla tactics. The densely wooded mesquite and brush countryside allowed small units to evade capture. Thus, suspected supporters ­were targeted and killed by local law enforcement, the U.S. military, and paramilitary organ­izations. When insurgents ­were captured, they ­were usually executed as well. It is estimated that around 300 individuals ­were killed between July and October of 1915. On October 19th, the United States recognized Carranza as the leader of Mexico, and by this time he was able to secure northern Mexico’s boundary with his forces. It is clear that Carranzista General Emiliano P. Nafarrate secretly supported the revolt, with several of his officers and men engaging in attacks across the river. Carranzistas also provided key covering fire for retreating raiders on two occasions. With Nafarrate’s removal, by October such support dwindled. Once Carranza secured northern Mexico with his forces and replaced Nafarrate, the insurgency lost its operational bases on the southern side of the river. Historians debate w ­ hether

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Remembrance The events surrounding the Texas Revolt and matanza (massacre) continue to be remembered through ­music, lit­er­at­ ure, film, historical markers, and a temporary exhibit at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas. ­These endeavors of remembrance are impor­tant aspects of community memory that help shape ­people’s sense of their past and pres­ent. The first efforts to capture ­these events for public memory ­were corridos (traditional Mexican ballads). Currently t­ here are only three known corridos about the 1915 revolt. The “Versos de Los Bandidos” or “Versos del Rancho de Las Norias” that J. Frank Dobie, a Texas folklorist, found describes the Norias raid that occurred during August 1915. The second corrido, “Los Sediciosos,” was reproduced by Américo Paredes in A Texas-­Mexican Cancionero. In this song the insurgents are portrayed as Mexican citizens who began an uprising that costs the lives of México Texanos. The last known song was recorded by John A. Lomax in Brownsville, Texas, in 1939, titled “Venimos de Matamoros,” also known as “La Batalla del Ojo de Agua.” The song recounts one of the last ­battles of the Texas Revolution near Mission, Texas. Paredes grew up hearing stories about the insurgency and matanza, and incorporated t­hese events into his book George Washington Goméz. Written during the 1930s, but not published ­until the 1990s, the book begins with the protagonist’s innocent f­ ather being killed by Texas Rangers in retaliation for rebel attacks, and ends with the emergence of Mexican American po­liti­cal activity. Philipp Meyer’s novel, The Son, also incorporates the events of the rebellion as he traces the history of conquest of Native Americans and Mexicans within Texas during the 19th and 20th centuries. Efforts to bring this history to a wider audience began with Kirby Warnock’s documentary, Border Bandits (2004), and the Refusing to Forget public history proj­ect. Warnock’s documentary is an examination of the Texas Rangers’ killing of Antonio Longoria and Jesus Bazán, as well as the killing of Warnock’s great-­grandfather Frank Warnock by W. W. Bill Sterling and his ­brother Ed. The Refusing to Forget proj­ect requested vari­ous state historical marker plaques to memorialize state-­sanctioned vio­lence against México Texanos and Mexicanos during the 1910s, including a marker for Cameron County, Texas, to remind visitors about the matanza. The 2016 installation of the Bullock State History Museum exhibit “Life and Death on the Border, 1910–1920” was the first time the state of Texas acknowledged the tragic events of the matanza.

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Nafarrate was operating u­ nder the direct o­ rders of Carranza or on his own. To date, no document exists to prove ­either side of this argument. José Tomás Canales (1877–1976), the lone Mexican American Texas State Representative from 1918 to 1920, advocated for a hearing concerning Texas Ranger killings of Mexican Americans and Mexicans. A joint committee of the Texas Senate and House of Representatives held a hearing concerning 19 charges that Canales brought against the Rangers. The 1919 hearing included significant testimony about the matanza. The investigation did not result in any legislative reform of the Ranger force or criminal charges against individual Rangers, but the hearing was a starting point for the wave of Mexican American civil rights organ­izations that developed during the 1920s. Eventually, the vari­ous civil rights groups created the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) during 1929. LULAC continues as the oldest Latina/o civil rights organ­ization in the United States.

Biographies of Notable Figures Agustín Solis de la Garza (ca. 1881–1970) Agustín Solis de la Garza, a.k.a. León Caballo, was the probable author of the Plan de San Diego manifestos during 1915. Prior to authoring the plans, he sent a tele­ gram to Mexican President Victoriano Huerta (1913–1914) promising to raise 200 soldiers to fight against the U.S. occupation of Vera Cruz during 1914. It is unclear if Huerta accepted this offer, as he was defeated by Constitutionalist forces ­later that year. De la Garza played a propagandist role and was a pos­si­ble financier of the Texas Revolt and Laredo raid of 1916. During the 1916 U.S. “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico to pursue Pancho Villa, de la Garza helped gather men and arms to engage in counter-­raids into the United States. A failed July raid into the Laredo area occurred ­under the command of Col­o­nel Esteban Fierros, whose forces ­were known as the Brigada Fierros. As in the Texas Revolt, de la Garza played a background role, and was not actively engaged in military operations. The only known document that possibly linked Venustiano Carranza (1915– 1920) to the Texas Revolt was written by de la Garza. In a letter to Mario Méndez, general director of the Mexican National Telegraph, de la Garza recounted how Carranza had refused to acknowledge his involvement in the Texas Revolt ­because he could possibly lose f­avor with the United States. However, the de la Garza letter was a 1930s typed reproduction of a 1919 letter, and historians continue to dispute its validity. B ­ ecause of this difference of views, the debate continues as to w ­ hether Carranza orchestrated or at least supported the Texas Revolt as a means to achieve United States recognition. The Mexican government never recognized de la Garza’s military ser­vice during the revolution, leaving him without a military pension.

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Aniceto Pizaña (ca. 1870–1957) Aniceto Pizaña was a follower of Ricardo and Enríque Flores Magón and their anarchist views. A rancher and avid reader of Regeneración, the Flores Magón newspaper, he owned Los Tulitos ranch. It was not u­ ntil the Los Tulitos raid—­instigated by a neighbor, John D. Scrivner—­that Pizaña was forced into engaging in rebel activities. A force of Texas Rangers, local law enforcement officers, some federal officials and soldiers along with vigilantes attacked Pizaña’s ­family on August 3, resulting in the death of a soldier and the wounding of three other raiders. Pizaña’s wife, ­brother, and son ­were captured (the son had to have a leg amputated as a result of injuries incurred during the raid). José Buenrosto was also captured. Pizaña escaped and joined forces ­under the command of Luis de la Rosa. Pizaña’s last known military engagement was the B ­ attle of Ojo de Agua, on October 20, in which three U.S. soldiers ­were killed. ­After that Pizaña moved to Mexico, where he died without being involved in any further military action.

Luis de la Rosa (ca. 1865–­ca. 1930) Luis de la Rosa was the most active military leader of the Texas Revolt. He led the Norias raid as well as the Olmito train derailment. He was a former deputy sheriff and ­either a butcher or grocer at Rio Hondo. De la Rosa remained militarily active through 1916, with both the U.S. and Mexican governments monitoring his activities. He was arrested several times by Venustiano Carranza, but never served long prison terms. Based on newspaper reports, de la Rosa was likely the military leader of the revolt, as he avoided capture on many occasions and led successful guerrilla raids.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT Plan de San Diego, 1915 The Plan de San Diego document was written by Augustín S. de la Garza, penned from a jail cell in Monterrey, Mexico, in January 1915. The plan called for a revolution and the capture of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California, with the hopes of joining forces with Native Americans and African Americans, groups that both had a vested interest in acquiring ­those territories. The chilling words of the document demand that all Anglo males 16 years and older should be killed. This version uses less anarchist language than the second manifesto, ¡Los Pueblos Oprimidos de Amer­i­ca!, that would follow. We, who in turn sign our names, assembled in the revolutionary plot of San Diego, Texas, solemnly promise each other on our word of honor that we w ­ ill

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fulfill and cause to be fulfilled and complied with, all the clauses and provisions stipulated in this document and execute the o­ rders and the wishes emanating from the provisional directorate of this movement and recognize as military chief of the same Mr.-­, guaranteeing with our lives the faithful accomplishment what is ­here agreed upon. 1. On the 20th day of February, 1915, at 2 ­o’clock in the morning, we ­will rise in arms against the Government and country of the United States and North Amer­ i­ca, one as all and all as one, proclaiming the liberty of the individuals of the black race and its in­de­pen­dence of Yankee tyranny, which has held us in iniquitous slavery since remote times; and at the same time and in the same manner we ­will proclaim the in­de­pen­dence and segregation of the States bordering on the Mexican nation, which are: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Upper California, of which States the Republic of Mexico was robbed in a most perfidious manner by North American imperialism. 2. In order to render the foregoing clause effective, the necessary army corps ­will be formed u­ nder the immediate command of military leaders named by the supreme revolutionary congress of San Diego, Texas, which s­ hall have full power to designate a supreme chief who s­ hall be at the head of said army. The banner which s­ hall guide us in this enterprise ­shall be red, with a white diagonal fringe, and bearing the following inscription: “Equality and In­de­pen­dence,” and none of the subordinate leaders or subalterns ­shall use any other flag (except only the white for signals). The aforesaid army ­shall be known by the name of “Liberating Army for Races and ­Peoples.” 3. Each one of the chiefs ­will do his utmost by what­ever means pos­si­ble, to get possession of the arms and funds of the cities which he has beforehand been designated to capture in order that our cause may be provided with resources to continue the fight with better success, the said leaders each being required to render an account of every­thing to his superiors, in order that the latter may dispose of it in the proper manner. 4. The leader who may take a city must immediately name and appoint municipal authorities, in order that they may preserve order and assist in ­every way pos­ si­ble the revolutionary movement. In case the capital of any State which we are endeavoring to liberate be captured, t­ here ­will be named in the same manner superior municipal authorities for the same purpose. 5. It is strictly forbidden to hold prisoners, e­ ither special prisoners (civilians) or soldiers; and the only time that should be spent in dealing with them is that which is absolutely necessary to demand funds (loans) of them; and ­whether ­these demands be successful or not, they ­shall be shot immediately, without any pretext.

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6. ­Every stranger who ­shall be found armed and who cannot prove his right to carry arms, ­shall be summarily executed, regardless of race or nationality. 7. ­Every North American over 16 years of age ­shall be put to death, and only the aged men, the w ­ omen, and ­children s­ hall be respected. And on no account s­ hall the traitors to our race be respected or spared. 8. The Apaches of Arizona, as well as the Indians (redskins) of the territory, s­ hall be given ­every guarantee, and their lands which have been taken from them ­shall be returned to them, to the end that they may assist us in the cause which we defend. 9. All appointments and grades in our army which are exercised by subordinate officers (subalterns) ­shall be examined (recognized) by the superior officers. ­There s­ hall likewise be recognized the grades of leaders of other complots which may not be connected with this, and who may wish to co-­operate with us—­also ­those who may affiliate with us ­later. 10. The movement having gathered force, and once having possessed ourselves of the States above alluded to, we ­shall proclaim them an in­de­pen­dent republic, ­later requesting, if it be thought expedient, annexation to Mexico without concerning ourselves at that time about the form of government which may control the destinies of the common ­mother country. 11. When we ­shall have obtained in­de­pen­dence for the Negroes, we ­shall grant them a banner which they themselves ­shall be permitted to select, and we ­shall aid them in obtaining six States of the American Union, which States border upon t­ hose already mentioned, and they may from t­hese six States form a republic, and they may therefore be in­de­pen­dent. 12. None of the leaders ­shall have the power to make terms with the ­enemy without first communicating with the superior officers of the army, bearing in mind that this is a war without quarter, nor ­shall any leader enroll in his ranks any stranger ­unless said stranger belongs to the Latin, the Negro, or the Japa­nese race. 13. It is understood that none of the members of this complot (or anyone who may come in l­ater) s­ hall upon the definite triumph of the cause which we defend, fail to recognize their superiors, nor ­shall they aid ­others who with bastard designs may endeavor to destroy what has been accomplished with such ­great work. 14. As soon as pos­si­ble each local society (junta) s­hall nominate delegates, who ­shall meet at a time and place beforehand designated, for the purpose of nominating a permanent directorate of the revolutionary movement. At this meeting ­shall be determined and worked out in detail the powers and duties of the permanent directorate, and this revolutionary plan may be revised or amended. 15. It is understood among ­those who may follow this movement that we ­will carry as a singing voice the in­de­pen­dence of the Negroes, placing obligations upon both races, and that on no account ­shall we accept aid, ­either moral or pecuniary,

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from the government of Mexico, and it need not consider itself ­under any obligations in this, our movement. EQUALITY AND IN­DE­PEN­DENCE. Source: From a translated copy of Plan de San Diego, Rec­ords of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Mexico, 1910–1929, 812.00/1583, National Archives Microfilm Publications, microcopy no. M-274, pp. 145–148.

See also: Anglo-­American Colonization of Northern Mexico; The Mexican Revolution; Texas In­de­pen­dence

Further Reading Cumberland, Charles C. 1954. “Border Raids in the Lower Rio Grande Valley—1915.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 57 (3, January): 301–324. Gómez-­Quiñones, Juan. 1970. “Plan de San Diego Reviewed.” Aztlan 1 (1 Spring): 124–132. Gonzales, Trinidad. 2012. “The Mexican Revolution, Revolución de Texas, and Matanza de 1915,” in Arnoldo De Leon, ed., War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities, 107–133. College Station: Texas A&M Press. Harris, Charles H., and Louis R. Sadler. 1978. “The Plan of San Diego and the Mexican­—­ United States Crisis of 1916: A Reexamination.” Hispanic American Historical Review 58 (3, August): 381–408. Harris, Charles H., and Louis R. Sadler. 2004. The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest De­cade, 1910–1920. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Harris, Charles H., and Louis R. Sadler. 2013. The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Johnson, Benjamin H. 2003. Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Meyer, Philipp. 2013. The Son: A Novel. New York: HarperCollins. Paredes, Américo. 1976. A Texas-­Mexican Cancionero: Folksongs of the Lower Border. Austin: University of Texas Press. Paredes, Américo. 1990. George Washington Gomez: A Mexicotexan Novel. Houston: Arte Público Press. Refusing to Forget Proj­ect. (n.d.). “Refusing to Forget.” Retrieved from http://­refusingtoforget​ .­org/ Rocha, Rodolfo. 2000. “The Tejano Revolt of 1915,” in Emilio Zamora, Cynthia Orozco, and Rodolfo Rocha, eds., Mexican Americans in Texas History: Selected Essays 103–120. Austin: Texas State Historical Association. Sandos, James A. 1992. Rebellion in the Borderlands: Anarchism and the Plan of San Diego, 1904–1923. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

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Rise of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, 1922–1954 Margaret Power

Chronology 1897

Spain grants Puerto Rico autonomy in order to appease forces in Puerto Rico that threatened to fight for in­de­pen­dence.

1898, July

On July  25, U.S. troops invade Puerto Rico during the Spanish-­ American War b­ ecause the island is strategically located; this furthers the U.S. goal to gain military, po­liti­cal, and economic domination of the Ca­rib­be­an.

1898, December

The United States acquires Puerto Rico ­after signing the Treaty of Paris with Spain.


On April 12, the U.S. Congress passes the Foraker Act, which establishes a civilian government in Puerto Rico.


On March 3, the U.S. Congress unilaterally confers citizenship on Puerto Ricans.

1922, April

At the end of the Insular Cases, the U.S. Supreme Court fi­nally reaches a decision in Balzac v. ­People of Porto Rico. The Court rules Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory; it belongs to but is not part of the United States.

1922, On September 17, the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party is founded with September the goal of ending U.S. colonial rule on the island. 1927–1930

Nationalist Party Vice President Pedro Albizu Campos tours the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela to generate solidarity for an in­de­pen­dent Puerto Rico.


The ­Great Depression leads to heightened unemployment, increased poverty, growing opposition to U.S. rule in Puerto Rico, and greater support for the Nationalist Party.

1930, May

Pedro Albizu Campos is elected president of the Nationalist Party.

1930, The Nationalist Party initiates its annual commemoration of the 1868 September Lares uprising against Spanish colonialism. 1931

The Nationalist Party organizes a military wing, the Cadetes de la República (Cadets of the Republic) for young men and the Enfermeras de la República (Nurses of the Republic) for w ­ omen.

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1932, November

Following its electoral defeat, the Nationalist Party calls for an electoral boycott and the formation of the Ejército Libertador (Liberation Army).

1934, January

Sugarcane workers strike for better wages and conditions and ask Pedro Albizu Campos to lead them.


On October  24, Puerto Rican police, u­ nder the command of U.S. Col­o­nel Riggs, kill four young Nationalist men in Rio Piedras.

