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The Mexican Revolution in ChicagoImmigration Politics from the Early Twentieth Century to the Cold War$
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John H. Flores

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041808

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041808.001.0001

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Mexican Immigrant Understandings of Empire, Race, and Gender

Mexican Immigrant Understandings of Empire, Race, and Gender

(p.69) 3 Mexican Immigrant Understandings of Empire, Race, and Gender
The Mexican Revolution in Chicago

John H. Flores

University of Illinois Press

This chapter compares liberal and traditionalist understandings of empire, race, and gender to explain why liberals often declined U.S. citizenship and why traditionalists became more amenable to U.S. naturalization. Mexican liberals defined themselves as anti-imperialist mestizos and, in Chicago, they joined with Puerto Ricans and Nicaraguans to protest U.S. imperialism. Most liberals rebuffed U.S. naturalization, in part, because they were put off by U.S. imperialism, racism, and gender norms. By contrast, traditionalists celebrated the United States for granting them religious freedom, and challenged the liberals by exalting all that was Catholic and thus Spanish and white in Mexican culture. In so doing, traditionalists became more open to a U.S. understanding of whiteness and citizenship, and many traditionalists decided they could create new lives for themselves in the United States.

Keywords:   Liberal, Conservative, Jose Vasconcelos, Imperialism, Mestizaje, Whiteness, Gender, Naturalization, Nicaraguans, Puerto Ricans

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