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Foreigners in Their Native Land Analysis

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Essay title: Foreigners in Their Native Land Analysis

Foreigners in their Native Land

In the chapter Foreigners in their Native land: Manifest Destiny in the Southwest, Ronald Takaki describes the ideology of manifest destiny and its driving force to American colonists in the invasion of Mexican held territory in the Southwest during the 19th century. The conquest occurred in a progressive fashion that started with the war in 1936 that ceded Texas to the U.S. and culminated in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. The Mexican-American war ended in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, where the Mexican territories of Alta California and Nuevo Mexico were ceded to the United States. Such territory stretches into what is now all of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Leading up to and following the takeovers, Mexican people were exploited and treated as foreigners in their own land through various methods and actions.

Prior to understanding the full extent of the U.S. invasion of Mexico, it’s imperative to recognize the ideology of Manifest Destiny and its role in justifying the takeover in America’s perspective. Manifest destiny is the concept that God intended all of North America to be under the control of European Christian Americans. Its ideology was the backbone of the U.S. government in its task of colonizing inhabited land of indigenous peoples in North America and expanding U.S. territory into Mexico. Mexican Californians preceding the war complained, “The idea these gentlemen have formed themselves is, that God made the world and them also, therefore what there is in the world belongs to them as sons of God.” Throughout history, conquest in the name of superiority through religion is prevalent. Just as the Spanish Conquistadors had formerly invaded the South American territories, the European Americans justified the same occupation of Mexico as privileged children of God. Manifest Destiny played as a false pass for European Americans to exploit the Mexican inhabitants. They coincided with differences that fabricated themselves as superior to their Mexican counterparts in the name of God.

Initially beginning the invasion of Mexico was the war that led to the annexation of Texas to the U.S. In 1936, the massacre at the battle of the Alamo in San Antonio rallied the troops of Sam Houston in their counterattack. The Texan rebels defeated Mexican forces in San Jacinto and declared Texas an independent republic known as the Lone Star Republic. In 1945, the United States annexed Texas and Mexico retaliated in the Mexican-American War soon after. The war was bloody and brutal, depicting the initiation of cruelty of Anglo-Saxon Americans towards the Mexican population. Officer George G. Meade wrote in a letter, “They [the volunteers] have killed five or six innocent people walking in the street, for no other object than their own amusement… They rob and steal the cattle and corn of the poor farmers…” This was only the beginning of European American mistreatment to the Mexican inhabitants. With the ending of the war, the on pour of Anglo-Saxon population in former Mexican lands change the condition of indigenous Mexicans from citizens to immigrants as they become foreigners on their native lands. This oppression daunts Mexican natives through culture, politics, and economics.

First, Mexican residents are affected by the cultural change enforced upon them through language. All matters affecting their daily lives are now in a language they do not understand as Mexican soil has become American title. For example, Pablo de la Guerra vented his frustrations before the California Senate, “The conquered Mexicans did not understand the new language English, now prevalent on their native soil.” The language change from Spanish to English is one of many factors that cause Mexicans to become foreigners of their own land. This national language change translates mostly into matters of politics and economics which will subsequently be discussed.

Moreover, discrimination among the Anglo-Saxon race towards the Mexican ethnicity becomes powerful in politics. As white Americans poured into the population, Mexican voters became

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