The War of Forty-Seven
popular resistance to occupation

-by Gilberto López y Rivas-

translated by D. Ohmans
© copyright 2016

Text imprint Querétaro Mexico, Ocean Sur, ©2009 (1976)

Table of Contents
  • PROLOGUE
  • INTRODUCTION I. Generalities regarding United States territorial expansionism II. Vicissitudes in establishing United States power in the Mexican provinces o Texas III. The resistance o California o New Mexico
  • NOTES
  • PROLOGUE The War of Forty-Seven: popular resistance to occupation is the result of research that, originally, constituted a doctoral thesis with the title Conquest and Resistance: the origins of the national Chicano minority in the 20th century, a Marxist perspective. It was published in Mexico City by the Nuestro Tiempo house in 1976, while the second edition saw the light two years later, and both were rapidly exhausted. In the year 2006, the Cuban publisher Ciencias Sociales published a third edition due to the pertinence of the theme and as an endeavor that already has incited the reader to reflection upon existing United States martial politics. The work--now published by the Ocean Sur house--despite the time elapsed, continues to be relevant, for the essential cause that led to its elaboration persists: the need to strengthen the historical memory of the peoples of Our America in order to defend themselves from their chronic enemy: North American imperialism. To know the events and the conditions of the war of conquest launched by the United States against the young Mexican Republic in 1846--known in that country as The Mexican War and in Mexico as the War of Forty-Seven--is obligatory for whomever desires to understand the development of ethnocentric and racist ideologies--such as that of Manifest Destiny and the so-called Monroe Doctrine--which sustain the supposedly democratizing and liberating task of the United States on the world stage, through the imposition on other peoples, considered inferior and backward, of their "civilizing mission." Also operative is the pretension of casting our nations in the sphere of direct dominion of the United States. Mexico in particular is considered of vital importance for United States interior security. Therefore, the strategy of low-intensity conflict or war. adopted by the Pentagon after the Vietnam war, transforms the martial strategies and the intervention models of the powers, and in the long run signify important changes in the relation of the United States with the nations on its periphery, in particular with Mexico. The origin of those changes emerges from the joining of two elements: the cold war approach, that would situate our country, in large part, in the orbit of Washington's imperial security; and a very important transformation of the attitude of the high officialdom of the Mexican armed forces with respect to the United States, which ranges from a profound mistrust and even xenophobia, to a favorable perception of the army and the nation to the north. The attempts of the United States to reformulate its relations with Mexico date from 1989 and have a direct connection with the understanding that the United States political and military elites have of the Free Trade Agreement (TLC, or NAFTA, as known in English). NAFTA never dealt solely with the commercial. That is, the United States considers this Treaty as a matter of national security and, in consequence, struggle to attain military integration for what has been denominated in the most diverse ways, such as, security regime, strategic alliance, or perhaps armed multicultural force. With the president Ernesto Zedillo, the military dependence of Mexico upon the United States is being deepened. In fact, the Program of Development of the Mexican Army and Air Force is a demonstration of how the Mexican presidents have adopted the patterns imposed by the United States military since 1993. In these impositions there comes included various concepts from the United States war manuals like the call to construct "a 21st century army," based on highly technical commandos, the relevance of military intelligence, and special forces, among other things. With Vicente Fox, and now with the spurious president, Felipe Calderón, this process of military integration of Mexico and the United States has deepened even more. The gatherings that the Mexican military heads have had with the Americans, in the direction of aligning the Northern Command with the armed forces of the three nations of the northern hemisphere (Canada, the United States and Mexico) and the decay of the Mexican military might be a fact which, consummated in the coming years, even calls the viability of Mexico as an independent nation into question. These processes of "modernization" in matters of defense attempt, likewise, to improve the image of the Mexican Armed Forces, and focus in particular on the Army in Chiapas and in other states of the nation, much abused for systematic violations of the human rights of the indigenous Zapatista communities and of the populace of other communities and urban zones. Above all because the government of the United States has made the promotion of human rights and of formal democracy a banner to cover their hegemonic intentions. It is then, that one is moved to reflect whether democracy--according to the United States conception--is not a new totalitarianism. When the people discover novel forms of participatory democracy, such as the Autonomous Townships and the Zapatista Committees of Good Governance, for example, they seem to contravene this idea of democracy that has derived from a teleology of capitalism. To this end, they try to put the armed forces in the service of that "democracy," as is revealed in the thesis of "enlargement" propounded by Anthony Lake, ex-director of the National Security Council of the White House, which is nothing but an extension of the democratic systems linked to the market economies by means of the interchange of the missions and characteristics of the national armed forces. This new imperial strategy dates from 1987, the occasion when the undersecretary of State for inter-American affairs, Eliot Abrams, launches Project Democracy in the northern region of the continent, which attempts to substitute the "Doctrine of National Security" for a new one of "national stability," which represents a significant change in local armed forces: from the custody of national sovereignty (according to the Mexican Constitution) to agents of dissuasion and internal controls. In the case of Mexico, the idea of national sovereignty, so rooted in sectors of the Mexican Armed Forces, is substituted with a system of hemispheric defense. Thus, from the prolegomena of the signing of the TLC a change occurs in relation to security between Mexico and the United States, that will give rise to the systematic application of tactics and strategies of counterinsurgency or war of attrition, for when the Zapatista uprising explodes in 1994. In sum, counterinsurgency and military dependence with respect to the United States are two facets of the same phenomenon. To the degree that it accentuates the repressive role of the armed forces, especially beginning with the arrival to power of Felipe Calderón (2006) the subordination increases of the Mexican military elite to the strategic plans of the North American empire. The Mexican group governing has established optimal conditions for the pillage, the spoliation and exploitation of our strategic resources (petroleum, natural gas and electricity), the workforce, natural resources (water, minerals and biodiversity), communications and transportation infrastructure, transference of surpluses, carried out by the financial organisms and the transnational corporations located in the United States, processes analyzed with excellent form by John Saxe Fernández in his book, The Buying and Selling of Mexico.(1) Likewise, despite the evident dangers for the Mexican civil population, behind the citizenry and without consulting the Congress of the Union, Vicente Fox signed the joint Mexico-Canada-United States declaration called the Alliance for the Security and Prosperity of North America (SPP). In the context of this "alliance," more than 300 regulations were agreed among the three nations concerning commerce, highways and trans-frontier steps which include security measures that affect the life, liberty and human rights of the Mexicans, as well as the effective exercise of our sovereignty. SPP signifies, in fact, that Mexico submit to the exigencies of national security of the United States and to its strategy of "struggle against terrorism." Through the agreed initiatives, instruments, standards and processes are developed compatible with the monitoring of travelers before leaving a foreign port and at the first port of entrance to North America. With this procedure, a classification of passengers is produced as trustworthy, suspicious and high risk, which implies that our country adopt the United States criteria for criminalization of political ideologies, racial appearance, cultural and ethnic and national origins, which have resulted in innumerable cases of illegal detentions, vexations, discriminatory treatment, humiliating interrogations, and systematic violations of human rights. The registration of millions of persons for having belonged or belonging to communist, anti-imperialist and opposition organizations or for having traveled to once socialist nations has made legendary the vía crucis of transit through the United States territory. The SPP initiative also includes developing and aligning measures of migratory security compatible with the betterment of North American security, which includes requirements for admission and times of stay; standards of visa politics; standards of surveillance; and examining the feasibility of procedural systems for entrance and exit. Among the "determinant events" for "aligning" these security measures, coordinating the deployment of officials of Canada and of the United States abroad are highlighted to improve efforts in the combat of situations of illegal migration destined for North America, in 21 months; that is, to adopt United States migratory politics and make of the Mexican authorities an affiliate of the migra of the United States, subordinate to "foreign officials" who will act within the national territory. The SPP also includes strict cooperation on the terrain of intelligence, whose initiation better establishes our capacities to combat terrorism through the appropriate interchange of a terrorist watch list and the establishment of links between the authorities of Canada, the United States and Mexico; it is part of "determinant events" that the three nations negotiate agreements for the bilateral exchange of information from monitoring terrorists. The case of the terrorist of Cuban origin, Posada Carriles, in his trip through Mexico, apparently without being detected by the United States intelligence services, illustrates that the "terrorist watch list" and its monitoring do not always take account those who act in the service of the United States government, who can enter the territory of this country without being bothered, be declared innocent by it venal judges, and even enjoy a tranquil old age in Miami under the protection of their authorities. Also, during those years of "struggle against terrorism" it has been observed that the United States applies the term of "terrorist" to any person who does not bend to its dictates of world domination, and who carry out kidnappings, interrogations, detentions, and summary judgments in foreign nations, whose acceptance on the part of Mexico--which has always been a land of asylum for anti-fascist fighters, revolutionaries and persecuted politicians--becomes clearly dangerous, from the judgments of political or criminal identification manipulated by the maximum exponent of global State terrorism. SPP and the actions that this alliance implies should compel the scrutiny, at least, of the Congress of the Union, the parties which comprise it, the National Commission on Human Rights, and the communication media, who look the other way while the heirs of Santa Anna join Mexico with "North America." Other reasons exist for this fourth edition of The War of Forty-Seven, and one of them has to do with the discussion of the Latin American left when making a distinction in the anti-imperialist struggle between the United States people and their genocidal government. Far from stimulating the fundamentalist hatred towards everything that comes from the United States, they exalt the democratic qualities which made famous the "man on the street," who with a constitution in his hand proclaimed to the four winds the ideals of equality for all in the "land of opportunities" that for many emigrants has been the "Colossus of the North." How to negate the influence which for millions of persons the "American way of life" has meant, its music, literature, cinematography, technology, its multiple adopted cultural patrons on the planetary level. The power of attraction that the United States has exercised over the impoverished and persecuted masses, particularly in Europe, was significantly present in the 19th and 20th centuries, when millions of refugees crossed the Atlantic after a better life. The presence of emigrants from Asia and Latin America who seek, even today, the elementary conditions of survival that their respective nations do not offer, will be no less. All in all, the successive governments of the American Union since its founding in the 18th century, have been far from making the ideal of democracy and egalitarianism raised by their founding fathers a reality. Wars of conquest, extermination of indigenous peoples, slavery, lynchings, racism, incorporation of territories of the colonial powers in decadence and neo-colonial occupation, mark the history of the formation of the United States as a country. Of course the "other side" of that story should not be lost from sight: that of the rebels, oppositions, pacifist intellectuals, the anonymous heroes of the syndicalist workers movement, the anti-segregationist activists in favor of civil rights, the women who paid with jail and repression for winning the right to vote, the internationalists of the Lincoln Brigade in the war in Spain, the resisters against the war in Vietnam and now against that in Iraq. Minorities of iconoclasts who break with the ideology of racism, political intolerance, sexism, and imperialist strategies promoted by the white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant (WASP) dominant classes.(2) Nation of paradoxes, where the admiration raised to a world level is only comparable with the hate induced by the trail of mortality and destruction that the intervention of the United States has induced in their respective countries. Particularly with respect to Latin American, the "barbarians of the north" occupied, intervened or militarily attacked Mexico (not only in the 19th century), Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Haiti--among others--and supported and contributed to gory coups of State and bloody military dictatorships in almost all the nations of Central America and the Southern Cone, richly earning the yanquis the qualifier, which was excluded from the hymn of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, of "enemies of humanity." The questions that emerge are: up to what point are the people responsible for the actions of their governments? Is it possible to exempt in good faith the millions of persons who consciously or by omission support an expansionist, colonial, neo-colonial, or imperialist politics brought about the governments supposedly elected in a democratic manner? In the crimes against humanity of Hitler and the governing group of the Nazi regime, are the millions of Germans who passively or actively supported fascism and formed part of its infernal machinery innocent, or complicit at least? In the present neo-colonial wars in which the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are massacred daily, supposedly in the name of democracy and the "fight against terrorism," what do the fathers, the mothers, the young wives think? Only when the number of dead and wounded in the United States army begins to increase does one become conscious of the meaning of the war and the occupation of a foreign land, and that for a minority of sufferers? Might it not be that even in mortality there is racism and that the more than 650 thousand killed in Iraq matter little for the majority of the people of the occupying power? Is the growing unpopularity of the United States leaders due to their lack of efficacy in the conduct of a war of aggression or to its very injustice? In the age of communication and of the Internet, can one believably not know what occurs in Guantanamo, in the jails of Iraq, in the secret detention and torture stations of the Central Intelligence Agency in Europe and other nations of the world? Are the man and the woman of the street of any United States city conscious of the permanent aggression of their government against the people of Cuba over more than 45 years? Of the support of the United States for Somoza, Castillo Armas, Trujillo, Pérez Jiménez, Duvalier, Pinochet, Franco and whatever pro-United States dictator has existed upon the earth during the last decades? Have they asked about the reasons for a growing sentiment of anti-Americanism in the entire world? What do the majority of the scientists, technicians, writers, professors, students graduated from their prestigious universities think about the role that the United States is playing as one of the principal promoters of global State terrorism? Do they know the oppositional essence of the work of Chomsky, considered as the most influential contemporary intellectual at the world level? If someday Bush and his group are judged for crimes against humanity, will the people of the United States be free of any responsibility? Above all, when we enter into the particular history of practices that have been concomitant to the expansion and consolidation of United States capitalism, such as lynchings of persons belonging to national minorities discriminated against and segregated in the very imperial metropolis. Some years ago, the news agency Reuters headlined information about lynchings in Mexico in the following manner: a "brutal 'Mexican tradition' concerning the lack of justice." Nevertheless, if their correspondent had researched the phenomenon of lynchings on a world scale with greater rigor and depth she would have found that our nation is not the only one where there takes place what the Espasa encyclopedia defines as "punishing or executing, without process, of a suspect or a culprit." Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, in Latin America, report a great number of lynchings that would have to be analyzed in their respective national contexts. For all that, the Larousse encyclopedia in the French language refers to Lynch law as "a sort of summary procedure, 'used in the United States,' in which a multitude arrests, judges, condemns, and immediately executes a criminal." This perspective coincides with that of James E. Cutler, the first United States academic to investigate the lynchings who published in 1905 the work Lynch Law, in which he established that "lynching is a criminal practice 'peculiar to the United States.'" Indeed linchar and linchamiento in Spanish derive from the English words lynch and lynching, respectively, and refer, originally, to the extra-judicial executions which during the revolution of independence of the United States seem to have been popularized by the colonel Charles Lynch, a Virginia landowner, and were rapidly extended in the 19th century as an essential part of the process of expansion and conquest of that nation towards the Mexican territories, which is analyzed in this book. Robert L. Zangrando affirms: The opponents of slavery in the years previous to the civil war in the United States, rustlers, gamblers and other "desperadoes" in the south and in the Old West were the target of the lynchings of the 19th century. From the Eighties years onwards, however, the violence of the masses reflected the contempt of white America against various racial, ethnic and cultural groups. Afro-Americans especially, and sometimes native Americans, Latinos, Jews, recently arrived Asian and Europeans immigrants, felt the fury of the mob... The violence of the masses becomes the domestic for of establishing white dominance. From my own researches into the conquest of the northern Mexican provinces on the part of vigorous United States imperialism--which we shall analyze in this work--I can affirm that numerous lynchings of Mexicans since 1848 were reported in California, New Mexico and Texas, as also myriad cases of Anglos who were not convicted for killing indians, blacks or Mexicans. Nonetheless, as the well-known African-American marxist thinker Oliver C. Cox noted: Lynching is an exemplary and symbolic act. In the United States it is an attack principally directed against all the blacks in some community instead of against an individual Negro in particular... Lynchings occur in the majority of the areas where there is discrimination against blacks, where on occasion the judicial machinery can even facilitate the act. However, the activity of lynching can be found in any part of the United States among the whites.(3) The Columbia encyclopedia informs us that between 1882, when for the first time dependable information was gathered in this respect, up to 1968, a year when lynchings had practically disappeared, it is calculated that 4,743 persons had been lynched; of them, 3,466 were black men and women. In the United States, the lynchings occurred with greater frequency in small settlements in the south, above all in the states of Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, in that order, where the people were poor and the majority illiterate, and where no forms of community recreation existed. Still, one of the most notable psychological causes of the lynchings was "the fear of the Negro," which provides a fundamental subjective basis for justifying racism and discrimination. Furthermore, summary executions of millions of persons, without any judicial or legal process, took place in the Second World War. Communists, anti- fascists of all political stripes, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, and particularly Jews were victims of the Nazi gang who organized a gigantic act of methodical lynching which led to what today we know as the holocaust. In similar fashion, during the multiple wars of conquest of the United States and the European powers, all sorts of executions were held outside of the law, and even with the complicity of the civil and military authorities. The Latin American military dictatorships, with the always active support of their imperialist mentor, brought the extra-judicial demise of thousands of men and women. Even today in Iraq, the United States returns to another round in their history of lynchings against entire peoples. The Ku-Klux-Klan embedded in the White House decides the extermination, outside of all international law, of thousands of inhabitants of Afghanistan, Iraq, or in any other "dark corner of the planet"--according to George W. Bush--which resists the imperial domination. I have preferred not to touch the text of the introduction published in 1976, despite not agreeing with some of the approaches that are suggested there about the concept of nation. Most simply, Marxism has advanced significantly insofar as the national question is concerned. It has been the Marxist perspective on the national question, starting with a critical approach to it, and with the experiences of research/ action developed in Nicaragua, Mexico and other Latin American countries, that has come to shape a current denominated ethno-Marxist, to which I subscribe. The decisive dynamic and the impulse for the formation of a nation do not derive from a geographical-territorial, cultural or ethnic community, but instead it is, in the great majority of instances, the creation of the processes of national formation. Ethnic affinities might be of considerable support, yet not a sufficient condition for the formation of nations. The essential intermediate link, the active subject in the formation of nations, is that comprised of the classes, the social groups, the social struggle, the class struggle. It is impossible to leave aside the political will of the different classes, their conscious action, their national class consciousness in the emergence and formation of nations. To emphasize or merely to enumerate the constitutive elements of the national phenomenon--as I do in the introductory pages that follow--involves some type of reductionism about the national question, for example, classism or economism; this is, classes stripped of their ethnic attributes, of gender, of age, of national groups; it observes the nation as a phenomenon of "market formation" or a mere "product of the bourgeoisie"; ethnic or cultural reductionism: explanation through ethnic factors with no relationship to the class matrix; or as a psychic, subjective or imaginary reality that is realized on the symbolic plane; essentialist reductionism: for example, the extraterritoriality of the "Jewish nation"; nations which are not characterized nor contextualized by their relation to the world systems.(4) The nation will be a stable human community, having emerged historically as the way to establish bourgeois hegemony, that is, their political, economic, social, ideological, and cultural predominance over a territory it claims as the field for its production and internal merchandise market and workforce; and establishes, likewise, a linguistic and cultural imposition upon populations generally heterogeneous in their ethno-national composition. The nation shall be the form of articulation, contradictory and open, of the most diverse social contents. The concept of nation is thus not an immediate category. In large measure, that would explain its reputation as something intangible and therefore possible to be reduced to the market by economism, to become the shadow of the State through politics or social imagination, or also to the essentialist ethnic or culturally trans- historic reductionisms. An organic and contradictory articulatory body between civil society, the political state, and cultural and ideological productions, the nation nevertheless challenges all substantialization and, at the same time, all economic, political or cultural reductionism.(5) To what was written in 1976, we reiterate the necessity of giving historical temporality to the nation, in the interaction of strictly related processes:
  • as a product of the class struggle that appears with capitalism;
  • as a product of the consolidation of a system of national class hegemony on the territorial level, through the imposition of a juridical order that introduces formal equality before the law and universal citizenship;
  • as a product of the transformation of the workforce in commodities;
  • as the result of two tendencies which attract and repel: universalism versus particularism, homogenization versus differentiation;
  • and as a link or mediation between the determinations that are the basis of the simple concept of capital. Capital: much capital in competition; there is no universal capital, as by its nature it is at once universal and fragmented into many capitals. The national bourgeois State manages to unify these two contradictory outward and inward tendencies. Outwardly, shaping the international system of States we know since the 19th century; inwards, reproducing and extending juridical, ideological and cultural impositions, by means of the scholarly system, the draft, the army, the bureaucracy, the system of weights and measures, the national language, the national history, the founding myths, the heroes or founding fathers, etc. The concept of the nation is united with the concept of hegemony; that is, the capacity of one class to selectively augment its moral and cultural control with regard to the overall society; the capacity to articulate its self- interests along with global interests. Corporatism is the negative complement of hegemony at the extreme opposite pole, dealing with the attitude of a class or social group oriented exclusively towards its own interests, displaying an inability to define a global perspective which allows the exercise of political, moral and cultural control over other national-popular sectors. There have been many changes in what is referred to as the Chicano movement in the United States that transform the perspective maintained by the author of these lines in 1976. However, I consider it important to continue maintaining the thesis concerning the emergence of a specific national minority in the territories seized from Mexico to the north of the Rio Bravo. The War of Forty-Seven: popular resistance to occupation constitutes the "Mexican" vision of the events which originate that chicana national minority in the 19th century, and for that reason this book has been considered, by some scholars, a classic in research into that war. Lastly, I wish to thank Ocean Sur publishing, and in particular its president, David Deutschmann, for his interest in the publication of this fourth edition, which attempts to nourish the spirit of resistance of the young generations who struggle--just like their ancestors--for libertarian and anti- imperialist ideals. Cuernavaca, Morelos, 20 June 2007 INTRODUCTION I The war of conquest waged by the United States against Mexico in 1847 not only offered that nation the possibility of extending its territory until achieving the transcontinentality fervently coveted by the venerable "fathers of the republic," and also gave an extraordinary impulse to commerce, industry, mining, agricultural enterprises, and capitalist ranches, in short, to the entire economic structure of the United States; and also brought as a consequence the formation of an exploited national group, occasioned the emergence of a minority embedded in the territory of a foreign state and the existence of a national problem, whose essential characteristics of inequality, economic exploitation, social and cultural discrimination, have subsisted until the present. In the process of conquest of the Mexican lands, the United States establishes a stratification system--on the basis of ethnic and national origin of the population--in which the Mexicans and indians come to occupy the lowest level on the social scale, and are exploited in the same manner as the rest of the working sectors, although under conditions of differentiation and preference. In just this way they find themselves stripped of the most important means of production, displaced from directing the principal economic activities, obliged to integrate with the capitalist system as salaried subordinates in the businesses of United States owners. Since the first years of the establishment of United States capitalism, the relations of domination of the foreign group towards the Mexican population are imposed in all spheres of economic and social life. These relations are maintained by means of the constant and systematic exercise of violence and intimidation, and also through ideological and political control. Meanwhile, the United States power had not the slightest intent to culturally and socially integrate the Mexicans, and at the same time opposed the development of their institutions and devalued their cultural contributions. The fabled model of the United States "melting pot" of cultural assimilation was only put in practice with the European emigrants considered of the "white race," and with those elites, previously "re-educated," who have been useful in the process of domination of their own people. The dominant Mexican class in the lost territories, who played an historical role in the conquest of the "southwest,"(1) was the shock absorber element in the conflict between Anglos and Mexicans, served to sanction the legitimacy of the United States power and to mediate the movements of protest, rebellion or reform directed against that power. The factor of class alliance over and above the national barriers had great importance in explaining the low political and organizational level of the Mexican resistance, as much during the war of 1847 and during the process of the actual conquest of the lands, in sowing internal division, defeatism and passivity toward achieving or maintaining benefits. Upon these bases, the United States power establishes in the northern provinces a double system of oppression and exploitation over the Mexican group, a system at once classist and national. From this perspective, we consider that the factors which intervened in the historical emergence of the chicana national minority in the 19th century are, on one hand, the socio-economic differentiation that the United States power institutes, following lines of ethnic and national origin of the populace and, on the other, the constant resistance of the Mexicans against this scheme of domination. In this regard, circumscribing ourselves to the temporal limits that we have set for our study, approximately from the beginning of the 19th century until the first four decades that follow the termination of the war of 1846- 1848, conquest and resistance are the fundamental processes that enter into play to explain the appearance of the characteristics that might constitute the peculiar traits of a distinct group within our national conglomerate south of the border. Nevertheless, the existence of these peculiarities, the product of an objective and historical reality which follows a unique course starting with the United States conquest, will constantly be reinforced by Mexico for over a century, through the gamut of cultural institutions of the chicana national minority to the uninterrupted emigration of Mexicans toward the rural and urban areas of the southwest, favored by the geographical proximity of these areas and the economic dependence of this nation with respect to the United States. Seen from an historical perspective, the factors that are intimately related in the formation of the chicana nationality are the following: a) The war of conquest and the establishment of United States socio- economic power in the north of Mexico. b) The resistance of the Mexican populace to the invasion and foreign domination. c) The uninterrupted emigration of Mexican to the United States and principally to the southwest. d) The geographical proximity of the chicana national community of the southwest with the Mexican national community at the frontier. The emigration factor gains strength beginning with the first decade of this 20th century, when periods when it attains impressive numbers (in the decade of the Twenties, for example, it is calculated that the number of persons who emigrated legally was 436,733; between 1900 and 1968 a figure of 1,488,017 Mexican emigrants is given, while keeping in mind that these numbers do not include undocumented emigrants). This fact has been much emphasized, to the extent of attempting to conceptualize the Mexicans of the United States as a minority of emigrants and trying to minimize the historical events occurring in the 19th century. Without subtracting importance from the migratory phenomenon and the implications that it can have, we consider that the millions of workers coming from Mexico arrive into a socio-economic situation defined in advance by the prolonged conflict between Anglos and Mexicans which we shall expound throughout our study. The emigrants inherit, so to speak, an historical reality marked by violence, discrimination and exploitation of a character at once social and national, which had its origins in the process of conquest to which we shall refer extensively. One recently arrived is situated in a system of relationships that has been articulated over dozens of years of conflict and domination, within the context of the capitalist system. If from a strictly formal and historical viewpoint the Chicanos could be defined as a national minority, the result of a process in which a nucleus of the indigenous population and a mass of emigrants participated, in light of our arguments, the first element assumes an indisputable sociological importance. Thus, despite the calculation that only 15 percent of the existing chicana population are descendents of the original nucleus of the Mexican populace of the southwest, so for the reasons given and with a classificatory goal, we define the Chicanos as an indigenous national minority, which is to say, as a national group historically constituted and resident of a determinate territory. Likewise we maintain that in order to comprehend the actual situation of the chicana population, and to discover the structural and ideological mechanisms that keep them an oppressed people, it is of primary importance to take into account the historical analysis of the factors, conditions and specific occurrences which determined the processes of conquest and resistance in the north of Mexico. II A theoretical system is maintained or falls, not upon the basis of past dogmas, but instead by its capacity to capture new problems as they are presented, and to give them viable solutions. Horace B. Davis In 1893, the United States anthropologist Daniel G. Brinton offered a conference at the International Congress of Anthropology titled "The 'nation' as an element of anthropology," a subject that in his words: "...I have selected with the object of showing the true scope and complete meaning of the science for whose development we have re-united on this occasion."(2) In his presentation, very interesting for the epoch, Brinton maintained a wide and humanistic viewpoint with regard to the objectives of the "science of man," as also a somewhat optimistic perspective on the possibilities of Anthropology, which, according to Brinton: ...encompasses everything and excludes nothing which pertains to humanity, whether it be that referring to the individual or to their aggregates. It does not omit a part or function that might be considered out of its reach; it does not admit the existence of anything so superior or so sacred that it falls beyond the limits of one's research...and no subject can be put aside or over-studied, and the more fruitful the results are, they will be primus inter pares...(3) These affirmations were a replica of what an anthropologist in the Congress that took place in Moscow a year earlier had declared: the study of nationality has nothing to do with Anthropology; it has been the product of History and that discipline should be the sole concern. I wish to highlight--Brinton adds--the fact that anthropology will never completely understand the science it says it professes, will never come to acquire a perception of its total meaning, if one omits from their study, as not pertinent, any influence that modifies in any direction the evolution of the human species. This the nation does so with a potency and directness that cannot be badly interpreted nor put in doubt.(4) Unfortunately for Anthropology, only a few of the specialists in this branch of the social sciences have noted the transcendence of the national phenomenon as an important field of research. Eric Wolf, for instance, is one of the few anthropologists--also among those who have taken an interest in the studies of "the national character"--who has noted those ample possibilities for study. In an article that this author wrote in 1953, titled "The formation of the nation: an essay of formulation," Wolf points out the variety of themes that the study of the nation offers the anthropologists: The anthropologists can attempt the study of the formation of the nation in relation to changes in the ecology: in the set of relations between the technological apparatus and the medium. They can interest themselves in the growth and in the decadence of socio-cultural sectors involved in the nation's formation, and in whatever relations they may have with changes in the ecology. Finally, they can try to describe the development of the social and cultural linkages of such sectors in terms of the processes of transculturation between spatially and culturally separated groups. Upon these foundations, the anthropologist can try to approach her problem constructing an ideal type of development of the nation. This type can be obtained starting with concrete data. However, they should be expressed in sufficiently general terms so that they can be applied to development of nations in different parts of the world.(5) Similarly, Mexican anthropologists have been interested in study of the national problem, but particularly in the role that the indigenous and black groups have played in the formation of this nationality,(6) and in the analysis of the conditions for the indigenous within the class system of the national capitalist society.(7) Others have carried out research at the national level, vis a vis the traditional tendency of investigations at the community level or the regional level,(8) yet without analyzing the concepts relating to the national phenomenon itself. Thus, despite these and other important contributions, the "national problem" has been a singular theme of anthropological research. However, Anthropology is not an isolated case among the social sciences with regard to the shortage of research into the nation and about the national phenomenon as a whole: national formations, national minorities, national movements, etc. Sociology too has suffered the same deficiencies in this respect. In this manner, the observations made by Brinton in the 19th century upon the importance of the study are not very different from those expressed only a few years ago by Emile Sicard. In his article, "De quelques élements mal connus du fait nationale en sociologie," Sicard states: We can probably say that one of the social, socio-cultural and socio- political facts most neglected by sociology is the national fact, the nation. At the same time, it is admirable that this term is one of the words that is used most frequently, directly or in its derivatives, in political thought... In this manner, we can speak of a lacuna between reality and sociological science in this regard...(9) On the other hand, one of the political ideologies that is founded upon national adhesion--nationalism,--has received the constant attention of numerous specialists from the social sciences.(10) This fact can be explained, in part, because it has proved to be a social and political force of considerable importance in the last two centuries. Nevertheless, the factors from which this ideology takes shape, the origin of the nations, the process of national integration, the formation of national minorities, the socio-economic fundamentals that have encouraged the formation of national groups and movements, et cetera, have not merited the same degree of attention on the part of those specialists. In our opinion, the most immediate problems of nationalism have relegated to secondary importance the study of objective factors of the nation, creating wide lacunae in the comprehension of other areas of the national phenomenon. In relation to Anthropology we should admit that these lacunae are of oceanic dimensions. Nonetheless, this does not mean there are not theories which explain the national phenomenon with a certain coherence although, in truth, none of the theoretic currents yet offers a complete comprehension of many of its problems. In our opinion, this is one of the subjects that requires an interdisciplinary effort, with the object of obtaining the best results through analysis and research. The Marxist theory--due to the characteristics of the social struggles that have aided it development in this century--has been applied to the national problem with growing interest.(11) Marxism explains the origin and development of the nation not on the basis of ideas or "spiritual principles," such as numerous writers have done,(12) but instead by the material conditions of a specific historical context. "The categorical demand of the Marxist theory in examining any social question is that it be located within definite historical limits."(13) In this fashion, it differentiates between the national community that is consolidated with the development of capitalism as the mode of production, and the social communities at less advanced levels of organization: the clan, the tribe, the confederation, the city-State, et cetera: The nation is not only an historical category, but also an historical category which belongs to a definite era, the era of ascendant capitalism. The process of elimination of feudalism and the development of capitalism was, at the same time, a process of amalgamation of peoples into nations, such as, for example, was the case in Western Europe.(14) Nevertheless, despite that the process of national integration is carried out completely within the capitalist--or socialist--mode of production, the formative elements of the nation are developed long before capitalism comes to be the dominant system. Elements such as a common language, territory and culture among people of varied racial and ethnic origins, united beneath the principle of territoriality, with similar characteristics acquired over a long period of coexistence and a certain economic interrelation, are the basis upon which nationalities are formed. Some authors, like Yves Person and Benjamin Akzin, differentiate between the ethnicity or ethnic group and the nationality starting with certain levels of social organization and grasp of political consciousness, being then that human community which has achieved the grade of political consciousness that might seek a national formation.