1936, February

On February 23, Elías Beauchamp and Hiram Rosado, two young Nationalists, kill Col­o­nel Riggs in retaliation for the murder of the four Nationalists. Police arrest and kill the two Nationalists.

1936, July

A jury composed of eight North Americans and two Puerto Ricans find eight Nationalist leaders guilty of vari­ous charges, including sedition.

1937, March

On March 21, police open fire on a peaceful march of Nationalists, killing 19 and wounding 200. The event is remembered as the Ponce Massacre.

1937, June

The Nationalist leaders who ­were convicted of sedition are imprisoned in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.

1943, June

Pedro Albizu Campos is released from prison and goes to New York City. Due to his ill health, he stays in Columbus Hospital to recuperate u­ ntil the autumn of 1946.

1944, February

Albizu Campos meets Ruth Reynolds and other North American pacifists who have joined the movement to oppose U.S. colonial rule in Puerto Rico.

1947, December

Albizu Campos returns to Puerto Rico on December 15 where thousands welcome him home.


The Nationalist Party intensifies calls to male members to reject the draft and refuse induction into the U.S. military.

1949, January

Luis Muñoz Marín becomes governor of Puerto Rico.


Solidarity movements across Latin Amer­i­ca call for Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence and the release of the Nationalist po­liti­cal prisoners.

1950, October

On October 30, the Nationalist Party attacks towns across the island and the governor’s h­ ouse in San Juan to oppose governmental efforts to convert Puerto Rico into a ­Free Associated State and thus claim it is no longer a U.S. colony.

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More than a thousand Puerto Ricans are arrested following the uprising. Most are quickly released. 1950, November

Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, members of the New York City Nationalist Party, attack Blair House, where President Truman is staying, to call world attention to U.S. attacks in Puerto Rico.


Puerto Ricans approve a new constitution. Puerto Rico becomes an Estado Libre Asociado (­Free Associated State) or Commonwealth.


On March  1, Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores, and Andres Figueroa Cordero, members of the New York City Nationalist Party, shout “Viva Puerto Rico Libre!” (“­Free Puerto Rico!”) and open fire in the U.S. Congress. Five U.S. congressmen are wounded, but all survive. The four Nationalists are sentenced to life imprisonment.


National and international campaigns demand the release of the Nationalist prisoners.


Pedro Albizu Campos dies on April 21.


Only five Nationalists remain in prison (all in U.S. jails): Rafael Cancel Miranda, Oscar Collazo, Andres Figueroa Cordero, Irvin Flores, and Lolita Lebrón. International campaigns call on the U.S. government to “­Free the Five!”


20,000 supporters of Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence rally in Madison Square Garden on October  27. Again, one of the key demands is “­Free the Five!”


President Jimmy Car­ter commutes the sentences of the five Nationalists on September 10. The last Nationalist Party prisoners are freed.

Narrative From the 1920s through the early 1950s, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico was the principal proponent of Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence—on the island, in the United States, and around the world. In 1922, 24 years ­after the United States colonized the island, male members of the professional and intellectual elite in Puerto Rico founded the Nationalist Party. The party opposed the increased Americanization of Puerto Rico, including the requirement that classes on the island be conducted in En­glish and U.S missionaries’ efforts to convert Puerto Ricans to Protestantism. Instead, the party called for in­de­pen­dence. The Nationalists lacked a clear economic critique of U.S. colonialism or a concrete plan for what an in­de­pen­dent Puerto Rico

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As the most prominent leader of the Nationalist Party, Pedro Albizu Campos fought against American imperialism, which eventually led to his imprisonment. (Bettmann/Getty)

would look like. Nevertheless, the party united many forces that opposed U.S. colonial rule. The Nationalist Party believed that Puerto Rico was part of Latin Amer­i­ca, a region with which it shared a language, culture, and history. The party sent Nationalist Party Vice President Pedro Albizu Campos (1891–1965) on a tour of Latin Amer­i­ca from 1927 to 1930 to strengthen ties with like-­minded organ­izations, governments, and individuals. Albizu Campos went to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, where he met with key po­liti­ cal figures and organ­izations. He condemned U.S. colonial rule in well-­received public gatherings; spoke to the press; built lasting, mutually supportive relationships with anti-­imperialist forces; and generated solidarity for Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence, particularly in the Dominican Republic and Cuba (Power, 2013b, pp. 25–27; Rosado, 2008, pp. 117–141).

Albizu Campos and the Nationalist Party ­ fter he returned to the island in 1930, Albizu Campos was elected president of A the Nationalist Party (PN). His election coincided with higher unemployment and poverty, in part the result of the ­Great Depression, and growing dissatisfaction with U.S. rule. ­Under his leadership the Nationalists ­adopted a more confrontational attitude and policy ­toward the United States. The party or­ga­nized and directed the Cadetes de la República (Cadets of the Republic) for young men and the Enfermeras de la República (Nurses of the Republic) for young w ­ omen. Members of the Nationalist Party, some of whom had served in the U.S. military, trained the Cadets

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in military skills and discipline. The role of the Cadets was to defend the party and the nation. Many of the Cadets ­were also members of the PN-­sponsored Ejército Libertador, which was the armed wing of the party. The Nurses also received military training, but their primary jobs w ­ ere to tend to wounded Cadets, raise funds for the party, and, along with the Cadets, attend the party’s public meetings and marches, which the Nationalists sponsored frequently during the 1930s. Many Nationalist events began with a church ser­vice. Following the Mass, Nationalists marched through the streets of Puerto Rican towns, the Cadets leading the parade followed by the Nurses. In addition to being the president, Pedro Albizu Campos was also the party’s leading theoretician. He developed the thesis that the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war between Spain and the United States in 1898 and ceded Puerto Rico to the United States, was null and void (Albizu Campos and Rodríguez León, 2007, p. 253). ­Because Spain had granted Puerto Rico autonomy in 1897, Albizu Campos argued, it lacked the ­legal power to dictate Puerto Rico’s status. Albizu Campos concluded that Spain’s transfer of Puerto Rico to the United States was illegal, thus the United States’ possession of the island was unlawful. Therefore, according to Albizu Campos, Puerto Ricans ­were legally, po­liti­cally, and morally justified in fighting against the United States’ occupation. The Nationalists understood that to generate opposition to U.S. rule, they needed to awaken Puerto Rican national identity. To this end, the party flew the Puerto Rican flag, sang the national anthem, upheld patriotic heroes as role models, and celebrated impor­tant moments of Puerto Rican history in both its internal meetings and public gatherings. They delivered their message via radio programs that w ­ ere beamed across the island and widely heard, through their newspapers and other publications, in local and national meetings of the party, and in public programs and marches, such as the program in Lares.

The Gathering at Lares One of most impor­tant national events was the annual gathering in Lares, a small town in Puerto Rico’s mountainous interior. In 1868, pro-­independence and anti-­ slavery forces ­rose, unsuccessfully, against Spanish rule on the island. The revolt was centered in Lares. To Nationalists, Lares represented the beginning of the Puerto Rican nation, since it was t­here that anti-­colonial forces first declared the in­de­pen­ dent Republic of Puerto Rico. For that reason, beginning in the 1930s the Nationalist Party or­ga­nized annual pilgrimages to Lares to commemorate the beginnings of Puerto Rican nationalism and to honor t­ hose whom they considered national heroes. Two of the Nationalist heroes ­were Marianna Bracetti and Lola Rodríguez de Tío. Bracetti, one of the leaders of the uprising, is credited with knitting the first Puerto

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Pedro Albizu Campos’s 1927–1930 Tour of the Ca­rib­bean, Mexico, and Peru The Nationalist Party believed that Puerto Rico belonged with its s­ ister republics of the Amer­i­cas, not as an unincorporated territory of the United States. It also understood that to achieve in­de­pen­dence, it needed the backing of Latin Amer­i­ca. From 1927 to 1930, Pedro Albizu Campos traveled to and met with governments, organ­izations, and individuals throughout the region to build or strengthen ties with them and raise solidarity with the cause of Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence (Power, 2010b, pp. 25–27). Traveling by ship, he went first to the Dominican Republic, then Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, back to Cuba, then to Peru, where Laura Meneses, his wife, and his c­ hildren w ­ ere living. Albizu Campos received his warmest welcome and generated the most concrete and lasting expressions of solidarity in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba. Cuba and the Dominican Republic shared with Puerto Rico a history of fighting Spanish colonialism. All four nations also suffered from recent or ongoing U.S. military occupation. ­These joint experiences united them and made the three Ca­rib­bean nations particularly responsive to Albizu Campos’s denunciations of U.S. colonialism. Cubans and Dominicans established solidarity committees with Puerto Rico. Haitian and Puerto Rican anti-­occupation activists pledged to contribute what each could to the o­ thers’ fight to end U.S. rule (Power, 2013b). Albizu Campos accomplished very ­little in Mexico, largely due to the internal situation ­there, which was somewhat chaotic as a result of Catholics fighting against the secular government of President Calles. His visit to Peru was equally frustrating. He managed to contact impor­tant forces in Argentina, who urged him to visit. However, he and the Nationalists lacked the funds to finance the visit, so he was unable to go. Nonetheless, his visit bore fruit over the next three de­cades when po­liti­cal leaders, parties, cultural luminaries, student groups, and l­abor ­unions wrote letters, demonstrated, and signed petitions in support of Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence and the Nationalist prisoners.

Rican flag, the flag of Lares. Rodríguez de Tío, another leader of the Lares revolt, wrote the lyr­ics to “La Borinqueña,” which Nationalists ­adopted as their national anthem. (­There are two versions of “La Borinqueña.” Puerto Rican Nationalists sing the revolutionary one written by Rodríguez de Tío, whereas the anthem officially a­ dopted by the Puerto Rican government in 1977 uses the same m ­ usic but dif­fer­ent words.)

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By celebrating Lares as the birthplace of the Republic of Puerto Rico, the Nationalists challenged and countered the notion taught in U.S.-­run schools across the island that George Washington was the ­father of their country. To ­counter this U.S.-­centric vision of Puerto Rican history, the Nationalists spoke of 19th-­century pro-­independence figures such as Ramon Emeterio Betances and Eugenio María de Hostos, or the heroes of Lares. By referencing ­these individuals and the activities they engaged in, the Nationalists evoked the vision of a heroic past and linked their calls for in­de­pen­dence with ­those they considered the founding ­fathers and ­mothers of the Puerto Rican nation. Nationalists traveled from all over the island to attend the first “Pilgrimage to Lares” in 1930. The activities began early, at 5:00 am, with the playing of “Reveille” and the firing of guns. The mayor and other municipal dignitaries met the attendees, who then walked to the Plaza de la Revolución. Next, the assembly celebrated Mass in memory of the “Martyrs for In­de­pen­dence,” t­hose who had died fighting for the cause. From t­here they returned to the Plaza de la Revolución to lay floral wreaths for the heroes of Lares (Power, 2013a, p. 124).

The Party’s Structure Takes Place In terms of structure, the party established juntas municipales (local governing boards) in towns and cities across the island. In keeping with the time, most officers w ­ ere men, although several ­women ­were elected to leadership on the local level during the 1930s. The juntas municipales served as the local expression of the Junta Nacional, the national leadership body. The local juntas or­ga­nized meetings, hosted speakers from the Junta Nacional, raised money to support the party, and rallied and transported supporters to national events and marches. The Nationalist Party was predominantly Catholic, although Protestants ­were also members. A Catholic religious and Hispanic cultural identity distinguished the party and the nation from the United States, which was largely Protestant and Anglo-­ Saxon. In addition, Catholicism and Hispanism, the common history, language, and cultural traditions that Spain’s former colonies in the Amer­i­cas shared, connected Puerto Rico more closely to Latin Amer­i­ca, the region with which the Nationalist Party aimed to rejoin. Although the original leaders and members of the party w ­ ere largely from the elite, by the 1930s and through the 1950s, the class position of the leadership and membership had evolved. Although some members of the intellectual and cultural elite continued to affiliate with the PN, o­ thers distanced themselves from the party as it became more radical and openly defiant of U.S. rule. During the same time, the base had expanded to include peasants, workers, and sections of the lower and ­middle classes. This change in composition can be attributed, in part, to the increased

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­Women and the Nationalist Party Puerto Rican w ­ omen first joined the Nationalist Party in the 1930s. They became members for the same reasons men did: they wanted an in­de­pen­dent nation and they felt it was their duty to help end U.S. colonialism. Pedro Albizu Campos, the president of the party, encouraged ­women to join the organ­ ization. In November 1930, the Nationalist Party created its first ­Women’s Section, in Vieques. Over the course of that de­cade w ­ omen joined similar organ­izations across the island. ­Women Nationalists participated in party marches, protests, and events. They raised money for the party and the po­liti­cal prisoners. They spoke at rallies and on the radio, wrote about in­de­pen­dence, and held impor­tant positions in the party. Nationalist w ­ omen made significant contributions to the party. Dominga de la Cruz, a black, working-­class Nationalist, traveled to the 1935 party’s National Assembly to request that the party convert the Hijas de la Libertad (­Daughters of Liberty) into the Enfermeras de la República (Nurses of the Republic), ­because she thought this would make ­women more active members. The assembly enthusiastically endorsed her suggestion (Jiménez de Wagenheim, 2016, pp. 28–29). During the 1950s, uprising Blanca Canales helped to lead the revolt in Jayuya. Like other female Nationalists, she was a Nurse and she had received military training. ­After the Nationalists took over the town, she climbed to a ­hotel balcony, waved the Puerto Rican flag, and proclaimed the Republic. Isabel Rosado, a Nationalist, played no armed role in the insurrection, but she publicly voiced her support for in­de­pen­dence. ­These two and other Nationalist ­women ­were arrested ­after the rebellion and served many years in prison. They remained committed to a ­free Puerto Rico their entire lives. impoverishment many Puerto Ricans experienced during the G ­ reat Depression, as well as to their growing alienation from U.S. rule. The U.S. government appointed all the top officials who governed Puerto Rico. ­These men, born and raised in the United States, seldom spoke Spanish, and generally knew ­little about the island, the territory they had been sent to rule. To ­counter growing nationalist sentiment and heightened unrest, the U.S. government appointed Col­o­nel Francis Riggs to head the Puerto Rican police and General Blanton Winship to govern the island in the 1930s. Their rule initiated an upward spiral of armed confrontations. The increased vio­lence began in 1935, when the police murdered four Nationalists. Two Nationalists retaliated by assassinating Police Chief Col­o­ nel Riggs in 1936. The police arrested the two Nationalists and shot them.

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Nationalists on Trial The killing of Col­on­ el Riggs prompted the U.S. government to arrest the leadership of the Nationalist Party in 1936 and charge them with sedition, namely, conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government by force. To protest their arrest and imprisonment, the Nationalist Party or­ga­nized a peaceful march on Palm Sunday in 1937 in Ponce, a town on the southern coast. Shortly before the march began, Governor Winship revoked permission for the parade and the Ponce police ordered the marchers to disband. The Nationalists refused to heed their command. When the Cadets and Nurses, who stood at the front of the parade, began the march, the police opened fire on the unarmed crowd, killing 19 and wounding more than 200. The American Civil Liberties Union extensively investigated the incident and concluded that the police had indeed carried out a massacre of peaceful civilians, which has since been known as the Ponce Massacre. No charges w ­ ere brought against the police, however. The first jury to hear the case of the Nationalist leaders arrested in 1936 was composed of seven Puerto Ricans and two North Americans. The case resulted in a hung jury. Determined to convict the Nationalists, the U.S. government conducted a second trial; this time the jury was made up of ten North Americans and two Puerto Ricans. The Nationalist leadership, including Pedro Albizu Campos, was found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges and imprisoned in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. With much of its top leadership in jail, the Nationalist Party entered a period of disor­ga­ni­za­tion. Police repression and infiltration of the Nationalists generated widespread fear and mistrust among Puerto Ricans who supported the Nationalists, as well as ­those who did not, which deterred p­ eople from participating in Nationalist activities. ­Because Albizu Campos was in prison, the Nationalist Party elected a new leader and began to rebuild its municipal boards and national structure. From 1937 to 1947, much of the party’s resources, energy, and activities ­were dedicated to obtaining the release of its imprisoned comrades. Supporters in New York City and across Latin Amer­i­ca also worked to secure their release, as they considered them po­liti­cal prisoners unjustly jailed for their po­liti­cal beliefs. They believed Puerto Rico was being treated as a U.S. colony when it should be an in­de­ pen­dent nation.

