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Latin American Migrations to the U.S. HeartlandChanging Social Landscapes in Middle America$
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Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037665

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037665.001.0001

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Mexicans in the United States

Mexicans in the United States

A Longer View

(p.25) Chapter 1 Mexicans in the United States
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

Andrew Grant Wood

University of Illinois Press

This chapter relays in broad terms the long history of European American settlement and subsequent Latin American migration—particularly undertaken by Mexicans—to the U.S. Heartland. It gives particular attention to the capitalist-led development during the second half of the nineteenth century as the United States sought to build itself into not only a formidable industrial power but also a world power. It traces the vital role that immigrant workers—and specifically Mexican laborers—have played in this process despite their often being treated as second-class citizens. An appreciation of this history provides one with a clear sense of the neocolonial aspirations of U.S. enterprise—both governmental and commercial—as well as the many contradictory and timeworn Anglo rationalizations that exploit Mexican workers in the United States today.

Keywords:   European American settlement, Latin American migration, U.S. Heartland, immigrant workers, Mexican laborers, worker exploitation

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