(15) This distinction--provided on a structural basis, as for example the existence of a well-defined "internal" system of social classes in the aggregates of a national character versus the ethnographic characteristics of the ethnic minorities--can be very useful from the point of view of sociological terminology, to differentiate between groups such as the majority of the indigenous communities of Mexico, for example, ethnic groups and aggregates with movements of a defined national character, like the Chicanos, for example. Seen from an historical perspective, together with elements that are developed in the formation of the nationalities, a fundamental process intervenes in the phenomenon of national consolidation. This is the process of economic integration that takes place with the development of capitalism and its consolidation as the dominant system. This process is manifested principally with the formation of a unified "national" market, the disappearance of local custom houses and regional economic barriers, the establishment of internal economic linkages that integrate the parts into a unique whole, the development of communication media, the division of work between the regions and, in sum, the community of cohesive economic life which capital brings with it as a system. Thus, within the already mentioned specific historical context, a process of unification and of "amalgamation" takes place, principally in the following formative elements that characterize a nation: a) Territory, with the consolidation of certain geographic borders that will comprise the spatial limits considered as "national." b) Language, with the preponderance of an idiom or dialect of the nationality or ethnic group which over time, through assimilation or imposition, or through both, comes to be the "national" language. c) Economy, with the consolidation of internal cohesion and integration, manifested in the existence of a national market, the division of labor between regions, and a well-developed system of communication. d) National character, which is formed due to the interrelated action of the factors mentioned and to the community of similar historical and cultural experiences. Taking those factors into account, Stalin defines the nation as a "stable human community, historically constituted and built upon the basis of community of language, of territory, of economic and psychological life, manifested in the community of culture."(16) Now then, this definition and the formation process of the nation that we have sketched above are of a general character and should be adapted to the concrete conditions of each society. As Roger Bartra notes, the nation: ...does not appear except rarely in all its purity; it is expressed through historically conditioned structures: country, national state, nationality, etc. The problem occurs when, in the process of formation of a nation, a series of very important factors are inferred: bourgeois revolution, colonialism, imperialism, struggle for independence, ethnic structure, et cetera, that in large degree determine the peculiarities in the formation of a nation.(17) In the same fashion, Solomon F. Bloom, in expounding the conclusions that can be inferred from the conception possessed by Marx of the modern nation, enumerates some of the factors that condition the formation of nations: A nation is a complex product that will be affected by environmental, historical and economic influences. The physical character of the environment, the degree and form of its development; the general characteristics of the prevailing mode of production, together with the modifications, divergences and special local peculiarities; the number, the functions and the interrelations of the important social classes, and especially the character of the dominant or directing class; the political and institutional experiences of the past; the culture and the particular traditions; all these factors affect the character and the development of the nation.(18) Thus, the formation of nations is effected in very diverse ways in Western Europe, East Europe, Africa, Asia, or Latin America. In the first case--with the exception of the Swiss confederation and Spain--it meant their conversion into independent national states which, despite containing oppressed nationalities within their "national" frontiers, did not comprise a real danger to the preponderance of those dominant, or were more or less assimilated in the process of national consolidation. Such were the cases of England, France, Germany, or Italy. While in the west of Europe the majority of the nations possess their own state, in the east they form multinational states, each one containing various nationalities and nations sufficiently powerful as to aspire to establishing their own national State. Such were the cases of the nations oppressed by the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. Nevertheless, in both regions of Europe, the consolidation of some nations meant the suppression of the national development of other national aggregates who could not be constituted or had lost their national State. Such was the case of Ireland and her fight for centuries to achieve independence and national unity, which still has not been completely attained, with so-called Northern Ireland still in the hands of England as a lost region. The nations who have not managed to constitute their national state have been described by Sergio Selvi with the term of Le Naxioni Proibite, in his magnificent study of such cases in Western Europe: Alba (Scotland), Breizh (Britain), Catalonia (Cataluña), Cymru (Wales), Paese Basco (Euzkadi), etc.(19) In this connection it is pertinent to highlight the common error of identifying the nation with the State, in such a way that any national community which for historical reasons finds itself subject to the control of a foreign state is denied the right to be recognized as a nation, the right of self- determination. The negative political implications of this focus are evident and can be utilized to justify the maintenance of the conditions of oppression to which many "prohibited nations" are subject, along with many other national minorities who are maintained under the political control of a state on the basis of a system of inequality and discrimination. This does not mean, however, that the state does not play an important role in the process of national integration. Our intention is to separate two concepts which, though intimately related, cannot be considered as identical; for this reason we are in agreement with Sergio Selvi when he emphatically affirms: "State and nation are in no way synonymous."(20) The formation of nations in the so-called Third World has been of a very different nature than that which took place in Europe. In Africa, Asia and Latin America the process of national consolidation was effected in the context of colonialism and of imperialism. The action of these factors has influenced, and in many instances determined, the course of the national phenomenon in imposing the language, culture and socio-economic system of the colonial powers over the indigenous groups of those regions, and likewise the territorial borders and afterwards the bloody struggles for independence effected a process of national consolidation. Anouar Abdel-Malek, taking into account the peculiarities of existing national formations in the so-called Third World, offers a typology of great utility, with four possible models of national formations: 1) Resulting from the colonial era, and not resting on a continuous and specific historical tradition: Chad, Central African Republic, Botswana, etc. 2) Having a specific historical tradition, yet which have suffered a profound rupture in their ethnic or national existence caused by the colonial era: Ghana, Mali, Senegal, etc. 3) Of European origin superimposed onto indigenous cultures who, despite having been conquered or vanquished, have had a profound influence in the national process: many countries in Latin America. 4) Who rest upon the base of a millenarian historical tradition, with periods of dependency and decadence, and who have re-conquered the power of decision in all the domains of their national life: China, Egypt, Iran, Vietnam, etc.(21) Abdel-Malek's typology, based principally on the historical antecedents of the current nations and on the impact of colonialism upon them, can help to demonstrate the complexity of the study of the national phenomenon and the variety of situations that occur in the formation of nations. Our principal intention in demonstrating this general vision of the national phenomenon and distinguishing the essential characteristics of a nation has been, on one hand, to provide the historical context in which these communities have emerged, and on the other, to offer the most important features of the national groups. These antecedents are essential for the comprehension of the objective subject of our attention: the historical origins of the chicana national minority beginning with the war of 1847. The national minorities can be defined as the communities which having formed part of a national aggregate, or having in themselves formed a national aggregate, have passed through migration, wars of conquest or by territorial annexations of any kind, to the dominion over a foreign State, and which, despite the process of cultural imposition or assimilation by the dominant group, has maintained its own national identity. The term minority, according to the United Nations document, "Definition and classification of minorities," is used to refer principally to a type of community, especially of a national character, who differ from the group predominant within the state. Minorities of this nature might have been originated in the following ways: a) Anciently constituted as an independent nation with its own State (or with a more or less independent tribal organization). b) Formed as part of a nation that possessed its own State and having been segregated from this jurisdiction and annexed to another State. c) Is and continues to be a regional or scattered group which, although tied to the predominant group by certain sentiments of solidarity, has not achieved a minimum degree of real assimilation with the predominant group.(22) Keeping in mind the historical facts sketched in the previous section, which gave rise to the chicana national minority--circumstances that we shall analyze in detail throughout our study--it remains clear that that minority should be included in category b) of the above classification. This means that the chicana national minority formed part of a national aggregate that possessed its own State, the Mexican, and that later it was segregated from the jurisdiction and annexed to the United States due to a military conquest. The essential characteristic of the chicana minority is their national origin and the fact of having, until the present, a peculiar identity. As a result of the process of conquest of the north of Mexico, the populace of those territories came to constitute a national minority subject to the power of the north american State. The United States conquest of the north of Mexico has not been the only factor in the formation of the chicana national minority: the continual migration of Mexicans to the United States has played a very important role in that process, above all in the last 70 years. In the case of the Chicanos, the processes of conquest and migration have been the principal elements that have intervened in the formation of this national minority, composed of the inhabitants of the conquered territories, and of those who have emigrated from Mexico: "this second group has maintained links with the nation of origin and has been a most important factor in the conservation of cultural patterns and traditions; it can be said that the emigrants have kept alive the consciousness of their national origin."(23) Taking these characteristics into account and utilizing the already mentioned classification, from the viewpoint of the origin and situation of the minority in relation to the State, the Chicanos are a national minority that can be considered within the following categories: a) Minorities who descend from groups that long ago belonged to another State, which then were annexed to a State by virtue of an international act that effected territorial re-adjustments. b) Minorities comprised of persons who possess a common origin, language, religion, and culture, et cetera, and have emigrated or have been imported within the country and come to be citizens of the State.(24) The Chicanos being the result of a process of conquest and migration, the principal objective of this study is to cover the analysis of the primary factors which intervened in the formation of that minority. Historically, the conquest of the north of Mexico and the definitive establishment of United States power takes place during the 19th century, whereas the Mexican migration is principally a phenomenon of the present century, and is thereby beyond the scope of our study. Not only is each factor the product of a different historical era, but also causes and variables of very different natures intervene in each. We consider that our contribution to the field of the national phenomenon may be to offer this "case study" of the historical origins of a specific minority, and this work one step more in the participation of anthropologists in investigating the process of national formation. I. Generalities regarding United States territorial expansion It seems a lie that at this stage of the century men are still registering their presence who are worse than those who made the hard, rich history of rampages, invasions, cannon, despoliation, tortures, ransacking, humiliations, this whole catalog, in short, of depredations, violations of the bodies and souls of blacks, indians, mixed and mulatto races. Pedro Andrés Pérez Cabral I The count of Aranda--representative of Spain in signing the accords that ended hostilities between the English metropolis and their old colonies in the New World, recognizing the independence of the United States of America--was perfectly conscious that one day, not very distant, the Spanish colonial empire would have to lament its participation--a little forced--in the birth of the new nation. On the same date on which the Treaty of Versailles was signed (September 3rd of 1783) the minister sent a message of a secret character to his leader, king Charles III of Spain--its content was considered by him "as of the highest importance for the circumstances of the age"--warning the sovereign of the nefarious consequences for the Spanish empire that the recently constituted republican federation would bring. For the canny count of Aranda, the example that the victorious struggle of the North American English colonies for their independence, the remoteness of Spain with respect to her domains, the difficulty of getting the viceroys to provide adequate governments, the discontent of local populations, all that accumulation of contradictions would inevitably result in the peoples of America seeking to obtain their sovereignty at the first feasible occasion. In the same way, the Spanish minister affirmed that, under these circumstances, the new republic would undoubtedly extend its territorial area at the cost of the European powers which had adopted them and at the cost also of the possible new nations without colonial ties which emerged in the continent: The independence of the English colonies has just been recognized, and this, in my opinion, is a very serious matter... That Federal republic was born, so to speak, as a pygmy and has needed the help of powerful states such as Spain and France to obtain its independence... The times will come when it becomes a giant and even a colossus of such proportions as to be feared over those vast regions...and then will forget the benefits it received from both countries and will only think of expanding its borders... Its first steps are slated to take possession of the Floridas in order to dominate the Gulf of Mexico. Afterwards...they will aspire to the conquest of that vast empire [Nueva España], which it will not be possible for us to defend against a formidable power established on the same continent... Such fears are very well founded and will be realized within a few years, if other disastrous events do not occur in our Américas.(1) With the object of Spain preserving its relations with the American possessions even in the case of "disastrous events," Aranda proposed in his message to the king a project so elaborate as to be difficult to be put into practice, principally because, as we shall see, it would require an immediate "sacrifice of the status" of the colonial possessions, for the sake of the "general interest" of the empire. He counseled changing the forms of the domination, "disengaging" from all the colonies in América, with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico, to form three kingdoms with Spanish sons at their heads, the king of Spain assuming the title of Emperor. The Caribbean islands would be base for peninsular commerce and the point of union of the kingdoms, which would convey a contribution to the metropolis in coin and in species, and would be united in an offensive and defensive alliance for their "preservation and prosperity." The count trusted that the realization of those singular plans would be an effective barrier against Spain's most feared rival in América: England the the new North American Federation. All these designs--not exempt from farsighted colonialist logic--were rejected by the Spanish government which, with less pessimism than their representative in France, preferred to keep receiving the copious rents from their colonies in América in the defense, somewhat incidental, of the interests of a gravely sick empire and with voracious heirs circling its head. Luis de Onís, minister plenipotentiary of Spain to the government of the United States during the second decade of the 19th century, tries to follow in Aranda's footsteps, though without the audacity to expound extraordinary, empire-saving plans. With the acuity proper to the able diplomat jealous of his duties, Luis de Onís had observed with great concern since his arrival to the nation of the United States, the openly expansionist character of the young republic and its "gigantic" projects of continental domination which caused many of its citizens to entertain a real idea of "moving the presidential seat from Washington to the Isthmus of Panama." At an early date, the 10th of April in 1812, he wrote this in a note addressed to Francisco Javier Venegas, viceroy of Nueva España: Every day the ambitious ideas of this Republic are being developed more and more, confirming its hostile glances towards Spain: V. E. will have learned by now from my correspondence that this government has proposed nothing less than setting its limits at the mouth of the Norte or Bravo river, following its course to the Pacific ocean, consequently taking the provinces of Texas, Nuevo Santander, Coahuila, New Mexico, and part of the province of Nueva Vizcaya and the Sonora. This project will seem delirious to all reasonable persons, yet it is nonetheless certain that the project exists, and that a plan has arisen expressly from these provinces by order of the government, also including the island of Cuba in those borders, as a natural possession of this republic.(2) Despite Onís having sent similar letters to the government of the metropolis and to the governments of the colonies, and with diverse pseudonyms writing numerous articles from the viewpoint of the Spanish government, this active minister did not make public his concern with the marked expansionist tendency of the United States until the publication in 1820 of his Memoir of the negotiations between Spain and the United States of America. In Memoir... he takes note of the events that led to the signing of the treaty known as Onís-Adams and in which the "cession" of the Floridas was formalized, and recognition was obtained--at least for the moment--of a border with Nueva España that did not include the United States territory, the already coveted province of Texas. In an interesting monograph which precedes and surpasses it, in what he called a Notice regarding the statistics of that nation, the minister offers a vision of the era on such varied topics as the character of the United States, its culinary habits, the massacres of indians,(3) the invention of the torpedo and the machine gun, yet putting emphasis upon the inspired plans of that government concerning the oversight role it desired in destinations of America and the world, such as their pretensions to achieve territorial acquisitions, obtain political and economic control and attain hegemony over the Spanish colonies who, at that moment, were immersed in the struggle for national independence. These ideas were captured in detail by the minister Onís and in the context of the discouragement caused by the turn which the events kept taking, adverse to the interests of the Spanish empire. He expressed it in this manner: The United States had barely recognized its independence, established tranquility and order in its republic and noted the place it should take among the independent powers, when it formed the grandiose project of taking the American continent from the nations which had possessions in it, and of gathering under its dominion by federation or conquest all of their colonies... The United States has formed its plan with wise and mature reflection, follows it fearlessly along with England: whoever the governors are does not change an iota...as the Americans now believe themselves superior to all the nations of Europe, called by the fates to definitely extend their domination to the Isthmus of Panama, and in the future to all the regions of the New World. Its government ponders these very ideas and maintains the constant illusion of these flattering hopes in the course of its politics.(4) It was not the threat of imaginary phantasms that kept the Spanish minister worried, it was the facts and the open projects that in the mouths of the "Fathers of the Republic" had captured the popular imagination as an inevitable destiny of domination and grandeur. Already in the year 1786 Jefferson wrote to Archibald Stuart the following: Our confederation should be considered as a nest from which all America, that of the north and that of the south, should be populated. Thus we shall be careful, in the interest of this great continent, to not expel the Spaniards, for those countries could not be in better hands. My fear is that Spain may be too weak to maintain its dominion over them until our populace shall have advanced sufficiently to win their dominion hand to hand.(5) And in 1801 the same Jefferson confided to James Monroe his opinion that: Notwithstanding that our present interest can contain us within our limits, it is impossible not to look beyond to the distant times when our rapid multiplication will extend us beyond those limits and will cover all the north if not all the south of this continent, with people speaking the same language, governed in a similar form and with similar laws...(6) In these ideas and others similar shared by Adams, Clay, Monroe, and in general by the United States ruling class, is where the true foundations are found, the crude reality of what will later be known as the Monroe doctrine (quickly transformed into a "doctrine" to give it its patina of mysticism and grant it respectability) and the ideology of conquest called "Manifest Destiny." Both currents of thought are nourished and have their antecedents in the characteristics which Luis de Onís notes in his Memoir... and was nothing but the "official" form of indicating to the colonial powers of Europe that the United States entered, under equal conditions, into the colonial apportionment of the world, that America should be considered a field free from all European interference...to the exclusive benefit of the United States. In this respect Richard W. Van Alstyne asserts: The concept of the right to colonize presupposed the assumed ability to implement this right, and in this form arrives at being part of the United States mentality in the 18th century. John Quincy Adams and James Monroe, employing the same reasoning, gave the doctrine its classic expression in 1823; and the Monroe Doctrine comes to be the ideological weapon chosen by the United States in the 19th century to ward off intruders to the continent. Manifest destiny, that intriguing phrase utilized by the historians to label the expansion of the United States in the 19th century, is only the other side of the medallion...(7) Luis de Onís, sworn enemy of the independence movements of the Spanish colonies, who had a complete network of agents in his service who informed him of every one of the steps taken by the revolutionaries of the United States in their search for support and recognition, denounced on numerous occasions the ambivalent position taken by the United States in relation to the independence struggles of Spanish América. This position responded, as Jefferson revealed, to the economic and political interests thought obtainable by the separation of these provinces. This fact can be clearly noted in the spirit that animated the resolution of the United States Congress on January 15th in 1811 in relation to the Spanish territories adjoining this country and the revolutionary struggle that recently had emerged in Nueva España: Appreciating the peculiar situation of Spain and her provinces and considering the influence that the destiny of the territory adjacent to the southern border of this nation can have upon the security, tranquility and commerce of the United States, the Senate and the House of Representatives of America, gathered in Congress, resolves: That the United States, under the peculiar circumstances of the current crisis, cannot, without serious concern, contemplate the act of some part of said territory falling into the hands of any external power; that an eventual consideration of its own security might force this nation to promote, under certain circumstances, the occupation of said territory. At the same time, the United States of America declares that such territory would remain in its hands subject to future negotiations.(8) The fate of the Floridas was sealed eight years before their conquest! As a consequence of the content of similar resolutions, the United States tried on various occasions to obtain, in exchange for help for their cause, the promise of annexation on the part of the representatives of the insurgent movements. Luis de Onís communicated to Venegas in 1812 the content of a conversation held by the then secretary of state Monroe with the Mexican insurgent Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara,(9) in which "arms, money and men" were promised for the independence of Mexico in exchange for the adoption of a constitution similar to that of the United States, as an antecedent to future annexation with the United States confederation. Telésforo de Orea, representative of the Venezuelan insurgents--Onís stated--"has been given to understand that the American government had made him, although indirectly and with less clarity, the same offer, and is quite displeased with the project of these republicans, whose claimed moderation serves only as a cover to the extreme ambition of the current administration." The Mexican general José María Tornel, combatant during the independence, expressed himself in similar terms with regard to the real motives of the United States government in relation to the insurgent movements: It was then in the essential interest of the United States to support by its example, its counsel and effective assistance, the insurrection of Spanish America. That facilitated the consummation of her covetous glances, as much by the sympathies it created as by the weakness assumed by the ephemeral governments of the modern associations. If it proclaims, if it sustains the august rights of nations to liberty and independence, it is not led by the noble stimulus of a just and holy cause; her interest is that which procures, her advances those which solicit indefatigably.(10) Although the motives that impelled the count of Aranda as well as Luis de Onís to try to somehow detain this "colossus," which grew day by day, were based fundamentally on their desires to perpetuate the Spanish colonial system, the capacity of both to foresee events that, within the logic of the circumstances of the era might take place in the future, is surprising. Nevertheless, the warnings mattered as little as the advice of the Spanish ministers to the Crown with the object of safeguarding their possessions two years after Onís prepared the loss of the Floridas, and the majority of the independence movements in America had managed to establish national governments, though not with the disappearance of the danger of intervention on the part of the European colonial powers, and on the part of their young, yet privileged disciple in North America. Before those antecedents, it is not strange that the first Mexican diplomatic representative in the United States, José Manuel Bermúdez Zozoya, should send a note to the government of Mexico, on December 26th in 1822, in which he manifests his misgivings regarding the aggressive plans of the government to the north: The pride of those republicans does not permit them to see us as equals but as inferiors; their conceit extends in my judgment to believing that their capital will be that of all the Americas; they adoringly love our money, not ourselves, nor are they capable of entering into an agreement of alliance or commerce, except for their own convenience, with reciprocity unknown. With time they must become our sworn enemies, and with such prevision we should treat them starting today... In the sessions of the general Congress and in the sessions of the particular States, they speak of nothing but the deployment of armies and militias and this undoubtedly has no other object but that of ambitious glances towards the Province of Texas.(11) The president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria, in an interview held with the British agent, Patrick Mackie, tells him that in his opinion the United States was "an ambitious people, always ready to jump on their neighbors, without a single spark of good faith."(12) In those times, the "colony" headed by Austin, established on Texas lands thanks to an authorization given by the colonial authorities of Nueva España and ratified by the governments following independence, day by day grew in numerical importance, in economic power along with the search for the "conflict" which would lead it to political separation from Mexico and its incorporation into the United States. The first phase of the conquest had been achieved: the conditions were given for lieutenant José María Sánchez to exclaim during his voyage through the territories occupied by the United States, "in my understanding the spark that ignites the fire that will leave us without Texas will come from this colony..."(13) By 1830, based upon news of the expedition directed by the general Manuel Mier y Terán to the province of Texas, the secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico, Lucas Alamán--a conspicuous representative of the class in power, who a few years previously had requested the United States government to remove its first plenipotentiary envoy, the sadly celebrated Joel R. Poinsett, for his meddling in the internal affairs of Mexico--in his secret message to Congress denounces the politics followed by the United States with the object of taking over whatever adjacent territory had been coveted, with such constancy and uniformity of means, that on every occasion they had attained the territorial objectives that had been proposed. Alamán's message makes note of the methods utilized in this movement of expansion. One of them was the "pacific" acquisition, or the gradual occupation of a territory on which supposed property rights were declared on the part of the "colonies" which, gathered in growing numbers and taking advantage of a propitious occasion, demanded formal possession from their government of the territory they desired and its annexation into the Union, arriving, after some diplomatic play, a mix of threats and offers to buy the "disputed" province, at the desired goal "of concluding a transaction as onerous for one party as advantageous for the other." On other occasions--Lucas Alamán continued to say--they used less subtle methods, yet not thereby less effective: At times they revert to more direct means, and taking advantage of the state of weakness, or the domestic troubles of the possessor of the desired land, with the most exotic pretenses they take control over directly from the nation, as happened with the Floridas, leaving it to later to legitimize possession of that where there is not strength to evict them.(14) As opposed to Luis de Onís and the count of Aranda, Lucas Alamán(15) did not defend the interests of a colonial power, but on the contrary tried to safeguard the territorial legacy of a nation recently emerged from colonial political dependency, and distinguished perfectly what it meant for a European metropolis to lose territory beyond its borders, from the loss of its territorial integrity for a nation in the formative process, situations of a very different nature: The immense lands which by means of those maneuvers have been stripped from the European powers who possessed them on our continent were for them of secondary interest: but here [referring to Texas] it concerns attacking the national interests, and Mexico cannot dispose of nor cede the tiniest State without dismembering the territorial integrity of the Republic itself, as was done by France and Spain who released lands they possessed at long distances from their respective countries.(16) To Lucas Alamán, considered by many authors as one of the most representative figures of conservative thought during this era in the history of Mexico, belongs the merit of having neatly expressed, as much in this report as by his ministerial action, the principle of nationality emerged from the United States revolutionary experience and that of France in the great bourgeois revolution of 1789. To a conservative it fell to maintain, in the face of foreign aggression, one of the liberal principles that gives form to the modern capitalist nations. As a member of the dominant class of a nation which had--in the context of colonial dependence, in spite of strong regional interests, disunion and internal battles, and despite external aggression-- barely initiated its process of national consolidation, he makes the interests of his class national interests, and "gives the common interest a general form."(17) This circumstance made him perfectly conscious of the economic and strategic values that the territories coveted by the United States had for the nation; for this reason he asked in his report to the Congress: Will Mexico be able to disengage from its own soil, and will it be in its interests that a rival power locates itself in the center of its States, mutilating some and thinning out others? Will it be able to disengage from 250 leagues of coast which has the means for the construction of ships, the shortest canals for commerce and interior navigation, the most fertile lands and the most abundant resources for attack and defense?(18) Lucas Alamán, after developing his argument about the danger represented by the possible loss of Texas, proposed to the government of Mexico a series of measures to avoid that such an occurrence might happen. However, the events that followed--the Texan rebellion, the tragic finale of the military campaign and the presence of "bosses" of the perfidy of Santa Anna--annulled the tardy actions of the weak and divided Mexican government. Once more the fears of the ministers of foreign relations were made real, establishing--upon the basis of "democracy" and the labor or thousands of black slaves--the ephemeral Republic of Texas, one more subterfuge for masking the United States expansionist movement. Thus, after little more than a decade of independent life, with the bitter experience of the triumph of the United States sedition in Texas and with the perennial threat of new acts of rapine, the cited general Tornel gives an overview of the politics followed by the United States in relation to the Republic of Mexico, in energetic terms and without the obligatory restraint of the diplomatic language of his predecessors: The dominant thinking of the United States of America has been for more than fifty years, that is to say, since the period of its political infancy, the occupation of a large part of the previously Spanish territory today belonging to the Mexican nation. Democrats and Federalists, all their parties under their former and their modern denominations, have been in agreement to procure the power, by all means available, directed by cunning, pain and bad faith, the expansion of the limits of the republic, to the north, to the south and at noon. It is not an Alexander nor a Napoleon ambitious for conquest to extend his dominion or his glory which inspires in the proud Anglo-Saxon race that desire, that furor to usurp and dominate the alien; it is the whole nation which is possessed of the unquiet character of the barbarians of another North and another age, which overruns whatever opposes it in the course of its aggrandizement... because its law is its desire and justice is its convenience.(19) II Capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt. Karl Marx The expansionist ideas supported by the ruling class in the first decades of the United States republic, like the actions taken to make the territorial expansion reality--observed with great clarity by contemporaries like those quoted--should be considered fundamentally as the expression of a process peculiarly favorable to capitalist development.(20) The motor that sets in march the movement towards new geographic horizons was in no way the racial, ethnic or religious origin of the populators of the recently emancipated English colonies,(21) although all the characteristics of this sort play an important role in cultural forms, in the elements of the superstructure adopted by the system. What moves and determines the phenomenon of the territorial, commercial and political expansion is found in the financing and development of the capitalist system in the United States. Just as Harry Magdoff indicates: ...this expansionism is not the result of some mystical force inherent in the character of the American people. On the contrary, the expansion was essential for the social system that was developing and for its extraordinary productivity and wealth. The expansion plays an important role in each political period and helps to mold the economic structure and the resulting cultural environment, both in turn reinforcing the impulse for a subsequent expansion.(22) On the other hand, it is evident that the historical conditions of the establishment of the English colonies in North America were determinative in the later capitalist expansion of the thirteen colonies. Paul Baran neatly expresses the distinctive characteristics of the establishment of the European colonies in New England: ...one cannot distinguish sufficiently between the impact of the entrance of Western Europe in North America (Australia and New Zealand) on the one hand, and the "opening" of western capitalism in Asia, Africa and eastern Europe, on the other. In the first case, western Europeans enter into a more or less empty space, and settle in those areas, establishing themselves as its permanent residents... They come to the new lands with "capitalism in their bones" and do not encounter what could be called resistance...and they are successful in establishing in a short time, on virtually virgin and exceptionally fertile soil, their own indigenous society. This society, from its beginnings capitalist in its structure, not overwhelmed by the brakes and the barriers of feudalism, can dedicate itself completely to developing its productive resources. Its social and political energies were not undermined by a prolonged struggle against feudal domination, nor dissipated in overcoming the conventions and traditions of the feudal age. The only obstacle to capitalist accumulation and expansion was the foreign domination. Even so, overall, in no sense free of internal conflicts and tensions of considerable intensity...the newly emerging bourgeois societies were, at an early stage, sufficiently cohesive and strong so as to end the domination and create a political framework which would lead to the growth of capitalism.(23) The first victorious anti-colonial war found in history, the war of the English colonies for their independence, was not only an act of political separation from the European metropolis, but also signified the establishment on the American continent of a new capitalist nation. This process--the same as that of early colonization--is effected in the context of truly favorable conditions: "...a propitious historical moment, a democratic climate, the absence of a rooted feudal structure, political effectiveness in promoting industry, vast natural resources, a growing and hard-working populace with a relatively high level of preparation, and rapid technological advance..."(24) It is precisely during the United States war of independence that the fundamental basis is established for the full economic development of the new nation, within the framework of mercantilist capitalism that England had implanted in her American colonies.(25) The war breaks with the British restrictions imposed on commerce, opens the doors to domestic manufacturing with the cessation of the commercial links with the metropolis, and transforms the system of land ownership. In this manner, in a few years and not without difficulties, the creation of an organized and protected national market, growing participation in the world market, the development of industry and of communications, and the movement to a generalized regime of individual property in land are achieved. During the war great fortunes are accumulated in commercial operations of vast scope, in speculation on a large scale in foreign exchange and letters of credit, and in the provisioning of the armies.(26) The land, which the State cedes to private hands for its management upon the termination of the seignorial rights of the English crown, is the source of grand speculation on the part of powerful individuals or companies who hoarded great extensions of land for its sale to individuals. This process that takes place in the United States since before the war of independence, which is strongly stimulated by the latter and gains great strength with the implantation of the republic, is nothing else than what Marx denominates primitive accumulation of capital, a phenomenon that consists of the creation and the concentration of capital required by the capitalist enterprises in formation in order to obtain means of production and acquire a workforce, and the separation of those from their original owners, liberating the workforce. Throughout this process the foundations are placed for a rapid development of the capitalist system: the growing existence of wage-earning workers lacking the means of production, and the accumulation of large sums of money and means of production in private hands. For Marx the primitive accumulation of capital accordingly implied a process of proletarianization, on the one hand, insofar as the other consisted in the concentration of wealth in few hands, circumstances that we encounter in their "classical" form in the centuries that preceded the English industrial revolution, so that: The process which engenders capitalism can be one only: the process of dissociation between the worker and property concerning the conditions of her work, a process that partly converts the social means of life and of production into capital, while also converting the direct producers into wage-earning workers. The so-called primitive accumulation is nothing, then, but the historical process of dissociation between the producer and the means of production.(27) It is very important for our theme to demonstrate an inseparable characteristic of the process of capitalist accumulation in those areas where the conditions were given for its full development: this process brings along with it the destruction of pre-capitalist formations, implies the progressive destruction of the natural economy and of the simple mercantile economy. The development of capitalist accumulation carries in its entrails the constant search for colonies for their exploitation, new fields of investment and for obtaining primary materials, and growing groups of consumers and wage-earners. In the phenomenon of capital accumulation we discover the root of the capitalist system, which becomes colonialism and imperialism, the determining motive in the expansion of the capitalist metropolis and the need to maintain underdevelopment among the colonies, "marginal" groups, of zones of influence of the metropolis. Comprehension of this inseparable inter-relation between development and underdevelopment is what led Rosa Luxemburg to affirm that, seen from an historical perspective, capitalist accumulation is a sort of symbiosis between the capitalist and pre-capitalist modes of production.