Author: Andrew J. Torget
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2015-08-06
By the late 1810s, a global revolution in cotton had remade the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing wealth and waves of Americans to the Gulf Coast while also devastating the lives and villages of Mexicans in Texas. In response, Mexico threw open its northern territories to American farmers in hopes that cotton could bring prosperity to the region. Thousands of Anglo-Americans poured into Texas, but their insistence that slavery accompany them sparked pitched battles across Mexico. An extraordinary alliance of Anglos and Mexicans in Texas came together to defend slavery against abolitionists in the Mexican government, beginning a series of fights that culminated in the Texas Revolution. In the aftermath, Anglo-Americans rebuilt the Texas borderlands into the most unlikely creation: the first fully committed slaveholders' republic in North America. Seeds of Empire tells the remarkable story of how the cotton revolution of the early nineteenth century transformed northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States, and how the rise and spectacular collapse of the Republic of Texas as a nation built on cotton and slavery proved to be a blueprint for the Confederacy of the 1860s.
Author: John Weber
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2015-08-25
In the early years of the twentieth century, newcomer farmers and migrant Mexicans forged a new world in South Texas. In just a decade, this vast region, previously considered too isolated and desolate for large-scale agriculture, became one of the United States' most lucrative farming regions and one of its worst places to work. By encouraging mass migration from Mexico, paying low wages, selectively enforcing immigration restrictions, toppling older political arrangements, and periodically immobilizing the workforce, growers created a system of labor controls unique in its levels of exploitation. Ethnic Mexican residents of South Texas fought back by organizing and by leaving, migrating to destinations around the United States where employers eagerly hired them--and continued to exploit them. In From South Texas to the Nation, John Weber reinterprets the United States' record on human and labor rights. This important book illuminates the way in which South Texas pioneered the low-wage, insecure, migration-dependent labor system on which so many industries continue to depend.
Author: Kenneth W. Howell
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Release Date: 2017-03-15
Does Texas’s experience as a republic make it unique among the other states? In many ways, Texas was an “accidental republic” for nearly ten years, until Texans voted overwhelmingly in favor of annexation to the United States after winning independence from Mexico. Single Star of the West chronicles Texas’s efforts to maneuver through the pitfalls and hardships of creating and maintaining the “accidental republic.” The volume begins with the Texas Revolution and examines whether or not a true Texas identity emerged during the Republic era. Next, several contributors discuss how the Republic was defended by its army, navy, and the Texas Rangers. Individual chapters focus on the early founders of Texas—Sam Houston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, and Anson Jones—who were all exceptional men, but like all men, suffered from their own share of fears and faults. Texas’s efforts at diplomacy, and persistence and transformation in its economy, also receive careful analysis. Finally, social and cultural aspects of the Texas Republic receive coverage, with discussions of women, American Indians, African Americans, Tejanos, and religion. The contributors also focus on the extent that conditions in the republic attracted political and economic opportunists, some of whom achieved a remarkable degree of success. Single Star of the West also highlights how the Texas Republic was established on American political ideology. With the majority of the white settlers coming from the United States, this will not surprise many scholars of the era. In some cases, the Texans successfully adopted American political and economic ideology to their needs, while other times they failed miserably.
Author: Andrés Reséndez
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2005
This book explores how the diverse and fiercely independent peoples of Texas and New Mexico came to think of themselves as members of one particular national community or another in the years leading up to the Mexican-American War. Hispanics, Native Americans, and Anglo Americans made agonizing and crucial identity decisions against the backdrop of two structural transformations taking place in the region during the first half of the 19th century and often pulling in opposite directions.
Author: Elliott Young
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2014-11-03
Genre: Social Science
In this sweeping work, Elliott Young traces the pivotal century of Chinese migration to the Americas, beginning with the 1840s at the start of the "coolie" trade and ending during World War II. The Chinese came as laborers, streaming across borders legally and illegally and working jobs few others wanted, from constructing railroads in California to harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. Though nations were built in part from their labor, Young argues that they were the first group of migrants to bear the stigma of being "alien." Being neither black nor white and existing outside of the nineteenth century Western norms of sexuality and gender, the Chinese were viewed as permanent outsiders, culturally and legally. It was their presence that hastened the creation of immigration bureaucracies charged with capture, imprisonment, and deportation. This book is the first transnational history of Chinese migration to the Americas. By focusing on the fluidity and complexity of border crossings throughout the Western Hemisphere, Young shows us how Chinese migrants constructed alternative communities and identities through these transnational pathways.
Author: James E. Crisp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2004-12-01
In Sleuthing the Alamo, historian James E. Crisp draws back the curtain on years of mythmaking to reveal some surprising truths about the Texas Revolution--truths often obscured by both racism and "political correctness," as history has been hijacked by combatants in the culture wars of the past two centuries. Beginning with a very personal prologue recalling both the pride and the prejudices that he encountered in the Texas of his youth, Crisp traces his path to the discovery of documents distorted, censored, and ignored--documents which reveal long-silenced voices from the Texan past. In each of four chapters focusing on specific documentary "finds," Crisp uncovers the clues that led to these archival discoveries. Along the way, the cast of characters expands to include: a prominent historian who tried to walk away from his first book; an unlikely teenaged "speechwriter" for General Sam Houston; three eyewitnesses to the death of Davy Crockett at the Alamo; a desperate inmate of Mexico City's Inquisition Prison, whose scribbled memoir of the war in Texas is now listed in the Guiness Book of World Records; and the stealthy slasher of the most famous historical painting in Texas. In his afterword, Crisp explores the evidence behind the mythic "Yellow Rose of Texas" and examines some of the powerful forces at work in silencing the very voices from the past that we most need to hear today. Here then is an engaging first-person account of historical detective work, illuminating the methods of the serious historian--and the motives of those who prefer glorious myth to unflattering truth.
