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By Jaime E. Rodríguez O., Kathryn Vincent, University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States

This sincerely written and informative e-book explores results of race and tradition components within the US-Mexican family.

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Extra resources for Common border, uncommon paths: race, culture, and national identity in U.S.-Mexican relations

Sample text

The visionary friar Marcos de Niza declared that he saw the Seven Cities during an expedition in 1539 to lands adjacent to California. He said that they were extremely rich in gold and many other marvels. And although the myth of those Seven Cities eventually died out, another endured: Chicomóztoc, the Place of Seven Caves, legendary starting point for the journey of the Aztecs, or Mexicas. In Search of California Like a veil torn asunder, the myths invited the search for reality. The insatiable Hernán Cortés, having completed his conquest of Mexico, sent three ships to the Moluccas in 1527; one of these reached its destination.

Good relations with that nation were important not only for economic reasons but also because Mexico needed a strong ally to counter the expanding power of the United States. Nevertheless, the Mexican Congress refused to grant religious freedom to British citizens residing in the country. It was understood that although Protestants might go about their business freely, they had to practice their religion in secret. Problems emerged, however, whenever a Protestant died: A non-Catholic could not be buried in holy ground.

Several, perhaps more than one would think, still exist today. One such frontier introduces us to the fabulous world that has been and continues to be California. Perhaps one should say ''the Californias" because the first and oldest, which now some deprecatingly call "Baja," or "Lower," was part of and later violently broke away from the portion considered "Alta" or "Upper"which shines dazzlingly today, proprietor of the magical name, without adjectives, California. In the process of the encounter between the Old and New Worlds, amid uncontainable desires of expansionism, ancient myths often colored what was accepted as real.

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