(28) This inter-relation should not cause us to lose sight that the determining factor in the development of the capitalist metropolis we should locate in the internal forces of those societies, in the development of their forces and means of production, in the exploitation of the working class of those nations.(29) Situating ourselves within the theoretical perspective offered by Marxism in the treatment of capitalist accumulation allows us to understand the phenomenon of United States expansion, the destruction of the indigenous economies, the physical disappearance of whole tribes whose members could not be utilized as wage-earners or consumers. This category gives us the key for comprehending the expansion towards the outlying zones of the original United States territory and the acquisition of a "colony" (the north of Mexico) later to be integrated as part of the "national" territory of the United States.(30) Economic self-sufficiency for the nation by means of increasing domestic production and with a favorable balance in international trade, like the insistence in boosting industry and controlling the export markets and sources of raw materials, were the "concerns" during the first years of independent economic life. The "detached and distant situation" enunciated by Washington in his message known as the "Farewell Address" contains the economic and political guidelines stemming from the first experiences of the men of the north american State. To foment commercial relations while the most minimal political connections possible are maintained--which Washington counseled in the cited message--represented the pragmatic assumptions of a nationalism xenophobic to expand. The "Farewell Address" in the opinion of W. A. Williams: ...Formulated a bi-partisan response to the problem of a basic strategy [for the United States ruling class] The solution was to construct a commercial empire...as a means of avoiding political participation in the European system, while they maintained complete freedom of action to ensure and develop a continental empire in the Western Hemisphere. Washington's proposition was classically simple: play a position of power provided by the basic economic well-being and the geographic localization of the United States, with the objective of surviving initial weakness and emerging as a world power.(31) In this stage of capitalist development, its leaders' worries were centered upon consolidating internal unity, in financing an economic system without external political interferences and with those goals attained to advance toward a manifest destiny of world predominance. In this manner, against the rapid development of the United States capitalist system, the expansion of all its forms becomes the path it is necessary to follow, the political guide to economic action for the era and those which would follow later: "The essence of the character of the social organism of the United States that has determined its fate--modified and adapted, surely, in reaction to accidental events and to complex historical forces--has been its persistent urgency to expand."(32) It therefore became "necessary" to search for new markets that opened new perspectives for industries in rapid development due to the phenomenon of the growing concentration and centralization of capital; they felt a lack of new geographic areas in which to invest capital and an ever growing workforce. In this respect it is important to indicate the fundamental importance in the capitalist development of the United States held by the immigration of millions of persons from every continent; the quantity and the quality of the immigrant workforce was fundamental for industry and in general, for all branches of the economy.(33) The needs of capitalism in that phase that extends from free competition to monopoly, on a world level, constitute the veil of the elaborate declarations of democracy and liberty sustained as the justification for the capitalist expansion becoming imperialist. This continual dichotomy between "democracy" and slavery, between "equality" and racism, between "self-determination" and the chain of invasions, whose most recent memory is the Dominican Republic, is perhaps the characteristic--in an ideological view--that most distinguishes the politics of the United States when it is compared with other pre-capitalist systems. This contradiction between the democratic principle hoisted by the ideologues, and the aggressive actions effected by the governments, had been acutely noted by Simón Bolívar and briefly expressed in his famous sentence: "The United States seems destined by Providence to plague the Americas with miseries in the name of liberty." III. Territorial expansionism Our México, our nation; virgin who slept slept in her chaste bed of flowers, without the impure arm of the invader having grasped her like a harlot, and her dishonor celebrated like a triumph! Manuel Payno, Guillermo Prieto and others (1848) From the foregoing we can highlight the conclusions essential for us from the expansionist movement of the United States, and also to delineate those important inferences regarding this phenomenon: a) The movement for the acquisition of new territories begins since the triumph of the United States federal republic and is continued by the ruling classes of this nation throughout all of the 19th century until its culmination in the war against Spain in 1898 and the acquisition of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and other territories, now in the properly imperialist era. This means that it is necessary to more strictly relate the phenomenon and the periods of territorial expansion with the establishment of United States imperialism, for the tendency exists to observe them in isolation, to deny any connection between both or simply to ignore this so important epoch in United States capitalist development. b) Expansionism centers its attacks on the weakest barricades,(34) hence the direction that the movement took towards the south and towards the west, until the stripping of the lands belonging to the indigenous groups, to the Spanish empire and to the young Republic of Mexico.(35) c) The expansionist movement aspired strategically to the conquest of the entire continent, to the economic, political and military predominance of the United States over the peoples of América. The immediate territorial objective, already defined since the beginning of the 19th century, was the acquisition of the Floridas, Louisiana, Texas, the north of Mexico to the Pacific,(36) including the port of San Francisco and, (historical irony!) the island of Cuba, considered by Adams as the "fruit" which would inevitably fall into the United States eden. These aspirations and projects--many of which were accomplished to the letter--are the basis of the so-called Monroe Doctrine and, in general, this is the context in which the relations of the United States with the other nations of Latin America should be observed. d) The expansionist movement does not encounter serious resistance in the achievement of its objectives until the lands of the Republic of Mexico appear in its path, provoking the war of 1846-48. From the elements sketched here we can conclude that that war could not have--given its goals and its results--any character but that of conquest, and that the role of Mexico in such events is that of the aggrieved, given that the United States corresponds, clearly, to the aggressor.(37) e) In the thinkers of the era there is a clear vision of the United States expansionist movement; its ends, methods and justifications, supposedly democratic and liberal, are well known. Now then, one might ask about the reason that Mexico constituted a barrier of contention to the expansionism sufficiently powerful as to provoke a war of the dimensions and the characteristics of that of 1846-1848. What were the elements that rendered useless the methods employed by the expansionist movement for the acquisition of Louisiana, the Floridas, Oregon? Why was it necessary that with the power of the United States it would see itself obliged to use the extreme means of armed struggle to attain its territorial objectives? The analysis of the socio-economic conditions for the historical events, the teaching of the works of the era's thinkers, can offer us the key for comprehending one of the fundamental causes why the ruling class of Mexico did not concede the territories which the expansionists coveted, on the innumerable occasions when Poinsett and other United States agents made proposals to buy these. It also helps us to understand why only one war of conquest would make possible what the monetary offers, provocations and threats could not achieve. It was not about achieving periodic extermination campaigns against isolated or helpless indigenous populations, with the object of possessing their lands, as was the case with the political genocide of the United States with the indigenous tribes of North America; nor about the blessed purchase of entire provinces, immense extensions, adventurers in search of the necessary economic funds to defray their expenses of war in the European continent; nor about the wholesale stripping of the remains of an empire in decadence. In the case of Mexico, it was a nation directed by a heterogeneous group, comprised of men of the most varied political denominations, liberals and conservatives, of a moral quality that went from the integrity of a Mier y Terán to the unheard of corruption of a Santa Anna, a whole set of individuals of the ruling class and large sectors of the populace having an idea a little confused with respect to their class interests, conscious only that to a certain extent they all formed a national conglomerate, a country, a nation, whose territorial legacy was not for sale. The principle of nationality, the right to establish a national State with an historically formed territory and an indivisible character, was argued against all the betrayals and opportunisms so as to offer an armed resistance to the invader. Upon confronting the United States for the first time on their expansionist path to that conglomerate which--though in formation--possessed a national character, provoked a war, whose goal of conquest was implicit. Mexico demonstrated, although in defeat, that the principle of nationality was not an exclusive privilege of U.S. persons [estadosunidenses] and of European metropolitan colonialists, who had not the least intention of recognizing this right in their colonies and among weaker peoples, subject to external domination. That is why only the force of arms could make real the old dream of the "Fathers of the Republic": the consolidation of the young bourgeois democracy as a trans- continental territory. In this form, the war of 1846-1848 was one step more in a continued and uninterrupted process of territorial expansion. It was an armed conflict in which two opposed forces move toward confrontation: on one side, a rapid process of capitalist development accompanied and stimulated by an aggressive movement of territorial expansion and massive immigration, and on the other, the early and weakened development of the national consolidation of the Republic of Mexico in a context of economic dependency. Thus: The incipient national capitalism not only unfolds, certainly, before internal obstacles often difficult to surmount, but also confronts two enemies whose power has greatly strengthened: British commerce that, sustained by modern industry in a rapid process of development, invades the old Spanish domains in America; and the United States, who in full and uncontainable territorial expansion first strip Texas from us and a few years later half our territory, at a time when the North American bourgeoisie initiates the offensive which, toward the end of the century, will culminate in the integration of a vast empire.(38) The weakness of the national bonds, the formative level of the national phenomenon, the profound contradictions between the "national" interests and those of the sects, groups and individual adventurers, social and political marginalization for wide swaths of the populace, the lack of communications and geographic isolation, the embryonic development of national consciousness among the people; all these intimately tied factors, in the last analysis determined by the precarious development of capitalism in Mexico, can also help in understanding the relative facility of the conquest and occupation, the betrayal of the popular struggle by important sectors of the class in power, the lack of trust by the rulers in a more extended use in the war of guerrillas, who had demonstrated their efficacy against the enemy soldiery, so those factors can shed light in explaining the reasons for such a sound defeat, and the hurried surrender by the ruling classes. The historical era in which the process of formation of the Mexican nation at the moment when the United States appears on our borders was decisive in determining the internal factors that made possible the resistance as well as the defeat of our people. So then, a few stars more, symbols of yet other ransacking waved in the United States pavilion, and more than one hundred thousand compatriots began the sorrowful road of the creation of Aztlán. II. Vicissitudes in establishing United States power in the Mexican provinces Let our arms now be carried with a spirit which shall teach the world that, while we are not forward for a quarrel, America knows how to crush, as well as how to expand! Walt Whitman My knees are caked with mud. My hands calloused from the hoe. I have made the Anglo rich. Yet, equality is but a word-The Treaty of Hidalgo has been broken and is but another treacherous promise. My land is lost, and stolen. My culture has been raped... I have existed in the muck of exploitation and in the fierce heat of racial hatred. Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Settlement from the United States in the south-west, in the decades which follow the termination of the war of 1846-1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, has been amply described, as much from the viewpoint of the new "conquistadors" as from--in much less detail--that of the conquered. Numerous diaries exist of travelers, servicemen, explorers, and merchants who relate their experiences in the "far West."(1) We have memoirs, novels(2) by those who in one way or another were related to the conquest and exploitation of the new territories, as well as thick volumes of official documents, reports of civil and military authorities which give evidence of different aspects of life in the initial years of Anglo power. Thus, also in recent decades numerous articles, detailed monographs and some general works have been written dedicated to investigation of the most significant events of the Anglo-American conquest of each of the most important regions which for geographic, historical and economic reasons can constitute the "natural" divisions of that which, in 19th century México, were known as the northern provinces: Alta California, Sonora, Nueva Mexico, and Texas.(3) Despite the abundance of material and proliferation of academic works on the subject, it was not until the publication of the work by Carey McWilliams in 1949, North from Mexico, that this tangle of isolated events in regional chronicles, popular memoirs, traditions and myths take form so that we can fully and deeply appreciate the history of a secular conflict and of life burdened with the suffering of an exploited and hindered people. For these reasons, the objective of the present chapter, and likewise the study in general, is not to review every one of the vicissitudes of the arrival of U.S. persons to the north of Mexico, nor to give a precise account of personages, dates or episodes which indubitably hold interest for an historiographic tendency. What we basically intend is to highlight those relevant and essential factors that can explain the dynamic of the historical phenomenon; analyze the forces that act in the social processes so as to discover the nature of the relations which are established between the U.S. persons and the original nucleus of the Mexican population. For this we might wish to briefly indicate the most important ones that arose during the Spanish colonization, the characteristics of the period that begins with the Independence of Mexico, as well as the character of the changes brought by the conquest of the territories and the establishment of United States power. The provinces of the north of Nueva España The unfolding of the Spanish colonization of the territories of the current United States south-west had been affected as much by the cultural characteristics of the Chichimeca groups(4) who inhabited these regions, as by the geographic conditions and the ecological environment of the latter. Against this reality of a neo-Hispanic current, the very dynamic of the socio- economic system that Spain imposed upon her possessions in America were the determinants of the process of conquest and colonization.(5) The nomadism of the great majority of the indigenous groups who lived outside of the meso-American borders determined the existence of two obstacles difficult of being surmounted by the tireless seekers of "cities of gold": the lack of an abundant workforce--fundamental for the Spanish system of indigenous servitude--and the incessant attack of the indians against the advanced Iberian colonialism in the "Septentrional." The nomadic character of the indigenous tribes, their indefatigable resistance before the European intrusion, slowed the advent of what in the rest of Nueva España comprised the very basis of Spanish settlement: the exploitation of indigenous labor. The Spanish conquest was effected by force of two intimately related elements, the power of arms and that of religion. From the first encounter with the military subjugation of the indian, the process followed of their spiritual subjugation: their defiance "surrendered"(6) and "redeemed from ancient beliefs," dominated and Christianized, one was prepared to fulfill their essential "mission" on this earth: to comprise the principal source of the workforce, provider of the life and riches of the "Republic of Spaniards." This relationship of exploitation was implemented throughout the colonial regime under diverse circumstances and forms, yet without its essential character changing: indigenous servitude; later the redistribution and unequal trade with the community are instituted: ...the basic unities are the farm, the ranch, the artisan's shop, the factory, the mine. The income of the dominant classes derive from the surplus labor of the indian workers on grants of distribution, the slaves, the free wage-workers, the peons, and the commercial exploitation of the community and the small producer. It takes the form of rental profit.(7) In the northern region of Nueva España, as opposed to those of the pueblos of New Mexico and other isolated groups, the indigenous had not reached the high levels of meso-American cultures. Nor did there exist tributary predominance of one over the others, a factor that facilitated the establishment of a European power "superimposed" upon the tracks of the American variant of the Asiatic Mode of Production.(8) The majority of those from the center and the south of Mexico passed directly from the domination that the Mexicans exercised over them, to that of the new European conquerors. For these reasons, the Spaniards felt constrained in their desires for colonization to primarily follow the limits determined for the development of the meso-American civilizations. Notwithstanding these limitations from the early times of the conquest, the Spaniards advancing and consolidating in the Chichimeca regions due principally to the constant stimulus offered by the search for gold and silver, as well as by the fundamental interest of the crown to concretize and safeguard the extension and limits of their domains towards the north of Nueva España, "...on the Peninsula they never lost sight of their wide and general protection of the imperialist frontiers."(9) Other factors that constituted a serious obstacle to the Spanish expansion towards the north were the remoteness of the territories with respect to the center of the kingdom, the extensive surface which they occupied, the great aridity of their lands, the vast deserts that separated them from the nearest populated zones of Nueva España. These characteristics conditioned the marginal character of the northern provinces, making their populating, communications, commerce, and politico-military control on the part of the central governments difficult. Even so, it is not possible to exaggerate the isolation and the marginality of these regions to the degree of denying the unity and the connections of these with the viceroyalty and later with the Republic of Mexico. Despite the barriers to colonization already indicated, a socio-economic and cultural system is established inseparable from the rest of Nueva España. One insists too much--as justification for the United States conquest or as simplistic interpretation--on the isolation of these lands and the abandonment manifested by the central power, as much under to colonial government as under the republic. It allows seeing a certain tendency toward geographic determinism in historical interpretation which insists on giving an excessive importance to rivers, mountains and deserts in the analysis of the cultural phenomenon. Matt S. Meier and Feliciano Rivera state, for example, the following: The most important factor that affected the development of the institutions and attitudes in all the regions of the frontier north of Mexico were unquestionably the conjunction of settlement bosses and their isolation as much with respect to central Mexico as from one to another. The isolation adversely affected the composition of human activities, from society to government, and together with the political instability of the government in the Mexican capital, gave rise to the biggest and most dramatic change in the history of the northern border, the loss of the area to the United States.(10) The conceptions that lead to the conclusions we reached in the first chapter do not permit us to be in agreement with this type of interpretations. During the colonial government for instance, historical analysis is not considered, the slow yet efficient system of transport and communications brought together with pack animals from a Spain with an ecological environment similar to that of the north of Mexico. McWilliams affirms: ...long before the railway lines were constructed, the Spanish and the Mexicans had organized an elaborate system of wagon trains that functioned throughout the interminable pathways trod by the conquistadores. In past times, the famous "Carros del Rey" would make the long voyage from Mexico City to Santa Fe, from Santa Fe to Veracruz, transporting merchandise, provisions and silver from the mines. Moving across the deserts and mountain chains, these wagon trains represented, until about 1880, the principal means of transport of merchandise to the cities, of provisions for the military garrisons and for mail. The clang of the wagon train's cowbells could be heard throughout the west, until the whistle of the locomotive began to cause its echo to be heard in the mountain passes and the canyons.(11) Also not much considered has been the steely political, economic and religious centralism of the colonial administration, the constant control exercised over the provinces by means of "visitors" and other means of inspection. The economic, political and cultural links that existed between the north of the viceroyalty and the rest of Nueva España were not necessarily as strict and continuous as those maintained among themselves by the provinces of the center, yet it is also true that on the basis of the relative sparsity of contact it is not possible to conclude its non-existence or diminish its importance, nor to ignore the social relations of production and its consequences. We do not deny the role that isolation and marginality played, yet we consider that insistence upon this factor can reach the extreme of observing the northern regions as "closed" societies with a dynamic characteristic of development. These were part of Nueva España and of Mexico at the moment when the United States was approximately at the Septentrional borders. These territories were found linked to a unique or predominant system of social relations, all despite the evident regional particularity. After innumerable attempts at colonization carried out by initiative of the colonial authorities and under continuous attack from the tribes, the Spanish, the sedentary indians brought from the center of Mexico, the mulattos, mixed- race and other "castes" which constituted that amalgam of races and cultures that little by little would be giving peculiar form to the Mexican nationality,(12) manage to establish--starting at the end of the 16th century and during the 17th and 18th centuries--firm bases for colonization in New Mexico and California, as well as establishments of scant population in Texas and Arizona. Thus is begun the "Spanish-ification" of the border lands at the same moment when "Mexicanization" commences. Cattle, horses, pigs, and chickens are introduced, as well as agricultural instruments and techniques, incorporating in turn the innovations of the indigenous experience. In the missions are planted the first fruit trees, oranges, apples, grapes, et cetera; rice is introduced, sugar cane and cotton. Mexican cotton seeds are taken in 1806 to the south of the United States, producing an economic impact with their quality and size. The Spaniards also bring mining with them to the internal provinces, and techniques to work with minerals, textiles and artisanry in general. Furthermore, they impose their political, juridical and administrative institutions, their language and culture, "giving an impregnable character to the lands that United States expansionism later coveted.(13) The fact should be highlighted that the United States was not established in a cultural, economic and social "vacuum." They do not come to the north of Mexico--not at all--to begin the strenuous life of a "pioneer" in a virgin land. As we have mentioned, the most important pattern for the activities was already given. More than fulfilling the announced civilizing mission that manifest destiny asserted, the Anglo comes to the Mexican lands to learn the techniques and methods of activities not practiced by them--as was the case in mining, the agriculture of arid zones and cowboy work. It is always necessary to remember that the Anglo establishes themself in the current south-west on the basis of centuries of indian-Spanish-Mexican experience. This fact was noted--in a singular fashion--by the newspaper El Tiempo in Mexico City in 1846: We are not a people of merchants and adventurers, made and unmade from all the countries, whose mission is that of usurping the lands of the miserable indians, and afterwards rob the fertile lands opened to civilization by the Spanish race... We are a nation formed over three centuries, not an aggregation of peoples with different customs.(14) The meaning of the endowment of the indian-Spanish-Mexican heritage for the development of the current south-west does not lie solely in recognizing its value as a "contribution" to the "melting-pot" of United States ethnic imposition, but also highlights the continuity of the presence of a group in a specific region, their attachment to and roots in the land which they have transformed with their work over centuries; and above all, defines the nature of the Anglo occupation of these lands, establishing its essential character of conquest. Meanwhile, at the same time that the Spanish colonial system introduced the above changes in techniques, economic and cultural activities in general, a set of class relations is established--the same as in the rest of Spanish america-- based upon the exploitation of the great majority of the populace. As we mentioned in Los Chicanos, in the north of Nueva España we encounter fundamentally, though with some regional differences: ...a class division where on one side the white owners are gathered and on the other the great majority of the dispossessed: indians, mulattos, of mixed race subject to rapacious exploitation in the fields, in the mines, on the agricultural and livestock ranches, in cities under formation, all realizing a cultural process of amalgamation, adoption of patrones by the indian cultures, sedentary and nomadic with Spanish, Creole and mixed elements, belonging to a reality different from their isolated origins and with characteristics of a very particular type... The basis of social relations is established in conformity with the hierarchical entity of peonage. The peon-patron dichotomy dominated everything. The family and in general every institution reflected this specific division, supporting within itself the priest, the patron and the family chief. All the institutions were firmly unified with regard to preserving the existing state of things. The church enjoyed a preponderance of power, not only to brutalize the indians with the opiate of resignation and passivity, but also through economic exploitation through remuneration, the tithe and other bare-faced extortions.(15) From the reflections made up to now upon the novo-Hispanic Septentrion we can summarize the following: a) The provinces of the north are colonized despite the existence of serious obstacle comprised of the cultural and ecological characteristics of the region. b) Despite their relative marginality and isolation, they formed part of the unique system of socio-economic relations of the viceroyalty. c) The Spaniards bring new forms of exploitation of nature, imposing their culture, language and religion; simultaneous suffering the changes and adaptations, products of confrontation with the american reality and cultural contact with indigenous nomads and the sedentary. d) The Spanish colonization establishes a socio-economic system that is grounded upon the existence of a rigid division in social classes, underlaid by the division of the populace based on racial origin. e) The occupation of these territories over generations gives an uninterrupted continuity to the presence of a group within a specific geographic region. f) The colonization gives shape to linguistic, cultural and economic unity in the lands of the north, the south and the center of the viceroyalty, which keeps integrating the peculiar set of characteristics of the Mexican nationality. The provinces of the north of independent Mexico The revolutionary war from 1810 to 1821 in México signified the end of more then three centuries of colonial domination, and the establishment of a politically independent national State. That which stimulated the development of the objective and subjective conditions for the formation of the nation that becomes capitalist, in a process effected during the entire 19th century and part of the 20th, and the most important events were: the war of conquest by the United States of 1846-1848, the reform movement, the civil war, the French intervention of 1854-1867, and the democratic-bourgeois revolution of 1910-1917. Naturally, the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz plays a fundamental role in this process of national integration, in the development of capitalism as the dominant system. The obtaining of political independence consolidated the conditions for the capitalist development of Mexico, that in turn underlay important changes in the system of juridical relations, and it was proclaimed: "The equality of all citizens before the law, the suppression of the head tax and the obligatory work of the indians and later, the abolition of slavery contribute to the liquidation of the artificial division of the populace into racial groups, put into practice by the colonizers."(16) Despite these achievements of the independence movement and being supported by wide swaths of the public, it was weakening during the course of the struggle until falling under the direction of the most conservative elements, proclaiming independence under the initiative of the same groups who had fought fiercely against the insurgents. For these reasons and because the movement itself did not propose it, independence did not lead to a revolutionary change in the economic-social structure of Mexico. It was a political, not a social revolution, maintaining the landholdings, the dominance of the clergy, the slow development of agriculture and industry, allowing with all these the exploitation of the peasants and workers in general, particularly the indians, who continued chained to peonage and other pre-capitalist forms of exploitation. Francisco López Cámara lets us see how, in spite of independence: Ownership of the land in Mexico still retained the same characteristics which predominated during the long colonial period, and certainly the system of the ranches had hardly been altered; its few modifications were of such a nature that they tended more to accentuate the volume and the extension of this traditional form of rural property.(17) For these determinant reasons the independence movement did not echo more in Texas, California and New Mexico in the immediate years of its consummation. Numerous authors--among whom that of the present study is included--erroneously interpreted this fact as a product more of the previously mentioned factor, the isolation of the northern provinces with respect to the center of the republic. A deeper analysis leads us to conclude that there were no notable changes in these provinces in the immediate years after 1821, not so much for their distance from the revolutionary effervescence but instead due to the very nature of the independence movement. The political changes obtained with the consummation of independence do not manage to crack the structural cement implanted by the colony, such that they could hardly feel the effects caused by the substitution of groups in power, now not in the provinces on the periphery, but also in the remaining regions of the country. In spite of this state of affairs, the political independence from Spain accelerates the changing perspectives. ...the contradictions sharpen between the different classes and the intermediate social levels of Mexican society. The peasantry, the poor in the city, the petty bourgeoisie, the representatives of the commercial and industrial circles, the lower clergy, the liberal intellectuals aspire, in different degrees, to the realization of the economic-political reforms. On the other side the landlords, the high clergy, the military caste, and the representatives of the privileged classes try to conserve the existing situation.(18) These contradictions stimulate the emergence of social forces who try to attain State power and impose political forms and economic programs more in accord with their particular interests. In this manner a period of profound divisions is begun, of festering fights between the different factions, fertile territory for "bossism," the predominance of adventurers and arrivistes like Antonio López de Santa Anna, who throughout his long and nefarious political career manages to maintain himself in power on numerous occasions, supporting or rebelling against--according to the moment--the pro and the con of every stripe in the conflict, without having more fidelity--until his demise--than that due to his own person and class. This epoch in the history of Mexico should be understood in the context that we already have sketched above: as the political expression of the conflict between the economic groups who wanted to carry the social and economic reforms forward that favored capitalist development, and the most conservative groups who opposed the realization of these changes. This fundamental contradiction will characterize the period extending from the establishment of the Republic in 1824 to the triumph of the movement for Reform and the expulsion of the French troops in 1867. For the northern land the period that extends from the establishment of the republic to the war of 1847 brings important internal changes which will affect each one of the frontier provinces in different ways. An external factor's effects can be felt throughout the zone, the growing United States penetration by means of the forces of "recognition" at their disposal: merchants, hunters, explorers, and adventurers, like the fur hunter James Ohio Pattie, who arrives in Taos, New Mexico in 1824, a member of a family "of the frontier who for thirteen generations, from Virginia through Kentucky, from Kentucky to Missouri, had advanced to the edges of civilization."(19) During these crucial years, Texas will begin its history known as a province "invaded" by the United States, leading to the events of the "independent" republic and the expected annexation to the U.S. New Mexico will open its commerce with the neighboring nation along with the control and dependence of the region as a commercial vanguard of expansionism, which will open the channels of economic annexations to those that will satisfy the imperialist ambitions. Meanwhile, California will receive its "quota" of traders and "pioneers," who will be the "raw material" of the future "Bear Republic," a slightly frustrated repetition of the Texan rebellion. The most important occurrence in California during the national period was the secularization of the ecclesiastical goods, effected during the Thirties years at the initiative of the central government, of a liberal tendency. The secularization of the missions--which here possessed 21 establishments with 15 thousand indians at their service, immense landholdings, a great quantity of livestock, and the monopoly on many activities--was a fundamental change that "upset the class relations, altered the ideology and changed the ownership of tremendous wealth."(20) The transference to individuals of the goods of the church destroyed the material basis of the predominance that the clergy had maintained in the province, thus augmenting the power of the landlords and owners of the cattle ranches. At the same time a considerable quantity of the workforce subject to service for the missions was liberated and an increment of migration stemming from other Mexican states to California was stimulated. All these factors in turn provided an era of great economic activity which came to be interrupted by the United States conquest and the consequences derived from it. New Mexico also receives a considerable number of immigrants from other Mexican states due, above all, to the economic prosperity of the cattle ranches and poultry farms, as well as the discovery of god between Santa Fe and Albuquerque: "one of the most important mines in the region was the Ortiz mine, which at the beginning of the Thirties was producing about $20,000 in gold every year and by the end of the period Mexico had generated more than $3,000,000."(21) Very important for New Mexico was the establishment mentioned of commercial relations with the state of Missouri starting in the year 1822. The route open between Santa Fe and Saint Louis allowed the continual acquisition of products manufactured in the United States, as well as the sale of the products of the province in the border zone. The importance of these links was so great that a professor Bloom concludes in this regard: In New Mexico, the United States found the road to its acquisition prepared by forces very different from those that operated in Texas... The influences that operated in New Mexico were almost purely economic, centering on the lucrative commerce through the prairies, and for Nuevo Mexico ever more necessary... It was this commerce, above all, that prepared the road for the American conquest of New Mexico, continuing their assimilative work for ten long years after Texas would have separated from the Mexican nation.(22) Ironically, following an appeasement policy similar to that followed in Texas made the Mexican authorities those responsible for the opening of this path between both nations, charging taxes and creating legal barriers on one side, even while providing a military escort for the commercial caravans during their voyage. Taking these advantages, numerous Anglo-american businesspersons are rapidly installed in New Mexico who establish links of family and friendship with the ruling class of the province. These elements are very important to later occurrences, due to their relationships, knowledge of the region and its inhabitants and, above all, for the conscious or unconscious role of "pro agents" of the change which approached. One of these individuals, for instance, Charles Bent, having married a Mexican woman and adopted the nationality of his wife, was later named governor of the province by the United States occupation troops. The actions of these individuals stimulates the formation of a social stratum of the ruling class in the Mexican provinces which due to their commercial or territorial property interests, intimately tied to the foreign presence, obliquely or openly advocate annexation to the United States, assist in the establishment of a greater number of Anglo colonies in the border areas, participate as business or speculative parts of that nation, or become transformed into selfless "patriots," making common cause with the United States in their rebellion, battling against their own fellow citizens. This seed of collaborationism becomes more visible and earlier in Texas, yet we also encounter it in California and New Mexico. A genuine representative of this stratum, notable for his liberal formation, culture and important official positions held in Mexico, is Lorenzo de Zavala, who "was a militant reformer and respected analyst of Mexico's ills, despite that he died as a traitor in Texas... He was also an impresario for whom the dividing line between national progress and personal advantage was not very clear."(23) With good reason Raymond Step affirmed in his book Lorenzo de Zavala, prophet of Mexican liberalism: "With all the current emphasis on the politics of the good neighbor, it can be said that Zavala was our first 'good neighbor' in Mexico."(24) It is not necessary to go very far to deduce what this author considers as a "good neighbor." Already in that era Anthony Butler opined: "This gentleman has always been an unvarying and decided friend of our government and of our people, and an enthusiastic admirer of the North American institutions."(25) It is not surprising to know that "Zavala was, probably, one of the principal factors in the final confirmation of the concession of Austin, in the spring of 1823."(26) And he came to be one of the first Texan "patriots," signer of the declaration of independence and first vice-president of the "Republic" of Texas...and a traitor to contemporary Mexicans. These groups of collaborationists, who merge their particular interests with those of expansionism, will play a very important role not only during the years when the secessionist movement germinates in the provinces of the north, the period of Jefferson's "patient waiting," but also during the establishment of United States power; this stratum will be that which sanctions the legitimacy of the new leadership within the Mexican group, from which the "chieftains" emerge using elements for the direction and indirect control of the masses present in every process of conquest, from Africa, Asia and Latin America to the "heroic" France of marshall Petain. In the province of Texas the short national period extending from the consummation of independence until the triumph of the United States sedition covers a series of events determined by an external factor. The Anglo-american predominance in the population's numbers, in its economic activities and in the acquisition, always increasing, of lands by legal or fraudulent means, is the dominant characteristic of these years. During this era the importance increases of the cattle ranches and the growing of cotton, one more motive of attraction for U.S. persons who introduce into Texas the use of a workforce of black slaves. An activity that had been stimulated by a technical factor, provokes an extraordinary development of this production: the invention of the ginning machine. In this fashion the Anglo economy of Texas, based upon the cultivation of cotton and the resulting slave labor, is linked with the pro-slavery and cotton south of the United States. A general view of the provinces of the north of Mexico during the national period indicates to us how the changes effected during these years and the gradual diffusion of liberal ideas in the republic eventually have echoes in the economic and political life of California, New Mexico and Texas. Constitutions are promulgated in each one of these states and they participate actively in the political life which independence put in play, the ideas of liberalism are discussed and some of its postulates are put into practice, like the cited secularization of the missions, with these measures favoring the merchants, landlords and ranchers. Little by little the class relations lose their racial connotations--so important during the colony--without impairment of the rigidity of the fundamental dichotomy. Commercial interchanges are intensified with the center of the republic and outlying states, by means of annual fairs and the opening of certain routes. In this period the population of the provinces was increasing, with a calculation for 1846 of an approximate total of 75,000 inhabitants, of which at least 60,000 lived in New Mexico, some 5,000 in Texas, 7,500 in California, and around 1,000 in Arizona, although: these figures do not include the indigenous from these territories, many of them identified in language and culture with those "officially" considered as Mexicans, integrated with the socio-economic system as the most exploited sector, such that the figure could elevate itself to more than 100,000 inhabitants.