The idea of Manifest Destiny became extremely popular during the 1840’s to justify US intrusion into other lands. Anglos believed it was their God-given right to expand and populate other areas. With this mentality, Anglos set out to take what belonged to Mexico. American intrusion into Mexican land created conflict between the two, leading to the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848. Mexicans living in present-day California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, which became part of the United States after the Mexican-American War, experienced a drastic change in their lives. Many false promises were made with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially ended the Mexican-American War. Mexicans became an underrepresented population in their own land. Mexicans had to undergo legal battles to get rid of the notion that they were an in-between race, not white enough to receive full rights such as serving on a jury, and keeping their own lands, but not black as to qualify under the rights given by the 14th amendment.
Before the war, Mexicans were a majority in what is now the American Southwest. “Political control could be violently wrested from Hispanos, even though they constituted a majority in a settlement”, (Weber, 177) in Texas during the 1850’s. Most Mexicans were not allowed to vote, so most decisions were made by what the Anglos wanted, or perceived as being for the best. Mexicans weren’t allowed to serve on juries either, they were “systematically, intentionally, and deliberately excluded from [all] Jury Commissions and Grand Juries”, (Garcia, 38). Mexicans were considered “neither African American nor completely white when it came to judicial interpretations”, (Garcia, 14). In excluding Mexicans from serving on the juries, Anglos were discretely suppressing the Mexican community. The absence of Mexicans on the juries meant that if a Mexican was ever put on trial, they would be undoubtedly declared guilty because Anglo’s...
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