“Política: The Forced Annexation and Political Incorporation of the Nuevo Mexicanos, 1821-1871” Talk at UCLA



Event Date: 

Friday, October 31, 2014 – 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Event Location: 

CSRC Library – 144 Haines Hall

The UCLA Department of Sociology Race & Ethnicity Working Group and the CSRC are pleased to welcome Phillip B. (Felipe) Gonzales, professor and associate chair, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico, to present the talk  “POLÍTICA: The Forced Annexation and Political Incorporation of the Nuevomexicanos, 1821-1871.”


The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended a two-year war with Mexico, empowered the United States to annex the Mexican Department of New Mexico. Overnight, the 60-100,000 Spanish-speaking citizens of New Mexico were subordinated to the rule of a foreign nation.  As scholars have recently stressed, the Nuevomexicanos were thrown into a condition of colonialism once their homeland was annexed, particularly as New Mexico would remain a federal territory for several decades to come.  However, compared to classic internal colonialism around the world, in which the conquered were universally subordinated to a strict ethno-racial segregation, the unique New Mexico case involved what one scholar has called a relation of “power-sharing” as between the dominant Euro-Americans and the native Nuevomexicanos.

The substantial integration of the Nuevomexicanos into the American political system, seen for example in the elected position of delegate to Congress, operated as the major component of their power-sharing system at this time. The ideological force of Enlightenment Liberalism and the mechanism of the Western political party do the most to explain the substantial political integration of the Nuevomexicanos in nineteenth century New Mexico. The process of placing the modern versions of American liberalism and political party on a traditional Mexican territory involved some contradictions telling for the experience of power-sharing, but it also enabled the Nuevomexicanos to activate a civic resistance to their social subordination in the internal colony of American New Mexico.

A reception will take place following the talk.

Co-sponsored by the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Dept. of Sociology Contentious Politics and Organizations Working Group, and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.

This event is FREE.

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