Chapter

Regulating Land, Labor, and Bodies

MaríA E. Montoya

in Translating Property

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520227446
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520227446.003.0003
Regulating Land, Labor, and Bodies

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Col. Stephen Watts Kearny was not merely conquering a Mexican province for the U.S. government when he primed the U.S. Army of the West into Santa Fe in 1846. The U.S. supporters of the war with Mexico justified the conflict in part as a way to free, if not re-create or regenerate, what would become the American Southwest from the Old World mire of debt-peonage labor, hacienda aristocracy, and the Catholic religion. Mexican War advocates believed that the U.S. had a moral obligation, indeed a Manifest Destiny, to replace Mexican feudalism and the patrón/peón relationship with small farms and free yeomen of the United States. To these Americans, the U.S. Mexican War was just one more instance of the liberalization that was sweeping the world in the late 1840s, culminating in 1848 with the Frankfurt Assembly, the barricades of Paris and Dresden, and the Hungarian uprising.

Keywords: Santa Fe; Mexican War; patrón/peón; Paris; Dresden

Chapter.  15080 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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