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:
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.
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.
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
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
The New/Old Nations that are emerging now are not just pretty labels.
They will have concrete problems on their agenda --
Through their answers, they can become what the old nation-states never
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