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Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race


Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race

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    Available in PDF Format | Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race.pdf | English
    Laura E. Gomez (Author)
In both the historic record and the popular imagination, the story of nineteenth-century westward expansion in America has been characterized by notions of annexation rather than colonialism, of opening rather than conquering, and of settling unpopulated lands rather than displacing existing populations. Using the territory that is now New Mexico as a case study, Manifest Destinies traces the origins of Mexican Americans as a racial group in the United States, paying particular attention to shifting meanings of race and law in the nineteenth century. Laura E. Gó:mez explores the central paradox of Mexican American racial status as entailing the law's designation of Mexican Americans as 'white' and their simultaneous social position as non-white in American society. She tells a neglected story of conflict, conquest, cooperation, and competition among Mexicans, Indians, and Euro-Americans, the regions three main populations who were the key architects and victims of the laws that dictated what ones race was and how people would be treated by the law according to ones race. Gó:mezs pathbreaking work-spanning the disciplines of law, history, and sociology-reveals how the construction of Mexicans as an American racial group proved central to the larger process of restructuring the American racial order from the Mexican War (1846-48) to the early twentieth century. The emphasis on white-over-black relations during this period has obscured the significant role played by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the colonization of northern Mexico in the racial subordination of black Americans. A native New Mexican, Laura E. Gó:mez is Professor of Law and American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors, and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure. In her discussion of the role of law in the creation of Mexican Americans as a racial group Gomez tells a convincing story of conquerors manipulating the conquered. -The Santa Fe New Mexican Gó:mez sets out to write an antidote to historical amnesia about the key nineteenth-century events that produced the first Mexican Americans. A law professor at the University of New Mexico, Gó:mez takes a three-pronged approach: she looks at Chicano history via sociology, history, and law, using New Mexico as a case study. At the heart of the book is the idea that Manifest Destiny was not, according to Gó:mez, a neutral political theory. Rather, it was a potent ideology that endowed white Americans with a sense of entitlement to the land and racial superiority over its inhabitants. -La Bloga
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Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Laura E. Gomez (Author)
  • New York University Press (1 Oct. 2007)
  • English
  • 3
  • History

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