Historical Event Term Paper

Pages: 3 (847 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American

¶ … Borderlands and Chicano Culture

Mexican-Americans are an integral part of American society at large. Chicanos continue to be engulfed in an age-old struggle to retain their cultural heritage and identity, while at the same time fit into mainstream American culture. The borderlands and the city of Los Angeles are significant places in the study of the development of Chicano culture. Historical events in the borderlands have played a significant role in shaping Chicano culture into its present form. The following will explore the effects of the Cotton Strike of 1933 on thecurrent tensions regarding Mexican-American migrant workers today.

Mexicans crossed the borderlands to seek jobs in the United States, primarily filling low-wage labor jobs. Most migrants remained in the border states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. They were the perfect employee and posed no threat to the native population according to the Arizona Cotton Grower's Association (Sanchez, p. 96).

Cotton production is labor intensive and difficult without a sufficient supply of unskilled labor. Cotton production requires a long growing season and warm temperatures. Production has the potential for small profit margins. Therefore a producer must seek to cut costs anywhere possible. The loss of slave labor in the Southeastern United States meant the downfall of the cotton industry in that region. However, the availability of low-wage Mexican labor in the borderlands meant the ability to fill the gap left by the old Southern Cotton empire (Hamilton, p. 103). Mexican migrant workers allowed for the development of the cotton industry in the southwestern United States.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Historical Event Assignment

The cotton industry provided one of the highest income sources for migrant workers from the turn of the century until the great depression. The cotton picker could expect to earn a salary of $60.75 U.S. dollars per month prior to the great depression (Guerin-Gonzales, p. 121). That wage dropped to $30.12 in 1930 (Guerin-Gonzales, p. 121). Migrant workers were not the only ones to experience a drastic drop in wages. Like many other unskilled laborers across America, these workers began to organize labor unions in an attempt to maintain their economic position.

When Mexican migrant workers began to organize, it was rejected as legitimate by many owners and government agencies. They threatened with intimidation, violence and expulsion from the country (Guerin-Gonzales, p. 121).

Tensions built and in 1933 Mexican-Americans and Mexican migrants organized a strike. In the fall of 1933, for nearly three weeks almost 12,000 cotton workers in Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties in the San Joaquin Valley refused to work (Guerin-Gonzales, p. 121).… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/historical-event/656135.