Chapter 4: The U.S. - Mexican War in San Diego
1. Why were there divided loyalties among Mexicans in San Diego?
As was true elsewhere in California, the Mexican elite was divided over whether or not to accept the American military rule. On one hand, some of the Californio landholders had married their daughters to Americans and family solidarity counted a great deal in their culture. Also some Californios stood to gain economically by the links they had forged with American traders and they believed that future prosperity would be assured under an American administration.
On the other hand, the Mexican Californios felt a love of their patria chica, their homeland, and were fearful of what these foreigners would do to them and their families. Very few had abstract political loyalties to the Mexican government but most had a strong identity as Mexicans based in their language and culture.
The Californios were of ambiguous and torn loyalties during the Mexican War. In San Diego many of the leading families supported the American occupation:
At the same time many of the hijos de pais in the countryside did not:
Some families were split with relatives on both sides, as was the case in the Carrillo household. Henry Delano Fitch, a wealthy merchant had married Josefa Carrillo and he supplied the American troops in San Diego during the occupation. Meanwhile members of the Carrillo family fought against the Americans at the battle of San Pascual. Economic ties, friendships and family loyalties were the strongest forces binding individuals to one side or the other and inevitably, personalities and hurt feelings entered into the picture.
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