Cuando vino la mexicanada: authority, race, and conflict in West Texas, 1895-1924
This dissertation proposes to explain how militarization during the turn of the twentieth century affected relations in the transnational West Texas region between Mexicans and Anglos and between the United States and Mexico. The study seeks to demonstrate that militarization complicated these relations and deepened racial and international divisions. Within this discussion, the study will also demonstrate that the "border troubles" of the early twentieth century gave shape to an authority structure that was composed of border institutions that sought to pacify the region with ever-increasing vigilance and punitive measures. The result of such measures was a disciplined society that reinforced racial segregation in towns and cities along the border, specifically El Paso. A case study approach is utilized to highlight specific events, institutions and public figures that contributed to the formation of authority in El Paso. They include the National Guard, the 1916 El Paso race riot, the Texas Rangers, and the Border Patrol. The affects of developing authority and their institutions on race relations along the U.S.-Mexican divide are addressed. Historians have discussed various aspects of the history of immigration, race, and labor in the border region. However, they have given little attention to militarization and the emergence of authority in the integration of Mexicans and Mexican Americans into American society in the border region. Militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border between 1890 and 1924 contributed to the definition of racial and ethnic relations. This study examines the history of the West Texas region while focusing on the changing relationship between the Mexican-origin community and larger society. The general intent is to demonstrate that the militarization of the region complicated relations at the same time that it established institutions that defined the new political structure in the border region. The dissertation also studies how the history of Mexican Americans was tied to the special relations between the communities along the border. This transnational relationship serves as a vantage point from which to study national and regional histories and an emphasis on race allows this study to explain the extent to which militarization affected social relations in the border region.