(27) In this era also the current of migration towards the territories is begun, stimulated by the relative prosperity of the agricultural and ranching activities, as well as by the opening of mines. The annexation of Texas to the United States, in May of 1845, signifies the advance guard of the forces for expansionism and the principle of ending Mexican sovereignty over the provinces of the north. During the months that follow one has the certainty that the war will explode irrevocably. The United States newspapers assume charge of "preparing" public opinion with fiery calls to arms, with bellicose threats against the "backward and fanatical Mexicans": they war machinery had been put in march. However, not all the United States people were carried away by this propaganda, with the most conscious elements of the populace maintaining a profound anti-war sentiment. Also, in local tribunes and even in the Senate and the Congress, strong censure could be heard against the adventure prepared by the United States government. Nevertheless, the position was ambivalent: the members of both chambers voted in favor of war credits and supported the contest until the end, while at the same time denouncing it as unjust. John Quincy Adams commented in this regard: The most notable circumstance...is that the war, though unconstitutionally declared, has been sanctioned by an overwhelming majority of both chambers...and now is supported by similar majorities who say they disapprove of its existence, and call it unnecessary and unjust.(28) Frederick Merk writes that Adams himself acted in this manner, and even Lincoln, who entered Congress in 1847 and made public his protest against the war, regularly voted in favor of the credits for it.(29) Some United States literary circles acted more consequently; personalities like Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Gridley Howe, Theodore Parker, etc. denounced it vehemently, and many of them went to jail to defend their anti-war convictions. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the ruling classes debated their contradictions, in the defense at all costs of sectoral interests, and a perennial struggle for power with no effort dedicated in favor of the Republic. The hour had arrived when the diplomats left the scene and "words gave way to deeds." It was the moment when thousands of volunteers and regular soldiers cleaned their rifles for the invasion that neared, prepared for what the poet of Manifest Destiny --Walt Whitman--proclaimed with vehemence from his journalistic venue: "show the world that the United States knows how to crush and expand!" The conquest of the north of Mexico The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February of 1848 put an end to the state of war between Mexico and the United States. With popular resistance mediated, the capital occupied by the invaders and the ports and customs of the nation beneath foreign control, were nothing more than the formal expression of the defeat, the "legalization" of a conquest, the faithful reflection of the armed imposition on a defenseless people. In this manner, in the "name of All-Powerful God," the accords of peace, friendship and limits between the two nations are reached, in between weakness and strength.(30) The treaty instituted the coveted sovereignty of the United States over the land of Mexico's north, following the limits traced fifty years previously by the founders of the North American federation. The agreements also stipulated the legal conditions in which the Mexican inhabitants of those regions would remain, foreigners on their own land; strangers to the laws, the language and the culture that were imposed on them. Before the fate resulting from the change of sovereignty, the Mexican envoys to the signing did everything possible to try to somehow protect the compatriots in the lost territories. In articles VIII and IX of the cited treaty, inviolable respect for their properties was guaranteed, protection in the enjoyment of their freedom, free exercise of their religion, and the protection of the democratic-bourgeois Constitution of the United States.(31) In this form, by the juridical means of an international treaty the formal establishment of United States power in the northwest of Mexico is begun. It was not the first time that the government of the United States had come to arrange agreements with other peoples, sanctioned by official documents. Numerous treaties were made with the indigenous tribes of North America, whose validity ended days after they were arranged; brief truces in a battle lost in advance. The same as those, that of Guadalupe Hidalgo was a dead letter from the very moment of its ratification. We can affirm without fear of the sin of exaggeration, that the constant and systematic violation of articles VIII and IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo constitutes the context for the relationship between United States power and the population of Mexican origin. For the Mexican who lived in Texas, New Mexico and California, and for those who emigrated into these regions in the years that followed the war of 1846-1848, retracing the paths of the migration begun during the national period. The Anglo-american conquest of the north of Mexico signified from the early decades: a) Dispossession of lands, of the cattle ranches and poultry farms. b) Displacement in the direction of all productive and commercial activity (mines, wagon trains, supply-demand of merchandise, etc.) c) Economic-social discrimination and inequality upon the basis of national origin and the racial and cultural characteristics of the Mexicans (in the types of work, salaries, administration of justice, political rights, rights of nationality and freedom of residence, etc.) d) Anglo monopoly over control of the judicial, political and administrative institutions. e) Economic exploitation and forced proletarianization of the great majority of the Mexican group (extensive and intensive utilization of the workforce of Mexicans in conditions of inferiority: in mines, as manual laborers; in agricultural tasks, as peons; in the service of wagon trains, as porters; in the poultry farms, as shepherds, etc.)(32) Upon the base of these general characteristics present in the process of the United States conquest of the territories in the north of Mexico, we shall see particular forms of enactment in each one of the most important regions of the southwest. California Oh, Susanna Don't you cry for me I'm going to California With my washpan on my knee. Popular Song California was the region where the establishment of United States people was carried out in such little time and in such an overwhelming fashion, that a few years after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo being ratified, the Mexican group found itself not only subordinated economically and politically to the recently arrived, but also they had been left in a numerical minority with respect to the rest of the populace. The determining factor, so that the new territory might be a "safe" place for U.S. persons and their institutions, regarding the eventual "threat" of numerical superiority of the native population, was the discovery of gold in 1848. By the end of the following year it is calculated that some 100,000 persons had arrived infected with "gold fever," 80,000 of them Anglo-americans from every state in the Union. The mines were the primary scenario for the United States xenophobia against Mexicans, Chileans, Peruvians, etc. before the fierce competition unleashed by the search for gold. The presence of miners from those nationalities with wide knowledge concerning extraction techniques for that material were considered a danger for the Anglo-americans who, nevertheless, learned from them the necessary understandings for obtaining the metal. Toward the middle of 1849 the situation in the mines turns explosive. Many Mexican and Latin American miners feel obliged to abandon the excavations they had begun under the constant threat of being the object of violence and abuse on the part of the United States. During this era signs appear prohibiting the passage of "foreigners" to the mining zones. organizing the Anglo-americans into armed groups who proposed the expulsion from the mines with their actions backed by the civil and military authorities. Responding quickly to the pressures, the Legislature of the newly formed state of California decrees a law in 1850 that imposed a monthly tax of $20.00 on the foreigners who might work in the mines. The principal intent of this law--in Morefield's opinion--was to keep the foreign miner away, especially the Hispano-american who had the reputation of being more skillful and talented in the mines. The law had as a result the keeping away of the serious and industrious foreigners, but not the assassin, the gambler and the thief. It did not damage the rare skillful and talented foreigner, but the ordinary assiduous and laborious worker who had the same ups and downs as the North American miner.(33) At the end of 1850, a great number of Mexicans and Latin Americans had left the mining zones as the result of the application of the taxation law, often put into effect with the "help" of armed groups of Anglo-americans. Nevertheless, the following year the interests of other sectors of the Anglo-american populace cause them to exercise pressure on the State Legislature for the disappearance of the tax law: the paradoxical situation is presented consisting of the Anglo businesspersons organizing to this end, moved not by elevated ideals of humanitarianism and equality, but more due to the exodus of Mexicans and Latin Americans in general having provoked a noticeable diminution in commercial activities and an alarming scarcity of a cheap workforce. Meanwhile, the search for gold had stopped being a business that only required skill and good fortune. After three years many deposits had been exhausted, making necessary for the work of extraction the machinery and the capital of great companies, and also the disposition of an abundant workforce. The role of the solitary miner or of "committed" groups seeking personal enrichment fell exclusively to U.S. persons, who enjoyed the support of the authorities. To the Mexican and the Latin American no other road remained but that of wage-earner: The necessities required a new type of miner, one who worked for a salary. The American preferred to "work on their own account" and perhaps take the risk in order to become the owner of a rich mine, and thus the burden of working in the mines...fell on the Mexican and the Chilean.(34) Combining the interests of the mining companies and the groups of business persons, the Legislature modified the law for taxing foreigners in March of 1851, demonstrating the tight relation between political power and economic power. As a consequence of the problems that the Mexicans experienced in the mines, another lucrative economic activity passes into the hands of the U.S. persons. Starting in 1849, Mexican ranchers organized a service of wagon trains which transported provisions for sale in the mining regions. The U.S. people, taking advantage of the pressures and violence described above, organize this business to their advantage, contracting the services of Mexicans as porters and rapidly displacing the local businesspersons in the control of this activity. The injustices and arbitrariness suffered by the Mexican populace in the mining regions were legion, and the character of conquest in the establishment of the United States in California could not have been more evident than when the dispossession of the lands and of the farms belonging to the Mexicans takes place. This stage of property was carried out in the first decades of the United States occupation and such was the form it took, that one of the first observers of this process wrote in 1871: "If the history of the concessions in California is written someday, it will be a story of voracity, of perjury, of corruption, of exploitation, and of theft on a grand scale for which it is difficult to encounter parallels."(35) Recent researches into Californios(36) have done nothing more than to demonstrate the veracity of these affirmations. Leonard Pitt says the following about the matter: Through armed struggle, legislation, litigation, financial manipulation, direct purchase, and innumerable other tactics, the Yankees have obtained a great portion of the land. The transfer of property destroyed the conciliatory vision provided by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which guaranteed the Californios the "free exercise of their liberty and property," an obligation that little concerned many Yankees.(37) One of the important fundamental questions to discuss in this process of seizing the property of Mexicans is the already observed complicity in the case of mining conflicts between the most powerful sectors of the Anglo-american populace and the legislative, judicial and administrative authorities. All the governmental actions backed, directly or indirectly, the transfer of the property of Mexicans to U.S. persons. Such was the case with the Land Law of 1851, which according to Rodolfo Acuña: ...gave an advantage to the Anglo-american and, in fact, encouraged them to establish themselves on land owned by Mexicans. While on paper the law appeared just, in fact it was tyrannical. Its ostensible purpose was to clarify land titles, yet leaving the burden of proof to the owners of the land, who had to pay exorbitant fees to defend their titles to land that was theirs. Additionally the judges, the juries, and the land commissioners were disposed towards intrigue and were guided by their prejudices. The audiences were conducted in English, which put the concessionaire of Spanish language at an additional disadvantage. The result was that, overall the commission reviewed 813 titles and only rejected 32, the Mexican losing the greater part of his land during this period of persecution.(38) At the same time the juridical mechanism was put into effect with laws and regulations in contradiction to the articles of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and numerous excessively elevated taxes were imposed on the conquered group. Also, a great number of land invaders--many of them ex-miners displaced by the great companies--took virtual possession of property in lands, fully certain that not only would their actions have impunity but even would be backed by the authorities. In a note from the Mexican consul in Tucson, he denounces with clarity the lack of compliance of the United States relative to the property titles of Mexicans in the territories "ceded" to that nation by the Treaty of 1848: ...the adventurers called "squatters" have been occupying the richest possessions among the immense titled lands. The Mexican proprietors suffer an even more unjustifiable grievance, while the recognition and decision on the titles in question are indefinitely delayed; while all remedy against the invasion of the squatter carpetbaggers in lacking, and the Mexican owner possesses nothing and enjoys nothing... The United States, with regard to the treaties that it enacted with Mexico...promised to respect the titled property of the Mexicans, and violating the spirit of the stipulations began to tacitly declare that all the titles were false; from this the monstrous absurdity was born that the parties would have to prove validity of the titles, which had always been good when to deprive them of this character it would have been necessary to fulfill the treaties and then the contest and the proof would be for the government of the United States. ...the Colleges of Assessors, or that is, Appraisers Councils, include the properties in question in their lists of taxes; and they assess them with exorbitant rates that the purported owners must pay, and the same usurping squatters who cultivate and benefit from the land pay nothing, are exempt from all contribution. The procedure is repeated year in and year out, until the originals sell their property at any price, or very well lose it in a fiscal auction... Summarizing all of the above, the unspeakable conclusion results that the United States has not complied, not for a single moment nor at any time, with the obligations that they contracted...(39) The most transparent traps were used to rob the Mexicans of their lands, such as tricking them into signing sale documents, mortgages or renunciations of their property rights; many cases occurred where the lawyers disappeared with the documents and property titles of their clients; the loans to pay for the prolonged judicial processes were made with an interest rate so high that, in a short while, the debt reached the value of the lands in dispute. With the transfer of property there came murder, lynching and armed terrorism. Professional gamblers, unscrupulous lawyers, corrupt authorities, gunmen for hire, profiteering land invaders, a whole set of individuals in the exclusive service of their self-interest, were the active elements in the process of exploitation, supported by a political power imbued with the ideas of Manifest Destiny, within which only a reduced number of functionaries manifest a certain sympathy for the Mexican group. Notwithstanding that the land invaders played an important role in the transfer of the property of the Mexicans, the beneficiaries of this process of exploitation were by no means the masses of U.S. persons of scarce resources who in great numbers had emigrated into California. The same as with the mines, the land came to be monopolized by a minority. As Carey McWilliams clearly notes in his work Factories in the Field, the property passed from the Mexican concessionaire into the hands of the United States capitalist and of the great companies. The speculation and monopolization of the lands caused the dreams of the small proprietors to disappear, and in a few years vast domains had been concentrated with a few large-scale speculators. "In 1870--McWilliams claims-- 1/500 of the populace of California possessed half or more of the cultivable land available in the state."(40) In that same year, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company owned close to 20,000,000 acres of land in that state. For Henry George there was no other state in the United States union "in which colonists of good faith had been so persecuted and robbed in such a way as in California. There are still men who become rich or have regular business, blackmailing the colonists upon public land, or appropriating their houses; and all this under the power of the law and in the name of justice."(41) If this was the fate run by the United States colonists, it is possible to imagine that befalling the Mexicans. The same as in the mines, the majority of the Mexicans would pass into working the land that had been taken over three decades of United States dominion, together with the Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and emigrants from the regions of chronic misery in Europe, and would form that "strange army of the tattered" who would make California the region where the most important agricultural enterprises in the world were established. The conquest of California had been realized. New Mexico The conquest of the old province of New Mexico by the United States was effected--up to a certain point--in a gradual fashion, if we compare this process with those that took place in Texas and California. New Mexico--with a numerous Mexican population and a strongly consolidated socio-economic structure--did not pass through a situation similar to that provoked by "gold fever," nor experienced historical vicissitudes similar to that of the martial conflict of the so-called Republic of Texas, with its cultural inheritance saturated with rancor and inter-ethnic hatreds. Despite the relatively gradual nature of the change, the results of the establishment of United States power were not different from those in other regions of the southwest. The same as occurred in California, the Mexican was displaced from control of economic and political life, coming to be one of the most exploited sectors of the society. If in essence the result of the United States conquest is the same, that is, the imposition of relations based on the exploitation and subordination of the Mexican group, in New Mexico the methods used to implement this politics are adapted to the cultural situation and concrete socio-economic structure. One of the peculiar "adaptations" was the prominent role played by a sector of the Spanish-speaking ruling class who allied with the new conquistadors. However, the association between classes beyond national or ethnic borders is a phenomenon present as much in Texas as in California, and in New Mexico the most powerful sector of the Mexican ruling class manages to maintain its status of "associate" in the exercise of political and economic power, even after the United States had consolidated as a power group; while in other regions of the southwest, the old ruling classes of Mexican origin pass in a very short time into a subordinated situation, deprived of all important political strength while their members allied themselves to their United States homologue, taking their own interests exclusively into account, acting against the vital needs of the masses of their longtime fellow citizens, which meant that the process of despoilment, expropriation of lands and forced proletarianization of the populace of New Mexico was in no way mitigated. For doctor Joan W. Moore the wide variation in social structures and the fact that the governing group in New Mexico had been well established, skillful in every way and interested in retaining their hegemony, explains the "survival" of the Spanish-speaking ruling class during the United States period, to the extent that - according to doctor Moore: ...the territorial legislature had been dominated by "Hispano-americans" (members of no more than 20 prominent families) since its establishment until when in 1912 New Mexico became a state. Over 64 years an alliance existed between some wealthy Spanish and certain Anglo interests from banking, ranching and the railroads, the same ones who effectively controlled political life by means of the sadly infamous Santa Fe Ring...(42) In this respect, we regard the characteristics of New Mexico and of its ruling class as important for understanding the hegemony of the "Hispano-americans" subsequent to the conquest of the territory; yet in our opinion, to have a more complete idea of this phenomenon, it would be necessary to take into account the factors that make it possible for the U.S. persons to be disposed toward sharing the political and economic power over the territory: the advantages which it represented for the Anglo power--in a region that had a large number of the Mexican population and with few "attractions" for a massive migration of U.S. persons--were the continuity of the traditional forms of exploitation, where the maintenance of an alliance with the Spanish-speaking ruling classes was made necessary for the "system" to keep functioning normally; although already its products and the means of production were, little by little, entirely controlled by the United States ruling group. If in California and in Texas the ruling class was practically dissolved as such in the process of building a society upon the basis, fundamentally, of American principles and institutions, while in New Mexico--due to its already mentioned peculiarities--the need existed to maintain an "intermediary" who, in addition to directing the new forms of exploitation--at the same time as the Anglo-american proportion of the populace grew, the transfer of property in land and other means of production intensified the political control and introduced the technical and social changes promoted for the development of capitalism--would serve as a useful element in the ideological campaign that accompanies these transformations. The "Hispano-american" group would be used to demonstrate the "democratic" character of the change that took place, and would legitimate the conquest in the eyes of their fellow citizens and would be the element that would act as an "analgesic," hiding the rigidity of the process, manipulating the scarce concessions of the dominant Anglo group to break resistance and justify the new forms of exploitation introduced by the United States power. The dispossession of lands that took place in New Mexico with the Anglo- american conquest, like the impact of this process in the cultural institutions and upon the social structure of various generations of Mexicans, has been profoundly studied by the doctor Clark S. Knowlton. In the article, "Land-Grant problems among the state's Spanish-Americans," he analyzes the variety of techniques utilized by the Anglo-americans to take possession of the lands that for centuries had been: a) patrimony of the communities or communal holdings, b) properties of prominent individuals committed to establishing a settlement with adequate protection and available land for colonists and c) individual properties or sites which, with time and the multiplication of heirs, came to be in essence communal properties: The Anglo-americans who arrived in New Mexico after the American conquest found that land, minerals, commerce, and politics were the only available paths to acquire wealth and economic power. Due to the majority of the available land being possessed by Hispano-americans who in great part were not interested in selling it, those Anglo-americans who wanted land were forced to conceive techniques to take it away from its owners. Due to the profound differences in the property systems for land, serious struggles over the land soon develop, with the Anglo-american as the victorious aggressor and the Hispano-american as the reluctant loser...(43) These "techniques"--which doctor Knowlton, for the convenience of his analysis groups in four main categories: politics and law, economics, violence, and miscellaneous--are almost identical with those utilized in California: "accidental" destruction of archives; judgments over terrains where the occupants of the lands had to "prove" their quality as owners; signatures of renunciation of properties in land obtained by means of trickery, fraudulent registries; ethnocentric interpretations by the courts and governmental authorities concerning the forms of appropriation, basing themselves exclusively upon the precepts of Anglo-american law, nefarious action by lawyers who contrived "arrangements" with the opposing party and charged their honoraria in land; a system of fixed taxes on land, extremely burdensome for the Mexicans; theft of already paid taxes that were not noted as received; usurers who collected their debts with the lands of the creditors; expropriation on the part of the federal government of communal lands and, as in California and Texas, the systematic use of violence, armed terror and the physical elimination of Mexicans. The Hispano-americans found themselves helpless before the invasion of numerous Anglo-american ranchers and cowboys who hated the Mexicans and who invaded New Mexico in the Seventies and in the Eighties. The cowboys brought with them a fundamental contempt and hatred for every Spanish- speaking person. The Hispano-americans were murdered, their women mistreated, their lands stolen, their livestock purloined, and their people humiliated.(44) In this fashion, towards the last decade of the 19th century. a shrunken group of lawyers, politicians, ranchers, and Anglo-american businesspersons controlled the greater part of the land, the principal economic activities and the politics of New Mexico. The same as in California, those benefiting from the divestment identifying as Mexicans were a minority. Just a single one of the members of the so-called Santa Fe ring possessed in 1894 close to two million acres and was co- proprietor of four million additional acres.(45) With the massive loss of the land, the enclosing of properties--which did away with the raising of sheep--, the introduction of the railroad, and the opening or extension of important mining centers, the Mexicans are obliged to sell their working strength for a salary to survive. The bulk of this population moved to work in the mines, the construction of railroad tracks, as laborers and cowhands in the new ranches of the Anglo-americans, dispossessed and exploited on their own land. Capitalism had been established in New Mexico. Texas Due to their enormity, there are crimes that border on the sublime. Taking control of Texas, accomplished by our compatriots, qualifies for this honor. Modern times offer no other example of robbery on so grand a scale. Henry Clay Upon the war of 1846-1848 ending and initiating the formal establishment of the power of the United States in California and New Mexico, what had until 1836 been the Mexican province of Tejas had had little more than a decade beneath the control of the United States, in the context of the constant martial skirmishes(46) which preceded the military campaigns of 1847. This continuous armed conflict between Mexicans and Anglos make of the Texan experience a unique instance in the history of the southwest. Texas was the pattern that would be followed after 1848 in the whole southwest in order to define the relations between Anglos and Mexicans, the forge for the legends that nurtured, and continue to feed, the weight of discrimination and racism. Joseph Eve stated in 1842 that the Texans despised them and considered them "a race of feeble, cowardly half-breeds, controlled by superstitious views, comprised of Spanish, indian and Negro blood" and who were "always disposed to fight against them or the indians five to one."(47) During the war the general John A. Quitman opined that they were "a race of bastards and of thieves, incapable of self-government and only suited for servitude and military authority,"(48) and in 1856 they declared in Goliad that "the continuation of 'greasers'(49) or Mexican peons among us as citizens is an intolerable hindrance and a wrong that urgently needs correcting."(50) These opinions are not very dissimilar to those held in 1929 by a source to doctor Paul S. Taylor who affirmed that the Anglos in Texas hated the Mexicans "like a human being hates a rattlesnake,"(51) echoed by the academic Webb in the sense that through their veins ran stagnant water instead of blood.(52) Anti-Mexican sentiments have been, since the events of the United States sedition in Texas, an ideology inseparable from the historical experience of the Anglos in this region, in which institutions such as the Texas Rangers, with their long and grounded tradition as assassins of Mexicans; they express the most advanced materialization of this regional ideological variety of United States racism.(53) It is important to highlight the ideological characteristics of the United States occupation of Texas because only through detailed rationalization is the conflict being explained, without dwelling on the content of the Anglo-american ideology of racism in the southwest, without observing its connections with the general process of United States territorial, economic and political expansion. If one tends to conceive the phenomenon in terms of circumstantial facts or through historical "personalities"--"the Alamo, Goliad, the treatment of prisoners in the Santa Fe expedition, Santa Anna, Sam Houston," et cetera, without situating these deeds and those personages within a wider frame of reference. In our opinion, the ideological variety of racism in the southwest is based on the essential character of conquest in the United States occupation of these lands, which has its antecedents in the relations of the Anglo settlers with the black, indigenous and Spanish populations and is consolidated with the socio-economic exploitation to which the Mexicans are subject beginning with the conquest of their lands. From this perspective we are in total agreement with doctor Paredes when he claims that "had the Alamo, Goliad and Mier not existed, they would have had to have been invented, which seems to be in part what actually happened,"(54) to justify a process set in motion previously and within which the subjection of the southwest is only another stage in the continuity or, in the words of the professors S. E. Morison and H. S. Commager: "the American conquest of Texas and California was a long chapter in the volume that began with the Jamestown settlement in 1607 and which ended with the Spanish-American war in 1898."(55) The Anglo population who arrive in Texas bring with them the elements of racial prejudice and ethnocentrism that emerged from processes of expansion and conquest of nature such as those effected by the United States principally during the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the process of which the black, the indian and in a certain sense the Spaniard were its first victims."(56) The anti- Mexican prejudice "inherited" the racist concepts elaborated about the traits of the indians and the blacks, a correlation easy to attain if we remember that for them in that period the Mexican was the product--naturally "unfortunate"--of those elements. It is not a coincidence that in 1834 eight percent of the Anglos in Texas came from the slave states.(57) For these reasons, it is not strange to affirm, as Eugene C. Barrer does, that the Texan colonists considered themselves as "morally, intellectually and politically superior," and in this manner "racial sentiments were present and colored the Mexican-Texan interaction since the establishment of the first Anglo-american colony in 1821."(58) We feel that the anti-Mexican sentiment that emerged since the first decades of the 19th century is the "regional" form of an already existent ideological content in the Anglo-american population; it is a variety of racism inherent in the expansion and in every process of subjection an exploitation of one people by another; in particular it is an ideology of conquest that gives the chance occurrences their form and concrete expressions, yet at no time by itself determines their actual existence. The role played by this has been suggested by Marvin Harris, within a general context: Racism is...used as a justification for the hierarchies of class and of caste; it has been a splendid explanation for national privileges and those of class. It has helped to maintain slavery and servitude; it has opened the road for the violation of Africa and the killing of the American indians; it has hardened the nerves of the captains of industry in Manchester when they reduced the salaries, when they lengthened work hours, when they utilized more women and children.(59) Keeping in mind this ideological context, as also the constant armed confrontation between Anglos and Mexicans, considering also the massive immigration of U.S. persons to Texas starting in 1836, we can infer the situation to which the native populace found themselves subjected in its economic, social and political aspects. The same as occurred in California and in New Mexico, they rapidly took charge of the land and other means of production, as well as the direction of all economic activities, of political, administrative and judicial control; they exercised the monopoly of the armed forces in defense of their interests and of their privileged place within the society, relegating the Mexicans to a plane of inferiority and imposing a reign of terror and injustice upon them. This process by means of which the Anglo-american population achieves predominance in Texas had been initiated more than 20 years before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and continued with a greater impetus during the decades that followed the war between Mexico and the United States. Thus, the stripping of lands belonging to Mexicans was effected violently and rapidly. The history of Nueces county, magnificently studied by the doctor Paul S. Taylor, could be considered the norm for what occurred in other parts of Texas: Towards the beginning of the Texan Revolution in 1835, every foot of land in the existing county of Nueces had been granted in large extensions to Mexicans who pastured their livestock on those lands. Two years before the Civil War, all those concessions except one had passed into American or Europa-american hands, and that last concession ceased being in Mexican hands in 1883.(60) This trespass of property, as was expected, was carried out by the means that will become familiar in California and New Mexico: When the Mexicans sold primarily to the Americans, they did so under pressure to sell. It was not simply individual owners of property selling on their own will; they sold because they were Mexicans who in times of chaos could not keep occupying their land, and who foresaw the imminent American military and political domination... It was beneath the pressure of these conditions that the concessions moved to the Americans, as buyers who took advantage of the Mexicans, to various degrees.(61) On occasion they reverted to more expeditious means, to those that the same author makes reference: "many owners of Mexican property were 'removed' from the country and their lands (in this manner) obtained more cheaply."(62) Common procedures in those years repeatedly denounced by the Mexican consular authorities in the United States and later by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico himself who presented more than five hundred complaints about dispossession or confiscation of lands of Mexicans before the claims commission established in 1868. This Commission was constituted, by initiative of the governments of Mexico and the United States, with the object of presenting for its consideration the disagreements of corporations, companies and individuals of both nations, with the tribunal convening on 10 August of 1869 and with the plenipotentiary minister of Great Britain in Washington, Edgar Thornton, serving as arbiter. Despite the complaints presented on the part of the United States against Mexico, the latter was obliged to pay less than one percent of the required amount, and regarding that relating to claims concerning lands of Mexicans, the Commission decided to discard them with "the dispossession that the proprietors suffered beginning in 1848 remaining consummated."(63) In reality, in the Texan case the stripping and acquisition of land had been taking effect since the beginning of the "revolutionary" adventure, with no other purposes than those of speculation. The majority of the leaders of the Republic of Texas were found closely associated with speculator companies. The professor Elgin Williams in his documented study, The animating pursuit of speculation: land traffic in the annexation of Texas, affirms that "the creators of Texas--as a nation and state in the American Union--were in one form or another, land adventurers."(64) The same author asserts that "the spirit of speculation--'adventure,' as they call it--was the spirit of the age."(65) Professor Williams goes on: For the common man, like for the large-scale trafficker [in land] the lure of the nascent Republic of Texas was created in the form of an increase in the value of the lands with the advent of the annexation [to the United States]. The lawyer for the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Co., Sam Houston, epitomized the situation when he offered to the volunteers for the war with Mexico "generous bounties" in land and when he announced to probable soldiers who were not even in Texas that "the war in defense of our rights should be our banner." Here as in other american revolutions, the rights defended were, in the language of the day, "vested interests" or rights to land. It was not an accident that Sam Houston would compare a nation with a corporation. If his citizenship in the Republic of Texas was in part for business reasons, this was not the first time: a little before the Revolution he had taken the oath of loyalty to Mexico and before this had asked to be excluded from the prohibition against selling liquor to the indians of the United States, with the argument that he was a citizen of the Cherokee nation.(66) Imbued with this "spirit of the age" and the lack of scruples of a Houston, the Anglo-americans established some dozens of immense agricultural and livestock ranches, like that of the "entrepreneur" Richard King, whose holdings extended over several counties in the south of Texas, controlling the economic activity of the region.(67) On these ranches an upswing returns of what had been one of the activities in Texas before the United States occupation: cattle raising. It is very important to mention how it started. Beginning in 1848 cattle rustling in the north of Mexico occurs with such intensity that it caused an economic crisis of great magnitude as well as innumerable protests by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico. The livestock were robbed and sold in the United States at a low price, with Mexicans and United States people participating in this pillage. Luis G. Zorrilla notes that: The sheaves of Mexicans and Americans dedicated to cattle rustling propagated rapidly...and the purchasers of cattle stolen north of the Rio Bravo organized effectively with the same rapidity. The pillage began with the equine livestock and continued with the bovine... In Fort Leaton, against the Ojinaga, Henry Kippaos operated, a buyer of everything that had been stolen in Mexico and taken to the United States, with the authorities closing their eyes to this doubly criminal contraband, considering that it represented the basis of the growing cattle wealth of Texas... Some Mexican owners crossed the border and wandered to Goliad and other centers with concentrations of cattle to identify their animals, when they could, seeing brands of all the Mexican ranchers as far as San Fernando, Tamaulipas, situated close to 150 kilometers from the [border] line.(68) The same author provides us the key to understand how characters of the ilk of Richard King could create true livestock "empires" overnight: o California Some of the traffickers and concealers came to be famous and very wealthy like captain King and his ranches at Santa Gertrudis and Banquete, or Adolph Glevecke, who had a local official post in the Brownsville government, and supplied bail to set free those who had fallen prisoner due to continual accusations and demands of the Mexican victims.(69) Before the suspicious apathy of the United States authorities, and in numerous cases their open complicity,(70) the cattle rustling continued on a large scale, such that by 1865 "the ranches of the northeast [of Mexico] were on the edge of ruin, with the livestock beginning to dwindle, allowing one to affirm that the Texan ranches were supplied or started beginning in 1848, with cattle from Mexico."(71) The formation of these ranches did not only cause the ruin of the Mexicans to the south of the border. The course that events took directly associated with the loss of lands, like the introduction of the enclosure of pasture lands--an initiative of the great Anglo-american landowners who, robbing cattle at whim, did not want to be victims of the cattle rustling nor share pastures, nor water--was a mortal blow against the Mexican cattle ranchers north of the Rio Bravo: There also were divergences of interests between the cattle ranchers with land and those without land. These two points being in dispute: the cattle and the fencing divided principally along racial lines [Anglos on one side, on the other Mexicans]. Following more closely the dividing line of race was the tendency to establish large American cattle ranches on the lands which had been Spanish or Mexican concessions. This process usually coincided with the passage of land from Mexican hands to American, or was realized a little later; thus these two tendencies were--even are--usually identified in popular thought.(72) Not only with stripped lands and with cattle subtracted from the ranches south of the border was the basis of the great wealth of the state of Texas created, but also the Mexicans were the workforce utilized to make possible the prosperity of the Anglo-american group; the comprised the majority of the cowboys and almost all of the shepherds when livestock and wool production had great importance in Texas. Likewise, when cotton and the cultivation of vegetables assumed the predominant role in the economic activity of the region, they furnished the largest part of the workforce. The Anglo came to be the owner of the emergent agricultural ranches, inasmuch as the cowboys, shepherds and Mexican workers kept arriving from south of the Bravo, then becoming the peons and servants of those ranches. In the transition from livestock to agriculture the white Americans came to be the grangers. The Mexicans as workers have cleared the earth from undergrowth and tended to the harvests of cotton and of vegetables. The role of the two races has been perfectly delineated.