U.S.-Mexican Borderlands  

Source: Charles Bowden, "Out Wall," National Geographic, May 2007, pp.116-139. Read about the proposed 2007 U.S. immigration law.

Where do Spanish-speaking people live in the United States?     Trace the changing geography of the various foreign-born Latino groups.
Compare Hispanic cultural landscapes in the Southwest and Midwest.
TX: Missions of Texas; San Antonio; El Paso and the border

Only a couple of topics are explored in this course regarding the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. Select from the following topics in the order YOU prefer, but be sure to examine all the material in preparation for the examination covering this topic. Tejano music is distinctive along the Border.

NM: Las Cruces and environs
AZ: Tucson and its mission and the Anglo-Mexican communities
CA: Santa Barbara Mission and a "working mission"
San Diego-Tijuana border  |  Maquiladoras on the Mexican border
Economic Migration from Mexico to the USA
Mexican American War and Hispanic Land Dispossessions
Spanish Settlement in St. Augustine, FL  |  Kansas City barrio

Examine the spatial expansion of U.S. land hegemony and the retreat of Indian lands and Spanish lands: by territorial expansion (1750-2008) -- and by counties (1643-present).

The 2000 U.S. Census counted 35 million Latinos, which makes the United States the 5th largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Columbia. Yet discrimination in the classroom against teachers and students who study Chicano materials continues. Two teachers in Vaughn, NM, a town of  700 south of Albuquerque, were suspended for incorporating Chicano history into their curriculum. Superintendent Arthur Martinez told the teachers to stop using the textbook 500 Years of Chicano History/500 Anos del Pueblo Chicano and to stop talking about Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Union. He also withdrew support for a student group, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a national organization.

Anti-Spanish and immigrant attitudes have been expressed by 22 USA states that have declared English their official language. The small town of Norcoss, GA, passed a law penalizing linguistic "infringements." Maria Cobarrubias was fined $115 for the name sign, Supermercado Jalisco, posted outside her supermarket she owns. She had violated Norcross' ordinance banning signs that are less than 75 percent English "as determined by local authorities."

1) web sources: U.S.-Mexican Borderlands;
2) read Peter Andreas and Thomas J. Biersteker's The Rebordering of North America. London: Rutledge, 2003.  

Photo source: Liam Gumley, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.