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


Inputs from History

 
 
Overview  

Inputs from the Politics of Today  

Inputs from History 

The Future of New/Old Nations
What we think about migration and nationality in North America, now, cannot be separated from what we know about the conflicts of the 1840s. 
  • The indigenous and mixed-race populations of the continent have long been on the move -- in every sense of the word "movement."  In the 1840s they were producing acts of rebellion that revealed much of what migration meant.
  • On the surface, the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848 was a collision between two white governments, out to determine which would have priority in ruling the non-white populations of the continent.  The deeper, "real" war was therefore that waged by both these governments together, on the one hand, against the whole dominated population on the other. 
  • During the war, the political classes in Mexico made some effort to think seriously about the nationalities that made up their society.  (U.S. leaders made little effort, aside from the negotiations between slaveholding and non-slaveholding whites.)  This debate in Mexico did not reach any satisfactory conclusion at the time.  As a result, the debate has resurfaced again and again in Mexican life.  At the end of the 20th century, it has become a focus of concerns, over the whole continent, about the meaning of nationality.
  • Citizens now, in both Mexico and the United States, have an option that they also had 150 years ago, but did not act on then.  They can leave the policy goals of the popular nations to the people involved.
 
 
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