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Mexican American history is a travel topic about the history of American people of Mexican descent.


United States historical travel topics:
Indigenous nationsPre-Civil WarCivil WarOld WestIndustrializationPostwar
African-American historyMexican American historyPresidents

The Mexican American War, ending in 1848, resulted in the incorporation of half of Mexico into the United States, including California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. What was once considered Northern Mexico became the Southwest United States. Large-scale migration from Mexico to the United States continued as a result of the economic colonization of the United States during the Porfirio regime (1876-80 and 1884-1911) and this increased especially in the 1910s, as refugees fled the economic devastation and violence of Mexico’s high-casualty revolution and civil war. Until the mid-20th century, most Mexican Americans lived within a few hundred miles of the border, although some resettled along rail lines from the Southwest into the Midwest.

In the second half of the 20th century, Mexican Americans diffused throughout the U.S., especially into the Midwest and Southeast, though the groups’ largest population centers remain in California and Texas. During this period, Mexican-Americans campaigned for voting rights, educational and employment equity, ethnic equality, and economic and social advancement.

In addition to immigrants, there is a long history of braceros, Mexicans who come to the US for seasonal farm work, mainly at harvest time and mainly in California. Most return to Mexico voluntarily at the end of the season.

Partly due to the influence of Mexican-Americans, Mexican cuisine is now common across the US, and can be found in many other countries worldwide. In addition to cuisine from emigrants from Mexican states such as Pueblo, Sonora and Oaxaca, some U.S. states which used to be part of Mexico have their own distinctive variants of Mexican food.


  • Los Angeles/Eastside. East L.A. is located immediately east of the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles, south of the El Sereno district of Los Angeles, north of the city of Commerce, and west of the cities of Monterey Park and Montebello. It is 85% Mexican and Mexican American. East Los Angeles, California on Wikipedia
  • Pilsen, Chicago. Although there was an increasing Mexican American presence in the late 1950s, it was not until 1962-63 when there was a great spurt in the numbers of Mexican Americans in Pilsen due to the destruction of the neighborhood west of Halsted between Roosevelt and Taylor Streets to create room for the construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Meanwhile, there was a huge exodus of the original Czech and Polish residents to the suburbs as a result of generous subsidies given by the government that were only available to white people. Pilsen Historic District on Wikipedia
  • San Francisco/Mission. The Mission remains the cultural nexus and epicenter of San Francisco's Mexican/Chicano, and to a lesser extent, the Bay Area's Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemalan community. While Mexican, Salvadoran, and other Latin American businesses are pervasive throughout the neighborhood, residences are not evenly distributed. Of the neighborhood's Chicano/Latino residents, most live on the eastern and southern sides. The western and northern sides of the neighborhood are more affluent and white. As of 2017, the northern part of the Mission, together with the nearby Tenderloin, is home to a Mayan-speaking community, consisting of immigrants who have been arriving since the 1990s from Mexico's Yucatán region. Their presence is reflected in the Mayan-language name of In Chan Kaajal Park, opened in 2017 north of 17th Street between Folsom and Shotwell Street. Mission District, San Francisco on Wikipedia
  • Fruitvale, Oakland. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the lower part of the Fruitvale district was heavily settled by Chicanos and Latinos. The Chicano Movement that was going on at the time throughout the Southwest also spread to the Fruitvale district. After the 1968 murder of Charles Pinky De Baca by the Oakland Police Department, the community began to organize against police brutality. One of the first organizations was Latinos United for Justice. Many other militant and non-militant Chicano groups formed. The Brown Berets had a chapter in Oakland, and the Chicano Revolutionary Party was another Chicano militant organization. The Chicano Revolutionary Party had a free breakfast program that the Black Panthers had helped them create in Jingletown; they also patrolled the streets of Fruitvale and helped defend it against police brutality. La Raza Unida Party also had a chapter in Oakland. The Clinica de la Raza was created due to the actions of the Chicano Movement as a need for a free clinic for the Chicano and Latino community of East Oakland. There were several actions by Chicanos against the Vietnam War in the Fruitvale district. On July 26, 1970, the Oakland Chicano Moratorium protest against the Vietnam War was held at San Antonio Park. One of the speakers was Chicano radical Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzáles. There were also several Chicano school walkouts against the Vietnam War, primarily at local schools such as Fremont High School and Oakland High School. The Chicano Movement was very much part of Oakland's history, especially in the Fruitvale district. Its contributions are still seen throughout the district. Fruitvale, Oakland, California on Wikipedia

Chicano movement[edit]

Many cities, especially in the Southwest, have historic sites from the Chicano movement.

  • Delano, California – site of the United Farm Workers (UFW) grape boycott

See also[edit]

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