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Chicano Studies 141a
U.S. History/Chicano Perspective
Mike Ornelas
Office: G-103E, email [email protected], (619) 388-2266
COURSE OUTLINE
American civilization from the Mexican and Chicano perspective. Considers the period of
discovery through the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the Period
of Reconstruction. The complete one-year course, Chicano Studies 141a-b, satisfies the
graduation requirements in American Institutions and California State Government. (FT)
REQUIRED BOOKS:
David Weber
Michael Ornelas
Michael D. Coe
Foreigners in their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican
Americans
Between the Conquests: Readings in Early Chicano History, 4th ed.
Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, Fifth Edition
Ronald Wright
Stolen Continents: The "New World" Through Indian Eyes (optional)
COURSE OBJECTIVES:
1. To define the nature of Chicano history in the Southwestern region of the United States
through major periods and historical events.
2. To illustrate the unique historical evolution of Chicanos across the earliest pre-Columbian
periods through the mid-19 century.
3. To illustrate the complex nature of the Chicano experience across three major periods: the
pre-Columbian, the Spanish Colonial experience in the American Southwest and the emergence
of the United States.
4. To illustrate the complex nature of Chicano/White relations from the earliest times to the mid19th century and the origins of anti-Mexican and stereotypical views.
5. To show the influence of the United States on the political evolution of the Mexican Republic
and its Constitution.
6. To illustrate the evolution of United States constitutional principles and their influence on the
political evolution of the Mexican Republic.
7. To examine the Chicano experience in light of the Mexican American War and the
implications of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Chicano Studies 141a
page 2
GRADES:
Final grades will be determined through a combination of criteria according to the following
formula: Attendance, participation in class discussion and quizzes will comprise 25% of the
grade. There will be 3 periodic written exams (or major take-home assignments) which will
each comprise 25% of the grade (75% total). The exams will be based upon class discussion,
lecture and all reading assignments. It is essential that each student continue to read all
assignments in advance of each class session. In addition, personal commentary and analysis of
the various reading assignments is strongly encouraged. It is the students' responsibility to be
aware of the reading assignments under discussion for a particular week. Make-up exams or
assignments will only permitted under extraordinary or emergency situations.
COURSE CONTENT AND FORMAT:
Chicano Studies 141a will explore the earliest origins of the Chicano from the pre-Columbian
periods to the mid-19th century. It will include selected aspects of the Chicano historical
experience including the United States. Also included will be the impact of the Spanish Conquest
on the "mestizaje" of native Americans, Spanish and Mexican expansion into the American
Southwest, the infiltration of Americans into the Southwest, the early contacts between whites
and Chicanos, the collision of cultures both in Mexico as well as the northern Mexican frontier,
major political, cultural and economic clashes which characterize this early period, as well as
events which lead to the Mexican American War (1846-1848). A comparative study of the
evolution of the respective political systems and constitutions of the United States and Mexico
will also be included. This course satisfies Mesa College's Multicultural Studies graduation
requirement and in combination with Chicano Studies 141b satisfies the American Institutions
requirement.
MAJOR PERIODS, TOPICS, AND READING ASSIGNMENTS:
I. Pre-Columbian Mexico and the Spanish Conquest to 1521
Early civilization, the domestication of plants, village evolution
Reading: Coe, Chapters 1-3
The Archaic, pre-Classic, Classic, and post-Classic periods, major developments
Universal Cultural Traits
The pre-Classic, the Early Villages and Early Civilizations, Olmec
Reading: Coe, Chapters. 4-5
The Classic Period, Rise of the Great Civilizations, Teotihuacan, Maya
Reading: Coe, Chapter. 6
The Epiclassic and the post-Classic, Toltecs, Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest
Reading: Coe, Chapter 7-10, Epilogue. Wright, Part One
**Exam #1 covers all of the above
Chicano Studies 141a
page 3
II. Colonial Mexico and the northern frontier (1521-1810)
The evolving image of the northern frontier
Spanish and American exploration into the northern frontier
Settlement and colonization of the northern frontier
Frontier societies in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California
Church and state, an evolving relationship
Yankee infiltration and the hardening of stereotypes
The American Revolution, The French Revolution and the impact on Mexico
British and Spanish colonialism, the end of an era
The early origins of Manifest Destiny and its impact on the Mexican Republic
Reading:
Page numbers in parentheses indicate "Key Terms and Study Questions" section
Ornelas, Between the Conquests
Introduction, pp. 3-17
“Aztlan,Cibola and Frontier New Spain”, pp. 19-38 (303-304)
“The Northern Outposts”, pp.39-61 (305-306)
“Spaniards, Mexicans and Americans”, pp. 63-87 (307-308)
“Pueblos, Spaniards and History”, pp. 89-107 (309-310)
“Sexual Violence in the Politics and Policies of Conquest”, pp. 109-132 (311312)
“The Origins of Anti-Mexican Sentiment in the U.S.”, pp. 133-164 (313-314)
“The Borderlands in North American History”, pp. 165-174 (315-316)
Weber, Foreigners in Their Native Land
Chapters 1, 2
III. The American and Mexican Independence movements, the Mexican Southwest, the U.S. and
Mexico collide
Growing stresses in the late colonial periods
The American Revolutionary movement-impact on Mexico
The role of Hidalgo, Morelos, Victoria, Guerrero in the Mexican Independence
El Plan de Iguala and the Transcontinental Treaty (Adams-Onis)
The 1824 Colonization Act and the infiltration of Anglos into Texas
The Texas Revolt
The origins of stereotypes on the frontier
The Mexican Southwest-society, culture, heterogeneity
The impact of American policy toward Mexico and Manifest Destiny
Chicano Studies 141a
page 4
Reading:
Page numbers in parentheses indicate "Key Terms and Study Questions" sections
Ornelas, Between the Conquests
Introduction, pp. 177-195
“Texas,’This Most Precious…Territory’” pp. 197-212 (317-318)
“Initial Contacts: Redeeming Texas Mexicans, 1821-1836”, pp. 213-228, (319320)
“The Texas Declaration of Independence”, pp. 229-232
“The Treaty of Velasco”, pp. 233-236
Weber, Foreigners in their Native Land
pp. 87-139
Wright, Part Two
**Exam #2 covers sections II and III.
IV. The mid-19th century, the Mexican American War, Manifest Destiny and the Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo
The U.S. and Mexico during the 19th century, clash with Manifest Destiny
Confrontation with the United States
James K. Polk and the Southern Slavocracy
The birth of the Chicano
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Readings:
Pages in parentheses indicate "Key Terms and Study Questions" sections
Ornelas, Between the Conquests
“The ‘Texas Game’ Again? Peopling California and New Mexico”, pp. 237-272
(321-322)
“The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Selected Articles”, pp. 273-276 (323-324)
“The Protocol of Queretaro”, pp. 277-278 (325)
“Citizenship and Property Rights: U.S. Interpretations of the Treaty”, pp.279-300
(327-328)
Weber,”Foreigners in Their Native Land
pp. 140-235
Wright, Part Three
**Exam #3 covers section IV.
Several relevant videos will be presented throughout the semester including: In Search of the
Maya, The Lost Kingdoms of the Maya, The Rise and Fall of the Aztec Empire, La Otra
Conquista, The Sword and the Cross, The United States/Mexico War, Los San Patricios. La
Otra Conquista contains some scenes of overt sexuality and is unrated or should be rated R.