(73) In this way, the process which took place in California and New Mexico was not different from what occurred in Texas. Towards the decade of the Seventies, a regularity presents itself throughout the southwest: the presence of two groups with different characteristics who are clearly distinguished in a socio-economic context. Each one holding a determinate place according to their ethnic and national origin. One, the Anglo-american group, the dominant nationality, monopolizing all the advantages and prerogatives, fruits of the military conquest; the other, the Mexican, the oppressed nationality carrying the bulk of the productive work while her social, cultural and national realization is denied while being victim of economic exploitation and discrimination. The chapter of the United States occupation of the Mexican lands closed its pages with the historical formation of a national minority and with the subjugation of the people who had made Aztlán habitable with their longstanding sweat, blood and courage. III. The resistance The law of the strongest does not imply the loyalty of the weakest, the duration of the occupation does not mean its acceptance. Constant opposition, open and subterranean, has been the general rule in the relations between colonized and colonizers. Jacques Arnault Violence in the history of the Chicanos In the historical analysis of the Mexican resistance to the Anglo-american it is necessary to highlight the fact that the Chicano people originated, as an entity separated from its national roots, as the result and the consequence of a bloody and prolonged armed conflict. Paraphrasing Marx, we might affirm that violence has not only been the midwife of Chicano history, but also its wet nurse and inseparable companion. From the depredations and pillage, the outrages and the fallen on the battlefield, humiliations and resentments of war,(1) was generated that overflow of hatred which would collect in the southwest. Here the war did not end. Winners and losers had to co-exist on the same territory. Yesterday's enemies would continue face to face without regular armies, military formations or conventional campaigns. When the last soldier of the United States expeditionary troops left Mexico's current territory, the southwest continued to be occupied and the Mexicans who inhabited it continued at the mercy of the invader. This undeclared war took place on every front. Thus, the dispossession of property, displacement and economic exploitation of the Mexicans went hand in hand with a politics of violence and repression. With great certainly Carey McWilliams inter-relates these factors when he affirms that "the subordination of the Mexicans in the social structure cannot be understood apart from this pattern...of violence and intimidation."(2) This important connection can well be generalized in order to understand this process of subordination. Frederick Engels, in his Anti-Düring, in the chapters concerning the theory of power and violence, indicates that violence cannot be understood in itself except as the means, "whereby economic advantage is the end."(3) What violence and the political power that it underlies mean are an expression of the correlation of economic and social forces yet not as dependent factors. Upon reviewing the pages of the history of the enterprises of colonial expansion and conquest, we find that the use of violence against the conquered peoples is a characteristic inseparable from the process of socio-economic domination. In that sense Rosa Luxemburg said that force is the only solution open to capital in its encounter with pre-capitalist economies. "The accumulation of capital, seen as an historical process, uses force as a permanent weapon, not only in its genesis, but also continues using it up to the present."(4) With reason Jacques Arnault maintains that the colonizers "had one sole superiority: superiority in the exercise of violence."(5) In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon offers a clear exposition of the role which violence plays in the colonialist system as a daily, direct and blatant method defining the hierarchic dichotomy imposed by the dominator, and concrete "reminder" of the place which each social group is supposed to occupy in the colonial structure. The United States occupation of the southwest, as an enterprise of conquest and of domination, did not comprise an exception. The historical documentation shows us that it was by means of everyday violence, the systematic use of force and physical intimidation, that its establishment was effected. Numerous documentary, bibliographical and journalistic sources, as well as the oral traditions and the folklore of the region, give a profuse account of the exercise of violence against the Mexican along the length and width of the southwest. The denunciations are innumerable presented before the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico concerning cases of homicide, lynching, armed robbery, forced expulsion and persecution.(6) In Los Ángeles there was news of one homicide daily in 1854; the majority of the victims were Mexicans and indians... In the decade of 1860 the lynching of Mexicans was such a common event...that the newspapers did not bother to report the details... Wide research would be necessary to calculate the number of lynchings of Mexicans between 1849 and 1890... Each crime or accusation of a crime would be adjudicated immediately for a Mexican and lynching was the accepted punishment for crimes in which the Mexicans were implicated.(7) As can be seen, the demise of a Mexican at the hands of Anglo-americans did not disturb the authorities charged with bringing justice, nor did it even merit journalistic attention given how everyday the crime. The use of violence was not exclusive to regions, and was manifested in the centers of population of origin in Arizona and in Colorado, where a large number of lynchings were recorded.(8) Nor was it of isolated individuals. Delinquents such a the celebrated King Fisher, who in his register of individual murdered by him did not count Mexicans nor disorderly masses, and who had of lynching the most elevated concept of justice. Also local, state and federal authorities have been active authors of this policy. The Republican Monitor on the 9th of December in 1879 inserted the following notice: From Dual county (Texas) we have received news referring to murders committed by North American soldiers. It is shameful for a nation represented as civilized and humanitarian to have to suffer the reproaches which with some justice are directed at their authorities in Texas. They are not much occupied in achieving the happiness of the governed, yet care even less about punishing the outrages of the insolent soldiery, above all, when the victims have the misfortune of belonging to the Mexican race.(9) The Mexican Monitor of Los Angeles published a letter posted at Redlands, the 29th of August in 1893, in which one is assured that the residents of this location have been notified by the Sheriff "...that in the name of the United States of America and the locally situated authorities they were advised to abandon the field and leave town within the brief space of three days and, if not shown to have done so, would be arrested."(10) Likewise, we cannot interpret the violence against the Mexicans as exclusive to the historical period that includes the first decades of the establishment of the United States in the southwest. Its continuity until the present is more than manifest. The consul in Eagle Pass, Texas communicated the following to the Secretary of Foreign Relations in 1891: I have the honor of placing before your superior knowledge that, three days ago here 30 Mexican individuals, mostly families, coming mostly from San Felipe del Rio [Texas] came to me and announce that...it is no longer possible to be indifferent to so many outrages received in person or upon their interests; the Mexicans there have just left their own homes, leaving their houses from moment to moment...to avoid, opportunely, a violent attack among so many to which some American there are accustomed... which ultimately threatened all the Mexicans, whom they were going to burn and cause all the evil they could to make them disappear...(11) George Marvin writes in November of 1912: Some "Rangers" have degenerated into common assassins. There is no punishment for murder now that no jury along the length of the border would condemn a white man for killing a Mexican... On reading the reports of the Secret Service one feels as if there were an open hunting season on Mexicans along the length of the border.(12) McWilliams cites a fragment of the editorial in The New York Times from the 18th of November in 1922: "The killing of Mexicans without provocation is so common that it passes almost unnoticed."(13) We might think that in the current decade this anti-Mexican politics in the United States is remembered as a thing of the past. Nothing is further from the truth. In March of 1970 the Commission on Civil Rights came to the following conclusions with regard to the violence exercised by the police authorities: Our investigations reveal that the Mexican-american citizens find themselves subject to an undeserved and violent treatment on the part of police officials; that they are frequently arrested without sufficient proof; that they suffer physical and verbal abuse...(14) Four years after this report, 126 years since the war between Mexico and the United States ended, the newspaper The Daily Texan of the city of Austin publishes the following commentary on the subject of the murder of a Mexican at the hands of the police: We recognize that the demise of Tiburcio Soto is the most recent case in a series of official deaths that follow a general pattern of police terror regularly inflicted on the Black and brown residents of Austin... Minor offenses are routinely handled with beatings, injuries and, sometimes, sudden mortality.(15) We do not intend to give a detailed recounting with the presentation of these brief testimonies; this is an important subject that in itself requires a complete study, which would have to include the repression of strikes and all attempts at political and union organization of the Chicanos, the periodic deportation campaigns of United States citizens of Mexican origin, the misery of the slums, and so many other aspects related to a concept of violence that takes into account economic exploitation and inequality, with all the social ills that these entail, as the ordinary expression inherent to a capitalist system. Concerning the objectives of this effort we wish to leave the following established: a) The Chicano as a national group emerged from the armed imposition of one people over another. b) Violence against the Mexican has been systematic and constant throughout the history of the United States occupation and faithfully reflects the differential state of the inter-ethnic relations in the southwest starting in 1848. c) The use of force against the Mexican is one more manifestation of the character of domination of the United States occupation. d) It is necessary to understand the subordination of the Mexicans to the socio-economic structure of the southwest as strictly inter-related with the practice of this violence. e) The southwest does not escape the generalization that every endeavor of conquest carries in its entrails the use of violence as one of the essential methods to obtain and maintain the social, economic and political advantages of the dominant group. It is common to affirm that the exercise of force generates, in a given historical moment, a response of violence on the part of the oppressed; less common that the holders of politico-economic power recognize their paternity in it. Jean-Paul Sartre refers to this phenomenon as the boomerang that inevitably returns to its starting point. Following this metaphor we can note that the launching of the "boomerang" begins with the imposition of the power of a dominant nation upon the basis of superiority in the use of force for the sustenance of said power. At this time there will follow a stage in which the response to its manifestation puts its victims among the very brothers in oppression: "the contained fury, in not exploding, turns around and hurts the oppressed themselves."(16) During the "third time," violence returns to its own origins or is the moment when resistance begins to hammer the ranks of the oppressors. Objective conditions of an economic character, the correlation of class forces, the intensity of the internal and external social contradictions, et cetera, and subjective conditions of an ideological nature, organizations and political parties, the emergence of suitable leaders, et cetera, will determine the moment, the sectors, estates or social classes who will effect, direct, support, or combat, as well as the specific forms that such a response will take. If in the war of 1847 the resistance of the Mexican people against the armed imposition of United States power could be highlighted in the ocean of treasons and cowardices in the class interests of the ruling sectors, also in the subterranean contest in the southwest the resistance of certain sectors of the Chicano people could indeed be felt, in the most diverse manifestations. To exhibit and analyze these manifestations are the fundamental purposes of this chapter. Yet, the history of the resistance of the Chicanos in the southwest would be truncated if not begun with the analysis of what was offered by the different social classes of the populace during the war of 1847. This page in the history of Mexico belongs, equally, to the Chicano people. Accordingly, it is necessary to offer a general vision of the popular response against the United States invasion of what until 1848 was Mexican territory. And later to dedicate our attention to the manifestations of resistance in the conquered provinces, once United States power was established. The resistance during the war between Mexico and the United States Since its beginnings, the conduct of the war on the part of Mexico was characterized by the lack of a general plan of defense, tactical initiative and strategy. The absence, above all, of a political program of basic unity over and above the individual, corporate and class interests. The struggle of factions for the power of the State and the consequent political instability, the backwardness of the socio-economic structure--based principally upon the predominance of the clergy and of the landlords--and the price of sinecures, hierarchies and favoritism inherited from the colonial institutions and principally, the egoism and class interests of the dominant groups, which reverberated decidedly in the organization, preparation and general direction of the martial conflict against the United States.(17) These factors undermined the combat capacity of the army and the people, sabotaged the numerous possibilities of achieving partial triumphs and rested the initiative on a massive presence in the armed struggle, leaving the bulk of the defense of the nation in the institution which the dominant class could manipulate in accordance with its own interests: the regular military. The great owners and the Church(18) preferred a hurried surrender before the invader before sacrificing even a part of their goods. The ecclesiastical hierarchy in Puebla, which faced with the proximity of the enemy troops refused to contribute the most minimal economic aid towards the defense of the city, and actively cooperated with the United States, representing the general attitude assumed by the Mexican clergy and landlords: Monseigneur bishop Vázquez, whose conduct, like that of all the clergy, was very far from being what patriotism and dignity indicated, took the course of marching to his country home, situated a short distance from Puebla. The maxim in the era of Mr. Vázquez was that the Church in no event should loan nor give even the smallest part of its goods. When he returned to Puebla, after the entrance of the Americans, he also worked in a manner that was generally looked on poorly.(19) In contrast with this conduct of the Church, the people disinterestedly sacrificed their scarce possessions for the defense of the nation: When it was thought to fortify Santiago and Tlascala, it was seen that for it to be undertaken it was necessary to topple the houses, the fruit trees and destroy the vegetables, the only property and holding of their miserable inhabitants. Thus it was decided; and when one expected the natural resistance to seeing that their only fortune would momentarily disappear, it was observed with surprise that they themselves helped to destroy their poor patrimony... Not less worthy of eulogy was the patriotism of the inhabitants of San Luis, who at the cost of painful sacrifices gave up...many resources in victuals and provisions of all kinds which could be provided to the army...(20) As well as protecting their economic interests over and above the national interest, the Mexican ruling classes took special care to prevent the contest taking the character of a popular war; a possibility that they feared more than the enemy himself. The authors of Apuntes para la historia de la guerra entre México y los Estados Unidos realized this fact when, in referring to the attempt of the government of Valentín Gómez Farías to arm the people, commented as follows: The well-off people, moved perhaps by the instinct of their self- preservation, armed themselves to counterpoise the rabble with whom the government of don Valentín Gómez Farías deposited the arms; a rabble properly so-called, for they were neither troops of a systematic line following the rigorous Spanish method, nor were they National Guard composed of intelligent, laborious and honorable citizens.(21) This "self-preservation instinct" and terror to the people were always present throughout the war and was one of the fundamental causes of our defeat. The United States counted on a priceless ally in the conduct of the ruling groups of Mexico who, with some exceptions, did not confront the United States invasion with the will and decision with which the Mexican ruling class, in very different conditions, combated the French invaders years later.(22) The high officialdom of the army, who were distinguished by their ineptitude, great rivalries between their members, envies, personal and factional grudges, incapacity, overall, to direct one single act of war with success, for suffering defeat after defeat, not due to the victorious army of the enemy, but instead to the indecisions, errors, fickleness, cowardice, and treason of the generals and commanders in chief, headed by that great landowner and disastrous adventurer Antonio López de Santa Anna.(23) Confronted with this situation, the defense of the nation against the United States invasion was unequal, chaotic, frustratingly heroic and, almost always, with tragic results. On the other hand, from the beginning of the contest, the people, the troops and the middle ranks of the army gave demonstrations of laudable abnegation, sacrifice and valor. Time and again the authors of Apuntes... refer with admiration to this conduct, contrasting it with that of the generals. Thus for instance, referring to the battle of Monterrey, they note the following: They had ordered the lower officialdom, from captain down, to fight as simple soldiers: the officers set up the ammunition without complaint; take their rifles; a generous and ardent emulation is established: every officer wants to distinguish themself by their daring, purchasing the laurel of valor with their blood. They form a shameful contrast of this with what the enemies of the generals have said referring to Monterrey.(24) We encounter this marked contrast in the battle of La Angostura, during which Santa Anna ordered a retreat when the enemy forces had been practically defeated. "The officialdom acted with dignity and decency. The valor of the troops has even won the praise of the enemy themselves who only have spoken badly of certain generals, asserting that if everyone had imitated the example of the subordinates, success in the battle would have been decided in our favor."(25) We can state that, amidst the chaos caused by the abysmal direction of the war, the defeatism and betrayal of the most powerful groups in the nation, it is to the working and humble people, to the patriotic elements in the army, to the guerrilla columns spontaneously formed among the civil populace and the soldiers, to whom the merit belongs for having presented a fighting front of resistance against the invader. We think not sufficiently described is the part played by the popular masses in the war against the United States. If in historiography the actions are widely known where the Mexican army performed acts of heroism that caused the admiration of their enemies themselves, like the defense of Churubusco, Chapultepec Castle, et cetera, others are highlighted yet not given the importance they deserve, where the people in arms by themselves presented a fiery and unequal resistance.(26) Of this genre of episodes, which abound during the war, what stands out are the defense of Veracruz by its inhabitants,(27) the popular insurrection in Mexico City on the 14th and 15th days of September in 1847, and the participation of the popular guerrillas, who were some of the few sources of resistance who managed to battle the enemies with success. A participant in counter-guerrilla actions by the United States army, Samuel P. Chamberlain, writes in his memoirs: These manhunts, though exciting, were a very disagreeable duty and not full of honor. No quarter was given on either side and in many huge conflicts with the highwaymen the total of losses was greater than in many battles that were fought during the war - although no report on this was ever written.(28) An overview of the guerrilla movement during the campaign against the United States causes the authors of the Apuntes... to arrive at the following conclusion: "Had the war been waged with a good system by means of the guerrillas, it seems to us that at length it would have ruined the enemies and given the triumph to the Republic."(29) From participation of the people in the war we occupy ourselves more in detail with the insurrection that takes place in Mexico City at the arrivals from the United States, due to their significance and importance. In September of 1847, after the victories obtained by the United States at the points of defense situated on the periphery of Mexico City, the invading army prepared for the occupation of the capital of the republic. Among other measures general Scott, the head of the occupation forces, utilized counter- guerrilla columns formed of prisoners from the Puebla jail, armed and mounted by the United States, as outliers for their army: Such a militia, united with a multitude of foreign adventurers, was the vanguard of the army and with such noxious elements, that the city was delivered over to all sorts of offenses: thefts, murders, looting, and other crimes that were the prologue to the occupation and the entrance of the bulk of the army.(30) Meanwhile Santa Anna, violating the promise made that he would defend the city street by street, ordered the evacuation of the armed forces from the capital, causing the departure of the army on the night of the 13th of September and the dawn of the following day. The dictator gave as a pretext the shortage of munitions and to revert "to the buildings of the city would be to compromise them without a good chance of success, when the people with few exceptions did not take part in the struggle,"(31) an assertion that could be seen fully refuted by the facts. The Mexican line army, which reckoned with sufficient men and gear to pursue the fight, which had been repeatedly defeated but not destroyed, abandoned to their fate the civil populace and the military patriots who without paying attention to Santa Anna's defeatist politics and that of his high officialdom, remained together with the people, preparing to resist the imminent occupation of the political administrative center of the republic. In the first hours of the morning of the 14th day of September, a detachment under the orders of general Quitman plants the United States flag at the National Palace, after which, according to Guillermo Prieto, a single shot had ended the life of the first enemy soldier who had attempted to erect the foreign flag.(32) Around nine in the morning of the same day, the enemy troops in formation make their entrance into the city. At the sight of the United States soldiers in the main streets, the people begin to gather in groups, to organize spontaneously: from balconies, rooftops, intersections, and squares come the first shots against the vanguard of general Worth's division, initiating a desperate resistance that was to last until the night of the following day. The majority of the United States bibliographic sources, repeating that maintained by general Scott in his report to the secretary of war of the 18th of September in 1847, claiming that the popular resistance which was begun on the 14th of September was the work of the "lepers" and convicts released by the Mexican authorities. Scott wrote in the cited report: A little after we had entered and while in the act of occupying the city, a firefight was initiated against us from the rooftops of the houses, from the windows and from the street corners, by around two thousand convicts liberated the night before by the government in flight, joined, perhaps, by the same number of Mexican soldiers, who had disbanded and removed their uniforms.(33) Roa Bárcena purports a similar idea, claiming it is "possible and probable that in moments of confusion and disorder, some criminals escaped, yet more credible that they put themselves into safety before fighting the foreigner. What is certain is that the new hostilities derived from the determined and bellicose part played by the neighborhood..."(34) The tale of a witness and active participant in the events of those days also contradicts Scott's version: I saw running in a throng down the road, towards the corner of Amargura, a knot of armed men at whose head was a friar, mounted on horseback, with his frock open and carrying in his hands our banner of the Three Guarantees. The friar gave encouragement and inspired enthusiasm among shouts of, Long live Mexico and may the Yankees die! Thus it is that the men in the hall abandoned it to unite with the group of patriots, and I with them.(35) The same witness keeps narrating that: A body from Worth's division who had taken possession on the Mining building was attacked from the rooftops of the hospital and towers of the San Andrés temple. The projectiles of the Mexicans ceaselessly crossed those of the invader, and when the latter advanced placing themselves beneath the walls of the buildings they received a rain of stones, pots and other found objects to support the defenders who were members of the Hidalgo group of the national guard, and some practitioners who at that time were distinguished doctors.(36) Naturally, for the head of a foreign army carrying forward a war of aggression and conquest, it is necessary to denigrate the popular resistance it finds to its advance. Scott was no exception with his brutal conduct in repressing this movement of the inhabitants of Mexico City. The battle is generalized through all the streets occupied by the United States troops, with all sorts of available and improvised arms: scarce rifles and muskets, spears, rocks, shields, and flowerpots. Acts of supreme heroism occur: some unarmed patriots throw themselves to certain mortality in the middle of the road, with the object of provoking the enemy soldiers and making them an easy target for the ambushing combatants. The unequal contest is prolonged for hours, with numerous victims falling on the part of the people; they battle with enthusiasm yet "without plan, without order, without assistance, without any element that might yield a favorable result; yet they battle nevertheless, terrible and worthy of memory."(37) The United States agents respond to this latter popular resistance with methods that almost a century later will be of familiar use by the German troops who suppressed the popular insurrections in many cities of Europe: they order the troops to flatten with artillery the house from where one shot was fired and thereby kill all the residents, they execute the patriots on the battlefield, they erupt into houses smashing doors and they murder entire families. These deeds awaken the imagination of lieutenant Beauregard of the United States corps of engineers who writes with admiration in his memoirs: And again I had the pleasure of seeing here, as a mere spectacle however, the gallant Cerro Gordo division...led by its notable general and... performing a new type of work: fighting in the streets, leveling houses, et cetera...as all the others did, "sans peur et sans reproche."(38) During the entire day of the 14th the combat continues with intensity and all throughout the night isolated shots and the sound of musketry are heard. On that same morning of the 15th, when all resistance seemed to have ended, confrontations throughout the city are re-ignited with new acts of vandalism and repression, Scott swearing to blow up the block from which one shot were fired against his troops.(39) As afternoon fell, ammunition exhausted, with hundreds of losses and injured, without hope of help on the part of the army in retreat, the popular insurrection terminates(40) before the superiority of the enemy response. What is insupportable in the situation is the spectacular demoralizer of the open collaboration with the the United States on the part of the city councils(41) and the well-off sectors who had actively opposed the uprising: It is sad to say that that generous effort of the lower people was in general censured with acrimony by the class privileged by fortune, who viewed with indifference the humiliation of the nation, so as to preserve their interests and their comfort.(42) One more time, the dominant Mexican class had betrayed this valiant supreme wish of the people to leave a legacy for the generations to come, that the capital of a weak and divided country had fallen to foreign aggression, and at the cost of those who had sacrificed their lives to defend her. The resistance during the war We find that the resistance which takes place in California and New Mexico during the war presents characteristics very similar to those enumerated for the rest of the republic. Thus we have that in these two provinces, the established power betrays the patriotic efforts of the populace and abandons both territories with presenting a resistance nor organizing popular defense. Against this situation, it is always the most conscious elements of the population who take charge or organizing and directing the armed resistance. Nevertheless, the determination of the Mexicans of the northern borderlands to fight against the enemy takes on an importance and exclusive singularity in relation to other regions of the country, according to the context in which it is manifested.(43) In the first place, New Mexico and California(44) had within their populations, as the war was unleashed, an important sector, from the economic- social point of view, composed of U.S. persons and Mexicans who did not hide their annexationist aspirations and among them were individuals who undertook "confidential missions" of the government of the United States assigned, among other things, to foment and direct such pretensions. Taking the liberty of using the terminology that emerged from the tragic events of the fascist aggression upon the Spanish Republic, and staying in perspective, we can affirm that the internal provinces of the north, as opposed to the rest of the nation, had been penetrated by a "fifth column" who had been working for the United States expansionist cause many years before the martial conflict. When the war erupted, those groups, together with advanced paramilitaries of a truly freebooting character such as that commanded by the United States agent John Charles Fremont, did everything possible to repeat a revolution "a la Texan" or to get the populations of those territories to declare their "independence" from the Mexican republic, under the "protection" of the flag of the United States, as an advance on their annexation to the American Union. William Jay, referring to California, takes clear note of the responsibility of the United States government in the unfolding of these projects: It is clear that the government [of the United States] clearly knew...that the colonists in California were anxious to once more enact the comedy of Texas. It can be assumed that much secrecy and many pains would be taken to have agents in that place to safeguard our interests and foment friendship towards us, without inserting the means that would be used to achieve this object. An independent republic in California, formed out of United States citizens, would inevitably lead, if peace with Mexico continued, to an annexation, and if war broke out, would greatly facilitate the conquest.(45) The historian Hubert H. Bancroft arrives at similar conclusions when, referring to the same case of California explicitly takes note of the definitive plans for conquest of the United States government, of the various projects to achieve it and of the important role that internal subversion played: ...the administration in Washington had determined in the event of war with Mexico to occupy California, and as a result of the war to retain it permanently. If peace were to continue, they had conceived a plan, whose execution had begun, of promoting a revolution among the natives in order to later revert to annexation. In any case, California would fulfill her "manifest destiny" and would some to be part of the United States. If both plans failed, it is assumed that a revolt of the American colonists would be provoked.(46) Loyal to the tradition, rooted as deeply today, of committing "legalized" acts of aggression, the United States attempted by all means possible to effect a conquest which counted on the tacit support of the populace. At the same time that internal subversion was utilized, as the war approached, the commanders of the armed forces who would occupy California and New Mexico received orders whose content was not very different from the instructions given to the "confidential agents." Thus, for example, secretary of war Bancroft gives commodore Sloat the following order: You should strive if possible to establish the supremacy of the American flag without provoking any conflict with the people of California. If California separates from our enemy, the central Government of Mexico, and establishes its own government beneath the auspices of the American flag, you will take measures to promote the best union of the people of California with the United States. You should keep in mind that this nation wants to find in California a friend, and not an enemy; that it wants to be connected to this territory with tight links...taking possession of itself...and of what is possible with the consent of its inhabitants.(47) This special care to conserve good relations--a precaution which remained on paper--had its basis, as we expounded in the first chapter, in the fact that definite occupation of these territories was a much cherished objective of the United States ruling class. Therefore it should not surprise us that the proclamation of the general Stephen W. Kearny,(48) upon his arrival in Las Vegas, New Mexico on the 15th of August in 1846, should have been more than the discourse of an officer to an occupied populace during a war, but was a clear and classic manifesto of conquest: "I have come among you on the orders of my Government to take possession of your territory and to extend over it the laws of the United States. We consider it, as we have done for some time, as part of the territory of the United States."(49) In the same fashion, a week before that general was to make public his government's plans, another office, commodore Stockton, head of the occupation forces of California, wrote a letter to the Mexican commander José Castro: ...I do not want to do more than my duty impels me to do. I do not want a war against California or its people; yet given that it is a State of Mexico, we should have war until it ceases to be part of the Mexican territory... I cannot, in consequence, suspend my operations and negotiate on any basis that is not that California declare her independence, beneath the protection of the flag of the United States. If, similarly, you are in agreement to unfurl the American flag in California, I shall pause my forces and will negotiate the treaty.(50) As can be noted, the United States parties intended, by any means, to obtain the "voluntary" adhesion to the United States of the northern provinces, to legalize, somehow, the despoliation which was occurring. On another side, one more of the elements that must be considered in the analysis of the resistance of the northern provinces during the war is the fact that for the populaces of New Mexico and California it was not a secret that the United States planned the conquest of their territories. Independently of the historical lesson that the Texan "revolution" had offered to the Mexican, the capture of the port of Monterrey in California by commodore Jones in 1842,(51) and the cited expedition of Texas against New Mexico in 1841, had alerted them in very concrete form of the destiny awaiting them. Discussions about annexation to North America, separation from Mexico, request for protection from England, from France, colonization plans with Irish colonists, et cetera, comprised the public domain since before the war. Furthermore, if one was conscious of the profound weakness and instability of the central government, they recognized the impossibility of it being in shape to successfully oppose foreign aggression. The northerners found themselves immersed in permanent internal conflicts, many times provoked by the imposition of central power. All these factors determined the peculiar characteristics of the resistance in these provinces. Summarizing the peculiarities of the politico-military context in which the armed resistance against the United States in California and New Mexico we highlight the following: a) The existence of a "fifth column" actively working in favor of an annexation of these provinces to the United States. b) A full knowledge of the populace concerning the plans for conquest of their territory on the part of the government of the United States. c) A campaign of the confidential agents, consuls and later, of the military heads of the occupation, in order to convince the Mexican population to proclaim their independence with respect to Mexico, as a forerunner to annexation with the United States. d) Abandonment by the civil and military powers upon the approach of the army of the United States. Collaborationism of some local authorities and of sectors with tight links with U.S. persons. e) The non-existence of armed force, properly so-called, for the organization of the resistance; lack of armaments and munitions and the impossibility of aid on the part of the central government. The nationals confronted with this lugubrious state of affairs, subject to the pressures that we have described, invaded by a well-armed and organized enemy, it is truly significant what was displayed by the armed resistance that rendered inoperative the United States schemes for the voluntary renunciation of Mexican sovereignty over the northern territories. Only the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would give the coveted legal cover to a simple and plain act of violence, for the tranquility of the consciences of those who from then on began to refer to the conquest of the north of Mexico as the "Mexican territorial cession." The resistance--successful in California and of tragic portent in Nuevo Mexico--represents the expression of the popular will of these provinces against the imposition of a foreign power, despite the internal factors that worked for years in favor of separatist and annexationist sentiments, notwithstanding the adverse circumstances in which the faithful carried forward their decision to resist. California The United States occupation of the state of California begins with the seditious movement of the aforementioned freebooter John Charles Fremont and the Anglo-American colonists of the Sacramento and Napa valleys. This armed group took power in the Sonoma area and unfurled a flag with a brown bear as an emblem and proclaimed "independence" on the 15th of June in 1846. It is not necessary to spell out the character and the goals of this movement, for the experience of what occurred in the Floridas and Texas makes it superfluous to cogitate upon this independence farce. Bancroft will unmask this annexationist adventure in detail and his conclusions concerning the moral quality of the participants and motivations are of diaphanous clarity: ...we can find among the freebooters, including the majority of the leaders and many of their followers, a diversity of motives. There was one class composed of adventures pure and simple. Men without principle, reckless, daring, with nothing to lose, always ready to fight the Californios out of sheer love of fighting...also, especially, they had already cast an eye on the livestock of the native ranchers. Others were American enthusiasts who believed in the manifest destiny of their nation to possess this land, and did not doubt their right to plant the flag of the stars and stripes anywhere in America, without the desires of their inhabitants mattering. They saw the Californios as an inferior people who should be taught by force to enjoy the benefits of liberty, and who had no right to resist what they judged their superior civilization... Some of the leaders sought official prominence...others looked more distantly...at a future of advantageous negotiations with the United States... All of them were mere freebooters and none merits the sympathy or the honor that the world reserves for the revolutionaries who fight against oppression.(52) This movement of freebooters, selfless crusaders for "manifest destiny," was of great utility to the occupation forces upon declaring the war against Mexico, although it never managed to make its original goals reality, because the outbreak of hostilities made that alternative unnecessary to obtain California. At the arrival of the United States army, the "citizens" of the ephemeral "bear republic" were incorporated into the occupation forces under the orders of that same Fremont,(53) with the symbolic memory of that shameful act of filibusterism on the current state seal. Following the ill-timed footsteps of the commodore Jones, on the 7th of July in 1846 the troops under the command of commodore Sloat disembark and occupy the port of Monterrey, without encountering resistance. Like Kearney in New Mexico, he declared upon taking control of this venue, that it was his duty not only to take California, but also to preserve it all costs as a part of the United States.(54) At the end of that very month of July the leadership of the expeditionary forces are re-organized, with commodore Stockton being assigned as their commander in chief, and with the freebooter Fremont receiving the rank of major in reward for his priceless services. In a few weeks the United States achieves control of the north of the province, took control of San Francisco and other towns, and prepared for the conquest of the southern region, where the city of Los Ángeles, capital of the state, was situated. Meanwhile the Mexican authorities--who despite not having offered resistance to the invader had maintained a worthy attitude in refusing to support the U.S. proposals for the United States flag to be unfurled on the Californios' land--decide on the 9th of August to dissolve the reduced military force available, alleging that its weakness in number, armaments and munitions would not permit the defense of the territory. In concordance with this resolution, the governor Pío Pico(55) and the commander Castro abandon the province towards Sonora, confiding in the patriotism and loyalty of the inhabitants(56) yet without effecting any preparations so that they might be manifested. Notwithstanding this inexcusable desertion of the authorities, numerous officials and soldiers under Castro's orders remained among the people awaiting the opportune moment to manifest their repudiation of the invaders. Once the civil authority of the state had been dissolved and without the presence of the military command, the occupation of the California territory was effectuated without serious setbacks. During the first days of September martial law was imposed and troops were left stationed in the principal towns of the province, with the Mexican resenting the rigors and abuses of the enemy occupation, which ferments the budding insurrection. That began on the 23rd of September in 1846, when a group of young patriots commanded by Sérbulo Varela effect an attack against the military garrison of the city of Los Ángeles. On the following day the entire populace gathers on the outskirts of the capital and the spontaneous insurrection is organized and takes the form of a popular movement: Varela's attack...was the alarm signal for all the citizens. On the 24th of September, with the army captain D. José María Flores placed at the people's head, established his camp a quarter of a league from the enemy plaza. From that moment men and boys turned up from everywhere to form a body against the common enemy, carrying with them the arms they could provide. Some of the women, a model of valor and patriotism, presented their sons, even the smallest, to take up arms; others served as spies close to the enemy; others, carrying on their shoulders the weapons, powder and lead that they had buried to save them, crossed their military outposts to present them in the patriots' camp. All finally proclaimed the freedom and independence of their country within the same city that the enemy occupied.