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Essay on Chicano Heritage: Mexican American History

4 pages
1006 words
Sewanee University of the South
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In the history of America, it is recognized that civil movements played an integral role in the formation of various ethnics community and had managed to shape the United States to its current status. Civil rights activist and movements such as the Chicano movement made a tremendous impact, and through fighting discrimination and their rights in general, they were able to make great exploit and achieved some of the goals that they set up to achieve. The Chicano movement which is also recognized as the Mexican- American Civil Rights movement is identified as one of the movements that rose from a weakling group and later grew and gained stability in 1960s (Pereira). It is identified that after years of great suffering, the Chicano rose by making their voice heard around the country. They worked on demanding some of the rights that they deserved by fighting discrimination. Historically, this movement started since the United States had taken hundreds of miles in the territory of Mexico at the end of the war of Mexico in 1848 period. During that specific period, the large population of Mexican that was residing in that specific territory was able to part and parcel of United States and gained the citizenship of America in an overnight. Since what that happened in the region, the great population of Chicanos has gone through racism and great discrimination in a country that is recognized to be theirs (Malott).

The Chicano movement was recognized to be part and parcel of the counterculture movement that started their activities in the 1960 and finally ended up yielding a result in 1970. It was also identified to be a product of an identity crisis on most Mexican young Americans who embraced their white and black cohorts culture. Mexican indigenous heritage was so significant to Chicano movement activist since they could go a long much easily. They did away with the assimilation effort from their parents, and in the process, they didnt accept the beliefs, attitudes and their values and faulted their parents for not keeping Mexican Culture which they viewed to be true(Gomez). From the point of view of many Chicano militants, history has played an important role in the project of reconstructing the Chicano identifies. This indeed started to take place from the very outset of the movement by realizing that their identity was so important to them. The Chicano activist could by then raise strong argument that ethnic Mexicans were to learn their true history before achieving their major goal of developing a strong sense of community and solidarity (Barrera). From the past generations of Mexican American activists, Chicano movement was recognized as a drastic change. They played a significant role since they led public demonstrations and were much vocal of their discontent.

Since the Chicano activist were living with the believe that the United States violently invaded Mexico, wrested from it what turned out to become the American Southwest and then dominated its inhabitants, the event was made be recognized as the first of a series actions that casted Mexicans to be identified as the united states victims. On the other hand, Chicano activists is the notion that has been developed for a long period of time that United States participated in violating the basic tenets of the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty which brought the War between United states and Mexico to an end in 1848 period(MacDonald). However, the immigration from Mexico turned to be one full blown process that began even before the end of the 19th century, as the Mexican experienced one of the gradual and immersion of their economy and culture in general into one strong Anglo- American industrial and political monolith. Through the immersion, the native Mexicans who are residing in the south west region perceived their loss of land.

What took place is in that period is that by 1853,about eighty thousand of Spanish speaking settlers started dwelling in the territories that the Mexican lost as a result of the 1836 Texas rebellion and the Mexican of 1853. On the other hand, the Mexican settlers who were migrants from the interior of Mexico by pushing aside and conquering the original groups who were residing in the region earlier, from what is stated in history, the Hispanics were not considered as the original immigrants since the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty that conferred on the United States citizenship (Wrobel).

The legacy of the Mexican revolution has remained as a great memory for all the Mexicans whether those who were immigrants of United States or those who remained at home. Some of the Chicano movement activist during this period involved La Adelita, Pancho Villa,Emiliano and Zapata. For the Chicano movement activists, their struggle did not only raise the idea that Mexican were from a revolutionary tradition, it extend to demonstrate the pantheon of heroes who took up arms justified and inspired the modern day of Chicano militancy(Oropeza). Through the revolution tradition that was portrayed by Chicano activists, it was a demonstration of the Mexican individuals indigenous heritage. Generally, the revolution heightened the Mexican nationalism to a greater degree of anti Americanism. Considering the general Mexican American history, the revolution was essential since it made refugees out Mexican from different walks of life hence building heterogeneous and rich immigrant community in the United States.

Works Cited

Barrera, James B. "The 1960s Chicano Movement for Educational Reform and the Rise of Student Protest Activism in San Antonios West Side." US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal 1.1 (2017): 82-97.

Gomez, Laura E. Manifest destinies: The making of the Mexican American race. NYU Press, 2018.

MacDonald, Victoria-Maria, and Alice Cook. "Before Chicana Civil Rights: Three Generations of Mexican American Women in Higher Education in the Southwest, 19201965." Womens Higher Education in the United States. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2018. 233-254.

Malott, Curry. "Mexican American Student Resistance: From Spontaneity to Organization." Journal of Latinos and Education (2017): 1-13.

Oropeza, Lorena. "The heart of Chicano history: Reies Lopez Tijerina as a memory entrepreneur." The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Cult

Wrobel, David M. America's West: A History, 18901950. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

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