Puerto Rican Migration ­ fter acquiring U.S. citizenship in 1917, thousands of Puerto Ricans migrated to A New York City in search of jobs and a higher standard of living. By the early 1930s, members of the Nationalist Party had established a presence in New York,

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and by 1943 juntas Nacionalistas existed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The juntas or­ga­nized within the Puerto Rican community and worked closely with other Latino organ­izations and progressive forces. They held educational events, raised funds for the po­liti­cal prisoners, and or­ga­nized rallies and protests. They encouraged progressive North Americans to work for the freedom of Puerto Rico and the Nationalist prisoners convicted of sedition and serving time in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. U.S. Congressman Vito Marcantonio was a close ally. Numerous North Americans, ranging from Nobel Prize-­winning author Pearl Buck to pacifist members of the Harlem Ashram, also heeded their call. During the 1940s and 1950s, U.S.-­based supporters formed a variety of organ­izations, such as the American League for Puerto Rico’s In­de­pen­dence, to support the Nationalist Party, sovereignty for Puerto Rico, and the release of the Nationalist prisoners. The Nationalist Party initiated two new campaigns in the 1940s. Although Puerto Ricans living on the island could not vote in any federal election (they still cannot do so as of 2017), Puerto Rican men w ­ ere subjected to the draft. The Nationalist Party called on Puerto Rican men to refuse the draft and not fight in the Korean War. A number of male members of the party heeded the call and some 80 persons ­were arrested and jailed for refusing to serve in the U.S. military. During World War II, the U.S. Navy took control of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques to use as a training ground and for target practice. Pedro Albizu Campos decried the U.S. Navy’s seizure of Vieques while he was still in prison. When he returned to Puerto Rico in 1947, he initiated the second campaign: protest the U.S. Navy’s use of Vieques and other bases in Puerto Rico, in part ­because (Albizu Campos claimed) the presence of U.S. bases transformed the islands into a likely target of nuclear attack. Individuals, organ­izations, and governments throughout Latin Amer­i­ca also acted in support of Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence and the Nationalist prisoners. From Chile to Mexico to Cuba, impor­tant intellectuals, politicians, and officials sent tele­ grams, wrote letters, spoke at events, passed resolutions in their respective parliaments and international congresses, and published materials calling for an end to U.S. colonialism on the island. They established solidarity committees, such as the Argentine Association of Friends of Puerto Rico; passed legislation in f­avor of Puerto Rico, as the Ec­ua­doran Parliament did in 1957; condemned the imprisonment of the Nationalist prisoners; and pressured the U.S. government to grant Puerto Rico in­de­pen­dence (Power, 2013b).

The Creation of a Commonwealth Pedro Albizu Campos was released from prison on parole in 1943. Due to his poor health, he spent the next several years in Columbus Hospital in New York City. He

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returned to Puerto Rico in 1947, and thousands turned out to welcome him home. However, the Puerto Rico that Albizu Campos returned to was very dif­fer­ent from the one he had left. The Popu­lar Demo­cratic Party (PPD), led by Luis Muñoz Marín, had become the principal party on the island. Poverty still plagued the population, but the PPD promised to end it and improve p­ eople’s living conditions—­and many ­people believed Muñoz. In 1948, Puerto Ricans elected Muñoz Marín governor; this marked the first time the United States had allowed the islanders to vote for their own leader. Luis Muñoz Marín and the PPD worked with the U.S. government to engineer a pro­cess that would ostensibly end U.S. colonial rule by turning Puerto Rico into a ­Free Associated State or, as it is often called, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. According to them, once Puerto Rico became a commonwealth—­which is a constitutional anomaly—­U.S. colonial rule would end and Puerto Rico would govern itself. ­These conditions did not materialize. The U.S. government continued (and continues) to maintain control over all significant aspects of Puerto Rico, such as the military, foreign trade, the judicial system, and, ultimately, the status of Puerto Rico. However, this change did allow the United States to claim that Puerto Rico was no longer a U.S. colony, which was critical to its image as the leader of the ­free world during the Cold War. The PPD, in turn, presented itself as the party that had ended U.S. colonial rule and developed policies that would modernize Puerto Rico and improve ­people’s standard of living; in fact, it became the dominant party on the island for the next two de­cades. To undermine Nationalist opposition to this change, the Puerto Rican Senate (which the PPD dominated) passed Law 53: the Ley de Mordaza (muzzle law) in 1948. This law made it illegal to display a Puerto Rican flag (but not a U.S. flag), or to call for or be a member of an organ­ization that demanded an end to U.S. rule. The Nationalist Party opposed the PPD’s plan to make Puerto Rico a ­Free Associated State since, for them, this cosmetic change would deal a death blow to their strug­gle for an in­de­pen­dent Puerto Rico. The Nationalists believed (correctly, as it turned out) that the PPD’s platform, which consisted of more and better jobs; more hospitals, schools, and public transportation; and greater po­liti­cal power on the island, would convince a majority of Puerto Ricans that Marín and the PPD had achieved the goals they longed for and that, as a result, they did not need the Nationalists. To prevent this outcome, and to alert the world that the dream of a f­ree Puerto Rico still existed, the Nationalists launched the 1950 uprising. On October 30, 1950, armed units of the Nationalist Party attacked the governor’s mansion in San Juan in addition to nine towns across Puerto Rico. They managed to hold only one site, Jayuya, for any length of time (48 hours). In Jayuya, Nationalist leader Blanca Canales climbed to a ­hotel balcony, waved the Puerto Rican flag, and proclaimed the Republic, just as pro-­independence fighters had done in Lares in 1868. The U.S. government sent planes to strafe Jayuya and Utuado,

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another small town in the mountainous interior, and the Insular Police wrested back control of the towns.

Attack on Blair House On November 1, 1950, Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, two members of the New York City Nationalist Party, attacked Blair House, the residence in Washington, D.C., where President Truman was temporarily staying. Their action aimed to call world attention to the fighting in Puerto Rico, which they considered an anti-­ colonial strug­gle, not a civil war. Torresola was killed and Collazo was wounded in the assault. Collazo was given the death penalty, but President Truman commuted the sentence to life imprisonment in 1952. Demands from a broad range of Latin American politicians, artists, intellectuals, u­ nions, and po­liti­cal organ­izations that he spare Collazo’s life contributed to Truman’s decision (Power, 2013b, pp. 24–25). Following t­hese actions, the Puerto Rican police arrested some 1,106 p­ eople across the island, including Pedro Albizu Campos and other party leaders. The FBI arrested dozens of Puerto Ricans in New York City and Chicago, where the Nationalist Party also had a following. The ­trials and imprisonments that followed absorbed much of the Nationalist Party’s energy and resources over the next few years. Support for the Nationalist Party and in­de­pen­dence declined in the face of the government repression that swept the island and Puerto Rican communities in the United States. Equally, support for Muñoz Marín and the PPD grew. In 1952 the majority of Puerto Rican voters approved the ­Free Associated State proposition and the PPD rode a wave of popu­lar approval for the rest of the 1950s. Despite shrinking numbers, some Nationalists refused to give up their dream of a ­free country. Determined to show the world that Puerto Ricans still opposed U.S. colonial rule, four Puerto Rican Nationalists from New York City—­Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores, Lolita Lebrón, and Oscar Collazo—­staged what would be the party’s last armed action. Led by Lolita Lebrón, the four Nationalists entered the visitors’ gallery of the U.S. Congress. Lebrón yelled “­Free Puerto Rico!” and fired a pistol into the air; her three companions shot at the congressmen below. They wounded five congressmen, all of whom survived. The four Nationalists ­were arrested, convicted of vari­ous charges, and given life sentences. All the Nationalists arrested in Puerto Rico following the 1950s uprising ­were released from prison by the early 1960s. Pedro Albizu Campos was arrested again in 1950, released in 1953, then rearrested in 1954 a­ fter the attack on the U.S. Congress. He spent a total of 26 years in prison and was released a few weeks before his death in April 1965. During the 1960s and 1970s, the five remaining Nationalist prisoners who had carried out attacks in the United States, and w ­ ere all ­housed in U.S. jails, became global symbols of anti-­colonial freedom fighters and po­liti­cal

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prisoners. The campaign for their release was embraced by a broad range of organ­ izations, governments, and individuals in Puerto Rico, the United States, and across the world. The pressure was so g­ reat that President Jimmy Car­ter first released Andres Figueroa Cordero in 1977 ­because he was very ill with cancer. In September 1979, President Car­ter pardoned the remaining four Nationalists. They went home to Puerto Rico and remained active in the movement for an in­de­pen­dent Puerto Rico. Irvin Flores and Oscar Collazo died in 1994. Lolita Lebrón died in 2010. As of 2017, only Rafael Cancel Miranda remained alive. The Nationalist Party never regained the popularity it had achieved in the 1930s. However, new organ­izations emerged that also called for in­de­pen­dence. In 1946, the Puerto Rican In­de­pen­dence Party (PIP) formed, and from that time to the pres­ent has primarily sought to achieve national sovereignty through electoral means. In the 1960s and 1970s, a growing number of Puerto Ricans on the island and in the United States called for an end to U.S. rule. Many of them joined the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), which was founded in 1971 and disbanded in 1993. As of 2017, the in­de­pen­dence movement is divided into a number of small parties, the largest of which is the PIP. The Nationalist Party still exists in Puerto Rico and New York City. Its numbers are greatly reduced, but its members continue to uphold the hope that one day Puerto Rico ­will be an in­de­pen­dent nation. The two largest Puerto Rican parties are the New Progressive Party, which supports statehood for the island; and the PPD, which continues to uphold the Commonwealth.

Biographies of Notable Figures Pedro Albizu Campos (1898–1965) Pedro Albizu Campos, the f­ uture president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, was born September 12, 1898, in Ponce, Puerto Rico. His parents, who w ­ ere not married, w ­ ere at the opposite ends of the class structure. His ­mother, who raised him ­until she died when he was four years old, had been a slave. His maternal aunt raised him ­after his ­mother died. His ­father, who was of Basque origin, was a landowner. Albizu Campos’s remarkable intelligence and studious nature ensured that he excelled in school. He was also popu­lar with the other students, who elected him class president. ­After he graduated high school, he obtained a scholarship from the Masonic Lodge in Ponce. That, and the money his f­ ather gave him, allowed him to attend college at the University of Vermont in 1912. Despite the marked cultural differences between Puerto Rico and Vermont, Albizu Campos was an outstanding student. In 1913 he transferred to Harvard and graduated in 1916 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then entered Harvard Law School. While at Harvard he was active in student clubs and president of the

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prestigious Cosmopolitan Club. He learned about the anti-­colonial strug­gles between the British and Irish. He or­ga­nized university students in Boston to support Irish in­de­pen­dence and welcomed Eamon de Valera, the president of Ireland, when he visited the city in 1919. ­After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Albizu Campos interrupted his studies to serve in the U.S. military from 1918 to 1919. He then returned to Harvard Law School and completed his studies. While at Harvard he met Laura Meneses, a Peruvian, who was studying at Radcliffe. They married in 1922 in Ponce, where Albizu Campos was working as a ­lawyer. The ­couple had three ­children: Pedro, Laura, and Rosa. Albizu Campos joined the Nationalist Party in 1924, and from that date ­until his death in 1965 he dedicated his life to ending U.S. colonial rule in Puerto Rico. In 1927, when he was vice president of the Nationalist Party, Albizu Campos traveled throughout the Ca­rib­bean, to Mexico, Peru (where Laura and his c­ hildren ­were staying with her f­ amily), and Venezuela to generate solidarity with Puerto Rican in­de­pen­dence. Shortly a­ fter he returned to Puerto Rico in 1930, he was elected president of the party. Albizu Campos employed his l­ egal training to develop the argument that b­ ecause Spain had granted Puerto Rico autonomy in 1897, Spain had no lawful right to cede the island to the United States at the end of the Spanish-­American War. He thus concluded that as U.S. rule of Puerto Rico contradicted the law, Puerto Ricans ­were justified in opposing it, including with armed actions. This l­egal, theoretical, and po­liti­cal argument has underpinned Nationalist Party attitudes, beliefs, and actions from the 1930s to ­today. Although his Harvard law degree could have guaranteed him a very comfortable life, Albizu Campos chose to offer his ­legal ser­vices to defend the poor and, beginning in the 1930s, arrested Nationalists. He was a skilled and passionate orator and during the 1930s thousands of Puerto Ricans raptly listened to his speeches in plazas across the island or on the radio. In his speeches and writings, he denounced U.S. rule and rejected colonial notions and teachings that Puerto Ricans w ­ ere inferior ­people who needed U.S. tutelage and support to survive. Instead, he affirmed Puerto Ricans’ cultural and historical heritage, their ability and need to rule themselves, and their ­legal and moral right to fight for in­de­pen­dence. B ­ ecause p­ eople learned so much from his speeches and writings, he was called El Maestro, the teacher. ­Those who knew him well emphasize his kindness to ­others, his warmth, and his ­great sense of humor. He loved to tell jokes and make ­those around him laugh. At the same time, he publicly called for and secretly or­ga­nized armed strug­ gle against U.S. rule in Puerto Rico. The Ejército Libertador, the armed wing of the Nationalist Party, was his idea, as was the Cadetes de la República. Although Albizu Campos did not participate in e­ ither group or in any of the Nationalists’

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armed actions, the U.S. government held him responsible for the attacks that members of the party carried out in the 1930s and 1950s. For that reason, the U.S. government, and most particularly J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, kept close tabs on Albizu Campos, had him arrested once in the 1930s and twice in the 1950s, and made sure that he was convicted of a range of charges and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Albizu Campos spent 26 of the 28 years between 1937 and 1965 (when he died) in jail. His writings, his speeches, his dedication to the cause of Puerto Rican in­de­ pen­dence, and his repudiation of U.S. imperialism in Latin Amer­i­ca established him as one of the leading po­liti­cal figures of the Amer­i­cas. When he was imprisoned, leading politicians, intellectuals, ­labor leaders, and artists (such as Chileans Salvador Allende, Pablo Neruda, and Gabriela Mistral; ­labor leaders; and Mexicans Vicente Toledano and José Vasconcelos) campaigned on his behalf. They wrote letters, signed petitions, and gave speeches demanding that he and all the Nationalist prisoners be released. When he died, Che Guevara eulogized him in the United Nations, calling him “a symbol of the yet unfree but indomitable Latin Amer­i­ca” (Guevara, 1964). Albizu Campos’s time in prison led to a severe deterioration of his health. He charged that the U.S. government bombarded him with x-­rays in his cell, which led to burns, swollen legs, and a general weakening of his constitution. Governor Muñoz Marín released him from prison in 1965 ­because he did not want him to die in jail. The U.S. government fi­nally allowed Laura Meneses, Albizu Campos’s wife, whom it had prevented from visiting him in prison, to enter Puerto Rico so she could be at his bedside when he died. Seventy-­five thousand p­ eople attended his funeral pro­cession. He is buried in the Old San Juan Cemetery.

Lolita Lebrón (1919–2010) Lolita Lebrón was born in Lares, Puerto Rico, on November 19, 1919. Like most ­women in the area, her m ­ other worked at home, raising c­ hildren and tending to the ­house. Her ­father worked in the coffee fields that surrounded the town, first as a day laborer and then as a foreman. Her f­ather died of tuberculosis when Lolita was 18. The loss of his income meant that Lebrón could no longer continue her education in San Juan, the capital; instead, she had to return home to help take care of the ­family. Lebrón was beautiful. Her beauty led her to be crowned “Queen of the Flowers of May” in Lares and attracted the interest and promises of love of two men, one when she was 14 and the second when she was 18. Both men abandoned her, leaving her heartbroken and, in the case of the second man, with a child. B ­ ecause her ­family was poor and unable to support her and a child, she left her ­daughter with her ­mother and, like many Puerto Ricans in the 1940s, traveled to New York City in search of work (Jiménez de Wagenheim, 2016, pp. 245–246).

