“Who were the true Foreigners of the Southwest?”
In “A different mirror”, Ronald Takaki talks in chapter seven about specific events in American history that preceded the formation of the American republics of California and Texas. Takaki explains the overtaking of California and Texas through the eyes of the conquered. The Previously Spanish/Mexican territories, according to Takaki, weren’t as graciously conquered as perceived by most Americans. Takaki gives the example of how the Native Californians were considered “an idol, thriftless people” by American rebels. The American’s justified their right to conquer as a “manifest destiny,” they were an enterprising people in search of raw materials and claimable land. Once conquered, the treatment of the natives was horrific. The women were raped, the men were tied up to watch their families get massacred before their very eyes, not a hint of respect for life was showed towards the natives, especially when it came to social acceptance. After the Mexican-American war, America signed a treaty claiming native families could keep their property but then when came to the court actually approving their proof of residency more than half the natives couldn’t provide sufficient enough proof to their claim and therefore lost their land or had to buy it for 1.50 an acre which was almost double what the Americans were buying the land for (60 cents). Not only did Americans steal land and ostracize the native Mexican people but American’s actually set the grounds for turning “Mexican” into a proletariat class. Essentially there was a caste system based on race that viewed Mexicans as “ditch diggers” or “brush grubbers.” A stereotype limiting the perceived capabilities of an entire race will change the way society pictures the ideal American.
When the first Americans came to California, they were welcomed with unmatched hospitality and respect. It even got to a point where “Yankees” would...