(57) At the same time as the rebellion takes shape militarily, as much in the naming of the commands, occupied in the majority by the officials of the dissolved army corps, as in the acquisition of armaments and munitions, the popular assembly constitutes a de facto government, proclaiming themselves in favor of battling the foreign invaders and remaining faithful to the Mexican nation, by means of a "Pronunciamiento contra los americanos" of great historical value, unfortunately little known in the historiography of the war and which Bancroft recovers in his voluminous history about California: "Citizens: For a month and a half, by a lamentable fatality resulting from the cowardice and incompetence of the department's chief authorities, we see ourselves subjugated and oppressed by an insignificant force of adventurers from the U. S. of N. America, who, putting us in a condition worse than that of slaves, are dictating to us despotic and arbitrary laws, by which, loading us with contributions and onerous taxes, they wish to destroy our industries and agriculture, and to compel us to abandon our property, to be taken and divided among themselves. And shall we be capable of permitting ourselves to be subjugated, and to accept in silence the heavy chain of slavery? Shall we lose the soil inherited from our fathers, which cost them so much blood? Shall we leave our families victims of the most barbarous servitude? Shall we wait to see our wives violated, our innocent children beaten by the American whip, our property sacked, our temples profaned, to drag out an life full of shame and disgrace? No! A thousand times no! Compatriots, to die rather than that! Who of you does not feel his heart beat and his blood boil on contemplating our situation? Who will be the Mexican that will not be indignant, and rise in arms to destroy our oppressors? We believe there will be not one so vile and cowardly. Therefore, the majority of the inhabitants of this district, justly indignant at our tyrants, we raise the cry of war, and with arms in our hands, we swear with one accord to support the following articles: 1. We, all the inhabitants of Cal., as members of the great Mexican nation, declare that it is and has been our wish to belong to her alone, free and independent. 2. Therefore the intrusive authorities appointed by the invading forces of the U.S. are considered null and void. 3. All North Americans being foes of Mexico, we swear not to lay down our arms until we see them ejected from Mexican soil. 4. Every Mexican citizen from 15 to 60 years of age who does not take up arms to carry out this plan is declared a traitor, and sentenced to die. 5. Every Mexican or foreigner who may directly or indirectly aid the foes of Mexico will be punished in the same manner. 6. All property of resident North Americans who may have directly or indirectly taken part with or aided the enemies of Mexico will be confiscated and used for the expenses of the war, and their persons will be sent to the interior of the republic. 7. All who may oppose the present plan will be subject to execution. 8. All inhabitants of Sta. Barbara and the northern district will be immediately invited to accede to this plan. " Camp near Los Angeles, Sept. 24, 1846.(58) Barela, Leonardo Cola, 300 others. For the historian Bancroft this document seems "stereotyped," calling it a "florid" appeal to Mexican patriotism, "containing a recital of wrongs in which a meager substratum of fact was eked out with much that was imaginary."(59) Independent of the style, a little rhetorical in this manifesto, obligatory usage in the political language of the era, the Los Angeles Plan faithfully reflects the feelings of the California population with respect to the United States invaders upon the basis of their experience as a people occupied by those forces. This "recital of wrongs" was based upon the historical reality that had begun with Fremont's freebooting rebellion, the pillage, arbitrariness and racist attitude of this movement that, later, would continue with the arrival of the United States occupation troops. Decades later, that vision of apocalyptic overtones which the Californios adopted with the establishment of United States power would become reality in many of its details. What is important in this plan and in the actions behind it--which naturally Bancroft ignores--is it clearly expresses the will of the Californios to resist the invaders and to remain loyal to the Mexican nation, causing the failure of determined projects of the United States government so that the Mexican populace would support an annexationist movement. On the other hand, Bancroft qualifies this proclamation as a "threat of revenge," because of the articles relating to the punishments for whomever lends assistance to the invaders or does not support such a plan. This is a gratuitous accusation that does not take into account the difficult situation in which the resistance movement begins: without the presence of recognized civil and military authorities, with the main population occupied by the enemy, with a sector of Mexicans who began, since the arrival of the troops, to collaborate openly with the invaders. Furthermore, what did Bancroft think might be the content of such a plan? What could it be before the armed aggression of a foreign nation? Is it that the fact this aggression was provoked by his compatriots impedes this historian--so equable in judging Fremont--from recognizing the validity and profound justice of this pronouncement? Is it that the right of a people to repel the foreign invasion of their territory, applying the rigor of the law against traitors and collaborationists, was not permitted to the Californios because the invaders were the representatives of one of the most advanced bourgeois democracies of the era, with whom the cited historian felt identified? Bancroft himself, in characterizing the adventurers of the "bear republic," reveals his own "chauvinist" prejudices when he affirms that U.S. persons "saw the Californios as an inferior people...who had no right to resist those who judged their own civilization superior,"(60) an opinion that Bancroft himself found it impossible not to share. Once the political objectives of the rebellion were defined, the patriots intensified the siege against the redacts of the enemy in the city of Los Ángeles, defeating a column who came to aid the besieged, at Rancho Chino.(61) Thanks to this victory, on the 31st of September [sic] the surrender of the enemy troops who occupied Los Ángeles is achieved, that being the only venue of importance during the war between Mexico and the United States, in which the Mexican forces re-occupy a city and the United States tent is struck. A week later, on the 8th of October, another important triumph is obtained against a column of 250 men from the naval forces of the United States, commanded by captain Mervin. This action negated the threat of an immediate United States counterblow and permitted that on the 29th of October the sessions of the legislative body of the state would open and name the captain José María Flores governor and general commander, awarding him ample powers to organize the resistance.(62) Despite the political achievements and the military victories of the patriots who had enabled re-installing the Mexican authorities, expelling the invaders from the capital of the province of Santa Barbara, of San Luis Obispo and other settlements, and establishing a ring around the United States forces who had re-grouped and concentrated in San Diego, the resistance of the people of California was distinguished by its vulnerability. The patriots were infinitely excelled by the enemy in armaments and martial resources, as well as in the number of troops available to fight; the forces of resistance, comprised in their majority of ranchers and farmers who had to dedicate time to their labors, could not maintain on a war footing more than a very reduced number of combatants. The scarcity of arms and munitions produced the same results, for there had only been the possibility of providing weapons to a few citizens. The "artillery" in the loyalists' field consisted of one stone cannon that was used in patriotic festivities to launch salvos and which, nevertheless, played an important role in the defeat of captain Mervin and his marines! The military victories of the Californian resistance were achieved through audacity and the mastery of the Mexicans in the handling of their cavalry and the expert use of the lance. These elements allowed the patriots to develop a technique that consisted in initiating a false retreat of cavalry which, upon finding a favorable and previously hidden terrain, suddenly turned in its steps and effected a deadly "lance in hand" charge against the surprised persecutors. This peculiar technique of war, utilized by consummate horsemen, delivered to the Californians a dreamt for victory in the only battle won by the Mexicans during the contest between Mexico and the United States, which took place at San Pascual the 6th of December in 1846 between the troops of the Western Army under the command of general Kearney, "conqueror of New Mexico," and the resistance forces at the orders of the captain Andrés Pico. The persecuted used their celebrated "flight" which upon their return rendered numerous United States soldiers dead and injured, among the latter Kearney himself and a hated lieutenant of Fremont's, the United States confidential agent Archibald H. Gillespie, who considered the Mexicans a stupid and cowardly race. The memorable victory of San Pascual did not change the relationship of forces between the patriots and the invaders. Already previously, division and mistrust had made a dent in the Mexican camp. United States prisoners, using some collaborators, had managed to awaken regionalist sentiments in the Californians against commander Flores, a Mexican of the "other stripe," that is to say, from the interior of Mexico; aware of a plot to remove him, although it did not succeed, he quarried the narrow unity that during the entire struggle had been maintained among the nationals. Additionally, at the beginning of the year 1847 the rumor circulated that a peace treaty had been signed between Mexico and the United States, which also negatively influenced the resistance movement. Without underestimating these circumstantial facts, we consider that one of the most important causes explaining the weakness of the resistance movement in California was, undoubtedly, its internal composition: it was principally based upon owners and workers of agricultural and cattle ranches, and the prolonged war seriously affected the very existence of their goods and economic activities. This peculiarity was noticed by the United States, who insisted in their war propaganda that they respected the properties of the Californians. This element--inter-related with those already mentioned and with the lack of help from the central government--constituted an important factor in the disintegration of the Mexican forces. On the other side, the joint occupation forces re-group in great numbers and in January of 1847 begin their march towards Los Ángeles, this time with great precautions to not fall into the ambushes of the defenders. On the 9th of January the last armed encounter takes place between the invaders and the Mexican forces, with an unfavorable outcome for the latter. On the next day the United States occupy the desert city of Los Ángeles, this time definitively: This was the last effort that the sons of California made in favor of the liberty and independence of their nation, whose defense will always bestow them honor, for without resources, without elements and without instruction, they threw themselves into an unequal combat, in which more than once the invaders were made to know what a people can do when they fight in defense of their rights.(63) New Mexico We have come with peaceful intentions and with generous feelings towards all of you. We come as friends, to improve your condition and to make you a part of the United States. We do not come to harm you or to steal your properties. General Kearney, 18 August 1846 And require of those who have left their houses and take up arms against the troops of the United States, to return immediately to them, with those contrary to be treated as enemies and traitors, their persons subject to being punished and their properties to being taken or confiscated. General Kearney, 22 August 1846 I Despite that the occupation of New Mexico by general Kearney's troops was not preceded by a freebooter vanguard like those of Fremont, nor was "voluntary annexation" the high farce represented, but the factor of the dependence of this province upon commerce with the United States and the ideological impact of this on the ruling class in New Mexico played a much more effective part in facilitating the first phase of the conquest of this territory--the military occupation--than all the stratagems of subversion put into practice by the United States agents in California. It is very significant to note that the invading army came accompanied by the annual caravan to Santa Fe, composed of 414 wagons and and estimated value of merchandise transported of $1,752,250 dollars. This trading of products was not only the "modus vivendi" of those directly involved in the transaction, but also, in the last years of Mexican sovereignty, the totality of the salaries of the members of the civil administration were covered by the taxes that were charged the United States businesspersons who participated in this annual fair.(64) Considering the importance of this commercial movement, we can well infer without fear of being mistaken that important sectors of the dominant class in New Mexico found themselves more worried by the fate of that caravan than that of the foreign invasion army which preceded it. Overall, the same as in California, this factor of infiltration that proved so effective in preparation of the ground for the invasion which approached, did not manage to totally neutralize the elements who manifested their opposition to the United States conquest and advocated the armed defense of the territory against the foreign army. Mr. José Pablo Gallegos, attending a meeting of the state legislative body with the governor and general commander Manuel Armijo, held the 9th of August in 1846, relates the following: The majority of the persons present preferred to surrender without resistance: the others, at the direction of Mr. Manuel Chávez, Mr. Miguel Pino, Mr. Nicolás Pino, Mr. Tomás C. de Baca, and a lawyer named Iñigo, who had recently arrived from Mexico City, argued that they should combat the enemy. The latter had their opinion prevail.(65) Despite this decision to resist, general Armijo, a despotic and venal functionary who had been maintained in power through the support of the government of Santa Anna, disbands the troops under his orders when they prepared to confront the enemy in a very favorable geographic position situated on the road to Santa Fe, fleeing precipitously towards Chihuahua. The historians Hubert H. Bancroft and R. E. Twitchell, just like the senator Benton, maintained in their respective works(66) that Armijo's sudden desertion was caused due to the labor of the secret United States agent James W. Magoffin, a businessman well known in Chihuahua and New Mexico who, taking advantage of his familiarity with the members of the province's government, convinced them together with his lieutenant, the colonel Diego Archuleta, not to offer resistance to the forces of general Kearny. These authors make it clearly understood that both officials were suborned by Magoffin, adducing as proof the claim of this secret agent for 50,000 dollars--for expenses incurred during his confidential mission--presented for the consideration of the Congress of the United States upon the war's ending. Lansing B. Bloom, on the other hand, does not accept the veracity of this version, offering as proof, testimony from the diary of lieutenant J. W. Albert, which places Magoffin very far from Santa Fe during the dates when the meeting where the bribe was realized supposedly took place, with this author holding instead that it was Armijo's personal cowardice that caused the shameful flight.(67) In the claim mentioned, Magoffin affirms that he dissuaded the Mexican officials from the idea of resisting the United States, but curiously in his account of expenses, analyzed in detail, that quantity supposedly destined for the bribe of Armijo and of Archuleta nowhere appears. Nor does it give concrete details of what was offered in exchange for the passivity, and claims that colonel Archuleta was induced not to fight before the assertion, supposedly made by Kearny, that he should be allowed to take possession of the western part of New Mexico, an argument difficult to believe given the martial conflict, and unlikely to be taken into account by an official who four months later would risk his life in the frustrated conspiracy of December 1846. This version which tries to explain the initial passivity of a people before a foreign enemy by means of the successful action of an individual, this interpretation lacking due substantiation, is repeated, irresponsibly, by numerous authors, yet giving it the character of a certain and verified fact, as do for example Williams A. Keleher(68) or Sister Mary Loyola.(69) It is evident that given Armijo's moral character, he might well have not offered resistance due to any of the causes expressed, but insofar as one cannot exhaustively prove one or another of the interpretations concerning this historiographic problem, it is impossible to set aside the critical position that all research requires, and to accommodate the facts to conform to a given point of view. As another side, independently of what might have been the real circumstances in the desertion of Armijo upon the approach of the invading forces, we consider it happier to interpret historical reality not on the basis of the particular conduct of this or that individual, nor on fortuitous and isolated facts, but instead, grounded in a frame of reference that includes the inter-relation of economic-social conditions and the effect of this inter- relation on the action of determinate individuals in one sense or another. In this respect, Leslie White distinguishes two principal types of historical interpretation: ...the psychological and the culturological. Especially prominent in psychological interpretation is the explanation of historical facts in terms of the personalities of prominent individuals, yet the "temperament" of the peoples or of the races also recurs, and even such things as "the spirit of the times." The culturological type of interpretation explains history in terms of forces and cultural processes, in terms of the conduct, not of the human psyche, but of the technologies, the institutions and the philosophies.(70) The content of this study attempt to base itself, in essence, on what doctor White calls "culturological" interpretation, although with certain discrepancies in terms and concepts beyond our scope. In this way, taking into account the cited economic dependence of New Mexico on foreign commerce and its repercussions in the ideology of the ruling class, considering the everyday work of the United States businesspersons located in the province, keeping in mind the long tradition of administrative corruption, it is possible for us to explain the initial passivity of the populace and its leaders before the invading army, independently of what may have been the circumstantial elements that intervened in this process. We consider that it is through this context that we should locate the possible cowardice or treason of an Armijo, the ambition or the lack of resolution of an Archuleta, the abject collaborationism of a Vigil, actions, attitudes and moral qualities of individuals which did not constitute the cause, but instead the effect, of a specific historical conjuncture. Against the desertion of the highest civil and military authority of the state, general Kearny advances rapidly towards the capital of New Mexico, occupying Santa Fe the 18th of August in 1846 without during the entire campaign having "fired a single shot." This actual fact--the advance of the Army of the West without a single armed confrontation--upon being observed in isolation and from the apologist viewpoint for the United States expansion, causes the myth to emerge of the "bloodless conquest of New Mexico," which would come to have such historical validity that the Chicano historians indicated their preference for this point of view.(71) Once the capital of the state was occupied by the invading forces, general Kearny's next step was to establish a military government that would prepare the ground for the definitive annexation of the territory to the United States, promulgating laws, name functionaries from among the Anglo businessmen or ratifying in their posts those who had decided to collaborate with the United States; and to take an "oath of loyalty" to the new government. One must recognize that few were the Mexican public employees who maintained a dignified attitude before the invaders. Among them must be highlighted the mayor of San Miguel, whom Kearny--after repeating his manifesto concerning the definite goals of conquest on the part of the United States government--demanded surrender his oath of allegiance with this country. The general Cooke, witness to the events, describes the scene in the following fashion: ...there was a great multitude; the general and his assistants, the mayor and a priest and a few other persons ascended to the rooftop of a house that overlooked the plaza; the general, by means of his interpreter, made his pronouncement...yet perhaps due to the influence of the priest, or the crowd, or through his personal firmness, the mayor totally refused to take the oath. The general then discoursed about freedom of religion under our government... All the persecution failed and at the end the oldster was forced to give what resembled in form an oath of allegiance.(72) By contrast with the patriotic and gallant conduct of the humble mayor of San Miguel, the interim governor of the state after the departure of Armijo, Juan Bautista Vigil, responded to the speech given by Kearny in Santa Fe with these words: General: the speech that you have given, in which you announce that you have taken possession of this great territory in the name of the United States of America, gives us an idea of the marvelous future which awaits us. It is not up to us to determine the borders of nations. The cabinets in Mexico and Washington will adjust these differences. What is up to us is to obey and respect the established authorities, without it mattering what our private opinions might be. The inhabitants of this state humbly and honorably present their loyalty and their alliance to the government of North America. Nobody in the world can successfully resist the power of that which is the strongest.(73) In his elocution Juan Bautista Vigil was not expressing his personal opinion, nor did he represent the inhabitants of the entire state as he pretended. He was the spokesperson of those who had decided to seal their fate with the new owners of political power, of those who had understood perfectly that their class interests would be preserved if they actively cooperated in the task of "obeying and respecting the established authorities," though said authorities might be the result of a foreign military conquest. He also represented a smaller sector of the dominant class for whom the future certainly would be "marvelous," and decided to sacrifice his national interests to share the power of "those who are strongest," to whom "no one in the world can offer resistance with success." We cannot find a more adequate document to define this sector than Vigil's discourse in response to Kearny. In this the narrowness and egotism of class is clearly expressed, the sharp pragmatism that recognizes a hopelessly sinking boat and the life raft of collaboration, the instinct to "obey" and to "respect" authority, without "private opinions" which might put their legitimacy in doubt mattering. As might be expected, Juan Bautista Vigil for years had maintained close contacts with the United States merchants. Twitchell, in referring to this character, highlights that: ...his familiar relationship during a previous generation with the merchants of Santa Fe, recently arrived "Americans" from the States, doubtless contributed to determining his course... [Vigil] rapidly renounces his commission as a Captain... His first act, after quitting, was to consult with his friends, counseling them not to resist, and preparing a proclamation or manifesto...recommending surrender to the forces of the United States.(74) The same author--showing once more the incapacity of numerous United States historians to "get inside the skin" of the peoples whom their compatriots have confronted--assures us "the occupation of the capital by general Kearny, without the loss of lives in a bloody conflict, was due in large part to the sagacious vision and the patriotic action of captain Vigil."(75) We ask whether Twitchell would have qualified as "patriotic" the action of a compatriot of his who in the case of an invasion of his country by a foreign army had followed behavior resembling that of Vigil. At the end of September in 1846, general Kearny names Charles Bent the civil governor of the territory and the colonel Sterling Price military commander, leaving for his engagement with the Californian patriots in San Pascual. After the commotion of the first days of the presence of a foreign army in New Mexico, daily life in the occupied territory was of great suffering and humiliations for the majority of the populace, having to tolerate the constant abuses of the enemy soldiery, their contempt toward the native inhabitants and their dissolute and disorderly conduct. Furthermore, already in the so-called "Kearny Code" were included a series of legal stipulations that began with divestment of the lands of Mexican proprietors, and elevated taxes began to be charged. Justin H. Smith, in his work The War with Mexico, gathers a series of testimonies concerning the conduct of the United States troops and the popular reaction against the laws promulgated by Kearny: "The dirtiest trouble-making gang that had ever been seen together," was the description of the American forces by a responsible British traveler, and a soldier writes in his diary, "I am sure that a drunker and more depraved group could never have been found." To be accepted, an official had to be relaxed, and to be unpopular meant to be vulnerable like the good officials apprehended with a saber or a pistol in the face. Half of the captains, one letter said, could be found every night at bad places. Disorder at the governor's Christmas dinner bothered the entire town: "...one begins to be ashamed of his own nation," wrote one good official. A well-intentioned legal code was drafted, but contained certain burdensome clauses concerning land titles; and some taxes had to be collected. The people became afraid. "We have come for your good, yes, for the good of all," began to be the interpretation of Kearny's words.(76) The effect of this situation was felt in the sharpening of anti-North American sentiments among the people and among those elements who had formerly advocated the armed defense of the territory against the enemy. G. F. Ruxton, a traveler of English nationality who visited the province, refers to the animosity against U.S. persons within the population: I found in all New Mexico that the most bitter sentiment and the most determined hostility existed against the Americans, who certainly in Santa Fe and elsewhere had not been very anxious to conciliate the people, but instead their mistreatment and their haughty conduct towards the populace in large measure had been the cause of this hatred.(77) At the beginning of December, a group of patriots headed by Tomás Ortiz and Diego Archuleta begin to meet secretly with the object of preparing an armed uprising against the foreign occupiers and the Mexican collaborationists and achieve the restoration of the Mexican government in the state. The majority of the participants in directing the conspiratorial plan were members of the leading group who before the occupation of the province had been partisans of armed resistance against the United States and who indubitably had reaffirmed their opinions with regard to the oppressive character which for the majority of the nationals the permanence of foreign power would have. E. Bennet Burton makes note in this regard that "there were a number of prominent men in Santa Fe and throughout the state who were in opposition to American institutions, and were therefore not disposed to submit without some effort to seek restoration of the Mexican government."(78) Taking these circumstances into account we can consider these conspiratorial projects as the tardy reaction of resistance to the invasion, although the conduct of the troops and the situation created by the occupation contributed in large measure to creating the conditions to attempt the armed uprising and find the necessary support among the populace of the state. Most certainly Bancroft finds the revolutionary situation in New Mexico similar to that presented by California before the armed struggle would begin directed by commander Flores.(79) In both regions the armed uprising is the product of two factors; one comprises the opposition of important sectors of the population and the eventual United States conquest and the impossibility of these elements to offer resistance in the first moments of the invasion due to the betrayal and the desertion of the civil and military authorities; the other factor is the experience of the populace in a territory occupied by a foreign power which from the first moment imposed upon the Mexicans a system of relations of discrimination and exploitation. Each one of the participants in the conspiracy took charge of a region of the state, with the goal of staging a simultaneous attack on the agreed upon date, first the 19th of December and later was adjusted to Christmas eve, so as to maximize the surprise factor. Despite the secret maintained between the patriots and the precautions taken to hold their meetings, a denunciation caused the insurrection to fail, when the wife of one of the conspirators brought a Donaciano Vigil abreast of everything, and he in turn immediately alerted the United States authorities. Governor Bent writes on the 26th of December: On the date of the 17th I received information from a Mexican, a friend of our government, that a conspiracy was afoot among the Mexican natives. I immediately did everything that was in my power to discover who were the promoters of the rebellion and success has been attained in capturing seven of the secondary conspirators. The civil and military officials of the territory seek the two primary leaders and original promoters... As far as I know, the conspiracy is confined to the four northern counties of the territory, and those considered as leaders cannot be said to be men of high position.(80) Various of its directors captured, others hidden and many identified as sympathizers with the movement, the United States authorities could not manage to detect all the ramifications of the rebellion, above all in the level of the local leaders who kept preparing the armed uprising, this time with redoubled precautions. The 19th of November in 1847, the insurrection explodes in various settlements in the state. The revolt starts with the scalping of governor Charles Bent and other local functionaries, among whom figured various Mexican collaborationists. The United States and its partisans are also attacked at Arroyo Hondo and Mora. In Las Vegas, the mayor, a known partisan of the occupiers, prevented the incorporation of his constituents in the uprising by himself alerting the captain Isaac R. Hendley, commander of a company bivouacked in that town. This official leaves a detachment in Las Vegas and marches towards Mora, where the populace had supported the revolution in mass and on the date of the 20th the attack begins. The patriots not only resist the assault of the troops, but also cause them various losses, among them Hendley himself. Revenge is not long coming and on the 1st of February the United States forces furiously counter- attack and oblige the inhabitants of Mora to withdraw to the mountains, completely flattening the village and destroying the grain reserves they counted on.(81) The news of the uprising quickly arrives in Santa Fe, where the regular troops and the volunteers are preparing to repress the revolt. The colonel Price writes the following in a report to the secretary of war: The news of these events reach me on the 20th of January; and letters from the rebels requesting assistance for the inhabitants of Rio Abajo were intercepted. It was researched that the enemy was approximately at the city and that their forces were being continually augmented by the inhabitants of the settlements along the length of their march.(82) The first armed encounter between the invaders under Price's command and the patriots directed by Jesús Tafoya--who fell dead during the action--takes place in the village of La Cañada. The superiority of the enemy in armaments, the lack of artillery on the part of the rebels, decided the fate of this combat, and of another two which took place during the last days of January in favor of the United States, with a large number of losses among the Mexicans. The negative results of this confrontation oblige the patriots to retreat to Taos, a settlement where the insurgents entrench themselves, using the antique colonial structures as parapets. On the 3rd of February the seige against Taos begins with Price's order to constantly bombard the people, which provokes innumerable losses among the combatants and the populace. This unequal combat, that McWilliams has qualified as a massacre,(83) is prolonged throughout the whole day and the following morning before the severe losses of the rebels and of the non-combatant population--considered by Price in his report as a "healthy lesson"(84)--force the insurgents to capitulate, with many of their leaders being summarily executed The patriots taken prisoner during the capture of Taos do not face a different fate from that of their murdered comrades; a court martial judges them, they are accused and found guilty of the crime of treason against the government of the United States. A witness at one of the executions offers a vivid description of the sentiment that inspired the patriots who fought in this tragic rebellion, by recording the final words of the condemned: In their brief yet ardent appeals, the words "mother" and "father" could be distinguished. One who had been convicted of treason demonstrated the spirit of a martyr, deserving of the cause for which he would die, the freedom of his country... His discourse was a firm asseveration of his innocence, of the injustice of his judgment and of the arbitrary conduct of his assassins. With a puckered frown at the moment when the hood was placed over his face, the last words he uttered between his teeth were: "Dicks, the Americans!"(85) This was the last organized effort of resistance by the patriots of New Mexico against the United States invader during the war. Only one of the leaders of this movement, Manuel Cortés, continued to raise arms in the region to the east of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, with sporadic guerrilla attacks during the unfolding of the year 1847. The armed uprising in New Mexico against the United States army of occupation did not obtain the successes achieved by the patriots of California, nor was it able to survive the necessary time to organize and gain strength; it was vanquished in a scarce three weeks, without ever constituting a real danger for the occupying power, as the movement of commander Flores was at a given moment. We consider that these differences can be explained fundamentally by virtue of the importance which the United States infiltration and assimilation came to have for a key group, by their political and economic position, of the ruling class. The sector represented by Donaciano Vigil and Juan Bautista Vigil played a fundamental role in the division of the patriotic forces, in the neutralization of the opponents to the regime imposed by the foreigners. The tactical element in favor of the patriots, surprise and the synchronization of the insurrection, were frustrated by the leak about the conspiracy in December. Therefore, the armed uprising effected in January began without the participation of all the populations in the state, according to the original plan, with many of its directors captured or in exile, with the enemy alert and the continual vigilance of the collaborationists. Furthermore, the armed movement committed an tactical error that proved fatal: to present conventional defenses of positions against a perfectly well armed regular army. The slaughter perpetrated by the United States in Taos, and the rebels' severe losses in the confrontations of January, were effected with apparent impunity. This form of war carried out by a people who simply started an armed struggle, without experience nor military direction nor conventional arms, was of lamentable consequences, impossible to be overcome by a popular movement profoundly weakened from within. The resistance against the established United States power Good-bye, comrade bandido. The hour approaches. Your end is clear and obscure. One can see that you, like the meteor, do not know the safe path. One can see that you left it in anger like a solitary storm. Yet here I sing of it because you emptied the nexus of wrath. And the dawn approaches. The hour approaches when the wrathful will have no more place in the world. And a secret shadow will not have been your doing [Zorro] Joaquín Murieta. Pablo Neruda In the previous pages the characteristics of the resistance of the Mexicans against the foreign invasion have been analyzed, the factors that intervened--as much at the national level as at the regional--in the distinct manifestations of armed struggle against the United States in the war of 1847. Now then, what was the character of the resistance movements once the United States power was established in the conquered territories? What were the social and economic conditions that give rise to the different forms of protest against the new owners of political power? What groups or political strata support, initiate or oppose these manifestations of resistance? What goals do these movements propound? Such questions demand of historians, anthropologists and sociologists, interpretations and analysis grounded in suitable theoretic models to encompass the study of social movements of the sort that take place among the Mexicans in the 19th century. In this respect, of great importance for the analysis of one of the forms which resistance takes in the conquered provinces--as Pedro Castillo and Alberto Camarillo so aptly note(86)--is the work by Eric J. Hobsbawm on the archaic forms of social rebellion(87) and, especially, the concepts that typify one of the most generalized forms of primitive protest, that being termed "social banditry."(88) The interpretation by this author of banditry and its causes breaks with the historiographic tradition that considers as merely delinquent, as a "breaking the law," all participation in armed struggles against the established power, situating on the primary level--in the field of historical investigation--the social movements that ideological and social prejudices had relegated to anonymity in the police archives, the sensationalist pages of the newspapers, legends, stories and popular songs. It is because of that that Hobsbawm's critique that "bandits and highwaymen concern the police, yet also should concern the historian"(89) seems completely justified. The treatment that United States historiography has given to the so-called "Mexican bandits" certainly confirms our judgment. Hobsbawm conceptualizes social banditry as one of the most primitive forms of organized social protest--perhaps the most primitive--and situates this phenomenon almost universally in rural conditions, where the oppressed have not attained political consciousness, nor acquired more effective means of social agitation, circumstances that might well characterize the reality and the Mexican populace's state of political consciousness at the moment of the conquest of their territory. It is also of great importance for the application of Hobsbawm's concepts to our concrete case--Mexican resistance against United States power--to highlight an essential feature of social banditry that seems to faithfully correspond to the historical reality of our object of study: this form of social protest emerges especially--and becomes endemic and epidemic accordingly--during periods of tension and discomfort, in eras of abnormal strictures "such as famines and wars, after them, or at the moment when the fangs of the dynamic modern world are sunk into the static communities, to destroy them or transform them."(90) In this regard, it is not necessary to recall in detail the characteristics that we offered in chapter II concerning the socio-economic changes provoked by the United States conquest of the Mexican territories to convince us that the structural framework and "abnormal strictures" are found present in Texas, New Mexico and California in the decades which follow the termination of the war. The events subsequent to this martial conflict: the violence with which United States capitalism erupts--that dynamic modern world-- in the southwest, the stripping of the Mexicans' properties, their displacement from directing the principal economic activities, the forced proletarianization, the social and political status to which they saw themselves reduced in a scant 20 years, created the conditions defined by Hobsbawm as those propitious for the appearance of social banditry. In such situations, social banditry presents an individual and "pre- political" form of resisting the rich or, in our case, the foreign oppressors, the forces which, one way or another, destroy the order considered as "traditional" - in extraordinarily violent conditions, provoking notable changes in the space of a relatively short time. This situation is presented especially in California, where the discovery of gold provoked, in less than ten years, radical changes in the social and economic existence of the Mexicans. The social bandit thus represents an individual rejection of the new social forces that impose a power whose authority is not completely recognized or sanctioned by the community, which helps and protects the bandit. The existence of this cooperation on the part of an oppressed populace is fundamental to differentiate it from simple delinquency. For it is by confrontation against the oppressors--though it may be by deviant methods--that the oppressed people see their intimate desires of rebellion expressed. For this reason, they assume the role or are transformed into the people's avenger or defender. These "symbols" of popular rebellion are persons who generally "refuse to play the submissive role that the society imposes...the proud, the recalcitrant, the rebel individuals...those who when confronting an injustice or a form of persecution, reject being docilely subjected."(91) Nevertheless, like all individual rebellion, it is in the characteristics pertaining to social banditry where the limited nature of this form of protest lies: Thus social banditry, although a protest, is a demure protest and not at all revolutionary... It does not protest against the fact that the peasants are poor and are oppressed, but instead against the fact that the poverty and the oppression become excessive. From the bandit heroes do not await for them to create a world of equality. They can only adjust errors and demonstrate that sometimes oppression can be reversed. The practical function served by the bandit is in the best of cases, that of imposing certain limitations on oppression... It is tinged with disorder, assassination and extortion.(92) For these reasons the social bandit, although impelled on many occasions by an ardent desire for justice, by an eagerness for vengeance against the oppressors, cannot be considered--within a strictly sociological frame of reference--as a revolutionary: the social bandit does not propose with his actions the transformation of the world, but intends, in the best of cases, to put a lid on the abuses or reverse the violence against the dominators; their role is not to end the system which gives birth to the oppression and exploitation of those who confront it, but more to cause limits to remain on the traditional values that the populace which enforces them considers as "just." Accordingly, through their action and ideology they are reformist; they act within the institutional framework imposed by a system whose existence is not subject to trial. For that, "to become effective defenders of their people, the bandits would have to stop being so."