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The major source of employment for Puerto Rican ­women in New York City was in the garment industry, which is where Lebrón found a job. She also found low pay, long hours, racist attitudes, and loneliness. Nevertheless, lacking other options, she stayed at the job and sent what money she could home. Lebrón had heard of Albizu Campos and the Nationalist Party when she was in Puerto Rico. However, it was only ­after she arrived in New York City and experienced the poor treatment, hard work, shabby living conditions, and racist attitudes ­there that she joined the Nationalist Party in 1947. Living in New York City led her to see herself and other Puerto Ricans as colonized subjects of the United States (Power, 2017). In 1940, the year she arrived in New York City, she married a man with whom she had a son. Her husband, like the other two men with whom she had had romantic relationships, also disappointed her and they divorced. Unable to work and raise a child, she took her son from this marriage back to Puerto Rico to live with her m ­ other in 1948 (Jiménez de Wagenheim, 2016, p. 247). Lebrón was an active member of the New York City Nationalist Party. She served as both vice president and secretary general of the New York junta. Although they ­were both in New York City at the same time, Lebrón never met Pedro Albizu Campos. Nonetheless, she developed a deep and lasting admiration for and devotion to him. Lebrón believed that Albizu Campos empowered w ­ omen and supported their involvement and leadership in the Nationalist Party. She was a devout Catholic and the three male figures she worshiped ­were God, her ­father, and Albizu Campos. By 1954, Puerto Rico had become a ­Free Associated State, Luis Muñoz Marín was a popu­lar governor who had overseen the change in Puerto Rico’s status, and the number of ­those who supported in­de­pen­dence had declined. The Nationalist Party considered the change in status to be fundamentally in name only, as the United States continued to rule the island. Determined to alert the world to their belief that Puerto Rico was not a sovereign nation, the Nationalists conducted what they thought would be a suicide mission: an armed action in the U.S. House of Representatives. They timed their attack to coincide with the meeting of the Organ­ization of American States in Caracas, Venezuela, ­because they particularly wanted Latin American nations to hear their message. Lolita Lebrón oversaw the New York-­based Nationalist Party unit that carried out the assault. She and three male comrades bought one-­way tickets to Washington, D.C. They entered the visitors’ gallery of the U.S. Congress, whereupon Lebrón unfurled the Puerto Rican flag and shouted “­Free Puerto Rico!” The four fired their pistols, wounding six congressmen. D.C. police arrested them all. In her purse Lebrón carried a note that read, in part, “Before God and the world, my blood clamors for the in­de­pen­dence of Puerto Rico. My life I give for the freedom of my country. I take responsibility for all” (Jiménez de Wagenheim, 2016, p. 259).

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The four w ­ ere found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. On the day of her sentencing, Lebrón learned that her son had died, news that plunged her into grief. Lebrón was confined in the Federal Reformatory for ­Women in Alderson, a small, rural town tucked away in the rolling hills of West ­Virginia. She spent the next 25 years of her life t­ here. Isolated and mistreated, she claims to have been raped and subjected to electric shock. She sought solace in her religious beliefs and commitment to a ­free Puerto Rico. Lolita Lebrón entered prison in 1954 branded a terrorist by the U.S. government and media. When she left in 1979, many in Puerto Rico, across the United States, and around the world hailed her as a courageous fighter for the freedom of her captive nation and a strong, inspirational ­woman who was a role model for the oppressed, especially w ­ omen, everywhere. Lebrón, along with the four male Nationalist prisoners in U.S. jails, refused to say they w ­ ere sorry for what they had done or to seek clemency. Instead, they maintained that they w ­ ere morally justified in attacking the nation that colonized their country. By 1979, the international and domestic clamor for their release had grown so strong that President Jimmy Car­ter offered the four remaining prisoners an unconditional p­ ardon. ­After their release, joyful supporters welcomed and thanked them in cities across the United States and in Puerto Rico. Lebrón continued to advocate for an end to U.S. colonialism, although she renounced vio­lence and declared herself a pacifist. She joined with hundreds of other peaceful demonstrators to protest the U.S. Navy’s bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, for which she was arrested and served almost 30 days in jail. She died at age 91 in 2010 and is buried in the Old San Juan Cemetery, close to the grave of Pedro Albizu Campos. See also: Founding of the Young Lords; Insular Cases; Operation Bootstrap and Puerto Rican Migration

Further Reading Albizu Campos, L. M., and Rodríguez León, M. A. 2007. Periodistas norteamericanos entrevistan a Albizu Campos. Pedro Albizu Campos Escritos. Hato Rey, PR: Publicaciones Puertorriqueños. Ayala, César J., and Rafael Bernabe. 2007. Puerto Rico in the American ­Century: A History Since 1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Bosque-­Pérez, Ramón, and José Javier Colón Morera, eds. 2006. Puerto Rico ­Under Colonial Rule: Po­liti­cal Persecution and the Quest for H ­ uman Rights. Albany: State University of New York Press. Guevara, Ernesto (Che). 1964. Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations, December 12, 1964. Retrieved from https://­www​.­youtube​.­com​/­watch​?­v​=­WAbsjOz5hOw Jiménez de Wagenheim, Olga. 2016. Nationalist Heroines: Puerto Rican ­Women History Forgot, 1930s-­1950. Prince­ton, NJ: Markus Weiner.

312 | Immigration, World War I, and Community Formation, 1900–1929 Paralitici, Ché. 2004. Sentencia Impuesta: 100 Años de Encarcalemiento por la Independencia de Puerto Rico. San Juan, PR: Ediciones Puerto. Power, Margaret. 2013a.“Nacionalismo en una Nación Colonizada: El Partido Nacionalista y Puerto Rico [Nationalism in a Colonized Nation: The Nationalist Party and Puerto Rico].” Memorias 10 (20, May-­August). Retrieved from http://­rcientificas​.­uninorte​.­edu​ .­co​/­index​.­php​/­memorias​/­article​/­view​/­5269 Power, Margaret. 2013b. “The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and Transnational Solidarity: Latin American Anti-­Colonialism vs. The United States during the Cold War in Latin Amer­i­ca,” in Jessica Stites Mor, ed., ­Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin Amer­i­ca, 21–47. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Power, Margaret. 2017. “Interview with Lolita Lebrón.” Radical History Review 128 (May): 36–45. Rosado, Marisa. 2008. Pedro Albizu Campos: Las Llamas de la Aurora Acercamiento a Su Biografía (2nd ed.). San Juan, PR: Ediciones Puerto. Seijo Bruno, Miñi. 1997. La Insurrección Nacionalista en Puerto Rico, 1950. Río Piedras, PR: Editorial Edil.

5 ­ reat Depression and G Repatriation, 1929–1941

Founding of LULAC, 1929 Trinidad Gonzales

Chronology 1848

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, ending the war between the United States and Mexico, and granting U.S. citizenship rights to Mexicans.


In the In re Ricardo Rodriguez hearing, the Know Nothing Party attempts to have Mexicans reclassified as Native American, non-­ Caucasian, and therefore ineligible for citizenship. The judge rules in ­favor of Rodriguez, noting that the Republic of Texas and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo granted Mexicans U.S. citizenship.


The Mexican Revolution begins, leading to thousands of Mexican refugees fleeing to the United States.

1910–1911 The lynchings of Antonio Rodríguez in Rockspring, Texas, and Antonio Gómez in Thorndale, Texas, create an international incident. 1911

El Primer Congreso Mexicanista (the First Mexicanist Congress) is held in response to increased vio­lence against Mexicans and Mexican Americans.


The Texas Revolt and matanza (massacre) occur, constituting the last Mexican revolt against the United States undertaken to achieve equal rights.


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The United States enters World War I; Mexicans and Mexican Americans serve in the U.S. military. The Mexican Revolution’s military phase comes to an end.


Texas Rangers, U.S. Army personnel, and vigilantes kill 11 Mexican men in what becomes known as the Porvenir Massacre.


José T. Canales, the only Mexican American in the Texas state legislature, sponsors a bill to investigate the Ranger force. As a result of the passage of this bill, the state forms the Joint Committee of the Investigation by the Senate and House of the Texas Rangers.


Mexican consulates create the Comisíon Honorífica Mexicana (Mexican Honorable Commission) and the Cruz Azul (Blue Cross) to provide civil protections and health care ser­vices for Mexican immigrants. The Orden Hijos de Amer­i­ca (Order of the Sons of Amer­i­ca) is formed to provide civil rights protection to U.S. citizens of Mexican origin.


Vari­ous Mexican American civil rights organ­izations and leaders meet, in what becomes the Harlingen Convention, to form a statewide civil rights organ­ization for U.S. citizens of Mexican origin. The convention ends in failure b­ ecause of members who do not support a U.S. citizenship requirement for membership. As a result, a new organ­ization is created, the League of Latin American Citizens (LLAC).


A second attempt is made to form a statewide civil rights organ­ization in Corpus Christi, Texas. At that meeting the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is formed, composed of members from the Orden Hijos de Amer­i­ca, the Knights of Amer­i­ca, and the League of Latin American Citizens.


The U.S. Census Bureau creates a separate “Mexican” racial category in order to reclassify Mexicans as non-­Caucasian. LULAC and the Mexican government successfully lobby the U.S. government to abandon the use of a Mexican racial category for the next census.

1930, October

The Texas Court of Appeals rules, in In­de­pen­dent School District v. Salvatierra, that Mexican and Mexican American c­ hildren can be segregated for pedagogical reasons. However, the court officially recognizes for the first time the ­legal princi­ple that Mexican and Mexican American ­children are Caucasian and cannot be segregated based on their racial background.

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The California Assembly passes a bill reclassifying Mexicans and Mexican Americans as Indian in order to legally segregate them in schools. However, as a result of intense po­liti­cal pressure following the ruling in Alvarez v. Lemon Grove, the state senate rejects the bill.

1931, March

In Alvarez v. Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District (Alvarez. v. Lemon Grove), a California court rules that it is unconstitutional ­under California statute to segregate Mexican and Mexican American ­children; the court also rejects the school district’s attempts to justify its segregation policy as educational.


In the In re Timoteo Andrade immigration hearing, the California Joint Immigration Committee successfully lobbies to have Andrade classified as an Indian by the Bureau of Immigration case officer and federal judge. However, pressure from LULAC, the Mexican government, and the U.S. State Department gets the decision reversed.


To avoid having Mexican immigrants possibly classified as Indians and denied citizenship, the U.S. State Department lobbies the U.S. Congress to pass the 1940 Nationality Act, including Section  303, which states that descendants of indigenous p­ eople who reside in the Amer­i­cas can become U.S. citizens.

Narrative The 1920s represented a formative time for the development of orga­nizational capabilities for Mexican American civil rights efforts. Although the fight for Mexican American civil rights began in vari­ous forms immediately ­after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), several civil rights organ­izations ­were unified with the formation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929. LULAC was the most impor­tant civil rights organ­ization to represent the interests of Mexican Americans from the 1930s through World War II. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the U.S.-­Mexico War (1846–1848) and granted Mexicans living on newly acquired U.S. territory the right ­either to become U.S. citizens or to retain their Mexican citizenship. If a person did not announce a choice between U.S. and Mexican citizenship within a year of the signing of the treaty, then the individual automatically became a U.S. citizen. During the 19th ­century, however, only Caucasians ­were granted the right to become U.S. citizens. African Americans ­were not allowed to become citizens ­until the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, and most Native Americans w ­ ere not granted

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The officers of the Denver council of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 1954. (Ira Gay Sealy/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

citizenship u­ ntil passage of the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. Asian Americans who had been born in the United States ­were granted citizenship based on the ­Fourteenth Amendment, but Asian immigrants w ­ ere largely restricted from becoming citizens ­because they ­were not considered Caucasian u­ ntil the 1952 McCarran-­Walter Act eliminated racial criteria for citizenship. Thus, the granting of citizenship to Mexicans after 1848 meant they ­were considered Caucasian by the federal government— an impor­tant racial distinction for accessing equal rights. Mexican Americans’ Caucasian status thus afforded them l­egal protections that prevented the de jure (­legal) segregation and discrimination that other racial minority groups suffered. However, de facto (in practice) segregation and discrimination ­were widely used against Mexican Americans. As a result, discrimination against Mexicans and Mexican Americans took distinct and complex forms from the late 19th ­century to the ­mid-20th ­century. In par­tic­u­lar, attempts ­were made to reclassify Mexicans and Mexican Americans as Indians in order to justify segregation based on de jure arguments. The reclassification effort came to an end with Section 303 of the Nationality Act of 1940, which stated that immigrant descendants of Western Hemi­sphere indigenous groups could become U.S. citizens (Gross, 2008; López, 2006; Lukens, 2012).

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The first effort to reclassify Mexican immigrants as Indian occurred in connection with Ricardo Rodriguez’s attempt to become a U.S. citizen in San Antonio in 1896. During his final appeal in front of a federal court, the Know-­Nothing Party, a group that embraced an anti-­immigrant platform, intervened, arguing that ­because Rodriguez acknowledged his Indian heritage, as a non-Caucasian he could not become a citizen. The intent b­ ehind the Know-­Nothing Party intervention was to have all Mexican Americans reclassified as Indian in order to deny them the right to vote. Judge Thomas S. Maxey ruled, in In re Ricardo Rodriguez (1897), that ­because the Republic of Texas (1836–1846) and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo recognized Mexicans as citizens, they ­were considered Caucasian. Judge Maxey’s decision frustrated ­those seeking to have Mexicans and Mexican Americans racially reclassified (Lukens, 2012). During the late 19th ­century and the first de­cade of the 20th ­century, anti-­ Mexican vio­lence increased, including lynchings that received state and binational attention. The lynchings of Antonio Rodríguez at Rocksprings (1910), and of Antonio Gómez at Thorndale (1911), prompted the first statewide gathering of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Texas to discuss issues of civil rights: the Primer Congreso Mexicanista (First Mexicanist Congress) at Laredo in 1911. The meeting attracted mutual aid socie­ties such as the Orden Caballeros de Honor (Order of the Knights of Honor), Mexican consuls, and journalists. The ­Grand Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Protección (­Great Mexican League for Protection and Well-­being) was nominally formed during that meeting, but an a­ ctual organ­ization never materialized. It would be 18 years before the first successful civil rights organ­ ization was started (Limón, 1974; Montejano, 1987; Orozco, 2009). A few years ­after this meeting, the Texas Revolt of 1915 exploded as frustration grew over increased civil rights violations, especially the execution of prisoners by law enforcement officers in Hidalgo County during July of 1915. The revolt, which represented the last use of po­liti­cal vio­lence to achieve the restoration of equality for Mexicans and Mexican Americans, failed by October. During the months from July to October, Texas Rangers, vigilantes, local law enforcement, and some U.S. soldiers killed about 300 innocent Mexicans and Mexican Americans in what became known as the matanza (massacre). Three years ­later, the Porvenir Massacre occurred in December 1918, when Texas Rangers, U.S. soldiers, and vigilantes killed 15 Mexican and Mexican American men who ­were accused of stealing ­cattle from Anglo ranchers. ­Family members of ­these men fled to Mexico to seek protection from the Mexican military, even though they w ­ ere U.S. citizens. The Mexican army commander notified Mexican government officials, who notified the U.S. State Department. Texas Governor William P. Hobby was informed of the killings, and disbanded the Ranger com­pany responsible for the atrocity; however, no charges ­were filed against the Rangers.

