The Race Issue and the “Spanish-American” in Party Politics, 1900–1920

Charles Montgomery

in The Spanish Redemption

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520229716
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927377 | DOI:
The Race Issue and the “Spanish-American” in Party Politics, 1900–1920

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This chapter addresses the rise of Spanish colonial imagery in party politics. The relatively low incidence of racial violence and the tendency to change the subject were both characteristic of New Mexico's so-called race issue. In a period of heightening racial tension, “Spanish-American” and Hispano-Americano offered both groups the rhetorical means to express their separate interests, yet only in a social and political context increasingly controlled by Anglos. Shifts in wealth and political power explain why Anglos drew racial distinctions in the first place. New Mexico's modern Spanish heritage arose in a conservative political climate, a climate wholly congenial to the rhetorical transformation of benighted “Mexicans” into the civilized, if still humble, bearers of a distinctive Spanish colonial inheritance.

Keywords: race issue; colonial inheritance; party politics; Spanish-American; New Mexico; Hispano-Americano; wealth; political power

Chapter.  15354 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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