South By Southwest Essay

The setting of this story covers an immense number of years of conquering and
colonization in the Southwest areas we now know as California, Arizona, New
Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. It begins in the early 15 and 1600’s, in a time
when many important Spaniards, such as Juan Bautista de Anza (in 1775 he led the
longest overland migration of a colony in North American history before Oregon),
were moving into the Southwest in search of gold, silver, bread, and jobs. It
also talks about the Indians, who were already living in the area we now know as
Mexico, that did not get along real well with the Spaniards(Anglos) when they
came in to invade their land. The two main Indian tribes of that time were the
Mayas(a peaceful people who were interested in science, invented a calendar to
grow maize, and were later believed to be wiped out by a great natural
catastrophe), and the Aztecs(a powerful bloodthirsty tribe who feared no human
only their gods). Next it went on to the 1800’s and early 1900’s, when
Mexico decided to fight the Spaniards for their independence. Finally, the book
went on into the mid to late 1900’s, where Mexico began to modernize and
become a good neighbor to the United States. 6. The major conflict was between
the Anglos and the Mexicans. It began with the Spaniards and the Indians(Aztecs)
fighting over the Valley of Anahuac. The Spaniards(led by Cortez) ended up
winning the battle over the Aztecs(led by Moctezuma). Due to the cruel and
ruthless Spanish rule, a new social system was set up where the Spanish-born
whites were the rulers, the Mexican-born whites were the aristocracy, and the
Indians lived lives of poverty and slavery. Another class grew called
mestizos(Mexican-Indian), and out of all these were the forces that created
Mexico. Next, Mexico(led first by Padre Miguel Hidalgo, then by Jose Maria
Morelos, and finally by a traitor D. Augustin de Iturbide) fought the Spaniards
for their independence. The first two lost and were killed, but they ignited a
spark that later led to victory with the help of Iturbide and his army. For a
while Mexico was in chaos, but with the help of many leaders,(Benito Juarez,
Porfirio Diaz, and Lazaro Cardenas to name a few) they were able to start making
laws and bring Mexico to become a modern society, free from slavery and
dictatorship. Now, like the rest of the world, Mexico is developing into an
urban area with cities that are modern and spreading out in many directions. 7.

I believe the theme of this story to be that although Mexico and the United
States had very different histories, they have grown together. They share such a
long border that they need to maintain a peaceful border, otherwise many
problems can occur. Mexico and U.S. rely on each other for many important
imports and exports. In many cases, other than a political one, the line that
runs between Brownsville, Texas and San Diego, California is considered an
invisible one. Many cross it often, as in some areas it is only a barbed wire
fence or a river easily crossed. Also there is said to be about as many
“Mexican-Americans” in the Southwest as there are in the Mexican
states just south of the border, which makes it seem, in many ways, as if it is
all one region. 8. The main characters were more groups than anything: the
Spaniards, the Mexicans, the Indians, and the Anglos, however, there were some
important ones’ within the groups to be mentioned. These are: Cortez(the
leader of the Spaniards when fighting the Aztecs), Moctezuma(the leader of the
Aztecs), Padre Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Maria Morelos, and D. Augustin de
Iturbide(leaders of Mexico in their revolution against the Spaniards), and
Benito Juarez, Porfirio Diaz, and Lazaro Cardenas(all leaders of Mexico helping
to organize and modernize Mexico). 9. I would recommend this book to many of my
friends and relatives. I have many Mexican American relatives that are very
interested in all I am learning in this class, and whenever I find a good book,
they are all very eager to learn about it. This book was an excellent read. It
was full of history that was not taught to me before, and I really enjoyed
learning about the history of the Mexican American.

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