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José T. Canales, the lone Mexican American state representative, got a bill passed in 1919 to investigate the Texas Rangers. U ­ nder this bill, the Texas Senate and House of Representatives created a joint committee to examine alleged Ranger abuses. During two weeks of testimony, the investigation made public for the first time the extensive number of Ranger abuses, including the matanza. The conclusion of the committee’s report noted that the abuses and violation of law ­were significant, but that such abuses ­were a result of bad Rangers, and not representative of the Ranger force as a ­whole. The reported concluded that ­because t­ hose “bad Rangers” ­were no longer members of the force, no major reform would be recommended (Orozco, 2009). Although the 1919 Canales Hearings (as they become known) failed to reform the force or have criminal charges filed against Texas Rangers for indiscriminately killing Mexicans and Mexican Americans, it represented a turning point for Mexican American civil rights. For the first time, the State of Texas was forced to make a public accounting of state-­sanctioned vio­lence against Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Importantly, that effort was led by the sole Mexican American state representative. Two changes occurred by the beginning of the 1920s that s­ haped the de­cade with regard to Mexican and Mexican American civil rights organ­izing: the emergence of nationalism and nationalist-­citizenship. World War I (1914–1918) and the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) ushered in both notions for promoting unity among diverse p­ eoples, both within their respective nations and outside their nations. Nationalism refers to the pro­cess through which diverse groups of p­ eople see themselves as a unified community belonging to one nation. Nationalist-­citizenship is a ­legal status granted by a nation’s government to individuals that allows them access to equal rights, but denies or limits such rights for noncitizens. ­These two concepts came into conflict ­because of racial and ethnic divisions in the United States that treated some ­people as second-­class citizens or undeserving of equal protections. Nonetheless, minority groups in the United States embraced nationalism, and expressed pride in being American citizens. In par­tic­u­lar, Mexican American civil rights leaders displayed their patriotism through military ser­vice, an act they believed expressed loyalty to the United States, and insisted on their community’s right to equal treatment (Gonzales, 2008). For example, José de la Luz Sáenz volunteered to serve in World War I; the ­later publication of his war diary made him one of the best-­known Mexican American WWI veterans. During his ser­vice, he met with other Mexican and Mexican American soldiers to discuss issues of civil rights and their place within U.S. society. As a result of their patriotic ser­vice, the men Sáenz met and o­ thers would ­later advocate for equal treatment at home. The earliest Mexican American civil rights organ­izations founded by some veterans was the Orden Hijos de

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Amer­i­ca (Order of the Sons of Amer­i­ca or OSA), created in November 1920 in San Antonio, Texas. Unlike the ­Grand Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Protección, which accepted both U.S. and Mexican citizens, the OSA only accepted U.S. citizens as members. Due to internal divisions, the OSA splintered into several other groups. According to Cynthia Orozco, t­ hese groups included “the Order Sons of Texas, Club Protector México-­Texano (México-­Texano Protective Club), and Order Knights of Amer­i­ca” (Orozco, 2009). The OSA and Order Knights of Amer­i­ca (OKA) persisted through the de­cade, whereas the Club Protector dissolved. Prior to the 1920s, in Texas and elsewhere in the United States, an individual did not need to be a citizen to vote. An immigrant only needed to officially declare the intention to become a citizen in order to register and vote. By 1920, though, Texas required U.S. citizenship to be eligible to vote. The emergence of nationalism and nationalist-­citizenship prompted the shift to the citizenship requirement for voting. As a result, the OSA and the splinter groups that emerged from it emphasized citizenship as a requirement for group membership. During 1921, the Mexican consuls from throughout the United States held a convention in San Antonio several months prior to the formation of the OSA. At this meeting they created two organ­izations for Mexican citizens, one to provide civil rights protection and the other to provide health care benefits. The first organ­ ization was the Comisíon Honorífica Mexicana (Mexican Honorable Commission), and the second was the Cruz Azul (Blue Cross). Like the shift in voting requirements to U.S. citizenship, the formation of ­these organ­izations represented Mexico’s embrace of nationalism and nationalist-­citizenship as organ­izing components for its policies to protect Mexican immigrants residing in the United States. Prior to the 1920s, the Mexican government through its consuls would provide ser­vices for ­people of Mexican origin regardless of their citizenship status. So, for Mexican Americans who ­were U.S. citizens, by the 1920s it had become increasingly necessary to create their own civil rights organ­izations, b­ ecause both the United States and Mexico required citizenship in order to provide protection or assistance for equal rights (Gonzales, 2008; Orozco, 2009). The second attempt at creating a statewide civil rights organ­ization occurred during what became known as the Harlingen Convention, in 1928. At this meeting, members from the OSA and its splinter groups, as well as Mexican citizens, met to discuss the formation of a unified group. The convention became contentious, however, ­after it was deci­ded that any new organ­ization could only be composed of U.S. citizens. Attendees who objected to the U.S. citizenship requirement walked out in protest. Although the meeting failed to form a statewide association, a new organ­ ization with chapters primarily in the Lower Rio Grande Valley was created: the League of Latin American Citizens or LLAC (Orozco, 2009).

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During 1929, members of the OSA, OKA, and LLAC met twice in Corpus Christi to form a unified organ­ization, the League of United Latin American Citizens. At the February meeting, the vari­ous organ­izations’ representatives and attendees agreed to unite, and during the May meeting the group wrote a constitution. LULAC’s constitution emphasized loyalty to the United States by limiting membership to U.S. citizens and making En­glish the organ­ization’s official language. The newly formed group was composed only of men, a common practice at a time when ­women ­were just gaining po­liti­cal franchise. Still, Mexican American ­women would challenge this exclusion through the formation of ladies’ auxiliaries, and ­were eventually included in the organ­ization by 1933 (Acosta and Winegarten, 2003). Four major incidents related to Mexicans and Mexican Americans and their racial categorization occurred during the early 1930s. In­de­pen­dent School District v. Salvatierra (1930) was the first case in which Texas courts dealt with the question of public-­school segregation of Mexican and Mexican American ­children. LULAC marshaled its l­ egal and financial resources to help fight the case, but ended up with a mixed ruling. The court affirmed Mexican and Mexican Americans’ Caucasian status and stated that they could not be segregated ­because of their race, but also held that Mexican and Mexican American ­children could be segregated for pedagogical (educational) reasons. In other words, schools that could claim to be separating students for their educational benefit could legally continue that practice. The following year, in California, Mexicans and Mexicans Americans w ­ ere successful in overturning segregation in Roberto Alvarez v. Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District (1931). As in Texas, California law did not allow for the segregation of Mexican and Mexican American c­ hildren on racial grounds. Thus, the school district tried to justify segregation on pedagogical reasons, arguing in par­ tic­u­lar that Mexican and Mexican American ­children ­were deficient in the En­glish language and needed special or additional instruction. However, the court found the school district’s justification wanting once Mexican and Mexican American pupils demonstrated their English-­language proficiency while testifying. Si­mul­ta­neously, California State Assemblyman George R. Bliss attempted to have the California legislature pass a bill that would reclassify Mexicans and Mexican Americans as Indian. Although the bill passed the California House of Representatives, the state Senate came ­under intense pressure and did not pass the bill. Its failure was in part a result of the Lemon Grove ruling that Mexicans and Mexican Americans ­were Caucasian and could not be segregated (Alvarez, 1984; San Miguel, 2000). The third incident arose when the U.S. Census Bureau utilized “Mexican” as a separate racial category for the 1930 census. LULAC, the Mexican government, and other groups successfully argued and litigated to ensure that the Mexican category was abandoned by the 1940 census. However, much like the Know-­Nothing

LULAC and ­Women’s Participation Women’s activism is impor­tant to consider in the formation and development of LULAC during the 1930s. The founding constitution of the organ­ ization did not clearly state that it should be exclusively composed of men, but ­women ­were not part of its original membership. Ladies’ auxiliaries to LULAC ­were formed by separate chapters during the early 1930s, ­until they ­were consolidated into Ladies LULAC at the 1933 LULAC convention. The all-­female organ­ization represented a separate sociopo­liti­cal space that was given an orga­nizational voice within LULAC, and focused on f­ amily concerns such as health care and education. When the Primer Congreso Mexicanista formed the Gran Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Protección in 1911, it allowed both men and w ­ omen to be members and officers. Such inclusivity in this organ­ization is not surprising. Mexican and Mexican American mutualista (mutual aid) traditions included both gender-­segregated and integrated organ­izations dating through the late 19th ­century. Mutualistas had a variety of social, po­liti­cal, and l­abor aims. Hence, Mexican and Mexican American mutualista traditions must be accounted for in order to understand LULAC’s gender orga­nizational princi­ples. The formation of the Comisíon Honorífica Mexicana (Mexican Honorable Commission) and the Cruz Azul Mexicana (Mexican Blue Cross) during 1921 help provide some insight into the development of LULAC and Ladies LULAC. The Comisíon was composed only of men and focused on civil rights issues; the Cruz Azul group (composed only of ­women) focused on health care and education. Both groups worked in partnership with each other. Thus, the relationship between LULAC and Ladies LULAC had a  con­temporary pre­ce­dent. However, though similar in formation to the Comisíon Honorífica Mexicana and Cruz Azul, LULAC and Ladies LULAC would eventually integrate w ­ omen’s leadership into LULAC by the 1930s. Such an integration did not happen within the Comisíon Honorífica or the Cruz Azul. The integration of ­women into leadership positions occurred in large part ­because of the feminist critiques that Mexican American ­women leaders made against their male counter­parts. In par­tic­u­lar, Alice Dickerson Montemayor and Esther Nieto Machuca pressed for increased inclusion of ­women, and argued that any successful civil rights efforts would be hampered by excluding w ­ omen. Montemayor would become Second National Vice-­President for LULAC in 1937, but it was not u­ ntil Belen Robles was elected president in 1994 that the first ­woman served as the organ­ization’s leader. Belen Robles served four terms, lasting ­until 1998.

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effort during the late 19th ­century to have Mexicans classified as Indians, the California Joint Immigration Committee (CJIC) attempted to do the same during the immigration hearing of Timoteo Andrade in 1935. The CJIC found a sympathetic judge and Immigration Bureau case man­ag­er to support its argument. As a result of the CJIC’s influence, Judge John Knight accepted the bureau case man­ag­er’s assessment that Andrade’s responses indicated he was Indian, and therefore could not become a citizen. This decision contradicted the previous Rodriguez ruling. The CJIC celebrated the decision but LULAC, the Mexican government, and the U.S. State Department worked together to have Judge Knight reverse his ruling through an appeal. The Immigration Bureau reassigned the original case officer who had recommended that Andrade be denied citizenship, ­because of his support for the CJIC effort, and replaced him with a new case officer who would help Andrade. The issue at hand was the common understanding by Mexicans of their indigenous ancestry through the pro­cess of mestizaje (racial mixing). Mexicans generally understood their heritage to be part Spanish and part indigenous. Whereas mestizaje is an impor­tant component of Mexican national identity, in the United States race theories deemed mixed ancestry to be a sign of inferiority, and p­ eople of mixed blood are generally classified as non-­Caucasian. During the appeal pro­cess, the new case officer noted the common expression of mestizaje as a response by Mexicans, and included Andrade’s ­mother’s testimony which indicated that her son’s ancestry was white. With the new testimony, the added pressure from the State Department, and the need to maintain friendly foreign relations with Mexico, Judge Knight reversed his decision (Lukens, 2012). To prevent any ­future possibility of Mexicans and Mexican Americans being considered non-­Caucasian, the U.S. Congress passed Section 303 of the Nationality Act of 1940, which allowed descendants of indigenous p­ eople from the Amer­i­ cas to become citizens. With the passage of that law, anti-­Mexican and anti-­Mexican American forces could no longer seek to reclassify them as non-­Caucasian. However, ­those who had anti-­Mexican prejudices continued to engage in vari­ous forms of de facto discrimination in public accommodations, schools, and housing. Not ­until the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Hernandez v. Texas (1954) would the U.S. government recognize Mexicans and Mexican Americans as a distinct class who had endured a history of discrimination. However, the 1954 Court decision did not racially reclassify them. It would not be u­ ntil the Court recognized Mexicans and Mexican Americans as an ethnic minority group, in Cisneros v. Corpus Christi In­de­pen­dent School District (1970), that they w ­ ere no longer simply considered a class of Caucasians, but an ethnic group composed of one or more races (Gross, 2008; López, 2006; Lukens, 2012; San Miguel, 2000). In the 1920s and 1930s, Mexicans and Mexican Americans, and particularly their civil rights organ­izations like LULAC, clearly sought to assert their ­legal status

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as white in order to claim their rights in the United States and avoid l­ egal segregation. B ­ ecause LULAC used a strategy of asserting whiteness in order to claim rights and avoid segregation, historians debate w ­ hether LULAC espoused racist beliefs against African Americans. In par­tic­u­lar, two historians, Neil Foley and Carlos Blanton, disagree with each other on this point. Foley (2010) argues that ­because of the use of the whiteness strategy, LULAC and its leaders avoided creating po­liti­ cal alliances with African American organ­izations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored P ­ eople (NAACP). By asserting that Mexican Americans should not be discriminated against ­because they ­were white, they essentially condoned or at least remained ­silent on the issue of ­whether African Americans should be racially segregated. Blanton rejects Foley’s claims in his biography of George I. Sánchez (2014), in which he examines Sánchez’s interaction with African Americans and their civil rights organ­izations, such as the NAACP. In par­tic­u­lar, Blanton notes how both groups interacted during the case of Mendez v. Westminster School District of Orange County (1946). In that case, the NAACP submitted a brief in support of Mexican and Mexican American c­ hildren, and l­ater built on the social science l­egal strategy utilized to show the psychological damage that school segregation created and fostered among students. The subject of Mexican American and African American po­liti­cal relations is a new area of research that continues to expand (Blanton, 2014; Foley, 2010). In the 1950s, LULAC continued its interest in educational equity for Mexican American students by establishing the “­Little School of the 400,” a preschool program aimed at preparing Mexican American ­children for school with 400 En­glish vocabulary words. The schools sought to help Spanish-­speaking c­ hildren overcome the language barrier that disadvantaged them when they entered elementary school. The first school was established in Ganado, Texas, in 1957, but soon schools appeared in several other Texas towns as well. Although the program did not secure ongoing funding, it did lay the groundwork for educational legislation that created preschool programming for non-­native English-­speaking ­children and received support from the Johnson administration in Washington, D.C. (Kreneck, 2010). LULAC’s “­Little School of the 400” is credited as being a model for HeadStart early childhood education funded by the federal government around the country. By 1960, LULAC had expanded and established more than 150 councils (chapters) in Mexican American communities around the country, in places as distant as Davenport, Des Moines, and Fort Madison, Iowa, to San Bernardino and Santa Ana, California. The organ­ization succeeded in drawing the attention of national leaders like President John F. Kennedy and Vice-­President Lyndon B. Johnson, who attended the Houston Council’s gala in November 1963. In 1973, the organ­ization branched out to provide educational ser­vices and leadership training to students by creating the LULAC National Educational Ser­vice

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Centers. ­These have been formed in cities like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Miami, Florida. In 2017, councils exist in places like Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio; and ­Little Rock, Arkansas.

Biographies of Notable Figures Alonso Perales (1898–­1960) Alonso S. Perales was at the forefront in crafting the intellectual foundations for a Mexican American identity that sought to harness the best of both American and Mexican cultural beliefs. Born in Alice, Texas, in 1898, Perales attended public school in Alice, and Draughn’s Business College in Corpus Christi. ­After serving in World War I, he moved to Washington, D.C., and continued his studies at the Preparatory School in Washington and George Washington University. He received his B.A. from National University and ­later earned a law degree. During the 1920s and 1930s, Perales served in 13 diplomatic missions to dif­ fer­ent Latin American countries. In 1924, he, along with J. Luz Saenz (another LULAC founder), lectured to Mexican communities about civil rights. During ­these lectures and advocacy, Perales began fleshing out his ideas about being Mexican American. Mexican citizens living in the United States had a ready po­liti­cal and ­legal resource for their civil right concerns from the Mexican government, and he noted that Mexican Americans would not have such a resource ­unless they sought to be fully recognized as United States citizens. Like other World War I veterans, he believed military ser­vice provided proof of loyalty to the nation, and that such proof should result in equal treatment. In this time period, Mexican Americans w ­ ere still viewed as foreigners who threatened United States society. As result of t­hose continued racially biased views, Perales argued for the development of a Mexican American identity founded on pride of heritage, both American and Mexican; patriotism to the United States; belief in God; being educated; and embracing h­ uman rights and pro­gress. The linchpin holding this identity together was citizenship. By 1927, Perales, Saenz, and José Tomas Canales or­ga­nized the Harlingen Convention to form a statewide Mexican American civil rights organ­ization. ­Under their leadership, the convention limited the new organ­ization to United States citizens. Half the del­e­ga­tion left in protest. Although a statewide organ­ization failed to materialize, the League of Latin American Citizens was created. In the aftermath of the division, ­those who objected to the citizenship requirement attacked Perales, Saenz, and Canales for creating unnecessary internal divisions within the Mexican-­ origin community. Perales responded by stressing the need for Mexican Americans to be viewed first and foremost as loyal Americans to ensure their civil rights. Eventually, the League of Latin American Citizens, along with the Order Sons of

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Amer­i­ca and Order Knights of Amer­i­ca, united to form LULAC in Corpus Christi in 1929. Perales was central to shaping its ideology and constitution based on patriotism and citizenship. ­After serving as president of LULAC from 1930 to 1931, Perales continued his activism by writing to both English-­and Spanish-­language newspapers concerning issues of racism and segregation for the rest of the de­cade. ­These writings and other essays are included in his book, En Defensa de Mi Raza (1936). His second book, Are We Good Neighbors (1948), is a collection of testimonies about civil rights abuses against Mexican Americans throughout the state of Texas. In 1941, Perales worked with Texas state representatives to write Racial Equality Bill No. 909, a law that would have outlawed discrimination in public facilities. However, the bill failed to pass in the legislature. The Spanish government awarded Perales the rank of Commander in the Spanish Order of Civil Merit in 1952 to recognize his efforts to secure civil rights for Spanish-­speaking p­ eople. He died May 9, 1960, in San Antonio, Texas.

