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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Mexican Migrant Reflects on His Experiences

During the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20, Pablo Mares left the army and came to the United States to work. In this interview with a researcher, he explains his reasons for leaving, describes the type of work he found, and reflects on the differences [...]

Background Essay on Early Twentieth Century Mexican Immigration to the U.S.

This essay outlines the reasons for Mexican immigration to the United States during the early part of the twentieth century as well as the issues immigrants confronted in their new home.

A Mexican Immigrant Expresses Ambivalence about Her New Life

Elisa Silva was born in Mazatlán, Mexico and emigrated to the United States at age twenty, eventually settling in Los Angeles. In this interview, conducted during the mid-1920s, Silva describes her ambivalence towards the culture and traditions of [...]

Soldiers Marching in Parade

In 1913, revolutionaries in the north of Mexico revolted against the newly-installed regime of president Victoriano Huerta. The rebels, who took the name Constitutionalists, fought the Mexican Army for control of Matamoros, a town just across the [...]

"The Americanese Wall, as Congressman Burnett Would Build It"

Beginning as early as 1897, members of Congress who wanted to limit immigration to the U.S. began proposing laws that would require immigrants to be literate. After repeated vetoes of such laws, the 1917 Immigration Act, sponsored by Congressman [...]

Mexican and Japanese Laborers Form a Union

In 1903, Mexican and Japanese farmworkers in Oxnard, California joined together to resist a wage cut by their employers. When they requested that their union be allowed to join the American Federation of Labor, President Samuel Gompers told the [...]

Uncle Sam Chases Pancho Villa

The turmoil that accompanied the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) sent many Mexicans to the United States looking for a better life. At times the violence of the Revolution crossed the border as well. After Pancho Villa raided the town of Columbus, [...]

Employers Favor Increased Mexican Immigration

During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the U.S. passed a number of laws restricting immigration by nationalities seen as racially inferior. For example, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred all immigration from China, while [...]

A Newspaper Urges Mexican Immigrants to Join a Mutual-Aid Society

This article, printed in a Spanish-language newspaper in New Mexico in 1904, urges readers to join the Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana, a mutual aid society, or mutualista, with branches in Arizona and New Mexico. The Alianza eventually became [...]

Colonial New York Slave Codes: Law and Order

In this activity students read slave codes from colonial New York and respond to them from the perspective of one of four identities: Slave-owning white, Non-slave-owning white, Slave, or Free African American.

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