Nuevomexicanos and American Political Incorporation, 1821–1910

Phillip B. Gonzales

1080 pages
10 illustrations, 20 photographs, 3 maps, 6 tables, index


October 2016


$90.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2016


$90.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2016


$90.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Política offers a stunning revisionist understanding of the early political incorporation of Mexican-origin peoples into the U.S. body politic in the nineteenth century. Historical sociologist Phillip B. Gonzales reexamines the fundamental issue in New Mexico’s history, namely, the dramatic shift in national identities initiated by Nuevomexicanos when their province became ruled by the United States.

Gonzales provides an insightful, rigorous, and controversial interpretation of how Nuevomexicano political competition was woven into the Democratic and Republican two-party system that emerged in the United States between the 1850s and 1912, when New Mexico became a state. Drawing on newly discovered archival and primary sources, he explores how Nuevomexicanos relied on a long tradition of political engagement and a preexisting republican disposition and practice to elaborate a dual-party political system mirroring the contours of U.S. national politics.

Política is a tour de force of political history in the nineteenth-century U.S.–Mexico borderlands that reinterprets colonization, reconstructs Euro-American and Nuevomexicano relations, and recasts the prevailing historical narrative of territorial expansion and incorporation in North American imperial history. Gonzales provides critical insights into several discrete historical processes, such as U.S. racialization and citizenship, integration and marginalization, accommodation and resistance, internal colonialism, and the long struggle for political inclusion in the borderlands, shedding light on debates taking place today over Latinos and U.S. citizenship.   

Author Bio

Phillip B. Gonzales is a professor of sociology and director of the School of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. He is the editor and a contributing author of Expressing New Mexico: Nuevomexicano Creativity, Ritual, and Memory and the author of Forced Sacrifice as Ethnic Protest: The Hispano Cause in New Mexico and the Racial Attitude Confrontation of 1933.


"With the knowledge that this book focuses on the first thirty years of the American period of New Mexico history, historians will find Política a detailed and valuable contribution to our understanding of Nuevomexicanos that expands our horizons beyond the previous political histories of Americano leaders in this same era."—Cameron L. Saffell, Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Gonzales has produced a comprehensive discussion of politics in New Mexico and the linkages between territorial and national politics."—Evan C. Rothera, Civil War Book Review

"Politica is an extremely valuable book and should be added to the library of any scholar who is serious about studying New Mexican history."—Michael J. Alarid, H-NewMexico

“This groundbreaking study of political activities in New Mexico during two decades before and after the Civil War reexamines the transition from Mexican to U.S. control. The result is a first-rate analysis that reinterprets colonization, reconstructs Euro-American and Nuevomexicano relations, and rewrites the prevailing historical narrative.”—David V. Holtby, author of Forty-Seventh Star: New Mexico’s Struggle for Statehood

“Gonzales offers us a fascinating glimpse into the yearnings and actions of New Mexico’s politicos in the years following the United States’ war with Mexico. Far from being mere victims of conquest, these politicos were astute agents of power who shaped the political system and pioneered Latino politics in the United States.”—John Nieto-Phillips, author of The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s–1930s

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
List of Maps    
List of Tables    
Part 1. Initializing Annexation
Chapter 1. Nuevomexicano Politics and Society on the Eve of the American Conquest    
Chapter 2. Bloodless and Bloody Conquests, 1846–1847    
Chapter 3. Integrative Conquest, 1847–1848    
Part 2. Política in the Ante Bellum
Chapter 4. A Budding Binary, 1848–1852    
Chapter 5. Mexican Democratic Party, 1853–1854    
Chapter 6. American Democratic Party, 1854–1859    
Part 3. Party Modalities in the Time of Civil War
Chapter 7. Low Tide in the Partisan Divide, 1861    
Chapter 8. Republican Toehold and the Partisan Normal, 1861–1863    
Chapter 9. Bosque Redondo and the Rise of José Francisco Chávez, 1863–1865    
Part 4. Political Agonism under Reconstruction
Chapter 10. Party Definitions of the Colonizer, 1865–1867    
Chapter 11. Política Judaica e Literaria    
Chapter 12. A Contest for the Ages, 1867–1868    
Part 5. Arriving
Chapter 13. Republican Party Debut, 1867–1868    
Chapter 14. Steady Republicans, Hazy Democrats, 1869    
Chapter 15. Realized Political Parties, 1869–1871    

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