A history of the border between Mexico and the USA - Mexico and the USA (2/2)

Uploaded by OUlearn on 10.09.2009

In 1821 Mexico won independence from Spain.
Its territory included most of what is today America's west.
But in the Mexican state of Texas, ideas of independence were brewing.
In 1836 Americans revolted against their Mexican masters
and 209 made a stand at a mission station in San Antonio,
at a place that became known as the Alamo.
The Alamo's historian in residence is Dr Richard Winders.
One of the concepts we have as modern people is that borders are stagnant,
that they don't move.
But throughout history what we can see is that borders do move.
That's one of the constants.
If you lived in an area such as the American south west in the 1840s
what you would find is that the border's constantly moving
from the Texas Revolution
and certainly in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago
where not only has Texas changed hands
from Mexico to the United States
but what becomes Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, California
changes borders.
So here you have people who because of the shifting border
changed nationalities.
So that happens all the time in history.
Before the Treaty the frontier was constantly shifting and porous.
There was little to impede movement from one territory to another.
When the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago mixed the frontier
the United States doubled its size.
By contrast, Mexico lost half of its lands
and 100,000 Mexicans became foreigners
in what was previously their own country.
When the border moved across the people
the Mexican ancestors of Aminte Zarate lost their land.
Today she is a leading claimant demanding reparations
for land taken away from her family
when the Americans annexed Texas in 1848.
Her many filing cabinets are filled with documents that Aminte believes
will prove her title to 20,000 acres taken from her forebears,
given away by the Treaty.
I knew about this since I was a young girl
because my father knew that they had taken properties away from us.
And I'm sure my daddy's sitting up there in the sky and telling me
to continue with it because I'm doing a good job.
I have been fighting for this for 27 years
and I'm not going to give up until we get paid.