Foreigners in Their Native Land Analysis

Topics: United States, Mexico, Mexican American Pages: 3 (1110 words) Published: March 5, 2008
Foreigners in their Native Land

In the chapter Foreigners in their Native land: Manifest Destiny in the Southwest, Ronald Takaki describes the ideology of manifest destiny and its driving force to American colonists in the invasion of Mexican held territory in the Southwest during the 19th century. The conquest occurred in a progressive fashion that started with the war in 1936 that ceded Texas to the U.S. and culminated in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. The Mexican-American war ended in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, where the Mexican territories of Alta California and Nuevo Mexico were ceded to the United States. Such territory stretches into what is now all of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Leading up to and following the takeovers, Mexican people were exploited and treated as foreigners in their own land through various methods and actions. Prior to understanding the full extent of the U.S. invasion of Mexico, it's imperative to recognize the ideology of Manifest Destiny and its role in justifying the takeover in America's perspective. Manifest destiny is the concept that God intended all of North America to be under the control of European Christian Americans. Its ideology was the backbone of the U.S. government in its task of colonizing inhabited land of indigenous peoples in North America and expanding U.S. territory into Mexico. Mexican Californians preceding the war complained, "The idea these gentlemen have formed themselves is, that God made the world and them also, therefore what there is in the world belongs to them as sons of God." Throughout history, conquest in the name of superiority through religion is prevalent. Just as the Spanish Conquistadors had formerly invaded the South American territories, the European Americans justified the same occupation of Mexico as privileged children of God. Manifest Destiny played as a false pass for European Americans to exploit the...
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