Native Lands

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The essay “Foreigners in their Native Land” describes how Mexicans became foreigners in their own land after America declared Mexican territory theirs. Mexicans were being treated unfairly in their own territory. They were being labeled and ranked by upper and lower classes. Those who were properly educated would belong on the top, these included mestizos, while the laborers were on the bottom, mixed with “pure Indians”. Pure Mexican descendants were forced into labor and took care of the haciendas, while the mixed-race Mexican-Spaniards dealt with the business of the land and took the mestizos as slaves. A bigger dilemma arose when American foreigners began entering Mexican land. Shortly after the invasion and arrest of General Vallejo, “Commander John D. Sloat... declared California a possession of the United States” (172). America needed the land of California for trade and commerce. They wanted to export their goods to New England in exchange for boots and shoes. California was a land of harbors which made it an easy target. Later on during the 1820's, American invaded Texas with a mission to take away that land as well.

Many Mexicans argued with stopping Americans from entering the land because they benefited from the crops and plantations that were being given to them. That thought quickly changed after America took over the territory which is present day Utah, California, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Mexicans were given the option of staying in their homeland or moving to the other side of the borders while being given all the rights of United States citizens. This created chaos because Mexicans were being hated by Americans in what once was their land. "They became 'foreigners in their own land'" (178). The author seems to take a mutual side on this essay as he displays both pros and cons for Mexico and America. He doesn't seem to favor either side of the fence.
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