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Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century: A History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands Paperback – April 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century makes a significant contribution to borderlands, Chicano, and Mexican history especially because José Angel Hernández takes a distinctly transnational approach in examining 'Mexican American' migration 'south' to northern Mexico, rather than 'Mexican' migration 'north' to the southwestern United States. While bridging the gap between traditional area studies focused on the United States or Latin America, Hernández's methodology empirically tests the supposed motivations attributed to 'Mexican repatriates' against the documentary record, concluding with a more subtle interpretation. Equally impressive is his thoroughly bi-national and bilingual use of both primary and secondary sources. In the final analysis, José Angel Hernández, in revealing the surprising impact of ethnic Mexican repatriates on their nineteenth-century 'homeland' south of the 1848 border, develops a brilliantly original approach worthy of imitation."
John Chavez, Southern Methodist University

"José Angel Hernández has written an important book about the little-known history of the repatriation of Mexicans in the decades after the U.S.-Mexican War. His work is notable for connecting specific and well-researched cases spanning the entire border from Texas to California to the broad themes of migration, the creation of national spaces, and memory that have been so central in shaping the region."
Andres Resendez, University of California, Davis

"Hernández's illuminating book transforms our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He explores the extensive repatriation of Mexican Americans in the colonization of northern Mexico. These policies, he argues, had more to do with defending settlements against the threats of Anglo American invasion and Apache raiding than the often-cited ideological notions of racial 'whitening' or sentimental nationalism. His revealing bi-national archival work opens crucial questions that many scholars considered closed."
Renato Rosaldo, New York University

"With one out of ten Mexicans now living in the United States, José Hernández's brilliant historical analysis of Mexico's relationship to its diaspora is a timely and important contribution to knowledge about our often misunderstood southern neighbor. More than any other author, he explains how and why Mexico's northern frontier became transformed into an entity known simply as 'the border'."
Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University

"Suggested for immigration scholars, lawyers, and immigrants' rights advocates. Highly recommended."
Choice

"This solid book begins with an examination of the repatriation of Mexicans south of the border and then moves to a fascinating analysis of the Mexican government's orientation toward those now in México de Afuera, or 'Mexico beyond'."
Douglas Monroy, The Journal of American History

"Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century offers a compelling transnational story that adds to historians' and other scholars' understanding of Chicano and borderlands history."
Sterling Evans, H-Borderlands

"The narrative is both dramatic and engaging. I strongly recommend this book."
Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Book Description

This study examines various cases of return migration from the United States to Mexico throughout the nineteenth century. Mexico developed a robust immigration policy after becoming an independent nation in 1821, but was unable to attract European settlers for a variety of reasons. As the United States expanded toward Mexico's northern frontiers, Mexicans in those areas now lost to the United States were subsequently seen as an ideal group to colonize and settle the fractured republic.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107666244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107666245
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

His first book, "Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century: A History of the US-Mexico Borderlands" responds to past historiographical interpretations by suggesting that these resettlement schemes centered on the developments of the frontier region, the modernization of the country with loyal Mexican American settlers, and blocking the later tide of migrations to the United States to prevent the depopulation of Mexico's fractured northern border. The monograph has received two book awards for its various historiographical contributions.

Winner of "The Américo Paredes Book Award," 2013

Co-Winner of the "William M. LeoGrande Prize for the Best Book on U.S.-Latin American Relations," 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CP on February 3, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
José Angel Hernández presents a study on the experiences of Mexicans in the United States who repatriated to Mexico in the wake of the territorial changes caused by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. Surveying the greater U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Hernández explores the fluid nature of national identity in both Mexico and the United States and describes Mexico's courting of disenchanted Mexicans north of the border as a means of securing itself as a cohesive nation-state. After losing 55% of its national territory between during the Texas Secession and the U.S.-Mexico War, Mexican politicians viewed their compatriots in places such as Nacogdoches and Santa Fe as being patriots willing to remain Mexican - in relocating from the Mexican Cession to Mexico (a provision allowed Mexicans in Article VIII of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo) it was hoped that the repatriate colonies could form a strong bulwark against another potential U.S. invasion after the 1850s. Hernández documents how - contrary to what one might think given today's conventional wisdom in mainstream U.S. society that all Mexicans want to head north for jobs and economic opportunity - many Mexicans in the lost territories in fact were seriously interested in remaining Mexican. In one of the best details of his work, Hernández points out how Padre Ramón Ortiz's Mexico City-funded repatriation expedition in northern New Mexico was met with much interest among nuevomexicanos, particularly among the landless peasant classes who saw an uncertain future with the United States and decided to try their luck in northern Chihuahua, particularly after the Mexican government offered them land grants and money to start their own farms in the Mesilla Valley.Read more ›
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By marc on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The ideas in the book were new and insightful. Understanding our past helps us move forward, and this book helps us understand that past.
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