Border Citizens: The Making of Indians, Mexicans, and Anglos by Eric V. Meeks

By Eric V. Meeks

Runner-up, nationwide Council on Public historical past booklet Award, 2008
Southwest e-book Award, Border nearby Library organization, 2008

Borders reduce via not only areas but additionally relationships, politics, economics, and cultures. Eric V. Meeks examines how ethno-racial different types and identities similar to Indian, Mexican, and Anglo crystallized in Arizona's borderlands among 1880 and 1980. South-central Arizona is domestic to many ethnic teams, together with Mexican american citizens, Mexican immigrants, and semi-Hispanicized indigenous teams akin to Yaquis and Tohono O'odham. Kinship and cultural ties among those varied teams have been altered and ethnic barriers have been deepened by means of the inflow of Euro-Americans, the advance of an commercial economic system, and incorporation into the U.S. nation-state.

Old ethnic and interethnic ties replaced and have become more challenging to maintain whilst Euro-Americans arrived within the zone and imposed ideologies and govt guidelines that built starker racial limitations. As Arizona started to take its position within the nationwide economic system of the U.S., basically via mining and commercial agriculture, ethnic Mexican and local American groups struggled to outline their very own identities. they typically under pressure their prestige because the region's unique population, occasionally as staff, occasionally as U.S. electorate, and occasionally as participants in their personal separate international locations. within the method, they generally challenged the racial order imposed on them via the dominant class.

Appealing to large audiences, this ebook hyperlinks the development of racial different types and ethnic identities to the bigger strategy of countryside development alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, and illustrates how ethnicity can either carry humans jointly and force them apart.

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Additional resources for Border Citizens: The Making of Indians, Mexicans, and Anglos in Arizona

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Indb 13 7/19/07 12:11:57 PM 14 border citizens of ethnic Mexican identity, and to distinguish between people lumped together too often by the national and racial designation of Mexican. The diverse border citizens of south-central Arizona actively struggled to defi ne their own identities. But the process of self-identification was deeply entangled with racial ideologies and government policies designed to construct their identities and their place in the nation for them. Ethnic and national identities were never autonomous; they were relational and historically contingent.

Over time, this process created a broad cultural division between the more Hispanicized O’odham to the south and along the Santa Cruz River and the relatively isolated O’odham to the north and west. 20 The northernmost O’odham, who remained outside of areas of Spanish colonization altogether, were the Akimel O’odham or Pimas, who lived along the Gila River and its tributaries. They were among the most sedentary O’odham, building diversion dams of mud, logs, and brush, and distributing water to their fields using networks of canals and ditches.

47 Still, even by the turn of the century, it would be inaccurate to characterize the racialized class structure in the mining towns as a binary system. According to a government study on immigration called the Dillingham Report, the workforce remained stratified between Irish- and Anglo-American citizens, southern and eastern European immigrants, ethnic Mexicans, and Indians. The complex nature of this racial hierarchy was apparent in the wage levels in the Clifton-Morenci-Metcalf mining district.

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