Hispanic/Latino American History

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Hispanic/Latino American History

ETH/125
March 25, 2012

Hispanic/Latino American History
The Hispanic, or the term Latino as some members prefer, is an ethnic group almost as complex and diverse as the United States itself. The majority and other minority groups tend to categorize all Latinos into one group, but the truth is, many members of different Hispanic groups prefer to be identified separately by their nationality. Hispanic Americans are primarily made up of Mexican Americans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans, but a large subgroup consists of Central Americans (El Salvadorians and Nicaraguans), South Americans (Columbia and Peru), and Caribbean (Dominican and Jamaican) for example (Schaefer, 2011). Although most Hispanic groups share Spanish as their language, each group varies greatly in terms of culture and background. Mexican American history began with the expansion of the United States and the subsequent war with Mexico. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo annexed roughly half of Mexico, including Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona. The United States than granted citizenship to the Mexicans who lived on the annexed land. Immigration has also played a significant role in the history of Mexican Americans (Schaefer, 2011). The history of Puerto Rican Americans also begins with war and the annexation of territory by the United States. The island of Puerto Rico was seized by the U.S. during the Spanish-American war; Spain later gave up control after the war ended with the Treaty of Paris. American citizenship was later granted to all Puerto Ricans with the Jones Act of 1917. Many Puerto Ricans resent the assumption by other ethnic groups that they are immigrants because they speak Spanish. They are in fact, full U.S. citizens (Schaefer, 2011). The third largest Hispanic group is Cuban Americans. Cuban Americans were relatively small in number until the Fidel Castro revolution, which resulted in many Cubans seeking refuge...
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