What factors contributed to New Mexico becoming an Anglo dominated State?
The earliest human occupation in New Mexico was the Sandia-man found in the Sandia cave from about 20,000 years ago; the cave is near Albuquerque (Simmons 3). Later on other nomadic hunters joined the Sandia man. These hunters were the Folsom and the Clovis people who came from the eastern and northern parts of the state.
In 1850, New Mexico was turned into the U.S. territory (Simmons 6). There was no rapid change to those living in Mexico due to territorial status. However, many people were traveling to southern parts of the U.S., which includes Mexico, in search of a home. This caused land disputes between the settlers and the original inhabitants. Native New Mexico inhabitants resisted efforts of these Anglos in taking control of their land. Anglo lawyers acquired unprecedented land amounts from the native New Mexicans; these lands were a form of legal payment due to prolonged litigation that accompanied the land disputes. This land was eventually occupied by the Anglos. The Anglos began immigrating in the 19th century.
An Indian threat, that overwhelmed the Anglos, ended at the end of the 19th century. New México became state under the president William H. Taft on 6th January 1912. These brought peace in New Mexico and encouraged more settlement of the Anglos (Simmons 10).
In 1920’s, development and discovering of new resources encouraged more Anglos to migrate to New Mexico (Simmons 50). There was a discovery of a petroleum reserve in the northwest and southeast, in addition, potash salt was also, discovered in places near Carlsbad. Tourism industry has developed as a result of oil drilling, making the economy better for Anglos, encouraging them to stay.
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A remarkable growth was noticeable in New Mexico, which characterized the Sunbelt. This happened during the postwar era. The Anglos moved to New Mexico during this time because of the economic growth. This brought about a demographic shift with profound cultural, political and social consequences. The majority of the New Mexico was the Anglos. Native Americans accounted for 9.5% of the states population according to the 2000 census (Simmons 70).
Sociologists such as Professor E. Digby Baltzell, on the other hand, helped in popularizing the Anglos. They did so by writing books. For example, the above named professor wrote a book in 1964 titled, The Protestant Establishment. Culture contributed to Anglo’s dominance. They created a social structure in the U.S., and its institutions from the 17th century (Simmons 101). Scholars point out that nations are formed on pre-modern ethnic core basis. These cores provide memories and myth symbols for modern nations. Anglos still dominate in many prep schools and colleges in America. In schools, students learn attitudes, habits, and skills; connections are also formed that are carried over to spheres of culture, politics and finance.
The cultural richness and the beautiful landscapes in New México attracted writers, retirees and artists from other places. Anglos were among the people attracted to New Mexico. Locals seized the opportunity to make the place a tourist destination. New skills, ideas, and money, brought about by immigrants, resulted into loss of old-fashioned uniqueness, enabling a diversity in culture (Simmons 120). Eventually the Anglos were at ease and settling became easier.
Anglo women involved themselves seriously in voting processes. Consequently, political participation increased on the part of the Anglos. Eventually, the Anglos were favored politically.
American Indians, Spanish Americans, and the Anglo culture co-exist in New México. However, the Anglos are becoming highly predominant in the state due to various reasons provided above. Despite the acculturation of the Anglos in New Mexico, Hispanic traditions are significant. Spanish newspapers and Spanish-language radio stations attract enormous masses. American Indian and Hispanic cultures still remain strong.
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