Watch Episodes 1 and 2 of the PBS Documentary Latino Americans. Respond to the following questions in thoughtful and developed paragraphs.
Episode 1: Foreigners in Their Own Land
Think about the different ways that Mexican citizens came to terms with the expansion of the United States and the ways in which they became foreigners in their own lands within a very short time.
1.What did U.S. expansion mean for them personally? Were they able to preserve their status, property and rights? If so, how? If not, what happened to them and how did they respond?
2.A combination of attitudes, economic strategies and brute force were used to erode Mexican rights and social structures in California and Texas. What are some examples of these different tactics?
3.Compare the experience of California and Texas with that of New Mexico. How was the experience of U.S. expansion different there?
4.Often, traditional views of U.S. history look westward and move from East to West. What other perspectives and issue
Episode 2: Empire of Dreams
1.Consider the various individuals discussed in this episode. How are their stories different from each other? How are the stories similar? Is it possible to suggest there is a single narrative that explains how Latinos came to the United States? Explain, citing examples from the film.
2.What are some of the important national or international events that are linked to the experiences of the individuals in the documentary? In other words, how do these personal stories represent broader historical trends of political and/or economic change in the Americas?
3.Why might Puerto Ricans in particular take issue with being perceived as immigrants?
4.Do you know your own familys story of arrival to the United States? If not, what would you presume about that arrival experience? How might the experience of the characters from Latino Americans be similar or different to your familys story of arrival?
5.What are some of the stereotypes about when and how Latinos have come to the United States? In what ways do the stories challenge stereotypes about Latinos and how they have arrived in this country?
s surface when we examine this history from the Western perspective of the Mexicans of California, New Mexico and Texas? Did the arrival of the United States necessarily mean the arrival of the brand of equality and democracy that are associated with it? Why or why not?
5.When land transferred from the control of Mexico to the United States, there were certainly implications for the Mexican elite. But what communities which had been on these lands longest of all were subjugated under both Mexican and U.S. regimes? If the Mexican elite suffered during expansion, what do you think was the implication for the mestizo and Indian communities?
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