500 years of Chicano History Reflection

500years of Chicano History:Reflection

Thereading of “500 years of Chicano History” presents manyinteresting bits of the Mexican history, including its relationshipswith her neighbor, the United States. The book traces the history ofthe Native Americans, their social, economic activities, and extendsto cover political movements and revolutions that paved the way forthe order of the contemporary society. Some of the areas thatfascinating include the history of the Aztecs and Mayas, the Alamo,Manifest Destiny, the Mexican/American &quotwar,&quot EmilianoZapata, Francisco &quotPancho&quot Villa and Bracero Program.

TheAztecs and Mayas, their Differences and Similarities

TheAztecs are famous for having formed a strong, allied empire referredto as altepemeh to fight Azcapotzalco in Nahua-city. The empirecomprised of three city-states: Texcoco, Tenochtitlan, and Tlacopan.This empire controlled the vast of Mexico Valley. The Mayas, on theother hand, are popular for founding Mesoamerican civilization, whichwas famous for developments of written language form ofcommunication. Besides, the Aztecs’ spoke the Nahuatl language,which is now spoken by over 1.5 million people living in centralMexico. In contrast, the Maya spoke the Maya languages, which wasalso passed to generations — about6 million indigenous peopleliving in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras speak the Mayalanguages. In essence, the third difference follows that the Aztecs’presently constitute Mexican population, while the Mayas extendbeyond Mexico to Belize and Guatemala. However, the Aztecs and Mayashad some similarities. The first similarity is that they bothestablished popular cities. The second similarity is that they bothhad a strong interest in astronomy and developed calendars (Delay45).

Differencebetween Hispanics and Latinos

Hispanicis the language spoken by Spanish while Latino refers to a languagethat was spoken by America’s Latin community. The origin of Latinospeaking people is traced to the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Cuba,Dominican Republic and Southern America such as Ecuador, Peru,Bolivia, Colombia, as well as Central America such Costa Rica,Honduras, and among others. Hispanic originates from a Spain. Theterm Hispania usually refers to a person in Latin Iberian or Americanancestry, who is fluent in Spanish while, Latino is the shortenedword derived from Spanish Latino Americano.

Whathappened at the Alamo

Alamois popular because it was at the heart of the Texas Revolution. TheMexican troops, under president and General Antonio López as thecommander in chief, launched an attack on the Alamo Mission (Brands34). The attack resulted in the death of all the Texan defenders.This form of cruelty inspired the Texans to join forces and form theTexian Army. Driven by the desire of revenging, the Texian Armysucceeded in defeating the Mexican troops, concluding the revolution(Henderson 45).


ManifestDestiny was widely used in 1840’s by politicians and leaders of theUnited States to connote the need of expansion of the Americancontinent. Upon the revelation of the United States interestconcerning the quest of manifest destiny, Mexico perceived itdifferently and, as a newly independent nation, it was worried thatthe United States wanted to annex it and establish a government. Thenation had just achieved its independence from Spain during the year1821 and was not ready to lose its independence. Thismisunderstanding resulted in tensions between Mexico and the Us(Bauer 76).


TheMexican/American &quotwar&quot arose as a conflict of the borderbetween the US and Mexico. On one hand, the United States claimed Mexican soldiers had crossed over into American land for conflict. On the contrary, Mexico claimed the US had taken over their land,which it intended to reclaim. It has also been argued that it wasalso orchestrated by Mexican fear that the US was going to extend itsslavery practices to Mexico. Many Mexican officials backed up the warthinking the US was actualizing its Manifest Destiny, while PresidentPolk wanted to reclaim the city of California, which he thoughtbelonged to Mexico. These varied interests of American and Mexicanleaders and politicians would trigger the war (Delay 45).

Whowas Emiliano Zapata

EmilianoZapata was among the influential leaders in the Mexican Revolution,serving as the leader of the peasant revolution in Moreles thatinspired Zapatismo, an agrarian movement. Zapata was born and raisedin Anenecuilo, in a rural village in Morelos state where peasantcommunities faced the pressure of the class of landowners who underthe regime of Dictator Porfirio Diaz, monopolized resources such asland and water for producing sugar to enhance their lives whiledisregarding the needs of the rest of the community. Zapata played acrucial role in mobilizing political movements against Diaz as wellas the landowners. In 1910, when the revolutionary war broke out,Zapata was appointed as Morales’ peasant revolt leader (Knight 34).

Whowas Francisco &quotPancho&quot Villa

Francisco“Pancho” Villa, like Emiliano Zapata, was among the key leadersin the Mexican Revolution, serving as general of Mexican Revolution.He had also served as provisional Chihuahua between 1913 and 1914. Asa general, Francisco “Pancho” Villa commanded the North Divisionof the Constitutionalist Army. He was also a military landowner inChihuahua, in northern Mexican state. He owned a tract of land withmany mineral resources, which he used to fund the war. Villa iscelebrated for playing a crucial role in the political liberationthat ousted Victoriano Huerta from power in 1914. Francisco “Pancho”Villa allied with Emiliano Zapata to bring revolutionary politicalchanges to Mexico and they even brought their forces together to takeover Mexico City from Carranza`s forces (Jimenez 67).

BraceroProgram and What became of it

TheBracero program describes a series of laws and agreements that wereinitiated to protect the interest of the manual laborers. Thelegislation and agreements were created in 1942, and involved thesigning of agreements between Mexico and United States, in what cameto be known as the of Mexican Farm Labor Agreement. The agreementsaddressed various issues such as guaranteeing the fundamental humanrights such as shelter, health, and food, setting the minimum wage to30 cents an hour, allowing transportation of labors from Mexico tothe US. The agreement was extended during the signing of MigrantLabor Agreement of 1951 but was officially terminated in 1964(Martinez 53).


Bauer,Jack. TheMexican War, 1846-1848.New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.,2010. Print

Brands, Henry. LoneStar Nation: the Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence.New York: Anchor Books, pg54. 2004Print.

Delay,Brian &quotIndependent Indians and the U.S. Mexican War&quot TheAmerican Historical Review,Vol 112, No. l. February 2007. Print

Henderson,Timothy. AGlorious Defeat: Mexico and its War with the United States.NewYork: Hill and Wang, 2007. Print

Jimenez,Sifuentez. Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the PacificNorthwest, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016. Print

Knight,Alan &quotMexican Revolution: Interpretations&quot in Encyclopediaof Mexico,vol. 2, p. 873. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997. Print

Martinez,Elizabeth.500Anos Del Pueblo Chicano / 500 Years of Chicano History: In Pictures.SouthwestCommunity Resources Expanded edition, 1990. Print