Regarded as one of the most vocal, well-traveled, and controversial statesmen of the nineteenth century, antebellum politician Henry Stuart Foote played a central role in a vast array of pivotal events. Despite Foote’s unique mark on history, until now no comprehensive biography existed. Ben Wynne fills this gap in his examination of the life of this gifted and volatile public figure in The Man Who Punched Jefferson Davis: The Political Life of Henry S. Foote, Southern Unionist. An eyewitness to many of the historical events of his lifetime, Foote, an opinionated native Virginian, helped to raise money for the Texas Revolution, provided political counsel for the Lone Star Republic’s leadership before annexation, and published a 400-page history of the region. In 1847, Mississippi elected him to the Senate, where he promoted cooperation with the North during the Compromise of 1850. One of the South’s most outspoken Unionists, he infuriated many of his southern colleagues with his explosive temperament and unorthodox ideas that quickly established him as a political outsider. His temper sometimes led to physical altercations, including at least five duels, pulling a gun on fellow senator Thomas Hart Benton during a legislative session, and engaging in run-ins with other politicians—notably a fistfight with his worst political enemy, Jefferson Davis. He left the Senate in 1851 to run for governor of Mississippi on a pro-Union platform and defeated Davis by a small margin. Several years later, Foote moved to Nashville, was elected to the Confederate Congress after Tennessee seceded, and continued his political sparring with the Confederate president. From Foote’s failed attempt to broker an unauthorized peace agreement with the Lincoln government and his exile to Europe to the publication of his personal memoir and his appointment as director of the United States mint in New Orleans, Wynne constructs an entertaining and nuanced portrait of a singular man who constantly challenged the conventions of southern and national politics.
Author: Gina M. Martino
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2018-03-23
Across the borderlands of the early American northeast, New England, New France, and Native nations deployed women with surprising frequency to the front lines of wars that determined control of North America. Far from serving as passive helpmates in a private, domestic sphere, women assumed wartime roles as essential public actors, wielding muskets, hatchets, and makeshift weapons while fighting for their families, communities, and nations. Revealing the fundamental importance of martial womanhood in this era, Gina M. Martino places borderlands women in a broad context of empire, cultural exchange, violence, and nation building, demonstrating how women's war making was embedded in national and imperial strategies of expansion and resistance. As Martino shows, women's participation in warfare was not considered transgressive; rather it was integral to traditional gender ideologies of the period, supporting rather than subverting established systems of gender difference. In returning these forgotten women to the history of the northeastern borderlands, this study challenges scholars to reconsider the flexibility of gender roles and reveals how women's participation in transatlantic systems of warfare shaped institutions, polities, and ideologies in the early modern period and the centuries that followed.
Author: Ernesto Bassi
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2016-12-02
In An Aqueous Territory Ernesto Bassi traces the configuration of a geographic space he calls the transimperial Greater Caribbean between 1760 and 1860. Focusing on the Caribbean coast of New Granada (present-day Colombia), Bassi shows that the region's residents did not live their lives bounded by geopolitical borders. Rather, the cross-border activities of sailors, traders, revolutionaries, indigenous peoples, and others reflected their perceptions of the Caribbean as a transimperial space where trade, information, and people circulated, both conforming to and in defiance of imperial regulations. Bassi demonstrates that the islands, continental coasts, and open waters of the transimperial Greater Caribbean constituted a space that was simultaneously Spanish, British, French, Dutch, Danish, Anglo-American, African, and indigenous. Exploring the "lived geographies" of the region's dwellers, Bassi challenges preconceived notions of the existence of discrete imperial spheres and the inevitable emergence of independent nation-states while providing insights into how people envision their own futures and make sense of their place in the world.
Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chavez-Garcia recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both "here" and "there" (aqui y alla). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chavez-Garcia demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in el norte but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones who sometimes left for weeks, months, or years at a time, or simply never returned. With this richly detailed account, ranging from the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s to the emergence of Silicon Valley in the late 1960s, Chavez-Garcia opens a new window onto the social, economic, political, and cultural developments of the day and recovers the human agency of much maligned migrants in our society today.
Author: Colin Woodard
Release Date: 2011-09-29
An illuminating history of North America's eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: David Wallace Adams
Release Date: 2016-06-03
From hundreds of hours of oral history interviews, David Adams has re-created an intimate childs-eye view of the rural world of Magdalena, New Mexico in the mid twentieth century. As Adams captures how children came of age in Magdalena, he also demonstrates how they learned distinct racial identities and boundariesAnglo, Hispanic, and Alamo Navajoand sometimes breached them
Author: Julie M. Weise
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2015-09-30
Genre: Social Science
When Latino migration to the U.S. South became increasingly visible in the 1990s, observers and advocates grasped for ways to analyze "new" racial dramas in the absence of historical reference points. However, as this book is the first to comprehensively document, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a long history of migration to the U.S. South. Corazon de Dixie recounts the untold histories of Mexicanos' migrations to New Orleans, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina as far back as 1910. It follows Mexicanos into the heart of Dixie, where they navigated the Jim Crow system, cultivated community in the cotton fields, purposefully appealed for help to the Mexican government, shaped the southern conservative imagination in the wake of the civil rights movement, and embraced their own version of suburban living at the turn of the twenty-first century. Rooted in U.S. and Mexican archival research, oral history interviews, and family photographs, Corazon de Dixie unearths not just the facts of Mexicanos' long-standing presence in the U.S. South but also their own expectations, strategies, and dreams.