Racial Fault Lines By Tomas Almaguer Essay

1182 Words Mar 3rd, 2016 null Page
In his novel, “Racial Fault Lines” Tomas Almaguer unravels the ethnic conflicts that took place in California since the conquest of the land from Mexico in 1846. He illustrates the struggles taking place through the different racial experiences the ethnic groups overcame, many of which translated to racial hierarchies we find in America today. This essay will identify the Mexican experience in nineteenth-century Anglo California and how it differed significantly from that of (other racialized groups) Indians .
The conflict between European Americans and Mexicans was a struggle between Mexican rancheros and Anglo capitalists who bitterly contested control of the state’s best farm lands. Guided by Protestant values and a commitment to white supremacy, these free-labor advocates sought to rapidly undermine the society Mexicans had created in California (73). By the late 1860s the Mexican ranchero class was no longer the dominant economic force in the country. Once the Spanish race obtained the land by conquest, it secured it from all the people who showed little appreciation for its worth and soon constructed an anachronistic status designation where race became the key organizing principle (90).
Mexicans were much closer to white Americans in their religious beliefs and cultural sensibilities than were other racialized groups. Mexicans were Christian people and White immigrants were not as alarmed by their religious practices as they were by the repulsive practices on…

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