This paper will assess the contributions of the Mexican American immigration to the culture and history of the southwest. In 1990, the census results approximated that 12 million people of Mexican origin settled in the United States. This was a 4.7% of the whole American population and 62% of the total Hispanic population in the region (Martinez Jr 23). Most of the 12 million Mexicans lived in the pacific states. Through interaction with other communities, the Mexican Americans have contributed to the dominance of the Spanish language in the region. This paper will asses this claim by analyzing the data collected from the primary and secondary sources in order to establish a basis for research.
The history and culture of the southwest originates from many factors associated with the immigration that occurred in 1850s after the Mexico-American war. The proximity of the two countries enabled easy migration and settlement in the United States. This facilitated positive interactions among communities in the region thus, enabling the development of new cultural practices in the region. The size and patterned distribution of settlers in the southwest determined the dominance of given cultural practices and the Spanish language. The existence of social classes in the region fueled strong resistances to assimilation. Therefore, the most dominant ethnic group had an overall influence in the culture of the region.
In 1850s, after the Mexican American war had ended, there was a rampant migration in the region. This process had an impact in the culture of the modern southwest. Most immigrants who settled in the American soils have maintained their distinctive cultural ways. However the differences in the immigration waves has encouraged more assimilation and growth of anew culture in the region. Most of the immigrants in the region assimilated with the existing communities thus leading to sprouting of new cultural practices in the region. This paper will assess how the Mexican American migrations in 1850s led to the establishment of new culture and history in south west (Rodolfo 65).
There are various primary and secondary data collection methods that will be used to collect information that supports the research topic. The secondary sources will help in establishing the most accurate information regarding this research. Journals, books and other researched articles will provide a basis in establishing the best findings in this topic. There are various factors that played an important role in establishing a new culture in the southwest.
The close proximity of these two countries led to an increased assimilation in the region. In many years, the there has been a lot of migration and settlement in the Mexico-American border and this is the genesis of cultural and historical revolution in the region. Through intermarriages among different communities in the region, different languages and cultural ways have sprouted in the region. This is possible because most of the Mexican American migrants were able to maintain strong cultural ties with their native countries (Rodolfo 69). This has totally changed the cultural ways of the region. Therefore, through assimilation of the different communities, few communities maintained their cultural practices.
The southwest culture is characterized by the dormant Spanish language. The distribution patterns of different ethnic groups in the region contributed to the persistence of some cultural practices. In 1990, the census data indicated that twenty million Hispanic Americans settled in the region (Rodolfo 75). The largest group of the Hispanic Americans originated from Mexico with only few communities maintaining their native languages. The concentration of the Hispanic Americans in the southwest region impacted on the cultural practices in the area. Over the years, there has been a lot of interactions with the larger American communities thus, contributing to the adoption of certain Mexican elements in the cultural ways of the region.
Most immigrants from Mexico resisted the assimilation process by preserving their cultural practices in their new settlements. Some of the Mexican American immigrants prioritized their historical experiences in the new settlement. Most communities in the Colorado region still appreciate their historical experiences of the Anglo American era (Laura). Many have not cultured and assimilated with the others. This has contributed to the presence of new cultural practices and traditions in the region. Some of the immigrants speak English with difficulty and are traditionally oriented as compared to other settlers in the region. The resistance to change contributed to the patterned cultural practices in the region.
In southwest, there is a huge difference in terms of identity from one region to the next. This has enabled the sprouting of different social classes in the region. In 1960s the emergence of the political term ‘chicano’ brought up the differences in the cultural and social status of various communities (Ramiro 33). This movement was used by the affluent communities in the region to describe the unsophisticated poor immigrants. This division in the social class among communities played an important role in the establishment of the Spanish culture in the region.
In summary, the culture of southwest was majorly contributed by the Mexican Americans. The migration waves experienced in 1850s contributed to the settlement of different communities in the region. Through intermarriages and trading, different cultural elements were established in the region. This has also contributed to the prevalence of the Spanish language in the region. This research paper assed the different ways the Mexican Americans contributed to the new lifestyle of the region.
- Martinez Jr, Ramiro. Latino homicide: Immigration, violence, and community. Routledge, 2014.
- Acuña, Rodolfo. “Occupied America.” The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, (2015): 61-4.
- Gómez, Laura E. Manifest destinies: The making of the Mexican American race. NYU Press, 2018.