(93) We have here the essential paradox of this type of rebellion. With the essential elements of social banditry explained, we consider that its concepts can perfectly define the period that in California, and in isolated cases in Texas and New Mexico, corresponds to that expressed by Hobsbawm. It is not a coincidence that the literary creation of the personage known as Joaquín Murieta(94) unites all the traits of the social bandit archetype. Tiburcio Vásquez, who was executed by the U.S. side in 1875, who lived for more than 20 years robbing the gringo and redistributing a part of the product of his deeds among the Californians,(95) also represents the same image. Murieta, who despite being a literary fiction can be turned into the real expression of the historical epoch that follows the expulsion of the Mexicans from the Californian mines, and Vásquez,(96) a product of the same reality which created the first, confronts the oppressors by means of banditry, counting on the support, admiration and protection of the population: victims and offenders in a society that closed all the doors of dignity and justice upon their people. If Joaquín Murieta and Tiburcio Vásquez attained great celebrity thanks to folklore, the literature and even cinematography, numerous of his compatriots anonymously followed his footsteps during the period that extends approximately from 1850 to 1880. History and not legend offers us characters who though not being celebrated by poets of Pablo Neruda's stature, nor having been the object of numerous biographies, have indeed possessed th, e singular characteristics that made their unlucky companions famous. Since the United States conquest of California a great number of Mexicans displaced from the mines, dispossessed of their land or without economic wherewithal in an ever more hostile world, see the necessity or are brought by circumstantial facts to a life in constant conflict with the Anglo, and revert to the only path offered by society to survive. Furthermore, for many to rob the U.S. person was no more than a way to charge for what they considered theirs; many others, the most conscious, colored their activities against the occupying population and authorities with sentiments of national resistance. Tiburcio Vásquez came to affirm that if he had sixty thousand dollars he would be capable of recruiting sufficient manpower and arms to revolutionize southern California.(97) He himself explained to a journalist the motivations that had brought him to follow his risky existence: My career emerged from the circumstances with which I was surrounded. In my youth I had the habit of attending the dances and the parties given by the native Californios, during which the Americans, who then began to be numerous, imposed their presence and pushed the Californios to one side, monopolizing the dances and the women. This is why in 1852 a spirit of hate and of revenge took possession of me. I had numerous fights in defense of what I thought were my rights and those of my comrades. The [police] authorities were continually pursuing me. I believe that we were unjustly and erroneously deprived of the social rights that belonged to us.(98) Like Tiburcio Vásquez, and with the exception of the sectors of the old ruling class who has established class alliances with the United States conqueror, the populace in general had sufficient resentments and the most varied reasons to support and protect the Mexican social bandits, and if not, to swell the ranks of this type of rebellion. This state of affairs was observed clearly by Hubert H. Bancroft, although it is necessary to purge his commentaries of his customary anti-Mexican prejudices: For ten or 15 years after the conquest there existed among the native population, ignorant and half-indian, a hatred of the Americans that they cultivated like patriotism and, on the basis that the Americans had taken their country...justified taking the lives of the intruders, and taking for themselves the riches robbed from their nation. Hundreds of murders on the highways throughout the state were committed by these assassins. Towards 1850 they begin to form bands formidable for their numbers and their crimes. At the beginning they operated principally in the southern counties, but very soon infested all the mining regions of the state, and all the highways.(99) The socio-economic reasons for social banditry in California were also described, although with more objectivity, by J. M. Guinn, who takes note of the "strange metamorphosis" that takes place in the character of the "humble classes" of natives of this province: Before the conquest by the North Americans they were a peaceful and satisfied people. There were not organized bands of criminals among them... The North Americans not only took possession of their nation and their government, but also in many cases stripped them of their ancestral lands and their personal property. The injustice caused resentments, which were frequently treated by the rudest North American elements, like foreigners and intruders, who had no birthright to the land.(100) The growing activity of the Mexican social bandits gives a pretext for the United States to realize numerous lynchings and indiscriminate attacks against the populace, intensifying the hatreds and the mutual fears between Anglos and Californians. They form teams of "rangers" and of vigilantes who take the law into their hands and the favorite punishments were lynching and the gallows when an indian or a Mexican was involved in a crime. Also, towards 1851 a gang of bandits appears, this time U.S. persons, in the charge of a Texan named John Irving--an old ranger and cavalry captain during the war--who terrorizes the Mexican population of Los Angeles county until the band is ambushed by a group of Coahuila indians. Later it was discovered there had been an accord between the state militia volunteers and the Texan bandit to devastate the populace with their forays. This fact has importance because it confirms an observation of Hobsbawm's about the way the oppressors can tolerate, support or utilize certain delinquents as a way to terrorize the oppressed, without these actions being effected directly by the repressive institutions. As we recall, Scott used groups of bandits in his repression of resistance in the center of Mexico. This utilization of banditry by the State, by foreign conquerors or by local chiefs is possible because the bandit as a "rebel condition at the individual level, in itself is a socially neutral phenomenon, and thus reflects the divisions and the internal struggles of the society."(101) Bancroft and other authors mention numerous bandit chiefs who remain in a virtual state of war against the United States authorities, distinguishing Francisco García, Juan Flores, Andrés Fontes, Juan Cartabo, among many others.(102) The situation provoked by the actions of these men comes to endanger the equilibrium and the class alliance that U.S. persons maintained with the old Mexican elite, under which various of its members saw the need to show their "loyalty" toward the new owners of politico-economic power participating in the organization of armed detachments to combat their compatriots. These groups of vigilantes in the service of the Anglos and their class interests, with the advantages of their origin and their knowledge of the terrain, with contacts and informants among the population, manage to obtain better results in the fight against the Mexican social bandits, with many of the principal gang chiefs being captured and summarily executed, managing by this taking of sides--according to Bancroft--to re-establish confidence between the two races.(103) This action of the Mexican collaborationists--the predecessors of the modern cocos (brown on the outside, white within)--newly confirms a tendency of social banditry, in the sense that this phenomenon can be overcome with relative ease, when "the old and the new oppression are allied, leaving [the bandits] isolated and defenseless."(104) Also, this fact shows us that the utilization of Mexican elements allied with United States power to manipulate, control and, when necessary, suppress their own people, has been a constant in the history of the Chicanos, up to our own day. We have offered a general description of the social banditry in California because--in all the southwest--it is in this region that we find it present as an extended phenomenon within the Mexican population over a relatively prolonged period, and here--in its endemic and epidemic form--it characterized the Mexicans' reaction to the United States conquest of their territory. Naturally, this form of protest was not the only expression of the Californians' discontent, for minoritarian sectors of the old dominant class evolve a phraseology of protest to obtain some concessions from the United States power--in the majority of a legislative nature--through the institutional channels which the bourgeois democracy offered to those who managed to "adapt" themselves to it. Generally the achievement of these reformist objectives particularly favored the interests of those who promoted them, obtaining political or administrative rulings from the federal or state powers, which in the final analysis resulted in better manipulation of the Mexicans on the part of Anglo power. For this reason, from the viewpoint of the dispossessed class in California, the bandit chiefs of those years faithfully represented the feelings of frustration and rebellion under the foreign yoke: the social bandits belonged to the people; they spoke the language of direct action which the majority comprehended; many of them emerged from the masses themselves and their lives and persons were known, as well-known as the motives that made them return to the mountain; but above all, given the political level of the majority of the Mexicans of that era, taking their internal class division into account, social banditry comprised one of the few paths commonly available to the people to channel their protest against the unjust and desperate situation which they suffered. In Texas and New Mexico isolated cases are found of social banditry, but without it coming to crystallize as a generalized form of resistance to United States power. Of this sort we have cases like that of Sóstenes L'Archevêque--in the border region between Texas and New Mexico--who confronting the demise of his father in the hands of U.S. persons, begins a bloody vendetta which led him to obtain "23 notches for 'gringos' on his shotgun: two notches more than those found on Billy the Kid's rifle."(105) In Texas we do not find many cases that can be defined within the concept of social banditry, although on the border between Mexico and the United States for many years an undeclared war develops between Anglos, indians and Mexicans from south and from north of the Río Bravo. Paul S. Taylor describes the frontier situation in the following manner: The friction along the length of the Texas border was intense and almost continual. The disorder of a frontier ranching zone was aggravated by international complications and an inter-racial hostility that included Mexicans, indians and Americans. There was robbery, assassination, pre- meditated arson, armed expeditions of outlaws or irregular bands of Mexicans and Americans, and collisions between troops of the two nations with the state of Texas. It is not surprising that there also was an intensification of animosities already well-developed by their experiences over many years.(106) In this respect, numerous United States authors have tried to balance the aggressions in such a way that it would seem there were as many armed attacks on one side as on the other, as much injustice and arbitrariness committed by one party as by the other; in this fashion neither nation has the historical responsibility for the aggression: each was "sanctioned" by the other for damage which it in turn incurred. Sadly the reality was not that which attempts to present the moral justification with an interpretive equilibrium; it is not a coincidence that the effect of the United States presence in our country might have caused the well-known phrase to emerge in the 19th century, "so far from God...and so near the United States," and for it to endure in popular tradition. Mexico, a weak nation on the border with the principal bastion of the advanced capitalist system, had to endure--to say nothing of the loss of a large part of her territory--innumerable armed aggressions, economic and political, by its "good neighbor." On its northern border, we suffered uncountable freebooting invasions on the part of adventurers who wanted to take over other regions of our territory; numerous armed attacks are recorded, sackings and burnings of settlements and ranches on the part of the United States army and by diverse state authorities; these same tolerated, protected and often participated in the stealing of cattle and in contraband on a large scale; there also were constant eruptions of indians into Mexican territory, incited and armed by the United States, etc.(107) We consider that this so important problem merits a study in itself and our interest in mentioning it in its generality lies in the fact that the border conflicts had indirect implications for the resistance of the Mexicans from north of the Bravo river. Nevertheless, for the objectives of sociological analysis of history, these conflicts should be considered within the framework of international relations and not as part of the phenomenon of social banditry. The concept of social banditry, like all interpretive models that offer a series of general tendencies for classification in the analysis of concrete historical cases, runs the risk of being applied schematically and its postulates can come to be generalized in an erroneous fashion, in such a way that every example of individual resistance or of confrontation with the established power comes to be considered as part of this form of social rebellion. It seems that this is precisely the case with Pedro Castillo and Alberto Camarillo. These authors use Hobsbawm's concept in their "Introduction" to a series of biographical articles(108) of five persons who represented different forms of resistance or of non-conformity towards the United States power: Tiburcio Vásquez, Joaquín Murieta, Elfego Baca, Juan N. Cortina, and Gregory Cortez, qualifying all of them as social bandits. In our opinion, Tiburcio Vásquez and Joaquín Murieta--to whom we have already made reference--can be considered within this category. Elfego Baca, the same Castillo and Camarillo affirm, "was certainly not a bandit, a criminal or one outside of the law."(109) On the contrary, at 19 years old he becomes known in all New Mexico when in his capacity as deputy sheriff, he arrests a Texan cowboy in Frisco who scandalized the public space and provoked it with this deed--quite unusual for the age--a confrontation with numerous companions of the arrested individual, who could not permit a greaser to apply the weight of the law to an Anglo. Sheriff Baca takes refuge in a hut and over 36 hours resists the bullet attack of the U.S. persons unscathed, with various dead and injured on the part of the besiegers. This singular feat was the beginning not of a rebellion or a life outside the law, but instead the start of a career of "law and order," and a biographer will title his book to refer to the person of Baca. In effect, Baca comes to be marshall, attorney, mayor of the village of Socorro, procurer for the district and, unfortunately, representative of the interests of Victoriano Huerta in the United States. Baca himself, remembering his early ambitions declared that, after the events in Frisco, his greatest desire was to be the number one police official of the state and that those outside the law would hear his footsteps from the distance of a block.(110) Despite that the feats of Elfego Baca as "guardian of order" filled many of his Mexican contemporaries with admiration who saw in his actions the possibility that the law might be also applicable to an Anglo, it is truly ironic that this representative of a small Mexican bourgeoisie which was growing and tortuously opening paths might be considered a social bandit, a rebel or, as Castillo and Camarillo affirm, "a source of pride and a symbol of resistance for the Chicano people."(111) At no time do we believe that he represents or symbolizes anything but the triumph of a brave and ambitious man who learns the rules of the capitalist game and engages life with precise personal goals. He is the individual who "gets ahead through his own efforts," who manages to establish himself, the classic man of action who situates himself on the side of the winners. In practice, the work of Elfego Baca was that of helping to establish the same system that kept causing the misery and exploitation of the Mexicans, that kept producing the same delinquents whom he jailed in the name of a justice which was in no way that of his people. He was the guardian of an order which he never asked who it benefited and whom it hurt, the importance being what benefited him and the interests that he represented. It should be said that we do not state these observations to diminish the qualities that Elfego Baca undoubtedly possessed, yet it seems necessary in the judgment of historical personages to: highlight the class current to which they belonged, the system for which they fought in the last instance and the social forces that they represented. On the other hand, the error into which Pedro Castillo and Alberto Camarillo fall, from a methodological viewpoint, is that of putting too much emphasis on a subjective factor for the classification of social banditry: these authors define and individual as a "social bandit" if the ruling class or the foreign oppressor group considers them as "outside the law" or as a bandit, or if the oppressed group, in turn, considers them a defender of their rights and a protector. Thus, referring to Elfego Baca they affirm that he was not a criminal: however, many Anglos in New Mexico considered him as such, for during his entire life, Elfego challenged "the Anglo mode of doing things." For his own people, Elfego comes to be a hero; he was a fearless defender of the Chicano. Elfego Baca is probably the most unique Chicano whom we could describe generally as a social bandit...(112) In other words, the favorable or unfavorable subjective attitude that the classes or the groups in conflict hold about a certain individual, without taking into account whether the actions of the supposed bandit correspond to the characteristics of this type of primitive rebel, without analyzing whether the relations between the individual and the State which they supposedly confront are relations permeated with the contradiction inherent in protest, non-conformity or rebellion. Furthermore, it does not suffice that the oppressors subjectively qualify an individual as "beyond the law," for it is necessary that the individual appears objectively before the State as guilty of some offense (Vásquez, Murieta, L'Archevêque) but that in the eyes of the community that support and protect him, this crime is directed against the interests of the oppressors, or is not considered as such according to the values of the oppressed group (homicide in self-defense, "for honor," revenge, theft from those considered as exploiters--from here the famous popular refrain, "a thief who robs a thief gets 100 years of relief"--judicial errors or intrigues, et cetera). In this respect Hobsbawm affirms: A man becomes a bandit because he does something that local opinion does not consider wrong, yet which is criminal in the eyes of the State or with the leading groups of the locality... Of course, almost everyone who acts against the oppressors and the State will in all probability be considered a victim, a hero, or both things.(113) Lately, on the basis of these premises, we consider that the concept of social banditry is inadequate to evaluate Elfego Baca's personality: his relations with the State--the same one that kept the people subjugated--were more than harmonious given that he was at their service; his actions served historically to consolidate power personally and for the United States, so that he might attain a social position in New Mexico; and above all, his combats were never directed against the interests or the economic prerogatives of the United States oppressors. II The general Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, an extraordinarily interesting character rich in issues and ideas, is another instance in the history of the resistance of the Mexicans in the United States in which it is not possible to apply the concepts of social banditry. As Rodolfo Acuña clearly takes note, Juan N. Cortina goes beyond his peculiar characteristics.(114) Castillo and Camarillo as well recognize in principle that he does not fit the role of the "typical" Chicano social bandit.(115) In effect, from the standpoint of the forms and the methods that Cortina's rebellion against the United States power acquires, from the ideological perspective which underlies his movement, and taking into account the level of organization that his protest reaches, he overflows the strict limits of the social bandit. Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, the biographers who demonstrate the most objectivity and who inspire the most confidence affirm,(116) was by his class extraction--a comfortable family with patriarchal characteristics--and by his personal aptitudes, a leader of men, defender of the people. During the war between Mexico and the United States, under the orders of general Arista, he fights against Taylor's troops, participating in the battles that take place in the northeast of the country. This martial conflict leaves a scar in those youths who, like himself, had manifested a spontaneous interest in the defense of the their homeland before the foreign invasion and had been witnesses to the excesses of the United States soldiery. His family, originating in Camargo Tamaulipas, having their properties on the north side of the Bravo river, decides to remain on their lands when the United States power establishes itself in the region. With the arrival of the Anglos to the Bravo river, this time with more subtle arms, yet not therefore less effective, from the capitalist economy in expansion, Cortina profoundly resents the condition to which his compatriots will shortly be subjected, experiencing in the flesh the discriminatory nature of the new power. Also, like all the proprietors of Mexican origin in the southwest, the Cortinas find themselves involved in the legalistic machinations of lawyers and adventurers anxious to make a fortune at the expense of the defeated, in such a way that they become stripped of a great part of their ancient patrimony. Goldfinch describes the class of men who performed this unjust despoliation and the ideological context which backed them: In the American cultural patron there was an emphasis on progress, on the establishment of proper relations in business and, perhaps, more attention to property rights than to human rights. For men like Stillman [a land speculator] the accumulation of riches was his primary consideration... His feelings toward Mexicans were not personal, yet he would not allow rights [of the Mexicans] to come between his person and his material ambition. It was not, however, the "Stillmans" who offended the Mexicans as much as those who united with them out of interest and used their presence and their power as a shield for their own petty persecutions of Mexicans... These men acted as agents of the "Stillmans" and helped them to acquire the Mexicans' property, in exchange for being recompensed with minor positions in the police, and with the knowledge of belonging to the ruling class. There was another Anglo-American of the King Fisher type who did not respect anybody's rights... Against such, the Mexicans had little legal recourse, now that the powers of the courts and of the police were in the hands of the Americans, many of whom did not consider it a crime to kill Mexicans and for whom the maltreatment of them was a daily pastime.(117) Before the predominance of similar "varieties" of individuals, and having grown up in an ambiance of relative freedom and independence associated with the life of a cowboy, Juan N. Cortina forges a character that does not exactly make him suitable to adapt to "the world of opportunities" which the prevailing system offered to young entrepreneurs of the old ruling class who did not show much interest in the fate run by their less fortunate compatriots, and who furthermore could accept secondary positions in relation to the U.S. persons. He did not fit with this type of men. José T. Canales affirms: "he sympathized with the 'underdogs' among his fellow citizens, and opposed himself to human slavery, and this is the reason why he came to be so popular among the common people."(118) Observing these notable personality traits it is not strange that, as opposed to his brothers who manage to rapidly integrate themselves into the new order of things, Cortina prefers to pursue a life that will inevitably lead him into direct confrontation with the United States oppressors: In the dawn of the 28th of September in 1859, the inhabitants of the city of Brownsville were suddenly awakened by the shots of an armed force of Mexicans who roamed the streets shouting: "Die, Americans! Viva the Mexican Republic!" Juan N. Cortina, at the head of the rebels, decides to implement the justice which the North American oppressors did not offer, to three Anglos who had murdered some Mexicans and who had been let go without judicial charges by the authorities, and they are immediately executed. A detachment proceeds to liberate the prisoners who had been unjustly held, while another tries to hoist the Mexican flag up the pole at federal troop quarters called Fort Brown, which they abandoned some months previously.(119) The agents of the "law," who lived by constantly terrorizing the Mexicans and who participated directly in the stripping of their lands, escape from the public ire, one by hiding in an oven, and the other by begging protection from a family whom Cortina respected.(120) The attack is performed with the concrete objective of bringing justice to notorious murderers of Mexicans and at no moment do they rob or mistreat innocent persons. Goldfinch, based upon an interview done by the grandson of the owner of an armory in the captured city, offers convincing proof of Cortina's conduct during the attack: For all that Cortina had taken the law into his own hands, he did not rob nor pillage when he had the city at his mercy, as he would have done had he been a bandit... Alejandro Werbiski had a store...towards which Cortina approached. Werbiski's wife, who was a Mexican, began to cry from the fear that her husband would be mistreated. Cortina calmed her, and told her that this was not a night for Mexican tears, asking about her husband. When he appeared, Cortina informed him that he wanted all the arms and munitions that the store contained. When Cortina had obtained them, he distributed them amongst his men and paid Werbiski for them.(121) Once the purposes that had caused him to capture Brownsville were carried out, Cortina and his followers retreat to the El Carmen ranch, property of his mother, where he establishes his camp and writes the manifesto that he will publish two days after his surprising attack. In the proclamation of the 30th of September in 1859 are specified, on one side, the concrete reasons for which the armed group takes over the city, and on the other, the causes are exposed of the source that provoked a profound discontent among the Mexicans. Throughout this manifesto we can infer that before the armed action, they had discussed the situation they suffered at a public gathering and the ways of using it to channel their discontent: "In order to defend ourselves, and making use of the sacred right of self-preservation, we have gathered in popular assembly with the goal of discussing the means by which to put an end to our misfortunes."(122) The document clearly distinguishes the general characteristics that made of the Mexicans a national group unified by the common sufferings and experiences involved with the foreign oppression: Our identity of origin, our relationship to our community of suffering, has been the cause of our union... Our conduct shall give evidence to the entire world that all the aspirations of the Mexicans reduce to a single one: to be free persons.(123) In regard to the immediate purposes that led the rebels to realize their attack, Cortina affirms in his proclamation: Our goal...has been to punish the villainy of our enemies, and those not so will remain immune... We have covered the streets of the city in search of our adversaries, due to the fact that when they administer the justice, it has led to the supremacy of the law not achieving its purposes.(124) In the proclamation of the 30th of September it is clearly observed that in the stripping of the lands and properties of the Mexicans lay the fundamental cause of the movement of rebellion directed by Juan N. Cortina; the greater part of the manifesto is dedicated to denouncing the "confabulation" of lawyers and local authorities whose object is to seize the possessions: [A conspiracy exists] to persecute and rob us with no other cause and with no other reason on our part than that of being of Mexican origin, and doubtless to find us destitute of those goods which they themselves do not possess... A multitude of lawyers, a secret conclave, with the purpose of stripping the Mexicans of their lands for their subsequent usufruct. This is clearly proved by the conduct of a certain Adolphe Glaveke, who invested in his role as sheriff, has expanded terror without warning, making Mexicans think he will hang them and burn their ranches, so in this way to oblige them to leave the country... Yet, our personal enemies will not possess our lands until they have soaked it with their own blood.(125) Despite the tone of indignation maintained throughout the proclamation, the protest of the insurgents was not made to extend to all U.S. persons indiscriminately. Cortina reiterates various times that: "There is no reason to have fear. Orderly people and honest citizens are inviolable to us in their persons and in their interests. Innocent people will not suffer."(126) In the same sense, from the reading of this document one can distinguish that the movement of rebellion of the Mexicans was realized within the local or regional limits, and thus did not propose the illegitimacy of the authorities of the state and federal governments, appealing on the contrary for their intervention in the problem: We nourish the hope...that the government, in consideration of its own dignity, and in the service of justice, will accede to our demand, dispatch those men [who participate in the dispossession of Mexicans] and bring them to trial, or else allow them to come to be the consequential object of our immutable resolve.(127) The surprised authorities of Brownsville, incapable of acting against Cortina, request assistance from the Mexican troops at Matamoros and, in a strange and shameful pairing with a troop of United States volunteers, engage in combat against the rising forces, being completely defeated by the latter with their artillery requisitioned by the rebels. During the time in which Cortina prepared their defenses for the battles that would come, he imposed an iron discipline among his forces and would not permit theft nor violence against the civil population: to three of his men who committed an assault on a ranch and tried to flee towards Mexico, he captures them and orders them to the firing squad. All the provisions and food consumed by his "army" were scrupulously paid to their owners. The money found in the mail that Cortina's agents would detain to inform themselves of the enemy movements was newly returned to its envelopes, with the corresponding apologies. Shipments of thousands of dollars in merchandise were allowed to pass through the lines after being inspected to ensure they did not contain arms.(128) On the 22nd of November, a state force of "rangers" unsuccessfully attacks Cortina and is obliged to retreat in disorder. By that date, the "Cortina loyalists"--as his army began to be known--had swelled to a large number. The popular support that the new strengthened movement received was almost general among the Mexicans. This claim can be easily verified by reviewing the documentation that appears in Difficulties on the Southwestern Frontier, in which the state and federal authorities are repeatedly informed of the serious situation created by the popular sympathy that Cortina's rebellion had provoked. In the Report of the grand jury concerning the disturbances in the nation the following is affirmed: On the 14th of November in 1859, the chief justice of Cameron county published a notice calling upon all persons of Mexican origin who lived in Cameron and Hidalgo counties, to come quickly with their weapons to display their loyalty, and help to restore order; yet the people who responded to the call were so few, out of the numerous Mexican population of those counties, that there is no doubt that the sympathies, if not the arms, or a large part of them, are with the marauders...(129) In a letter to the secretary of war also mentioned is the considerable support that the Cortinist movement enjoyed: "Considering [Brownsville] being a commercial town with a considerable nominal population, it has, in fact, only a hundred American citizens capable of bearing arms, the rest are Mexicans, of who very few and only those of the upper classes display adherence to the government under which they live."(130) Naturally, it is not a surprise that given the prevailing conditions, all the support on the side of the Mexicans would be on the side of those compatriots who had raised the banner of rebellion against the oppressors. Yet, Cortina not only received help from the common people, but also some Anglo and Mexican businesspersons--surely guided by the supreme ideal of gain, though we do not discount cases of personal conviction--kept him secretly supplied with that necessary for his men's maintenance, an "open secret" which caused the deepest consternation among the respectable citizens of Brownsville: There is more or less a mistrust that is felt between the people of Brownsville with respect to some of its own citizens, because it is well known that Cortina gets his supplies of coffee, whiskey, sugar, butter, etc. from Brownsville and Matamoros. He informed a captain Pennington that Brownsville supplied him with all those articles, and a wagon full of foodstuffs arrived while in Cortina's camp.(131) The wide popular support that the movement received and the military victories obtained by the rebels seem to have broadened the perspective of Cortina's plans. Concerning this aspect Goldfinch opines the following: "Cortina...seems to have contemplated forming an army sufficiently powerful to force the Texan authorities to concede to the Mexicans those rights which they had guaranteed in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo."(132) After close to two months in a state of revolt and having on two occasions victoriously resisted the attack of the military forces sent against them, Juan N. Cortina publishes another proclamation directed to his compatriots on the 23rd of November in 1859. In this manifesto he gives a clear exposition of the inalienable principle that rules his movement: the right to resistance against the oppressors: The history of great human actions teaches us that in certain moments, the principal motive which impels them is the natural right to resist and to conquer our enemies, with a firm spirit and a vigorous will; it is to persist and to achieve the consummation of this goal, opening a breach through the obstacles that are encountered step by step, notwithstanding how imposing or how terrible they might be.(133) In this document Cortina makes one deeper revision, with regard to the first manifesto, of the politics of dispossession and discrimination that was imposed on the Mexicans. He was very clear about the relation between violence, juridical arbitrariness and racism against his compatriots, and the objective of economic despoliation which was achieved by them: Many of you have been robbed of your properties, jailed, murdered, and hunted like savage beasts, because your labor was fruitful and your industry excited the vile avarice that guides [the Anglos]. Yet they are offered indulgence [for these crimes] because they are not of our race which they say does not belong to the human species.(134) Cortina gives a glimpse in this proclamation that his movement had proposed the creation of a secret society that would fight to remedy the situation, and that this task would utilize, if it were necessary, the force of arms, or at least would revert to them as a measure of self-defense or of reprisal. He newly proposes his desire for the state government to intervene with legal protection, appealing to calm and fraternity so that the Anglos would not be blinded by hatred towards the Mexicans. The response of the federal and state authorities to this unfamiliar demand by a Mexican who had dared to defend the most elementary rights of his people was to be expected. For social problems, military solutions: the secretary of war of the United States circulates instructions that a detachment of the army, with strong artillery support, be moved into the zone controlled by the rebels. The defeat of the insurgents was only a question of time. On the 22nd of December the army, supported by a force of rangers, attacks the Cortinist forces at their encampment of El Carmen, causing them dozens of losses, capturing their arms and munitions, managing to save Cortina's life by swimming across the Bravo river with a score of his men. With this tragic armed episode the Cortinist rebellion in Texas will end, but not the causes that provoked it nor the popular discontent that gave it life. For Cortina, this defeat signified his entrance into the fight that the Mexican people unleashed against the internal reaction and, subsequently, against the French intervention, distinguishing himself in the battles of Puebla and other central places, in the capture of Querétero, and in the struggles against the French and conservatives which took place in the northeast of the country, attaining the rank of general and occupying the post of governor of the state of Tamaulipas. The rebellion of Juan Nepomuceno Cortina in Texas, like the phenomenon of banditry present in other regions of the southwest, was a reaction of the Mexican populace to the effective conquest of the ancient territories and, specifically, a reaction against two factors that accompany this process of conquest everywhere that this is effected: a) The stripping of the properties of the Mexicans, especially the appropriation of their lands. b) The establishment on the part of the United States power of a systematic policy of racism and persecution, murder and jailing of Mexicans. In spite of the causes that give rise to one or another form of resistance being essentially the same, the rebellion directed by Cortina differs qualitatively from the social banditry that we have examined, for the following reasons: a) Cortina does not utilize banditry to confront the oppressors. He was never a bandit and meticulously distinguished his rebellion from any form of theft or extortion. b) His leadership essentially was to define it; not as individual responses to a situation of oppression, but instead as a mass movement in which Cortina played the leading role for an entire population in rebellion, in a struggle of a national group against the foreign conquest. c) The popular movement directed by Cortina, as opposed to social banditry, sought political solutions and methods of struggle of a political character; their armed resistance--which we should mention had an essentially defensive character--was designed to obtain a compromise, on the part of the authorities, on the basis of the rights and obligations of an international treaty. d) All these elements indicate to us that Cortina's movement was perfectly conscious of the interests that it defended and of the national characteristics of the social group which it represented. Which leads us to consider that the rebellion of the Mexicans headed by Juan N. Cortina should be defined from the point of view of the sociological classification of social movements as a nationalist movement, as the expression of the resistance of a group unified on the basis of a community of language, territory, economic life, and culture--all characteristics that define national conglomerations--but above all, unified by the conquest and oppression by a foreign national group. This oppression awakened a state of revolt and of unity that followed the lines of the social differentiation. It is not an item without importance or merely symbolic to highlight that Cortina kept above his encampment and carried with him on his expeditions the flag of the Mexican Republic,(135) which does not mean that this movement might have intentions to re-conquer for Mexico part of the territory lost by our nation in 1848. That to which he did aspire was to obtain effective recognition of the existence of the Mexicans as a national group with equal rights in relation to the Anglos, yet without ignoring the sovereignty of the United States over the territory in which this movement exerted its supreme effort of national vindication. III We have referred with special attention to social banditry and to the popular rebellion headed by Juan Nepomuceno Cortina because we consider that these forms of struggle constitute the parameters of the Mexican resistance against United States power within which it is possible to situate the majority of the cases of protest in the southwest. From this perspective, the former represents the most primitive form of social protest, while the second comprises the most advanced expression of the resistance movement in the decades that follow the termination of the war. Between these two varieties--qualitatively distinct--of social rebellion, we find numerous manifestations of struggle against the United States oppression in the conquered territories. These had a predominantly self- defensive and spontaneous character, emerging from situations basically similar to those that determined the Cortinist rebellion and the explosions of banditry, intimately related to the process of expansion and financing of the United States capitalist system in the southwest, especially with the control and possession of all the important means of production, the imposition of new variants in the exploitation of nature which displace the economic activities and the forms of property traditional to the Mexicans.(136) Basically, the resistance of the Mexicans against the social and national oppression imposed by the United States power--despite that it represents uninterrupted conflict--is characterized by a low political and organizational level, by localism in its manifestations and by the relative facility with which the U.S. persons repress or control these expressions of rebellion. Naturally, these characteristics of the social movements in the decades that follow the end of the war were conditioned by the low economic development of the Mexican provinces at the moment when the United States conquest occurs, by the class alliance that is established between the new power and the dominant class and, fundamentally, by the uncontainable process of capitalist development that takes place in the United States. The sacrifice by the Mexican ruling class of its national interests with the object of safeguarding its class interests by participating in the exploitation in a subordinate role, left the dispossessed masses practically without leadership so that with the establishment of the United States power, they became subject to a double subjection, one of class and the other national. Before this situation, directors like general Cortina, a landlord by class extraction yet capable of representing the general interests of a national group against the foreign oppression, are the exception that proves the rule. In this manner, without leaders with previous political experience, nor the advantages of an extended education among the people, nor the ideological and philosophic weapons of the thinkers of the era, nor a definite, strong and ingrained national consciousness that would permit the unity of the oppressed populace, the conquered territories confront, isolated and spontaneously, one of the most dynamic and aggressive capitalist systems of recent times. Against these factors, the rebellions of the Mexicans, indigenous americans, native peoples of Asia and Africa, confront an insuperable reality for this age: the social movements were historically destined to fail; not thereby the experience of their struggles, nor the indignation that gave them life, nor the ideals of freedom and independence which made them possible.

