Patronage and Progress

Michael Snodgrass

in Workers Across the Americas

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199731633
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894420 | DOI:
Patronage and Progress

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This chapter explores Mexico's evolution into the world's premier emigrant-sending nation through an analysis of state migration policies, especially the Bracero Program (1942–64). The bilateral accord sent more than two million men to labor in American agriculture as seasonal migrants. At the time, it generated widespread opposition in both the United States and Mexico. The chapter illustrates why the Mexican government promoted migration to the United States as a means of achieving human and material progress at home. Focusing on the state of Jalisco, it explains how a guest worker program that undermined conditions for farmworkers in the United States produced beneficial returns for Mexican sending communities, where the Bracero Program fostered a culture of migration that persists to this day.

Keywords: emigration; agriculture; Mexico; Bracero Program; farm workers

Chapter.  9857 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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