DOCUMENT EXCERPTS El Paladin, 1929 The Spanish-­language newspaper El Paladin reported on the February 22, 1929, Corpus Christi convention that led to the formation of the League of United Latin American Citizens. What follows is a translated excerpt of its coverage found in the Oliver Douglas Weeks Collection at the University of Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Archive. Weeks wrote the first scholarly article about the formation of LULAC during 1930. As we said in our last edition last Sunday ­there was carried to completion in the Salon Obreras of this city the Convention or­ga­nized by vari­ous Institutions of identical ideals in order to unite themselves and form a single nucleus which, more numerous and more substantial, might at once and for all clearly define the pres­ent as well as the f­ uture situation of individuals born in this country, but of Latin descent. *** . . . ​Prof. Luz Saenz took the floor, and he said, “it is time that we unite or on the contrary we ­shall be lost, and not only we, but—­what is sadder—­our descendents [sic]. Separated we ­shall be no more than dispersed forces easy to overcome. All we citizens of Latin origin have before us ­today arduous and diffucult [sic] prob­ lems which did not exist yesterday, and tomorrow, we s­ hall certainly encounter other prob­lems more complicated yet. In my constants [sic] journeys across the State of Texas, the State which without doubt gives the least guarantees to Latinamerican

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[sic] individuals, I have seen not a few injustices, and I have become convinced of the necessity that exists of forming one single ­union of all ­those ele­ments which like us fulfill all their duties ­toward this country, and who on the other hand are not recognized in their rights as citizens. . . . ​And now not only in peace but in war we have taken up arms in its defense, and when we have returned with the scar of a wound or the grief of having left in the fields over ­there across the sea hundreds of our dead b­ rothers, we have met with the fact that all our forces w ­ ere lost in the abyss of inicuous [sic] racial prejudice, and we continue being the same.” *** Sr. Jose G. Gonzales followed thanking them for the opportunity given to give his opinion and saying, “I truly praise the noble and in­ter­est­ing work which t­hese organ­izations represented h­ ere have been d­ oing. Always attentive to this grave racial prob­lem which the Latins originate in this country, I have sometimes come to doubt ­whether the day ­will come when it can be solved satisfactorily. Like ­those who have preceded me in this course of deliberations, I see that we form a conglomerate without a country, without prerogatives, and what is ever more sad, with very few hopes of obtaining a betterment of this deplorable condition of parias [sic]. . . . ​[I] n my deep preoccupations, in my moments of painful meditation, I have found the idea that only a general ­union well understood can save us from the complete shipwreck of our citizenship, and now that opportunity pres­ents itself to carry this out, I suggest the appropriateness of d­ oing it. Perhaps this u­ nion ­will serve to give a country to our ­children, who other­wise each time they thought of us would say: They lived parias [sic], and they left us this sad inheritance.” Source: Excerpt from El Paladin, February 22, 1929, translated (1930). Oliver Douglas Weeks Collection at the University of Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Archive.

LULAC News Editorial, 1937 The LULAC News was the official publication for the League of Latin American Citizens. In volume 4, number 4, July 1937, the newspaper published an editorial requesting more ­women’s support.

“We Need More Ladies Councils” First let’s take stock of our duties and then set to strengthen them. It seems like we are allowing ourselves to soften, to abandon our Aims and Purposes, to escape responsibility whenever pos­si­ble, we are growing to abhor the very words DUTY and UNITY.

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Our inactive Councils at pres­ent are so many and the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of all inactive men’s Councils and the necessity of more and more Ladies Councils is of such magnitude—­one so intricate in its complexities and so baffling in its contradictions that Lulacs need e­ very iota of help. And this time we are challenging the w ­ omen to come to the rescue. ­Sisters Lulacs our ­brothers need a good big dose of competition. Competition in ­every field of ­human relationships is a ­great stimulant leading to the practice and the acquisition of skills and habits of consideration for other p­ eople. Out of seventy one men’s Councils, 26 Men’s councils w ­ ere represented. Out of 15 Ladies Councils 4 ­were represented at the Last annual Convention at Houston this year. This means that 57 Councils in the League are dormant and that the Trea­sury General is out of $1140.00 worth of dues. Just think all we could have accomplished with that money. Now that our b­ rothers have given the w ­ omen a chance to show them what we can do, let all the Ladies Councils that are active now try and revive the Dormant Ladies Councils and the Ladies Organizers and the Governors to join our League so that we may prove to our ­brothers that we can accomplish more than they can. ­Brothers get busy for you are ­going to have to work fast in order to catch up with your ­sisters. ­Sisters let’s give them a race bearing in mind that they are 71 to 15. The League of United Latin American Citizens belong to the Latin American race and it’s up to the Latins to join it in order to educate our race and make better American Citizens out of ­every Latin American. Source: League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC News 4 (4), July 1937; El Paso, Texas. Retrieved from texashistory​.­unt​.­edu​/­ark:​/­67531​/­metapth221898​/­ (University of North Texas Libraries, “The Portal to Texas History,” texashistory​.­unt​.­edu; crediting Houston Metropolitan Research Center at Houston Public Library).

See also: Election and Appointment of Latinos in the 21st ­Century; Mendez v. Westminster; Texas Revolt

Further Reading Acosta, Teresa Palomo, and Ruthe Winegarten. 2003. Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History. Austin: University of Texas Press. Alvarez, Jr., Robert R. 1984. “The Lemon Grove Incident.” San Diego Historical Society Quarterly 32 (2, Spring 1986). Retrieved from http://­www​.­sandiegohistory​.­org​/­journal​ /­1986​/­april​/­lemongrove Anderson, Benedict. 1983. ­Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Blanton, Carlos Kevin. 2014. George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

328 | ­Great Depression and Repatriation, 1929–1941 de la Luz Sáenz, José. 2014. The Word War I Diary of José de la Luz Sáenz, 1933. Ed. Emilio Zamora, trans. Emilio Zamora and Ben Maya. College Station: Texas A&M Press. Foley, Neil. 2010. Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-­Brown Solidarity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Garcia, Richard A. 2015. “Alonso S. Perales: The Voice and Visions of a Citizen Intellectual,” in Anthony Quiroz, ed., Leaders of the Mexican American Generation: Biographical Essays, 85–117. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. Gonzales, Trinidad. 2008. “Conquest, Colonization, and Borderland Identities: The World of Ethnic Mexicans in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1900–1930,” in Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy, eds., Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations, 179–195. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Press. Gross, Arela J. 2008. What Blood ­Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in Amer­ic­ a. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Kreneck, Thomas H. (2010, June 10). “­Little School of the 400,” in Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved from http://­www​.­tshaonline​.­org​/­handbook​/­online​/­articles​/­kdl02 Limón, José E. 1974. “El Primer Congreso Mexicanista de 1911: A Precursor to Con­ temporary Chicanismo.” Aztlán 5 (1–2): 85–115. López, Ian Haney. 2006. White by Law: The L ­ egal Construction of Race (rev. and updated ed.). New York: New York University Press. Lukens, Patrick D. 2012. A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR and the Controversy Over “Whiteness.” Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Márquez, Benjamín. 1993. LULAC: The Evolution of a Mexican American Po­liti­cal Organ­ ization. Austin: University of Texas Press. Montejano, David. 1987. Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836–1986. Austin: University of Texas Press. Olivas, Michael, ed. 2012. In Defense of My P ­ eople: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican American Public Intellectuals. Houston: Arte Público Press. Orozco, Cynthia E. 2009. No Mexicans, ­Women or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Austin: University of Texas Press. Ramírez, José A. 2009. To the Line of Fire: Mexican Texans and World War I. College Station: Texas A&M Press. San Miguel, Guadalupe. 2000. “Let All of Them Take Heed”: Mexican Americans and the Campaign for Educational Equality in Texas, 1910–1981. College Station: Texas A&M Press (first published by University of Texas Press, 1987).

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Mexican Repatriation, 1930–1935 Delia Fernández

Chronology 1910

The Mexican Revolution begins, leading to an unstable social, economic, and po­liti­cal environment in Mexico.

1910–1920 Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans flee across the U.S.-­Mexico border in order to escape the revolution. Many of them ­settle in communities throughout the Southwest and the Midwest. 1910–1929 Steel mills, automotive factories, and other industrial employers in the Midwest, including Chicago, Detroit, and Gary, Indiana, recruit Mexican workers, especially as Eu­ro­pean immigration declines during World War I and a­ fter passage of restrictive immigration quotas. 1917

In February, the U.S. Congress passes the 1917 Immigration Act, which institutes a literacy test for all prospective immigrants. The law is aimed at restricting ­those coming from Southern and Eastern Eu­rope. The El Paso immigration station establishes procedures to quarantine and delouse Mexicans upon arrival; this becomes a less humane pro­cess than what had been practiced previously.

1917–1919 The United States participates in World War I. The agricultural industry recruits thousands of Mexican immigrants to help with ­labor shortages resulting from the limited migration from Eu­rope during the war. 1920–1921 The United States experiences a brief economic depression ­after the war. 1920–1923 A small repatriation campaign occurs as a result of the economic depression. About 100,000 ­people return to Mexico at the urging of the Mexican government, which expresses concern about its citizens’ well-­being. 1921, May

Congress passes an immigration law that establishes national-­origin quotas on the number of persons who can enter the United States based on the foreign-­born populations counted in the 1910 U.S. census. The law is meant to curb the number of Southern and Eastern Eu­ro­pean immigrants.

1924, May

The Johnson-­Reed Act restricts the number of immigrants who can enter the United States even further, basing national-­origin quotas on

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the 1890 census when Southern and Eastern Eu­ro­pean immigrants ­were fewer in number. Legislators exempt Mexicans and other ­people from the Western Hemi­sphere from ­these restrictions due to lobbying by agribusiness interests, which want a steady supply of Mexican l­ abor in the U.S. Southwest. Congress creates the Border Patrol to regulate immigration across the U.S.-­Mexican border. It does not institute any numerical restrictions, however. 1927

U.S. cotton exports fall more than 15 ­percent, greatly reducing the need for Mexican agricultural ­labor in that industry.


Mexicans make up almost one-­fourth of the cannery workforce in the Southwest and 10 ­percent of the Los Angeles population. The American Federation of ­Labor, the country’s largest ­union at the time, encourages the federal government to restrict Mexican ­labor. ­Because of discriminatory policies and their status as recent immigrants, Mexicans usually work for far lower wages than whites, leading to resentment from the AFL.


The Immigration Act of 1929 regulates and controls Mexican entry to the United States. Before 1929, immigration procedures across the southern border ­were lax in comparison to the pro­cess for ­those coming in via Ellis Island. ­After this act, crossing the border without proper permission becomes punishable as a misdemeanor. More than 58,000 Mexicans are estimated to be living in the Midwest.

1929, October

The stock market crashes on October 29. Though economic conditions in the United States had been precarious before the crash, many scholars identify this as the beginning of the ­Great Depression.


By this year, the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States has tripled from 1910. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 600,000 Mexicans live in the United States in 1930. The Bureau of the Census changes its earlier policy of counting Mexicans as “white.” Instead, Mexicans and Mexican Americans are recorded as a separate “Mexican” race on the 1930 census.

1930–1935 The United States government repatriates almost 350,000 p­ eople to Mexico. A drought in the West during ­these years further curtails the need for workers in the agricultural industry, thus producing a surplus ­labor force.

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The first repatriation campaigns occur across the Southwest. In Los Angeles, some of the first deportation raids occur in the La Placita area downtown, the heart of the Mexican immigrant enclave. In the Midwest, 1,500 Mexicans are deported from Detroit by 1931.


The Immigration and Naturalization Ser­vices forms ­after the consolidation of the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization. California’s agricultural industry has a ­labor surplus of 2.36 ­people for e­ very available job. President Franklin D. Roo­se­velt enacts the first New Deal with the goal of helping the American economy recover.


FDR introduces the second New Deal.


The United States officially enters World War II. Work shortages occur in vari­ous industries as soldiers ship off for war and many Americans leave lower-­paying jobs for higher-­paying defense and industrial work.

1942–1944 In response to pressures from the agricultural and railroad industries, the U.S. government initiates a bilateral agreement with the Mexican government to send Mexican workers to relieve ­labor shortages during the war. Repatriation campaigns cease during war time. Many of ­those who ­were repatriated return to the communities from which they w ­ ere forcibly removed just a few years earlier; they are accompanied by thousands of other Mexican workers. 1944–1964 The Bracero Program continues despite the war’s ending. 1954

President Dwight  D. Eisenhower’s administration begins mass deportations of Mexican immigrants in what is known as “Operation Wetback.”

Narrative The period of the ­Great Depression in the 1930s was a difficult time for Americans and millions of other p­ eople around the world. Many found themselves without work, unable to support their families, and desperately searching for food and employment. In the United States, Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans ­were particularly vulnerable. Many of them w ­ ere recent arrivals and they bore the brunt of widespread nativism (the policy of protecting Americans from immigrants) and xenophobia (the fear of and hatred for foreigners), especially in the Southwest and Midwest. In some industries, Mexicans and Mexican Americans had been “the

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Relatives and friends wave goodbye to a train carry­ing 1,500 undocumented Mexicans being expelled from Los Angeles back to Mexico, 1931. (NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images)

last hired and therefore the first fired.” In the industries in which they predominated, such as agriculture, ­there simply was no work to be had. Some Americans, including local and federal government officials and politicians, began blaming Mexican immigrants for the failing economy and called for their deportation: forced removal out of the country. They felt that the immigrant group forced wages down b­ ecause they w ­ ere willing to work for less pay than other workers. When Mexicans ­were fired or out of work, they looked to local charities for help. Many saw them as a burden on local resources and thought that any jobs available should go to “Americans” rather than foreigners. Still, this nativism and the proposals for deportation ­were not aimed at any other immigrant group, although ­there ­were certainly prejudices against others like Italians, Poles, and Jews. Although the federal government indeed deported some Mexican immigrants who w ­ ere in the country without authorization, other government agencies put pressure on ­people to repatriate—­that is, to return to Mexico on their own. Perhaps most surprising, many of ­those who ­were expelled to Mexico ­were in fact U.S. citizens. Scholars estimate that between 350,000 to 500,000 Mexican and Mexican American men, w ­ omen, and c­ hildren ­were forcibly removed from the United States during the G ­ reat Depression, in addition to ­others who left voluntarily ­under pressure from local and federal governments. Many of the families that remained w ­ ere considered mixed-­status families: some members of a f­ amily, usually ­children, ­were

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l­egal U.S. citizens and o­ thers ­were Mexican nationals (usually one or both of the ­children’s parents). Mexicans in major cities including New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles, and t­hose in smaller cities like Toledo, Ohio or Gary, Indiana w ­ ere the targets of anti-­Mexican racism and repatriation efforts. This exodus had dramatic effects. The loss of population destabilized many Mexican communities in the United States. In the 20th ­century, the first major wave of Mexican immigration to the United States occurred in the 1910s and 1920s. The Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) motivated hundreds of thousands of p­ eople to leave the po­liti­cal and economic instability of their homeland and seek refuge further north. At the same time, employers in varying industries throughout the United States sought Mexican l­abor during and ­after World War I. In agriculture, Mexicans worked in cotton, citrus, and other crops in the Southwest and sugar beets in the mountain West and Midwest, for example. They also built irrigation systems and did construction work in the rapidly expanding economy of the Southwest, and laid tracks and maintained railroads across the country. In the Midwest, Mexicans worked in steel mills, meatpacking, railroads, and automobile manufacturing. ­These employees formed some of the first Mexican communities outside of the Southwest. Despite their economic contributions, Mexicans became the target of campaigns to return them to Mexico by the 1930s as a result of the ­Great Depression. In the late 1920s and 1930s, the United States plunged into the greatest economic depression the country had ever experienced. The Roaring Twenties, a period of economic expansion and growth in consumer goods, gave way to an extremely unequal distribution of wealth. Bank failures, growing land speculation, l­ abor unrest, and the stock market crash of 1929 together initiated the ­Great Depression. Within a few short years, the official unemployment rate in the United States r­ ose from 3 ­percent to 25 ­percent, with about 15 million p­ eople out of work (Sanchez, 1993, p. 210). Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roo­se­velt attempted to implement vari­ous strategies to pull the country out of the economic slough. The 1930s proved one of the most trying de­cades for the American p­ eople. It would not be ­until the stimulus of World War II’s production demands that the country saw substantial economic improvement. In looking for solutions during t­hese hard times, some Americans insisted on preserving jobs for white American citizens. In par­tic­u­lar, ­labor leaders cast Mexicans as the reason for the economic depression. For example, the American Federation of ­Labor (AFL), one of two leading l­ abor ­unions in the country at the time, had staunchly supported a ban on Mexican workers in industrial jobs (Vargas, 1999, p. 158). Due to racial discrimination, Mexican workers often earned lower wages than white workers. In a period of limited job opportunities, ­union leaders accused

