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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 Radicals and Traditionalists Unionize Workers in the United States

Mexican Radicals and Traditionalists Unionize Workers in the United States

(p.117) 5 Mexican Radicals and Traditionalists Unionize Workers in the United States
The Mexican Revolution in Chicago

John H. Flores

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explains why Mexicans joined the CIO and compares the aspirations of radicals and traditionalists within the United Packinghouse Workers of America and the United Steelworkers of America. Radical Mexican nationalists entered the CIO, because they remained committed to building a broad and left-of-center international labor movement. By comparison, traditionalists supported the CIO, because they defined it as an alternative to the radical Industrial Workers of the World and Magonistas. Repulsed by postrevolutionary Mexican radicalism and anticlericalism, traditionalists naturalized as they joined the CIO, but they did not, however, sever their cultural ties to Mexico. By the 1950s, naturalized traditionalists had developed a deterritorialized brand of mexicanidad that celebrated aspects of Mexican culture but was devoid of any allegiance to the Mexican state. Mexican traditionalists were becoming Mexican Americans.

Keywords:   Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee, United Packinghouse Workers of America, Steel Workers Organizing Committee, United Steelworkers of America, Communist Party of the United States, Partido Comunista Mexicano (PCM), Frente Popular Mexicano, Magonistas, Industrial Workers of the World

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