History and Predicaments of Latinos
In the modern world, America as a continent comprises of the Free states. At face, these states demonstrate and value disparities which suggest the absence of significant and intensive relationships among these states. The Northern Americas are mainly Canada and the United States of America. These have significant developments as it can be seen from their consistent feature when it comes to the discussions of socioeconomic issues globally. The Central Americas, Southern Americas as well as the Caribbean countries are struggling economically. Most of the citizens in these countries are enduring abject poverty.
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However, these states have intertwined histories. The other regions of the larger American Continent are affected by the U.S.A’s history. This has impacts which include the current presence of Latino Diaspora within the U.S.A as well as the difficulties that they face. My conviction is that Latin Americans are not patriotic due to Magna Carta of the American which was selfish leading to the expansion of the Latin American’s Diaspora in the U.S.
Magna Carta is a historic document whose signing took place in the June of 1215. It was signed by King John and the medieval England’s magnates. The aim of this document was to offer King John’s subjects assurance that they would have governance whose basis would be feudal laws. This would protect them from tyranny subjection. The U.S founding fathers were inspired by this document at the time of American Revolution because their belief was that their rights were similar to those indicated in Magna Carta. After attaining independence, the U.S laws embedded some of the Magna Carta’s clauses. For instance, the 5th amendment provision that states that nobody shall be deprived of liberty, property or life without following the due process of the law.
The continent of the Americas has a rich history in both sociopolitical and cultural issues. The existing distinction between the Latin American nations and the U.S is due to the events that occurred from 1500. The Spanish and the English were the two main European governments which colonized this new world which was similar to the Americas during the 16th century. Different strategies were used by both colonialists in the administration of these colonies. Consequently, different cultures emerged from these colonies. The aim of the English was to exploit the colonies’ resources. Therefore, they conquered local people in order to take control of their resources without paying attention to the people. On the other hand, the Spanish were interested in not just conquering their resources. They also wanted to entrench catholic faith among the locals (Gonzalez, 13).
The administration mode was another difference among the colonialists. The Spanish showed royal ruling because they used conquistadores. The English on the other hand relied on the rich nobles who helped in conquering individual colonies once they secured the monarchs’ charters (Gonzalez, 13). As of the 19th century, about 300 years of being under colonists, two cultural groups that opposed each other had emerged in the new world. These were the Spanish-Latin and Anglo-Saxon. Their respective colonies adopted different religious practices, different economic and political stances and different cultural lifestyles due to the influence of colonial masters. For this reason, Latin America is currently characterized by political exclusion and social inclusion while English America is currently characterized by racial and social intolerance (Gonzalez, 27).
Following the American Revolution, the Mexicans expected the North to offer them moral support so that they could also have a revolution because they wanted to emulate the North in order to achieve freedom. For instance, Fray Servando de Mier was among those who were seeking for the independence of Mexico. He quoted Thomas Paine, an American while speaking against the monarchy. As such, it was expected that the U.S would play an important role of assisting the Latin American in its endeavor to achieve independence at the time of the Mexican Revolution (Gonzalez, 30). Instead of supporting Mexican Revolution to the maximum, the U.S made deals beneficial to it by remaining neutral. This surprised Latin Americans. Consequently, they benefited by gaining Florida after Adams-Onis pact of 1819 (Gonzales, 33).
After Mexican Revolution, patriots in the Latin American world expected the U.S to help in reconstruction after the war. The U.S again failed them because it did not sincerely intend to offer assistance to the colonies in the Latin America. This is because although they held talks, their motives were sinister. To them, Latin America was a resources’ source because they thought the population of the Americans would explode past its boarders at some point. Therefore, the Latin America colonies were coveted by the forefathers (Gonzalez, 32). Consequently, the United States of America occupied some regions in Latin America such as Mexico. The U.S won the 1800s war against Mexico. As such, the United States of America occupied Wyoming, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nevada, Kansas, New Mexico, California and Texas as well as some areas of Mexico (Garcia-Preto, 156).
Some treaties for protecting the rights of the Mexican who inhabited the occupied regions were signed. The Gaudalupe Hildalgo was one example of such treaties. The aim of this treaty was to ensure respect for the Mexicans. It promised the Mexicans language freedom, religious freedom, land retention and citizenship. However, the U.S failed to honor it part of the bargain because the Mexicans eventually became the immigrants of their land. They faced discrimination and they were denied individual rights. They faced social injustices. Eventually, their private property was taken (Garcia-Preto, 156). The U.S depicted a hypocritical act by occupying Mexico and discriminating the citizens. This is because there was the 5th Amendment that the Magna Carta had inspired. Claiming that the U.S accorded Mexicans citizenship and then denying them the right to benefit from this citizenship the way the bills of rights stipulates was oxymoronic.
