ERIC Number: ED175620
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Mexican Americans.
For more than 400 years the ancestors of the Mexican American have contributed to the spiritual and material wealth of this land, yet recognition of their cultural and national rights has been slow to come. Like the American Indians, Chicanos can claim, "We did not come to America, America came to us". As a conquered people, they have been repressed by the dominant society. Mexican Americans can trace their ancestry back to the Spanish conquistadores who subjugated the Aztec. From the blending of the two cultures came the Mestizo population. It was the Mestizos and Mexicans, rather than the Spaniards, who settled the American Southwest; but most of the millions of acres of rich lands granted by the Spanish Land Grants were lost after the U.S. victory in the Mexican American War. Some Mexican Americans worked as laborers on the large farms or ranches; others migrated to the cities and settled in the barrios. From within the barrios has come the growth of the Chicano movement, which protests against the status quo and its social institutions and seeks to establish Mexican Americans as part of the social and political structure of the nation. Mexican Americans today number between 7 to 12 million and will soon be the largest minority in America. Their future depends on how they define their national identity and the direction they choose to take as a national minority. It also depends on how the nation itself chooses to define the political and constitutional union that binds our culturally pluralistic people together. (DS)
Descriptors: American History, American Indians, Civil Rights, Cultural Pluralism, Culture Conflict, Futures (of Society), Justice, Land Settlement, Mexican American History, Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Rural Population, Social Discrimination, Social History, Spanish Americans, United States History, Urban Population
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minority Rights Group, London (England).