Mexican-American history is a travel topic about the history of American people of Mexican descent.
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African-American history • Mexican-American history • Presidents
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 U.S., 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.
- 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. It is home to the National Museum of Mexican Art, a museum that features Mexican, Latino, and Chicano art and culture.
- 1 San Francisco/Mission. The eastern and southern sides of the Mission remain the cultural nexus and epicenter of San Francisco's Mexican/Chicano community. 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. The Galería de la Raza serves the Chicano and Latino population through exhibitions, poetry readings, workshops, and celebrations.
- 2 Fruitvale, Oakland. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the lower part of the Fruitvale district was heavily settled by Chicanos and Latinos. Its Hispanic heritage and culture is celebrated on October 31 with a Dia de los Muertos festival that draws 100,000 people for life music, art, and food.
- Austin, Texas. The Mexic-Arte Museum is focused on the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture.
Many cities, especially in the Southwest, have historic sites from the Chicano movement.
- Santa Catalina Island, California - site of a 1972 occupation by the Brown Berets meant to draw attention to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
- Delano, California — site of the United Farm Workers (UFW) grape boycott. You can visit the Forty Acres which was the first headquarters of the UFW
- East Los Angeles, California - site where the Brown Berets staged school walkouts which peaked with a August 29, 1970 march that drew 30,000 demonstrators
- Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico — site where a small band of Chicanos affiliated with Alianza Federal de Mercedes attempted to arrest the County's district attorney and put him on trial