El Movimiento

El Movimiento

Valentina Rojas, EHS class of 2026, Contributor

The Mexican-American War in 1846 was a war that took place for two years. This war was due to a land dispute. To be more specific, it was to have what we know today as Texas as a part of their own countries. Mexico ultimately lost to the United States and had to give them; Texas, Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and parts of Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American war in 1849. However, for many Mexicans in the U.S., it was the start of a new war. After the war, many Mexicans that stayed in the U.S. were promised that they would become citizens and be able to keep their lands, culture, and language.

In many cases throughout the country, Mexicans who immigrated or who lived in parts that were to become American territory were now living in poor conditions and were treated as second-class. Not only that but all that they were promised was denied.

At the beginning of the 20th century Mexican Americans started to fight for their rights. At a certain point attempts were made for them to be considered as a class of White Americans. Nonetheless, this idea was abandoned since they still wanted to embrace their language and culture, which is why the start of the Chicano movement began.

The word Chicano in the 1960s was considered a slur towards Mexican Americans. However, many activists and Mexican-Americans later began to use the word with pride instead of shame. This movement lead to many modifications that improved and helped the Mexican-Americans.

Mexican American students protesting for their academic rights.

The Chicano movement not only improved the work conditions for immigrants but also many more Mexican-Americans became elected officials due to the opportunities there community fought for. I believe that this movement was a big part of Mexican-American history because reforms were able to change and the Mexican population was heard.