Essays On Mexican Cultures

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Indeed, the Spanish-speaking Southwest was never as culturally isolated or impoverished as American historians have traditionally claimed.

By 1836, for example, Mexicans in Texas not only found themselves outnumbered by Anglos but citizens of an independent country.

In California, the residents were visited frequently by American trading ships; a good number of American traders and sailors stayed and married into californio families.

The authors of such works, especially in the early days of Spanish dominance, were government officials and priests who possessed the tool of literacy and who typically regarded their mission in the Southwest on a grand scale.

(See, for example, the selections by Otermín, 1: 475-483; de Vargas, 1: 440-445; Delgado, 11-1217; and Palou, 1: 1217-1226.) Belletristic fictional works, particularly novels, were rarely produced until the cultural infrastructure necessary to support such writing a stable, relatively well-educated middle-class population, the introduction of sophisticated printing technology, and efficient means of distribution, for example came into existence in several southwestern towns and cities.


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