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Mexicans of taking ­those jobs and thereby undercutting ­unionized American workers. Though this may have been true in some areas, the larger prob­lems of economic decline and the shrinking l­ abor market could not be blamed on Mexican workers; some scholars believe a flawed economic model created ­these inequalities and thus the economic depression. Nonetheless, Mexicans and Mexican Americans became easy scapegoats for Americans trying to understand the c­ auses of the depression and cope with its effects. In Los Angeles, which had one of the largest concentrations of Mexicans in the United States, George Clement of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce wrote, “Employ no Mexican while a white man is unemployed” in a memo to his boss (Koch, 2006). In El Paso, Texas, city officials passed an ordinance that barred immigrants from working on city-­sponsored construction proj­ects in 1930. In 1931, the American Voters League pressured local employers to fire Mexican employees, regardless of where they w ­ ere born (Vargas, 2007, p. 44). An angry mob showed up at the rail yards where Mexicans worked in Terre Haute, Indiana, to intimidate the immigrant workers into leaving their positions (Balderrama and Rodriguez, 2006, p. 121). It became clear to Mexicans that they w ­ ere no longer welcome in the United States. Mexicans faced similar nativism and discrimination when trying to access welfare benefits. It was not u­ ntil a­ fter the second New Deal (1935) that the federal government suggested that states should create unemployment insurance. Before this, ­there was no state-­level safety net to help workers get by when they w ­ ere out of work. Instead, individual counties received some federal funds to be distributed to area residents in need. Local welfare officials claimed that Mexicans overwhelmed the relief rolls. Though some Los Angeles leaders suggested that depriving Mexicans of welfare assistance would save them more than $24 million, historian Camille Guerin-­Gonzalez found that in total, Mexicans only received $38,000 of the total $1,509,078 spent on relief in 1931 (Guerin-­Gonzalez, 1994, p. 83). Limited funds and prejudices interfered with equal distribution of relief funds. In Los Angeles, for example, most white residents received about $30 a month, while Mexican nationals, if they received anything, got an average of $20 (“Aliens Load Relief,” 1934, p. 26). Rex Thomson, director of the Department of Charities, argued that since Mexicans had a lower standard of living, they could survive with less money. Though county officials complained that Mexicans constituted 10 ­percent of all citizens who ­were on welfare in Los Angeles, only about 38 ­percent of ­those w ­ ere actually Mexican nationals—­that is, born in Mexico. Mexican Americans—­who ­were of Mexican descent but ­were born in the United States and who had the same ­legal rights to assistance as white Americans—­made up the remainder of ­those welfare cases. Among Mexican nationals receiving welfare in Los Angeles, more than 60 ­percent had lived in the country for more than 10 years,

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and 30 ­percent had been in the United States for most of their lives (Balderrama and Rodriguez, 2006, p. 95). Some New Deal programs w ­ ere often off-­limits for ­those who ­were not citizens or who had not declared the intention to become a citizen. In 1939, the Works Proj­ects Administration, a federal program that employed ­people on public proj­ects like roads and bridges, required employees to be citizens. As a result, many Mexican workers in Chicago lost their only source of income (Arredondo, 2008, p. 105). During the depression in New Mexico, state officials banned state aid to transient workers. This effectively penalized Mexican and Mexican American workers who migrated out of state for agricultural work for part of the year. The backlash against Mexicans existed at the federal level as well. President Herbert Hoover denounced Mexicans as the cause of the G ­ reat Depression (Vargas, 2007, p. 48). Though Mexicans had made economic contributions and had limited interaction with welfare agencies, many white Americans, including Hoover, blamed them for the country’s economic prob­lems. This resentment ­toward Mexicans occurred during a period of nativism nationwide. For example, in 1924, Congress passed the Johnson-Reed Act, which limited the number of immigrants who could enter the United States by placing quotas on their countries of origin. The law was aimed at restricting Southern and Eastern Eu­ro­pe­ans. Mexicans and Canadians, however, w ­ ere not subject to t­hese restrictions, in large part due to the lobbying of agribusiness executives who depended on Mexican l­ abor, especially in the Southwest. By the 1930s, however, many l­ abor advocates thought unchecked Mexican ­labor migration had put a strain on the economy. Popu­lar publications like the Saturday Eve­ning Post advanced nativist ideas in articles that depicted Mexicans as inherently inferior to Americans and a threat to the nation (Betten and Mohl, 1973, p. 378). Nativism t­oward Mexicans in the United States was not strictly about nationality: The backlash extended to Mexican Americans, for example. When u­ nion leaders called for jobs for “real Americans,” they ­were referring to Americans of Eu­ro­pean descent, not Mexican Americans. ­These kinds of preferences suggested that ­people of Mexican descent, regardless of being born in the United States and U.S. citizens, ­were not considered American. ­These pressures led p­ eople to consider returning to Mexico. P ­ eople repatriated in two ways: ­either the federal government deported t­ hose who lacked proper documentation, or p­ eople left willingly (though some ­were actually coerced). U ­ nder the direction of William N. Doak, the Bureau of Immigration undertook dragnet deportation raids starting in 1931. At first, the federal agency looked for p­ eople who had entered the country illegally during the 1920s, when border procedures had been much more lax. Prior to the 1929 Immigration Act, which instituted greater border restrictions, it was common practice for ­people to travel back and forth across the southern border easily. In 1931, nearly half of the immigrants deported by the Bureau of Immigration w ­ ere Mexican, even though Mexicans made up less than 1 ­percent

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of the nation’s population (Balderrama and Rodriguez, 2006, p. 74). In 1933, the federal government merged the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization to create a new agency, Immigration and Naturalization Ser­vices (INS), which was responsible for carry­ing out deportations. Authorities issued deportation o­ rders for Mexicans in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans, Kansas City, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City (Balderrama and Rodriguez, 2006, p. 55). Many of the efforts, however, w ­ ere concentrated in Southern California. It was not uncommon for authorities to arrest ­people by the truckload and then question them afterward to ascertain their immigration status. ­These raids did not always yield large numbers of unauthorized immigrants. One of the most famous raids occurred in 1931 in Los Angeles’s La Placita area, a community with a high concentration of Mexican immigrants. Though the authorities questioned 400 ­people, only 35 persons, including Mexican, Chinese, and Japa­nese immigrants, lacked proper documentation. In a 1930s Denver raid, only a few Mexicans could not prove they had l­egal standing to be in the country, out of hundreds who ­were questioned. Likewise, the INS investigated a Michigan sugar com­pany with more than 200 Mexican workers and found that all of them w ­ ere in the country legally; in fact, more than 60 ­percent of them ­were actually Mexican Americans from Texas (Ngai, 2014, p. 72). In other deportation raids, some Mexicans likely had l­egal status but did not have their paperwork on hand. Thus, some Mexicans may have been deported without cause. A combination of deportation raids, incentives offered by the Mexican government to returning Mexican citizens, and pressure from local welfare offices motivated many other Mexicans to return to Mexico on their own. For example, in 1934, 69 men, ­women, and ­children, likely both Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals, boarded a train in Detroit and headed south a­ fter not being able to obtain employment. Without many options for financial assistance or employment, and likely fearing deportation raids in Detroit, t­hese Mexican nationals—­along with their Mexican American c­ hildren—­made the difficult decision to leave the country. ­Those interviewed in a news article describing their journey told reporters they ­were thankful for the assistance the welfare office gave them, but it was not enough to help them stay (Adler, 1931, p. 39). In fact, historian Mae Ngai found that the assistance Detroit offered Mexicans consisted of meal vouchers to cafeterias, not cash allowances, thus greatly limiting a ­family’s ability to meet all of its needs. In many cases like the ones discussed by Adler, people chose voluntary deportation only b­ ecause they did not have any other options for economic survival in the United States. In Gary and Lake County, Indiana, employers encouraged Mexican immigrants to return to Mexico. Bosses at Inland Steel and U.S. Steel, for example, believed

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repatriation was charitable and the most beneficial option for unemployed workers (Betten and Mohl, 1973, p. 379). Local newspapers and civic associations tended to agree. Initially some immigrants left voluntarily, but over time they received greater pressure to leave. Some local welfare officials contacted the Mexican government, in­de­pen­dent of U.S. federal officials, to arrange repatriation. For example, the Bureau of Welfare of Los Angeles directly arranged for trains and steamships to transport Mexicans back to their homeland. The Mexican government cooperated in arranging ­these departures. Historian Camille Guerin-­Gonzalez explained that large-­scale emigration to the United States embarrassed the Mexican government, which at the time was trying to rebuild ­after the Mexican Revolution. In many instances, the Mexican government, through its consulates, helped to identify individuals who might want to leave and paid for their travel from the U.S.-­Mexico border to the interior. Local welfare offices usually paid for the travel to the border. Though it was perceived as a costly endeavor, many welfare offices w ­ ere e­ ager to send ­people away. Despite the fact that local welfare offices did not have ­legal authority to deport ­people, they pressured and coerced many families to leave. Los Angeles county supervisor Frank Shaw estimated that deportation would save the county more than $2 million, freeing up more access to relief for white American citizens (Ngai, 2014, p. 73). In Los Angeles, some Mexicans received letters from their local welfare office informing them of a time and location to take a boat back to Mexico. The letters included phrases like “This is an opportunity for you to repatriate on your own government’s boat” (Dermody, 1933, p. 1). In Gary, Indiana, some welfare workers ­were so ­eager to send ­people back to Mexico that they tried to do so without consulting the Mexican government. In 1932, Mexican Consulate officials in Chicago repeatedly wrote to Miss Mary Grace Wells, a township trustee for Gary, Indiana, to tell her to stop sending Mexican families to the border near Laredo, Texas. Miss Wells had, on multiple occasions, attempted to repatriate 10 to 20 Mexican families whom she believed needed financial assistance—­and did so without consulting the federal government, which would have authority to deport ­people based on t­ hose claims (Balderrama and Rodriguez, 2006, p. 172). In a letter to Miss Wells, a consulate official pointed out that “some families [had been] in this country many years and [­were] entitled to support from the community to whose pro­gress they contributed when they ­were working” (Aveleyra, 1931, p. 1). The official also added that it was irresponsible to send ­people to the border without ensuring that they had resources to assist them in settling in Mexico. Returning to Mexico was a difficult decision for ­those who ­were not forcibly deported, like Mexican nationals and their Mexican American c­ hildren. Their arrival in Mexico often produced unintended results. Some Mexican American youth faced challenges if they chose to stay ­behind while f­ amily members who w ­ ere not citizens

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The Role of the Mexican Consulate in the United States By the 1930s, the Mexican government had consulates around the United States, including in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. The consuls in ­these cities w ­ ere responsible for promoting the Mexican government and protecting Mexican citizens in their ser­vice areas. Consuls also examined Mexican citizens’ claims of discrimination in vari­ous settings. While initially some consuls encouraged their citizens to return to Mexico, for many consuls, repatriation was a troubling phenomenon. As employees of the Mexican government, they ­were forbidden from speaking out against the practice. The Mexican government supported repatriation in hopes that returning Mexicans would help Mexico’s economy recover with the new skills they had learned in the United States. Moreover, the consuls did not represent the Mexican government’s diplomatic arm. Only the embassy and ambassadors w ­ ere allowed to express disapproval of the deportation/ repatriation campaign to the U.S. government via the appropriate channels. This did not mean, however, that Mexican consuls did not object to the forcible repatriation of their compatriots. In fact, consuls across the country thought of ways to help Mexicans deal with their harsh circumstances in the United States. In New Orleans, one consul wanted to help Mexicans who wished to return to Mexico; he considered purchasing a vehicle to drive Mexicans to the border himself. In Los Angeles, Consul Rafael de la Colina helped repatriates sell their property before leaving the United States. Consul Rafael Aveleyra of Chicago went against the consulate’s policy when he attempted to stop a local official in Gary, Indiana, from sending Mexicans to the border without the property authority to do so. ­These efforts helped Mexicans during a tumultuous period.

left for Mexico. ­Those youth who did return encountered challenges once they arrived in Mexico: They found an economy that was just as bad or worse than the one they had left ­behind in the United States. Moreover, the influx of ­people in Mexico strained the Mexican government’s ability to aid its citizens. Nonetheless, the government set up three agricultural repatriation colonies in hopes of allowing the repatriados (­those who had repatriated) to provide for themselves. To farm the land given to them, however, the repatriados often needed to invest larger sums of money to be successful. Many of them did not have the resources to do so. Also, many of the returned Mexicans had been working in industrial jobs and did not have agricultural experience (Guerin-­Gonzalez, 1994, p. 106). Moreover, many Mexican

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Americans—­about 60 ­percent of t­hose who had “repatriated”—­had never been to Mexico and experienced culture shock in that unfamiliar environment (Ngai, 2014, p. 73). A Los Angeles Times article on repatriation remarked that many of t­hose leaving Los Angeles spoke only En­glish or a mix of En­glish and Spanish (Park, 1932, p. 13). Some repatriates attempted to return to the United States a­ fter finding conditions difficult in Mexico. Many of them, however, no longer qualified for entry ­under the newly implemented immigration requirements. Some Mexican Americans who w ­ ere in fact U.S. citizens did not have time to gather their birth certificates before leaving for Mexico and thus found themselves barred from re-­entry into the United States. Repatriation did not resolve the ­Great Depression. Historians have concluded that World War II, in fact, brought the country out of the depression. The federal government’s spending in the war industry brought the country to full employment. ­After lamenting Mexican workers’ presence in the United States during the Depression, the nation found itself in need of Mexican l­abor once again. Thus, in 1942

Ignacio Piña: The Story of One Repatriado In an interview with the popu­lar magazine USA ­Today, Ignacio Piña remembered armed officials bursting into his home in Hamilton, Montana, in 1931. They demanded that the ­family vacate their home and did not let them gather their belongings. Piña’s ­family stayed in a jail for 10 days before leaving for Mexico. Though a U.S. citizen, he arrived in Mexico with his f­amily when he was only six years old, and was unable to speak Spanish fluently. His ­family was destitute, with very few resources in an unfamiliar environment. Shortly ­after arriving, many members of his f­ amily contracted typhoid fever. His f­ ather succumbed to the illness and died four years ­later. Piña completed six years of school in Mexico and worked as a shoe shiner to help his ­mother. He remarked that he felt out of place there and could not relate culturally to his peers. As he got older, he tried to obtain the appropriate documents he would need to return to the United States. He was unable to locate his birth certificate when officials had removed him from his home, thus making him ineligible to return to the United States. ­After 16 years of living in Mexico, in 1945, the U.S. embassy in Mexico issued him a birth certificate, thus allowing him to return to the United States. Once he returned, he worked for a railroad com­pany and sent his ­children to college—an opportunity repatriation had deprived him of. Piña’s story illustrates the impact that repatriation campaigns had on individuals, especially U.S.-­born citizens in mixed families.

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the United States and Mexico reached a bilateral ­labor agreement to import tens of thousands of temporary contract workers for American agricultural and railroad jobs. ­Under this “Bracero Program,” Mexican men ­were recruited to work in the United States ­under six-­month contracts to relieve the war­time ­labor shortages. Revealing the United States’ ongoing demand for Mexican ­labor, however, the program lasted well beyond the war into 1964. Repatriation had long-­lasting effects on local communities and individuals. ­These campaigns made it clear that even p­ eople of Mexican descent who w ­ ere born in the United States ­were not always considered Americans. It reinforced the idea that ­people of Mexican descent w ­ ere foreigners. The economic crisis of the ­Great Depression essentially deemed Mexicans and Mexican Americans undeserving of jobs or aid that w ­ ere reserved for Americans of Eu­ro­pean descent. For many multigenerational families, repatriation resulted in the removal of American-­born citizens of Mexican descent as well as Mexican nationals. Though U.S.-­born ­children had a l­egal right to stay in the United States and receive aid, their parents did not. Thus, removing a ­family affected American citizens, not only foreigners. This highlighted the fact that Mexican Americans did not have access to full citizenship in the United States. Forcibly removing Mexican nationals, w ­ hether in violation of immigration law or not, often resulted in devastating losses to Mexican communities across the country, with regard to both the capital families had accumulated in the country and the social and emotional ties they had developed.

DOCUMENT EXCERPT The Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program In the mid 2000s, the State of California issued an official apology for its repatriation campaign during the ­Great Depression. Senator Joe Dunn proposed this bill a­ fter reading Francisco  E. Balderrama’s and Raymond Rodríguez’s book De­cade of Betrayal (2006). Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a companion bill that would have given reparations to repatriated persons and a requirement that repatriation be taught in California public schools. The Apology Act is the only one of its kind. The federal government has never issued an apology for repatriation. The following text is the language used for the California act when it was Senate Bill no. 670. Senate Bill No. 670 CHAPTER 663 An act to add Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 8720) to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to Mexican repatriation.

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[Approved by Governor October  07, 2005. Filed with Secretary of State October 07, 2005.] LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST SB 670, Dunn. Mexican repatriation program of the 1930s. This bill would enact the “Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program” and make findings and declarations regarding the unconstitutional removal and coerced emigration of United States citizens and ­legal residents of Mexican descent, between the years 1929 and 1944, to Mexico from the United States during the 1930s “Mexican Repatriation” Program. The bill would express the apology of the State of California to ­those individuals who w ­ ere illegally deported and coerced into emigrating to Mexico and would require that a plaque to commemorate t­hose individuals be installed and maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation in an appropriate public place in Los Angeles. DIGEST KEY Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: no

BILL TEXT THE P ­ EOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 8720) is added to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read: CHAPTER 8.5. Mexican Repatriation 8720. This chapter may be cited as the “Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program.” 8721.

