Chapter 5 : San Diego's Mexican Community, 1850-1910
- What was the Antonio Garra Uprising in 1851?
- Why did the Mexican Californios lose their lands?
- How did Mexican-Americans lose political power?
- What changed among Mexicans to make them Mexican-Americans?
- What was Old Town like during the American era?
- What kind of culture did the Mexican-Americans have?
- Who was Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton and why was she important?
- What happened to the Native Americans during the American Era?
- When did the Mexican Barrio develop and why?
The United States take-over of the Mexican northern territories following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 was not immediate. The flow of immigrants into the newly conquered territories varied from region to region. Some places, like northern California, were inundated by new commers because of the lure of gold and silver. Other regions, like southern Arizona and northern New Mexico had relatively few English speaking settlers prior to 1910.
San Diego, California had its distinctive experience with the American conquest and colonization. There, the changes experienced by the local Mexican community were immediate. The garrisoning of large numbers of military personnel meant that the Anglo Americans (themselves a mixture of European ethnics) from the beginning of the 1850s controlled the political and economic life of San Diego. Unlike Los Angeles, where the upper class Californios were able to maintain their economic power for several decades, San Diego's elite had been financially impoverished by Indian raids during the Mexican era.
The Californios of San Diego started the so-called American era as a disenfranchised and impoverished minority. The majority of the San Diego Californio leaders, moreover, were pro-American, content to let the newcomers rule. For the rest of the century, up to the time of the Mexican revolution in 1910, a major theme of San Diego's Chicano history was the tenacious cultural survival of the Mexican people despite tremendous pressures for their assimilation.