The history of Mexican Americans
, Americans of Mexican descent, largely begins after the annexation of parts of Mexico in 1848, the nearly 80,000 individuals then living in the U.S. became full U.S. citizens. Large-scale new migration augmented their numbers during the 1910s, as Mexico was torn by a high-casualty civil war. Until the 1960s, most lived within a few hundred miles of the border, although some resettled along frail lines from the Southwest to the Midwest.
More recently, Mexican Americans have diffused throughout the U.S., especially in the Midwest and Southeast, with the largest numbers in California and Texas. In the past hundred years Mexican-Americans have campaigned for voting rights, stood against educational, employment, and ethnic discrimination and stood for economic and social advancement. At the same time many Mexican-Americans have struggled with defining and maintaining their community's identity.
In the 1960s and 1970s, some Hispanic student groups flirted with nationalism
and differences over the proper name for members of the community of Chicano/Chicana
, Latino/Latina, Mexican-Americans, Hispanics or simply La Raza
became tied up with deeper disagreements over whether to integrate into or remain separate from Anglo
society, as well as divisions between those Mexican-Americans whose families had lived in the United States for two or more generations and more recent immigrants. Read more...