How Attitude Towards Mexican Immigration Has Has Change Since 1910

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How attitude towards Mexican immigration has has change since 1910

The earliest inhabitants of Mexico are believed to have been hunters who migrated from Asia approximately 18,000 years ago. Over time, these early peoples built highly organized civilizations, such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Mayan, Toltec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Aztec societies, the majority of which were accomplished in art, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, and agriculture. In 1517 Spanish explorer Francisco Fernández de Córdoba discovered the Yucatán, a peninsula located in the southeast of Mexico. By 1521 the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortéz had managed to conquer the Aztec empire, the most powerful Indian nation in Mexico at the time. For the next 300 years, Mexico, or New Spain, would remain under colonial rule.

Spain's generally repressive colonial regime stifled the growth of commerce and industry, monitored or censored the dissemination of new and possibly revolutionary ideas, and limited access to meaningful political power to anyone but nativeborn Spaniards. An unequal distribution of land and wealth developed and, as the nation grew in numbers, the disproportion between the rich and poor continued to increase, as did a sense of social unrest among the most neglected of its populace. Their discontent resulted in a successful revolt against Spain in 1821.

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, under the 30-year authoritarian rule of Porfirio Díaz, noticeable industrialization occurred in Mexico, financed in large part by foreigners. Mining was revitalized and foreign trade increased. Dynamic growth brought relative prosperity to many economic sectors of various regions of the country, complemented by increased levels of employment. As the century ended, however, a vast majority of the nations's inhabitants had realized little if any improvement in their standard of living. Those residing in rural areas struggled to produce enough to survive from their own small parcels of land, or, much more likely, worked under a debt-peonage system, farming lands owned by someone infinitely wealthier than they were. Most residents of urban areas, if they were lucky enough to have full employment, worked long hours under poor conditions for extremely low wages and lived in housing and neighborhoods that fostered diseases. The economic depression of 1907 soured the aspirations of the small but growing middle class and brought financial disaster to the newest members of the upper class (Ramón Ruiz, Triumphs and Tragedy, pp. 310-13).

Though he was able to manipulate his reelection in 1910, opposition to the Díaz regime was strong, and when small rebellions began to proliferate in the northern states of the nation, he resigned his post in 1911 and left the country. After Francisco Madero, the newly elected president, failed to define an agenda to satisfy the several disparate groups in Mexico, he likewise agreed to self-exile but was assassinated by supporters of General Victoriano de la Huerta, the man who next assumed national leadership. Violence escalated into a bloody and prolonged civil war known as the Revolution of 1910. The turmoil and bloodshed motivated some people from all levels of society to flee the country, most often northward ...
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