Ch 17 Mexicano Contributions to the Southwest
Texas Independence from Mexico in 1836 Texas was annexed by U.S in Mexican war won in 1848 and U.S. gained California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. Spanish-speaking people had made their homes in this region since the 1500s Introduction
There were 80,000 to 100,000 Mexicanos, or Mexican citizens, living in the territories given up by Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848, which insured them full citizenship, rights to their property and right to speak Spanish. Unfortunately, Americans pushed them off their land, made it illegal for children to speak Spanish at school and kept Mexicans from voting.
This picture of a Mexicano helping an American settler pack a mule illustrates how Americans moving out west benefited from the Mexicanos’ knowledge and experience.
Nine Mexicano Contributions Discussed in Ch : Mexicano Mining Contributions (pg. 230) 17.3: Cattle Ranching (pg. 231) 17.4: The Cowboy (pg. 232) 17.5: Sheep Raising (pg. 233) 17.6: Irrigated Farming (pg. 234) 17.7: Mexican Food (pg. 235) 17.8: Spanish-style Architecture (pg. 236) 17.9: Mexican Laws (pg. 237) 17.10: Mexicano Entertainments (pg. 238)
17.2: Mexicano Mining Contribution Americans didn’t know how to mine. Mexicanos were experienced at mining gold, silver, and copper. Mexicanos taught Americans how to use –Batea: gold pan –Riffle box: Tom –Arrastra: grinding mill VIDEO: Gold panning Batea (gold pan)
17.2: Mexicano Mining Contribution Arrastra (grinding mill) Riffle box (the heavy gold was trapped behind the riffles)
17.2: Mexicano Mining Contribution Arrastra (grinding mill) A Closer Look at the Riffle Box: Dirt is placed at the top and water is poured over it, washing away everything but the gold. The gold, being heavy, gets stuck behind the riffles (the little rectangle pieces of wood).
17.2: Mexicano Mining Contribution Silver was mined mostly in Nevada, while copper was mined mostly in Arizona.
17.3: Cattle Ranching Branding is the burning of a rancher’s mark (symbol) onto his cattle to identify it as belonging to him. Branding was done by his hired cowboys.
Cowboys would tie down cattle and place the end of the hot iron in a fire until it turned a bright orange. Then they burned the brand into the hide of the cattle. Branding was necessary because herds belonging to different owners often mixed together on unfenced grasslands. Video: Branding 17.3: Cattle Ranching
Before branding the cattle, they first had to be rounded up. This process was called a rodeo. Our rodeos are based on Mexicano rodeos Video: Mexican rodeo 17.3: Cattle Ranching
17.4: The Cowboy A vaquero is a Mexicano cowboy. Sombreros, chaps, ponchos, cowboy boots, western saddle & lariat are Mexican inventions. Video: Bull Riding
17.5: Sheep Raising Sheep raising was a big, well-organized business for the Mexicanos. Americans moving to the Southwest quickly adopted this large scale system of producing wool.
17.5: Sheep Raising Churros were raised in the Southwest because they could survive in the dry environment
17.6: Irrigated Farming Irrigation is the process of supplying dry land with water, often through ditches. Irrigation was necessary for farming in the dry West, where farmers wouldn’t see rain for months at a time.
17.6: Irrigated Farming Irrigation allowed for many foods to be farmed that hadn’t been farmed in the U.S. This included grapes, dates, olives, apples, walnuts, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, quinces, lemons, limes, and oranges.
17.7: Mexican Food The mostly widely recognized Mexicano contribution is Mexican food. But what many Americans view as Mexican food is really “Tex-Mex.” “Tex-Mex” is the blending of Mexican and American dishes that started in Texas.
17.7: Mexican Food The food you get at Taco Bell is a good example of “Tex-Mex” cooking.
17.8: Spanish-style Architecture Spanish-style architecture consists of courtyards, rounded arches, thick adobe walls, verandahs, and red tile roofs.
17.8: Spanish-style Architecture Since there weren’t a lot of trees in the Southwest, Mexicanos used adobe bricks to build. Adobe is a mixture of earth, grass, and water shaped into bricks and baked in the sun. Tile roofs were fireproof & adobe kept homes cool in summer and warm in winter.
17.9: Mexican Laws Mining Law- Before the discovery of gold in California, there was so little mining in the U.S. that there was no mining law. But with the Gold Rush in California, it quickly became clear that the forty-niners needed rules in order to keep order. As a result, Americans developed a “law of the mines” based on Mexican mining law, which helped keep order.
17.9: Mexican Laws Community Property Law- In the eastern states, married women had few property rights and any property acquired by a married couple—such as a home, farm, or business— belonged solely to the husband. In contrast, Mexican law said that all property acquired during a marriage was “community property.” If a couple separated, half of the property belonged to the wife and half to the husband.
17.9: Mexican Laws Water Law- Under Mexicano water law, known as “pueblo law,” water is seen as too valuable to be owned or controlled by any one person. If a river or stream flowed through your land you still had to share the water with your community.
17.10: Mexicano Entertainments Mexicanos worked hard, but they also knew how to entertain themselves with music, dance, and fiestas (celebrations, parties).
17.10: Mexicano Entertainments Mexicano music greatly influenced country and western music in the Southwest. The most important contribution was the corrido, or folk ballad. A corrido is a dramatic story sung as a guitar is played. Video: Folklorico
17.10: Mexicano Entertainments The most widely celebrated Mexicano holiday is El Cinco de Mayo (the Fifth of May). It is similar to the Fourth of July for Americans. It commemorates an important victory in Mexico’s fight for independence from French rule in Today, Cinco de Mayo fiestas bring together Mexican and non-Mexican Americans to Mexicano music, dance, and food.