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Beginning in 1929, government authorities and certain private sector entities in California and throughout the United States undertook an aggressive program to forcibly remove persons of Mexican ancestry from the United States. (b) In California alone, approximately 400,000 American citizens and l­egal residents of Mexican ancestry ­were forced to go to Mexico. (c) In total, it is estimated that two million p­ eople of Mexican ancestry ­were forcibly relocated to Mexico, approximately 1.2 million of whom had been born in the United States, including the State of California. (d) Throughout California, massive raids ­were conducted on Mexican-­American communities, resulting in the clandestine removal of thousands of p­ eople, many of whom w ­ ere never able to return to the United States, their country of birth. (e) These raids also had the effect of coercing thousands of p­ eople to leave the country in the face of threats and acts of vio­lence. (f) These raids targeted persons of Mexican ancestry, with authorities and ­others indiscriminately characterizing ­these persons as “illegal aliens” even when they ­were United States citizens or permanent ­legal residents. (g) Authorities in California and other states instituted programs to wrongfully remove persons of Mexican ancestry and secure transportation arrangements with railroads, automobiles, ships, and airlines to effectuate the ­wholesale removal of persons out of the United States to Mexico. (h) As a result of ­these illegal activities, families ­were forced to abandon, or ­were defrauded of, personal and real property, which often was sold by local authorities as “payment” for the transportation expenses incurred in their removal from the United States to Mexico. (i) As a further result of ­these illegal activities, United States citizens and ­legal residents ­were separated from their families and country and w ­ ere deprived of their livelihood and United States constitutional rights. (j) As a further result of t­hese illegal activities, United States citizens w ­ ere deprived of the right to participate in the po­liti­cal pro­cess guaranteed to all citizens, thereby resulting in the tragic denial of due pro­cess and equal protection of the laws. 8722. The State of California apologizes to t­hose individuals described in Section 8721 for the fundamental violations of their basic civil liberties and constitutional rights

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committed during the period of illegal deportation and coerced emigration. The State of California regrets the suffering and hardship ­those individuals and their families endured as a direct result of the government sponsored Repatriation Program of the 1930s. A plaque commemorating the individuals described in Section  8721 ­shall be installed and maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation at an appropriate public place in Los Angeles. If the plaque is not located on state property, the department ­shall consult with the appropriate local jurisdiction to determine a site owned by the City or County of Los Angeles for location of the plaque. Source: “SB-670 Mexican Repatriation Program of the 1930s (2005–2006),” Senate Bill 670. California Legislative Information, State of California, January 10, 2017. Available at: http://­leginfo​.­legislature​.­ca​.­gov​/­faces​/­billTextClient​.­xhtml​?­bill​_­id​=­200520060SB670

See also: The Bracero Program; Operation Wetback; World War II

Further Reading Acuña, Rodolfo. 1972. Occupied Amer­i­ca: The Chicano’s Strug­gle ­toward Liberation. San Francisco: Canfield Press. Adler, Philip A. 1931. “69 Mexicans Say Adios.” Detroit News, October 19. Michigan State Archives, 1931 IV-355-5, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) de México. “Aliens Load Relief Roll.” 1934. Los Angeles Times, March 4. Retrieved from https://­www​ .­newspapers​.­com​/­newspage​/­158511761/ Arredondo, Gabriela F. 2008. Mexican Chicago: Race, Identity, and Nation, 1916–39. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Aveleyra, Rafael, to Miss Mary Grace Wells (letter). 1931. Archivo Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores-354–12, May 13. Balderrama, Francisco E., and Raymond Rodriguez. 2006. De­cade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s (rev. ed.). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Betten, Neil, and Raymond A. Mohl. 1973. “From Discrimination to Repatriation: Mexican Life in Gary, Indiana, During the ­Great Depression.” Pacific Historical Review 42 (3): 370–388. Dermody, A. D., to José Avila (letter). 1933. Bureau of County Welfare, Los Angeles County Charities, May 25. Guerin-­Gonzales, Camille. 1994. Mexican Workers and American Dreams: Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm ­Labor, 1900–1939. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Gutiérrez, David. 1995. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press. Innis-­Jiménez, Michael. 2013. Steel Barrio: The G ­ reat Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915–1940. New York: New York University Press.

344 | ­Great Depression and Repatriation, 1929–1941 Koch, Wendy. 2006. “U.S. Urged to Apologize for 1930s Deportations,” USA ­Today, April 5. Retrieved from http://­usatoday30​.­usatoday​.­com​/­news​/­nation​/­2006​-­04​-­04​-­1930s​-­deportees​ -­cover​_­x​.­htm Mapes, Kathleen. 2009. Sweet Tyranny: Mi­grant ­Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and Imperial Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Ngai, Mae M. 2014. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern Amer­ i­ca. Prince­ton, NJ: Prince­ton University Press. Park, Joseph. 1932. “The Repatriados.” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 13. Ruíz, Vicki. 2008. From Out of the Shadows: Mexican ­Women in Twentieth-­Century Amer­ i­ca. New York: Oxford University Press. Sanchez, George J. 1993. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945. New York: Oxford University Press. Valdés, Dennis Nodín. 1991. Al Norte: Agricultural Workers in the ­Great Lakes Region, 1917–1970 Austin: University of Texas Press. Vargas, Zaragosa. 1999. Proletarians of the North: A History of Mexican Industrial Workers in Detroit and the Midwest, 1917–1933. Berkeley: University of California Press. Vargas, Zaragosa. 2007. ­Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth ­Century Amer­i­ca. Prince­ton, NJ: Prince­ton University Press.

Birth of Latin Jazz, 1930s–1940s Bobby Sanabria

Chronology 1908, “Machito” (Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo de Ayala) is born in December Havana, Cuba. 1911, April

Prudencio Mario Bauzá is born in Havana, Cuba.


African American Lieutenant James ­Reese Eu­rope, leader of the all-­ black 369th Infantry band, travels to Puerto Rico to recruit Afro-­Puerto Rican musicians during World War I. Among the recruits are b­ rothers Rafael and Jesus Hernandez and 16 o­ thers.


Juan Tizol arrives in Washington, D.C., from Puerto Rico; he becomes part of the ­house band at the famed Howard Theater, where he joins other fellow Puerto Ricans.


­ fter his ser­vice in the war and five years working as a musician in A Cuba, Rafael Hernandez debuts his orchestra at the famed Palace Theater.

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Mario Bauzá arrives in New York City to play clarinet for Antonio Maria Romeu’s orchestra. He falls in love with Harlem and, although he has to return to Cuba, vows to come back.


Juan Tizol joins Duke Ellington’s orchestra in New York City.


Don Azpiazú and his Havana Casino Orchestra make their debut in New York City. Bauzá returns to New York City, now playing the alto saxophone but quickly learning how to play the trumpet.


Mario Bauzá becomes lead trumpeter for Chick Webb (the “King of Swing” in Harlem) and Webb’s big band.


Puerto Rican valve trombonist Juan Tizol composes the song “Caravan” and rec­ords it the following year.


Mario Bauzá’s brother-­in-­law, Francisco “Machito” Grillo, arrives in New York City to play with “La Estrella de Habana” band. Dizzy Gillespie becomes lead trumpet in Teddy Hill’s big band.


Bauzá joins the Cab Calloway Orchestra, the highest-­paying African American big band, and introduces a young Dizzy Gillespie to the band. Bauzá and the Chick Webb Orchestra participate in a “­Battle of the Bands” at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom against clarinetist Benny Goodman (mainstream Amer­i­ca’s “King of Swing”) and his band. Webb’s orchestra easily wins.


Dizzy Gillespie composes his first song influenced by Afro-­Cuban rhythms, which he initially calls “Interlude.” By 1943, it becomes known as “A Night in Tunisia.” Bauzá becomes the bandleader for the Machito Afro-­Cubans. They debut at Spanish Harlem’s Park Palace Ballroom to an enthusiastic audience. The Machito Afro-­Cubans rec­ord Chano Pozo’s composition, “Nague,” in New York City.


The Machito Afro-­Cubans release their composition and theme song, “Tanga.”


Chano Pozo arrives in New York City. Chano Pozo rec­ords “Manteca,” his most famous song, with Dizzy Gillespie.

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1948, On December 2, Chano Pozo is killed in New York City in a bar fight. December 1949

Tito Puente releases his first hit, a mambo called “Abaniquito.”


Mongo Santamaria becomes the conguero for the Tito Puente Orchestra.

1969, August

On August 16, Carlos Santana and his band, which drew heavi­ly on Latin jazz, blues, and other musical influences, perform at the Woodstock ­Music Festival in upstate New York, launching them into national and international fame.

Narrative The rich mosaic of ­music that Latinos have introduced and produced in the United States has been one of their most significant contributions to American popu­lar culture. The range is enormous: From the funky cadences of the clave-­rooted rhythms of early New Orleans jazz, to the introduction of the Argentinean tango by ballroom exhibition dancers Vernon and Irene C ­ astle in the early teens of the 20th ­century. From the Cuban son (a folk song tradition of eastern Cuba) first hitting New York City with Don Azpiazú and his Havana Casino Orchestra in 1930 to Xavier Cugat’s big band becoming the rage at the Waldorf Astoria. From Carmen Miranda singing samba in Hollywood movies in the 1940s to Ritchie Valens adapting a Mexican folk song and making it a rock-­and-­roll hit in the 1950s. From Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 having million-­selling pop hits in the mid-1960s to Carlos Santana exploding at Woodstock. Latin ­music’s influence on North American culture has been ubiquitous. Of all ­these forms, the musical style known as Latin jazz, which draws upon the rich Afro-­Latin-­based rhythmic vocabulary of all of Latin Amer­i­ca’s countries, is perhaps the most impor­tant. Latin jazz can best be described, as ethnomusicologist John Storm Roberts has stated, as the first true fusion m ­ usic (Roberts, 1999a). It is a hybrid born of the combination of the harmonic/melodic sophistication and virtuosic improvisational skills found in the jazz tradition, fused with the Afro-­ Latin rhythmic complexity found in musical forms from the Ca­rib­bean, Central Amer­i­ca, and South Amer­i­ca. Although the term Latin jazz encompasses a musical vocabulary rooted in all of the countries of Latin Amer­i­ca and the Ca­rib­bean, it was born in New York City, what many consider the cultural capital of the United States. Thus, some make the claim that Latin jazz is as American as apple pie and baseball.

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Roots of an American-­Born Art Form Although the musical genre that became recognized as Latin jazz began to appear in the 1930s and 1940s, the intercultural exchanges that produced the creative, hybrid, and distinctive sound originated with the migration of Ca­rib­bean musicians during World War I. Latin jazz is popularly believed to have been born in Cuba, but in fact its development can be traced to a small neighborhood in New York City. East Harlem was an ethnically diverse neighborhood in the early 20th ­century, home to Germans, Italians, Irish, and Jews. Bernardo Vega, a cigar maker who wrote a memoir about the Puerto Rican community in New York, recalled about 50 Puerto Rican families in 1916 living in the area that became known as “El Barrio” (Vega, 1984). Between World War I and World War II, New York’s Puerto Rican population grew significantly. By 1926, 60 ­percent of them lived in East Harlem. This Puerto Rican enclave became the city’s largest and most impor­tant. Jewish merchants began to carry Ca­rib­bean products and foods to serve the growing community. H ­ ere the Latin jazz m ­ usic scene began to take off (Sanabria, 2012). Among t­ hose early Puerto Rican mi­grants during World War I w ­ ere Afro-­Puerto Rican musicians who had been recruited to play in military bands in Eu­rope. Classically trained in Puerto Rico, t­ hese musicians often played in municipal bands on the island that provided live entertainment for local residents. ­After serving in the war, some returned to the mainland and went to work for orchestras and big bands in New York and elsewhere. Among the most famous ­were Rafael “Moncho” Usera, Fernando Arbello, Ismael Morales, Rafael Duchesne, and Rafael Escudero, who played in African American jazz bands, theaters, and ­hotel orchestras (Glasser, 1995). ­Those who ­were light enough to cross the color line played for white audiences or in white-­only clubs, while the darker-­skinned played for mixed-­race or segregated black clubs in Harlem. The interactions and exchanges of ­these Puerto Rican musicians with black American jazz performers would lay the foundation for ­future collaborations. Moreover, they attracted audiences in their communities who came out to enjoy their ­music. In the 1920s, Puerto Rican residents would often rent a Jewish hall at the corner of 110th Street and Fifth Ave­nue for civic and po­liti­cal events. Another venue, the Park Palace, a large elegant hall that held up to 1,500 ­people, also featured Latin ­music entertainment in ­later years. The Park Palace was on the second floor of the building it occupied, while the Carlton Club, l­ ater renamed the Golden Casino, operated below on the first floor. During the 1930s, the Golden Casino often hosted Puerto Rican bandleader Augusto Coen’s orchestra, playing Cuban boleros, guarachas, and son (a genre popularly and erroneously called “rumba” by Americans), Puerto Rican plena and danza, Spanish paso dobles (two step), “and swing tunes (what e­ very Latin band at the time included in their repertoire)” (Sanabria, 2012).

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Located at the boundary between Black and Spanish Harlem, the hall became the focal point of the Latin m ­ usic scene, memorialized in a song called “110th St. and 5th Ave” composed by Puerto Rican pianist Noro Morales. Lenox Ave­nue marked the dividing line between Black and Spanish Harlem. This became the point of arrival for black Cuban immigrants. On Lenox Ave­nue between 115th and 116th stood a popu­lar bakery owned and operated by a white Cuban of Catalan descent, Simon Jou. Though it was officially named La Moderna (“the modern one”), locals called it simply Simon’s. At the time it was the only place in the city, and possibly the country, that sold au­then­tic Afro-­Cuban percussion instruments imported from Cuba. Jou swiftly made a good business out of selling the instruments to knowledgeable Cuban immigrant musicians. La Moderna also had a backyard patio and was a place where experienced Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians would come to play. They played congas, timbales, bongos, maracas, claves, guiros, and quijas, producing a genre of Cuban rumba known as guaguancó. Novices like New York-­born Puerto Rican Ernest Anthony “Tito” Puente frequented the place, ­eager to learn from the veterans. The building’s geography—on the border of Black and Spanish Harlem—­also reflected the community and the interaction between African Americans and Latinos. The locale of both Park Palace and La Moderna—­right between New York’s African American and Latino enclaves—­would prove significant as well for fostering intercultural exchange between the two populations (Martinez and Sanabria, 2011).

Early Attempts at Latin Fusion During t­hese early years, several Ca­rib­bean musicians in New York made initial forays into the musical blending of sounds and arrangement that would become Latin jazz. Cuban bandleader Xavier Cugat, and his orchestra, which performed at New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria h­ otel; and Puerto Rican trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader Augosto Coen and his orchestra w ­ ere both big bands in New York that played popu­lar dance ­music. However, they did not stray from that form. When they did play Latin rhythms, they did so in a very subdued fashion. They only occasionally featured the musicians as soloists and did not take creative leaps harmonically as the ­great arrangers for jazz big bands would l­ater do. Puerto Rican valve trombonist Juan Tizol, a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, also hinted at this fusion. Born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, he came from a renowned musical f­ amily. His u­ ncle Manuel was the musical director of both the Banda Municipal of San Juan as well as the San Juan Symphony—­ensembles that Juan would eventually join. In 1920, he arrived in Washington, D.C., along with other fellow Puerto Ricans to become part of the ­house band at the famed Howard

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Theater. By 1929, he joined Ellington’s orchestra, becoming its “straw boss” helping to or­ga­nize the band’s (­music) book as both a copyist and an arranger. Tizol established himself as composer of note when in 1936 he composed “Caravan.” Recorded in 1937, it has since become a jazz standard, part of the repertoire of ­every jazz musician. Although it hinted at a Latin jazz fusion, the Ellington rhythm section, let alone the rest of the musicians in the band, simply did not know how to play any au­then­tic Latin rhythms. The tune was instead interpreted with a quasi-­ Middle Eastern rhythmic flair and became a novelty of sorts for its exotic sounds. Even Cab Calloway, Mario Bauzá’s employer, had tried to experiment with Latin m ­ usic by recording songs like “Congo Conga,” utilizing maracas and claves as part of the rhythm section. This early attempt at Latin fusion, in terms of au­then­ tic Latin rhythmic per­for­mance combined with jazz, would not become elaborated further ­until Mario Bauzá was able to realize his dream for his own band that would produce unpre­ce­dented