The U.S.-Mexican War and 
    the Peoples of the Year 2000


There is a New/Old nationality at work in North America, now.  It makes a difference to how we can understand the U.S.-Mexican War of the 1840s.  This New/Old nationality can be traced in two directions: 
  • in a new writing of history, showing how the United States and Mexico (and other nation-states) competed against each other for power over the indigenous and African peoples of the continent. 
Each of these -- the politics, and the history -- contributes to the other. What we see now about the movements of people in North America tells us things we never knew before about the war between the United States and Mexico in the 1840s.  And the ways we re-think the story of that war can guide our thinking about the problems of the year 2000.




Inputs from the Politics of Today  

Inputs from History 

The Future of New/Old Nations
Nationality is not what it once was, not anywhere, and least of all on the continent of North America : 
  • political citizenship sets no limits on what nationality can be
  • nor does nationality constitute any special claim on citizenship
  • a "nation" no longer needs to be confined to any particular territory 
  • individuals can often choose for themselves among their various "national identities" 
  • a nation or people can adopt its own policy on whether it wants to be a state, or some other kind of political unit, or any political unit at all 
  • the indigenous peoples of the continent have always been nations of their own, alongside and overlapping "Mexico," and "Guatemala," and "Canada," and "the United States"; and 
  • individuals can assign to any nation they wish the right to negotiate rules governing property rights, labor relations, migration, language, and citizenship, as well as the right to make agreements with other nations about politics and territory.

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