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    Notes
      
      Prologue
      
      
    1. "The decisive factor in the formation of the nation resides in the way in which the historic bourgeois bloc is constituted, through the struggles of the bourgeoisie to construct a hegemonic system as the basis of state power... The task and the work of the process of national formation consists, precisely, in causing multiple and disparate elements--individuals, groups, social segments and classes; desires, histories and collective myths, ethnic, cultural and religious legacies; spaces, times and common purposes, etc.--to converge in one single act or collective subjectivity."
    2. Introduction
    3. By the southwest we refer to the Mexican territories conquered by the United States in 1836 and 1847, "officially" annexed by means of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed the 2d of February in 1848. It comprised the current states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and part of Colorado.
    4. To expound the Marxist viewpoint on the national phenomenon we have utilized the ideas developed by these thinkers during this century, because Marx and Engels did not pay special attention to the study of the theoretical problems of the nation. Solomon Bloom says with respect to Marx that: "he never intended to arrive at a definition of race or nation in such a way that they might be distinguished from other aggregates of persons. He used terms like 'national' and 'nation' with considerable vagueness. Sometimes 'nation' was a synonym for 'country'; other times of a completely different entity, the 'state'... Consequently, if one wishes to speak of the Marxist theory of nationality, it should be in the sense of a generalized description of the modern nations of the West, and of the relevance of such a description for the national question in other parts of the world." On the other hand, Marx and Engels maintained a position that was somewhat contradictory for many aspects of the national and colonial problems. Such was the case, for example, with his defense of the United States war of aggression against Mexico in 1847 by reason of the supposed progress that the conquest of the Mexican lands would bring, or their reluctance to accept the validity of the national movements in the small or backward nations or colonies.
    5. The author states the following in this regard: "The acid observations of Marx and Engels concerning small and underdeveloped populations should not be taken as if it implied some special prejudice against such peoples, in a concrete or more general fashion... The approval on the part of Engels of the imperialist expansion of France and of the United States and the slowness (if we may call it this) of Marx in making a call for the independence of India from England were the result of a particular conception of the probable order of events in the evolution of the respective nations... If socialism could only be reached by passing previously through the purgatory of capitalism; if capitalism was in an advanced phase in relation to another pre-capitalist phase (feudal or primitive); if the quickest manner of launching a backward nation on paths to economic development was for it to fall under the domination of an advanced nation which would develop it, then the approval, though repugnant, of the subjugation and domination of the backward zones follows logically." The position of Marx and Engels with respect to the national and colonial problems was based upon the belief in a unilinear scheme of evolution and on the idea that the colonialist or imperialist nations would bring "progress" to their colonies and dependent countries. "Only later--says Davis--when the unreality of these assumptions began to be clarified with the revelation of the true nature of imperialist exploitation, did Marxism abandon this conception and propose a decided resistance to all lines of imperialist expansion, and the rapid termination of imperialist domination in those zones where it had been consolidated."
    6. Chapter I
    7. This preoccupation with the expansionist eagerness of the United States is not exclusive to the diplomats, nor are they the only ones who elaborate projects to oppose the United States territorial advance. The general commander of the Internal Provinces in 1808, Nemesio Salcedo, presented to the Spanish government a "Plan of Opposition to the endeavors of the United States of America," from the fear that that nation might take over the Internal Provinces during the French invasion of Spain. This Plan was divided into five points: "1st - Reflections that lead to belief that the provinces in the north of this kingdom would be invaded, 2nd - Means that the enemy has for verifying the invasion, 3rd - Current situation in the province of Texas and its surroundings, 4th - We who must impede them and advance preparations needed for that, 5th - Mode of making war on the enemy in question, its object, local situation, class of the army and further considerations with some observations about the advantages which adopting this plan could attain." At the end of the first point, commander Salcedo states the following: "Convinced nationally that the United States must invade our possessions, yet without knowing the moment, which according to the data is very near, we should acknowledge the need to guard and reject, which will be less costly to us, more effective and useful the more we anticipate it, given the concept that the risk which threatens us in neither momentary nor passing, but permanent and stable, as much so as the Republic of the United States and so the means of avoiding it should be equal to the same risk, without the expenses that arise being an obstacle, if one does not want to expose to accident the fate of all northern America."
    8. It continues to be ironic that a representative of the empire that had exploited the indigenous americans for centuries, without being detained by considerations of a moral order--like those indicated by Bartolome de las Casas--should make allusion in the text we have mentioned of the implacable fate suffered by the native americans before the European occupation of their lands. It suffices to say that a great number of writers and travelers in the first half of the 19th century, as much those who demonstrate admiration for the United States as those who took a critical attitude, describe in their writings and travel diaries the inhumane treatment given to blacks and indians.
    9. Gutierrez de Lara was later used by the United States for its projects of territorial expansion, participating in various campaigns of a freelance character, financed and directed by citizens of the United States whose objective was to form in Texas a "new and independent Republic."
    10. This report is an elaboration by Alaman upon the basis of the communique of general Mier y Teran of the 14th of November in 1829, to the secretary of War and the Navy, Alaman copying parts of it almost textually. In reality, we should consider Mier y Teran as the author of that initiative of law, and Lucas Alaman as the statesman who makes possible the formulation and approval of the cited legislative norm, with both being identified with this problem to which it refers.
    11. Lucas Alaman should be seen as the most notable personality within a certain current in the ruling class of Mexico of the time as it refers to the attitude that should be taken against the government of the United States. Forming part of this group were military and politicians like the cited general Tornel, and the above- mentioned general Mier y Teran, an outstanding personality with a tragic end, apparently taking his life before the imminent loss of Texas, and his profound frustrations at being a witness to the disunion and civil strife of his nation. "... the revolution absorbs the energies of men who should have been working together," the general wrote to his friend Lucas Alaman the day before his demise. In a state of great bitterness about the fate of his country, he confided his final thoughts: "A great and respectable Mexican nation, a nation where we have dreamed and for which we have worked so much, will never be able to emerge from so many disasters... We have permitted ourselves to be carried away by the ambitions of egotistical groups, and now we are about to lose the northern provinces. How could we expect to retain Texas when we could not even find agreement amongst ourselves? It is a gloomy state of affairs. If we work together we shall advance. The way it is, we are lost."
    12. The spirit of the age was captured by numerous travelers and authors: Rafael Reynal, Mexican writer, opined that in the United States "business is above all else... The most common question is: How much is that man worth?" Prieto, another Mexican traveler, affirmed that "the free competition has the people in constant movement"; the great weakness of United States persons, according to him, was money. Everything in the country was business, even religion and politics, with "everything that can be sold for sale," he affirmed; Luis de Onis is more severe in his judgments: "good faith is of very little concern to the Anglo-American commercial speculator; they know no law other than self-interest; feel no motivation other than greed, and respect only money." Onis and Prieto refer to the constant fraudulent bankruptcies: "Some had declared bankruptcy five or six times," or, "out of a hundred bankruptcies there might only be one that is not fraudulent; there must be few nations where they speculate and traffic with such ardor and so much pain and scandal." The same authors mention the "numerous fires set to charge insurance," as well as "the horrible deceits in the transactions and deals" and the speculative character of the bankers with paper money.
    13. Cases similar to the United States we find in the processes of primitive accumulation of various nations in Europe. In Tzarist Russia we have an accelerated process of territorial expansion towards peripheral zones with the annihilation of native populations and the formation of ethnic and national minorities subject to ferocious exploitation, to the extent of this era being known as the "prison of the peoples." In Europe, England consolidated her capitalist development upon the basis of the conquest of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. France --the myth of the "pure nation-State"--accomplished her national consolidation conquering the territories of the bordering national and ethnic groups: Euskadi, Catalonia, Occitania, Brittany.
    14. The movement for the conquest of Canada had numerous partisans, and it was not until the relative failure of the war of 1812 that this politics was left to one side, though never abandoned. In those times the English barrier was very powerful, managing to cool the spirits of those who favored expansion towards the North.
    15. It should be clarified that our study has centered fundamentally on the territorial expansion of the United States; in reality, this movement had an inseparable counterpart, the desire to extend commerce towards the Orient, once the ports on the Pacific Ocean situated in Mexican territory were controlled, above all San Francisco and the current San Diego.
    16. Lenin, with regard to war said: "How can a war be accounted for without considering its bearing on the preceding policy of the given state, of the given system of states, the given classes? I repeat: this is a basic point which is constantly overlooked. Failure to understand it makes nine-tenths of all war discussions mere wrangling, so much verbiage. We say: if you have not studied the politics of both belligerent groups over a period of decades...if you have not shown what bearing this war has on preceding policies, then you don?t understand what this war is all about." Another citation of the author argues, "As if the question were: Who was the first to attack, and not: What are the causes of the war? What are its aims? Which classes are waging it?" Throughout our exposition we have tried to adjust ourselves to this sort of thinking in the analysis of the war of 1847; upon this basis we have arrived at the conclusions expressed. It should not be a surprise, the number of works about this war which fall into mere palaver, highlighting "personalities," fortuitous incidents, etc. in the idealist analysis.
    17. Chapter II
    18. In 1824 Alta California comprised approximately the current states of California, Nevada, Utah, and part of Arizona and Wyoming; Sonora, part of the current states of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado; Nuevo Mexico, part of the current Texas.
    19. From the Nahua chichimecatl, plural chichimeca. The name given in Mexico to the indigenous groups who lived to the north and west of the Anahuac plateau.
    20. It is the subject of great debate--above all for its political implications--to define the socio-economic system that the Spaniards establish in America, as is the nature of the changes experienced during the colonial domination. For some authors like Rodolfo Puiggros, Spain interrupts her capitalist development due to the metals it received from America, using them to acquire manufactured goods from England and other nations of western Europe, stimulating the capitalist development of these nations and perpetuating its own "feudalism." Following this reasoning, the cited author's opinion is that "America owes to Spain its incorporation into the general process of development of humanity, through an agonizing feudalism during the era of the birth of capitalism." For other authors like Gunder Frank and Luis Vitale, spanish America emerges within the context of capitalism from the very moment of its discovery and conquest. Between these two positions there exist other theoretical interpretations such as that of Alonso Aguilar, who affirms for the concrete case of Mexico, the following: "The Mexican economy from the 16th century to the middle of the 19th experiences a phase of transition; one in which the feudal system decomposes rapidly and capitalism gains terrain day by day, until coming to impose itself as the dominant social structure." Enrique Semo states in this respect, "From the beginning one could detect three well defined modes of production: tributary despotism, feudalism and embryonic capitalism. Each one of them does not exist separately but is integrated into an organic whole, a set of relations, an economic system that influences the functioning. The system is formed from two fundamental structures: 1) The Republic of indians or tributary despotism and 2) The Republic of the Spaniards in which feudalism and dependent embryonic capitalism are found indissolubly linked. We deal not with a 'dual society' but with a single system with two structures."
    21. Naturally, this subjection was never complete. The indigenous discontent was expressed throughout the entire colony by means of bloody rebellions that on many occasions provoked the expulsion of the Spanish from a given region and the re- establishment of indigenous power for many years. The Pueblo indians, for example, rebel in 1680 and maintain control of the province of Nuevo Mexico for 12 years; we have similar cases in the rebellions of the Mayas of the Yucatan, those of the Yankees of Sonora, as well as also in the uprisings occurring in the very center of the viceroyalty which sacked Mexico City in 1692.
    22. The actual use of the term Asiatic mode of production or oriental despotism originates in a work of Marx not published until 1939, "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (draft)." It can be briefly characterized as the "combination of the productive activity of village communities, and the economic intervention of a state authority which exploits at the same time that it directs them. For Roger Bartra, this system, "which with greater rigor should be called the tributary mode of production, having for a base the primitive agrarian community, but a superior binding community has emerged--the State--which appears as the universal proprietor of the land and of people's work. The State subsists thanks to the exaction of a tribute that the communities pay..."
    23. We do not refer here to what Rodolfo Stavenhagen confidently qualifies as a fallacy: the idea that national integration is the product of the mixture of races and cultures. We are in agreement with him when he affirms that: "National integration, as an objective process, and the birth of a national consciousness, as a subjective process, depend on structural factors (that is to say, upon the nature of the relations between persons and social groups) and not on the biological or cultural attributes of certain individuals." Nevertheless, we think that the biological and cultural mix is caused due to the action of the structural factors to which this author refers, and that this process plays and important role in the cultural composition of nationality. We do not claim that the formation of a nationality is a product of the mixing of races and cultures, but instead that this mix is the product of a "unifying" socio-economic system, as that of Spanish colonialism was. Fernandez Retamar notes in this respect that "there exists in this colonial world, on the planet, a special case: a vast zone wherein mixed-race is not an accident, but the essence, the main line: ourselves, "our mixed-race America." Marti, who knew the language so admirably, utilizes this precise word mestiza as the distinctive mark of our culture, a culture of descendents from aborigines, from Africans, from Europeans - ethnically and culturally speaking.
    24. Zavala received a large extent of lands in Texas, entering into treaties with United States companies for their sale, despite the law he had seen, not to deliver more lands to U.S. persons. "Zavala's travels to the United States in 1830--Charles Hale tells us--included many negotiations on the issue of lands, in which he paid little attention to the terms of his contract." This author opines in a footnote that the fact of having published Zavala's works in 1966 is "impressive testimony that Zavalas is vindicated in Mexico," whereas in my opinion the recognition of an intellectual work does not signify the "vindication" of that personage: the judgment of his contemporaries is an element difficult to forget."
    25. The Mexicans commissioned to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo calculatedl at108,000 the number of inhabitants in the lost provinces.
    26. In Article X of the Treaty, deleted by the United States Senate at the moment of ratification of the document, the concessions of lands made by Spain the the Mexican Republic in these territories were widely protected. The acceptance of this article would have asserted the legality of the dispossessions of lands already effected by this time. Therefore it was declared that "neither the President nor the Senate of the United States can ever consent to ratify a treaty which contains Guadalupe Hidalgo's article X in favor of the concessions of lands in Texas or in any other place.
    27. These being the most important characteristics of the situation of the Mexicans beginning with the arrivals from the United States, authors like Richard Morefield attempt to cover with euphemisms the essence of the exploitation and discrimination in the relations established between Mexicans the U.S. persons in the southwest. This author in his study The Mexican adaptation in American California, 1846-1875, sustains the thesis that the history of persecution and violence against the Mexicans is well known and the desired cases to illustrate this fact can be easily found. However--Morefield indicates--he has paid no attention to another equally important viewpoint and "even more importantly" that it consists in demonstrating the "successful assimilation of the Mexicans into American society." Ironically the facts that this author presents to support his hypothesis, to illustrate that "other so important reality," are none others than the familiar history of persecution and violence against the Mexicans that he claims is surpassed. In chapters of his study he exposes in detail the risky life of a miner during the years of the so-called "gold fever," with its explosions of Anglo-American xenophobia that gave way to the law which placed taxes on the foreigners, including the Mexicans; it describes the action of the vigilante groups and their gradual displacement into salaried work in the mines, performing the heaviest manual tasks, while the Anglo became the specialist in handling the equipment and machinery. Morefield observes how the stripping of the lands and the cattle ranches was effected, and the displacement of a dominant class to a secondary role. And this process of conquest of one people over another, the forced integration into a system of exploitation in which they occupy the lowest position, to the proletarianization, to the resort to violence, the changing of hands in the ownership of the land, all this Morefield denominates "successful assimilation" and "adaptation." It is terminological juggling that the very information that this author offers is charged to refute. An evident contradiction between the facts and their interpretation.
    28. Before the events of 1835-1836, Lamar noted the numerous encounters between Anglo-americans and Mexicans, as well as how "horrible and bloody were the reprisals on both sides." Later, after the battles between the rebelling "texans" and the Mexican army and the independence proclamation of the "Republic of Texas," there were constant armed encounters between the Mexican forces and the "texans": invasions of the territories controlled by both sides, fruitless expeditions with expansionist ends like that organized by the Texan authorities in 1841 against the neighboring province of Nuevo Mexico, as well as numerous punitive incursions by both sides. Additionally, Pablo Herrera describes in his book, The Seven Wars of Texas the "desperate struggle on the sea between the Texan navy and the Mexican navy for the control of the Gulf." Later, during the war between Mexico and the United States the "Texans" were distinguished among the United States volunteers and soldiers above all by their criminal conduct towards the Mexican population, to the degree that Taylor would ask that the sending of more Texans to his column be stopped, alleging that they "rarely have completed an expedition without unjustly killing a Mexican." Such was their reputation that the people referred to them as "the Texan devils" or "the bloody Texans."
    29. In turn, even without the sufferings and terrible experiences of the indians, blacks and Mexicans, we should consider the United States population itself as another of the "victims" of this process in the sense of that asserted by Karl Marx: “The people which oppresses another people forges its own chains."
    30. This complicity--Zorilla explains--had motivation "because it dealt with traffic beneficial to the North American economy closing one's eyes to the way in which the crime affected their neighbor."
    31. "The losses to bovine livestock were incalculable when Texas' population grew after the year 1848, because to satisfy the ranches, in their entirety robbed from Mexico, and many were occasioned with horse thefts which began then and continue to that day, whereas it is not apparent that the dispositions of the Texan authorities have led to excising this cancer..."
    32. Chapter III
    33. Concerning the criminal conduct of the United States troops in the occupation of Mexico: assassinations, robberies, summary executions, rapes, terrorism against the civil population...Fuentes Diaz opines in this respect: "The occupation of the country by the North American forces was accompanied by the worst and most cruel atrocities, committed against a defenseless, miserable and demoralized population, It was an occupation that in addition to its excessive military rigor, was characterized by countless corrosive and extortionist measures, totally foreign to the apparent objectives of the war... The North American troops became, with their vices, miseries and cruelties, a terrible factor of extortion and of misery, of terror and of revenge, of hatred and of oppression." General Lane, in the official dispatch of the 22nd of October in 1847 discusses the night attack on the population of Atlixco, a site of slight military value: "I ordered that the artillery be placed on a hill near the village, overlooking it, and that they open fire. Then we saw one of the most beautiful scenarios conceivable. Every cannon was handled with the greatest speed possible and the collapse of the walls and the roofs of the houses under the impact of our bombs and grenades mixed with the roar of our artillery. The brilliant light of the moon allowed us to direct the shots against the most densely populated parts of that place."
    34. The confidential United States agent, Moses Y. Beach, wrote in his report of the 4th of July in 1847 to the State Department the following: "The principal bishops were in league with the general Santa Anna, and I not only convinced them of the danger of helping him against the United States, but also got them to call back the messenger whom they had sent to his camp with liberal offers. In support of my representation, I did not hesitate to promise that our government would respect the freedom and the properties of the church: and thus I found little difficulty in persuading the influential bishops in Puebla, Guadalupe and Michoacan, through their representative, the head of the St. Vincent de Paul order, to finally refuse all assistance, direct or indirect, towards the prosecution of the war. I am convinced that any subsequent contribution from them or from the Archbishopric of Mexico would only be obtained by force. They also promised to lobby their enemies in the Congress so that they would advocate peace at the opportune moment, and thereby frustrate the measures of the party which bona fide favors the war. I have every reason to believe they have done so, with great effectiveness, at the secret meetings in February and March. When the government resolved to impose new contributions on the Church, I incited the organized resistance. And in effect, when general Scott announced his landing in Veracruz, they raised the flag of civil war in the capital, in Puebla and to a certain extent in Michoacan. Five thousand men, all the arms and munitions of war and other measures of the government were distracted for 23 days, preventing them, in fact, from helping in Veracruz, reinforcing Puebla or fortresses nearer to the Coast."
    35. In a certain way it is explicable that popular actions are minimized, since the "official" historiography of the Mexican bourgeoisie follows or corresponds to the class vision it has of the historical events, the glorification in greater measure of the heroes of their regular army, more than the heroic and always anonymous conduct of the people.
    36. The Veracruzian population would again offer an heroic resistance in the defense of the port from the United States invasion in 1914. For a vivid description of the criminal bombardment of Veracruz in 1847...this author cites the tale told by one of the inhabitants of the targeted port: "The enemy...chose a barbarous method of assassinating the helpless and defenseless citizens - the bombardment of the city in the most terrible way. They dropped on it 4,100 grenades and a large number of bigger bombs. They aimed their shots of preference at the casement, at the neighborhood of the charity hospitals, at the blood centers, and at the sites that the enemy himself had burned down, where it was natural for the authorities to gather to put out the fire; at the bakeries revealed by their chimneys, and during the night they rained upon the city some bombs whose trajectory was perfectly calculated so they would explode on impact, ignite and produce the worst damage possible. Its first victims were women and children, and then entire families who perished due to the explosions of beneath the ruins of their dwellingss."
    37. "The yankee who wanted to raise the flag over the Palace, on the day of the Americans' entrance, was killed with one shot, yet for all their efforts the police could not verify who was the killer. Yet the torments prepared for the assassin are shocking in their barbarity."
    38. "Given that Scott did not manage to calm the people, he ordered that those blocks be attacked from whose houses the soldiers had been fired upon; yet because the deposits of powder were in Chapultepec, such a barbarous measure was not carried out."
    39. Nevertheless, the popular resistance never stopped serving to repel the invader during the United States occupation. Jose Fernando Ramirez, writer, historian and politician who experienced the events to which we have referred, writes in this regard: "The public war ended after the third day of the occupation, but not likewise the private which presented a truly horrific character. The enemy army shrinks daily due to assassination without it being possible to find any of the executors. He who emerges into neighborhoods, or a little way from the center, is a dead man, and they assure me that a small cemetery in a liquor store has been discovered, where the fatal liquor was provided to increase and reassure the victims. Seven cadavers were found in the interior of the office, yet not the owner..."
    40. That which most led to the nullification of that movement were the constant efforts of the Town Council; efforts disapproved thereafter by those who felt burning in their breasts the sacred fire of patriotism."
    41. This idiosyncracy of the resistance in the interior provinces of the north, which we shall clarify below, as well as the analysis of this at the national level, that is, as the Mexican provinces that they were, they have not been sufficiently described by Chicano studies, not to mention the majority of United States historians who have been very little interested, certainly, in trying to show the "other face" of the imperial adventures launched by the United States. In the case of the former, we think there exists a tendency to separate the history of the Chicano people from the historical period of Mexican independence prior to 1848, on occasion paying more attention to the remote past of the pre-Hispanic cultures for comprehending the phenomenon of the emergence of the Chicano people, than to the importance which it has for this goal, independent Mexico and the war between Mexico and the United States.
    42. "This was the first confession of the true purpose of the administration of waging this war for the acquisition of territories, and not, as they had been pretending, for the purpose of protecting the borders of Texas, avenge past errors and obtain indemnization for just demands."
    43. The commodore Thomas Jones, commander of the Fleet of the Pacific, imagined, for circumstantial reasons, that war between Mexico and the United States had been declared. Following instructions given in anticipation of this case, and without ascertaining the veracity of his conjectures, this jealous officer landed his forces in Monterrey on the 19th of October in 1842, demanding the surrender of the port, and dictated a proclamation little different from those utilized four years later. Alerted of his "error," he raised anchor three days later, leaving for history one more proof of the premeditated character that the war against Mexico had.
    44. We mention the "taking possession" of California and Nuevo Mexico on the part of the United States commanders for the juridical interest that this violation of the international law of the time possesses. These proclamations of definitive conquest of territory were made publicly only several months after the war was declared and almost two years before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would be signed. And from then on, the United States determined unilaterally the territorial conventions it would later impose. The soldiers arrogate the role of the diplomats and resolve to effect agreements supposedly through discussion with the juridically recognized representatives of the nations in combat.
    45. It is curious how United States historians refer to Pio Pico and not to Jose Maria Flores as "the last Mexican governor," notwithstanding that the naming of Flores was made according to the precepts of State law. One of the reasons to explain the "omission" perhaps may be that the episode of the Californian resistance does not figure greatly in the United States historiography. Bancroft himself claims in the respect that "reports made by American writers, as a rule, barely mention the revolt, ignoring the details as the reverse continued."
    46. Some of those mentioned by don Jose Pablo Gallegos as partisans of the resistance participated in the conspiracy of December of 1846 against those of the United States, denounced to the occupation authorities by Donaciano Vigil, the secretary of Government who made common cause with the invaders, reaching to the extent of accusing his own compatriots.
    47. In this respect, we consider that the interpretation that describes the "bloodless conquest of New Mexico" is tendentious and limited, for the following reasons: a) it does not see the initial passivity of the population of the province against the United States army in the socio-economic context, does not consider the class perspective of the phenomenon; b) it bases its argument on the first phase of the conquest, the military occupation; c) it does not take into account the insurrection that took place at the beginning of 1847--in which hundred of Mexicans lose their lives--nor considers the manifestations of resistance subsequent to the war.
    48. The book Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta: celebrated California bandit was published for the first time in San Francisco in 1854, written by a Cherokee indian named Yellow Bird. As a member of an indigenous group, one tends to believe that his infancy and adolescence--marked by the persecution and the violence of the whites against his tribe--were influential in the tonic of vengeance that his literary persona would later have. Upon arriving in California in 1850, when the persecutions of Mexicans were commonplace, it was not difficult for him to identify with a people who like his own, suffered from the oppression and the violence of the Anglo. During those years social banditry becomes epidemic, including innumerable thefts of livestock and horses, assaults on stores and on travelers, with relatively numerous gangs forming which enormously worry the authorities. Little is known about the leaders of these armed groups, except that the most notable among them seems to have had the name of "Joaquin." Soon, the popular imagination and the newspapers begin to refer to Joaquin as if he were a single individual. In 1853, the legislature of the State of California offers five thousand dollars for Joaquin, alive or dead. When one of the members of Mexican origin protested this for the hunting of Californios that this measure would provoke, it was resolved instead to form a company of "Rangers," the governor offering a recompense of a thousand dollars for any Joaquin, captive or dead. During two months the Californian Rangers--who were not much distinguishable from their Texan colleagues in their attitude--search for Joaquin's gang, without results, until the detachment approaches a group gathered around a campfire, leading to a combat in which the leader of the Mexican group, by the name of Joaquin Valenzuela, is killed and decapitated, the Rangers leaving his head, as testimonial "evidence" of the "feat" of having freed California from the celebrated delinquent Joaquin Murieta. These are the true elements from which Yellow Bird wrote his novel, with various apocryphal versions of it appearing in Spain, in France, in Chile, and in Mexico, the Chilean Robert Hyenne claiming Murieta as his compatriot.
    49. General Cortina, like all rebels who rise against a system of exploitation, has provoked on the part of United States historians the most opprobrious interpretations concerning his actions and his motives, his personality, and even regarding his physical appearance. For the majority of these authors, he does not get beyond being a bandit, a criminal, a rustler, a traitor, if not all of these things together. Even Carey McWilliams, who acknowledged the popular support on which he always counted, and who expounds the general context in which the rebellion occurs, calls him "the red bandit of the Rio Grande" (in a pioneering work like that of McWilliams, often relying on prejudiced sources, it is quite logical to fall into errors that do not diminish the work as a whole). Against the whole anti- Cortinist tradition, Charles W. Goldfinch, working with primary sources from both sides of the border, and interviewing families of Cortina and his contemporaries, he manages to rescue the figure of this patriot from the swamp of falsehoods written about him.
    50. An example of popular resistance begun over the imposition of private property in natural resources, considered by the Mexicans as communal property, is the so-called "salt war" that took place in El Paso, Texas in 1877. During this conflict, the masses arose to prevent the possession and the commercialization of some salt deposits situated near El Paso, with a group of rebels executing the Anglo who had taken possession of the salinas. This gave the pretext to perform the usual expeditions of repression against the Mexican population on both sides of the border, who despite everything were obliged to submit, with salt becoming one more commodity in the market economy. Another desperate struggle against capitalist expansion is the case of the conflicts that were seen in New Mexico, towards the end of the decade of the Eighties, with the introduction of the railroad, the robbery of lands, the imposition of barbed wire, and the establishment of large livestock ranches, factors which directly affected the agricultural and sheepherding activities of the Mexicans, who form secret organizations, like the White Hats, and use sabotage against train tracks and property of U.S. persons.