The U.S.-Mexican War officially ended in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which called for Mexico to surrender more than one-third of its land. The treaty offered Mexicans living in the conquered territory a choice between staying there or returning to Mexico by moving south of the newly drawn borderline. In this fascinating history, Anthony Mora analyzes contrasting responses to the treaty's provisions. The town of Las Cruces was built north of the border by Mexicans who decided to take their chances in the United States. La Mesilla was established just south of the border by men and women who did not want to live in a country that had waged war against the Mexican republic; nevertheless, it was incorporated into the United States in 1854, when the border was redrawn once again. Mora traces the trajectory of each town from its founding until New Mexico became a U.S. state in 1912. La Mesilla thrived initially, but then fell into decay and was surpassed by Las Cruces as a pro-U.S. regional discourse developed. Border Dilemmas explains how two towns, less than five miles apart, were deeply divided by conflicting ideas about the relations between race and nation, and how these ideas continue to inform discussion about what it means to "be Mexican" in the United States.
Anthony Mora is Assistant Professor of History, American Culture, and Latina/o Studies at the University of Michigan.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction. Local Borders: Mexicans' Uncertain Role in the United States 1 1. Preoccupied America: Competing Ideas about Race and Nation in the United States and Mexico, 1821-1851 23 2. "Yankilandia" and "Prairie-Dog Villages": Making Sense of Race and Nation at the Local Level, 1850-1875 66 3. "Enemigos de la Iglesia Catolica y por consiguiente de los ciudadanos Mexicanos": Race, Nation, and the Meaning of Sacred Place 103 4. "Las mujeres Americanas estan en todo": Gender, Race, and Regeneration, 1848-1912 135 5. "It Must Never Be Forgotten This Is New and Not Old Mexico": Local Space in Euro-American Knowledge and Practice, 1880-1912 172 6. "New Mexico for New Mexicans!": Race and the Redefinition of Regional Identity for Mexicans, 1880-1912 223 Epilogue. "Neath the Star Spangled Banner": Multiculturalism and the Taxonomic State 274 Notes 291 Bibliography 345 Index 367