Geography of the United States and Canada
12 December 2007
Thoughts on Mex-America: The rise of Aztlan
The American Southwest is a unique landscape of culturalmixes and heritages with foundations that echo back to times before the establishment of the political American and Mexican Republics. Indeed, since Columbus discovery of America, Spaniard conquistadorssettled the area of what was called the New Spain with numerous Villas, forts and churches. There Spanish culture and architecture flourished under the distance with the colonial central establishmentand metropolis. It was not until the Mexican independence movement of 1810 when a Federal Mexican government was created, providing the Mexican states with autonomy and self-governance. A loosefederal government and lack of communications with the interior did little to help with the isolation of the northern Mexicans provinces, who many times opposed the central government’s legislation ordomination on their lives. It was about the 1830s when the region had began to be settled by American colonists, mostly coming from Southern, slave-holding states who cared little about the regionsgovernment and sought the creation of trading outposts and commerce. Although the Mexican government had authorized the “importation” of settlers, the settlers’ unique and distinct Euro-American, Protestantculture influenced the region in many aspects from the culture of self-governance to Anglo-dances that threatened Mexico’s domination and initiated a series of political impasses that would lead toindependence and the creation of the Republic of Texas. This artificial republic gained its independence after a short-war with Mexico and was somewhat easily annexed by the United States in themid-nineteenth century. The Mexican-American War demonstrated the American ideal that the United States would expand from coast to coast, when the United States annexed the current states of California,...