Due to the events that took place within Latin America, the populations that remained mostly the Africans and Indians had their lives characterized by spirit, song and filled by suffering (Gonzalez, 27). The Latinos history in U.S dates back to 1500 but it did not become conspicuous until the time when more Latino immigrants more so the Mexicans moved to the U.S after the Second World War. The increase in Latino immigrants was sudden and it was due to political revolution and economic depression that Mexico was facing. Although most immigrants were intellectual, rich and poor Latinos, they also moved to the U.S because they had liberal views politically (Garcia-Preto, 156).
According to the Bureau of Census in the U.S, the Hispanics residing in the U.S as of July 2003 were 39.9 million. This made the Hispanics the largest minority ethnic community. Their population increased at a noticeable rate over the last decade with about 400,000 Latinos immigrating to the U.S each year. However, Latinos involvement in the U.S politics was a surprise to political experts and politicians. They did not have an increasing participation in the 1990s the way it was noticed in the elections of 1996 when they voted explosively in a way that could not have been predicted even by a political analyst (Garcia-Preto, 153). This political involvement and interest by the Latinos indicates a response to several factors that they face as a group.
Among the major reasons that may have compelled the Latinos to involve themselves in the politics of the U.S is the gradual increase in the Latinos’ social oppression. This is due to the oppressing laws that have been implemented after the elected leaders passed them. Involving themselves in politics gives them a forum that they can use to elect their leaders who will prevent the passing of such oppressive laws. Proposition 187 passed in 1994 is an example of such oppressive laws that Wilson sponsored. Wilson was the California governor. The law oppresses the Hispanics because it denies the undocumented immigrants public education, social and medical services (Garcia-Preto, 153). This increased involvement can also be attributed to impact on the foreign policies of America through the local and state government. This is explained in the Multicultural Foreign Policy article by Shain. This can be seen from the way the Mexican government relied on the Mexican Americans while pushing for the North American Free Trade Agreement to be passed by congress (71).
The law stated above is not just the only law that aims at the oppression of the Latinos. President Bush in 1996 passed Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. This law restricted the Latinos. In addition, several states in America passed laws to bar the use of Spanish by government agencies and schools and instead, they set English as the language to be used in these states. With these laws, poor and illiterate Latinos had difficulties arising because they could not access opportunities for generating income. According to Garcia-Perto, after immigrating, the Latino faced several problems including unaffordable and substandard housing, language barrier and lack of access to health benefits. Since they could not speak English, they were sidelined socially. Economically, they were sidelined for their inability to access well paying jobs. It ought to be noted that Latinos face job scarcity even when ready to work and earn peanuts (157).
The term Latino itself means non-American immigrants from South America. This is a discriminatory word because Latinos have different backgrounds. They do not consider themselves Latinos and therefore this term is derogatory when used in the society in reference to the South America immigrants. Hispanic is another term that is used in reference to them. The Department of Education in U.S coined this term in 1970. This term refers to the individuals who whose lives were influenced by Spanish Culture during Spanish colonization. It is a derogatory term because the people called the Hispanics have their indigenous cultures. When called Hispanics, it means that the culture of the Europeans transcends theirs and therefore they are identified as Hispanics (Garcia-Preto, 155).
The groups called the Hispanics comprises of people with different backgrounds and cultures. However, this label is accepted by most South American immigrants because it makes it easier for them to fit in the sociopolitical context. Because different South American groups in the U.S are very small, expressing themselves individually would have less impact than what could be achieved by merging to establish one unit (Garcia-Preto, 155). The Latinos’ immigration in to U.S was aimed at achieving an improved life that could not be achieved back in their countries. However, the way these people are received by the Americans hinders them from achieving what they dreamed of.
It is crucial to note that the way Latinos are treated should be changed if America wants to be a free nation as it claims it is. It is commonly said that crossing over to U.S from Mexico enables one to pursue the famous American dream and this is part of the Mexican dream. However, it ought to be possible for Latinos all over America to pursue their dreams. All citizens in America should be provided with social amenities equally. The institutions that aim at salvaging decadent living standards among the Latinos should also be established. The census of 2000 showed clearly that unemployment possibility is high among the Latinos. In cases of employment, they get jobs that pay poorly. Their high school graduation rate is alarming because it stands at 57% while that of the blacks is at 80% and for the whites 88% (Garcia-Preto, 157). In the light of these issues, one can relevantly conclude that the American history’s entanglement with the history of the other Americas countries has caused the expansion of the Latin Americans Diaspora in the United States of America.
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Garcia-Preto, Nydia. Ethnicity and Family Therapy. New York: Guilford Press, 2005.
Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York: Viking,
Shain, Yossi. Multicultural Foreign Policy. Foreign Policies 100. 25(1995): 69-87.
Originally posted 2015-06-02 07:46:30.
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