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Defining space is relatively easy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary space is a "certain stretch, extent, or area of ground ... and expanse," or as "the place where one takes up a position, a residence" (1372). Or, Henri Lefebvre maintains in his The Production of Space that space is simply that of an empty area. These definitions suggests that space is something stagnant or inert; something that is waiting to be occupied. What the Oxford English Dictionary does not define for readers is "occupied space." If space is always waiting to be occupied, what is the definition of space when it is already occupied? Before 1848, "occupied space" could be defined as a place where Mexicanos were living. While the definition suggests something inert, pre-1848 space was productive, producing, and produced. Before the United States conquered southwest territory in 1848, Mexicano space represented life and growth; however, this was essentially ignored by Anglo-Americans who wanted the occupied land. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848, the place where Mexicanos lived became contested space and land of these subjects were penetrated, conquered, and colonized without the hope of regaining power or agency over land, status, or area. This newly deemed "opened" space was reconstructed via a literary legal document written to benefit Anglo Americans and displace Mexicanos. While many Mexicanos were being displaced from their land, Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, who was writing during this dispossession, develops three distinct spaces within her novel Who Would Have Thought It? written in 1872 that complicates the space Americans felt they had power over; the "savage" Indian space, the uncivilized-U.S. citizen space, and the genteel-citizen space. She uses the language that displaced her to reconstruct her own genteel space within the terms "savage" and "citizen" that came from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Ruiz de Burton creates a space of racial and class difference that places Mexico and the Mexicano within and simultaneously against the United States. On 2 February 1848 the Treaty was signed in Guadalupe Hidalgo, a city north of Mexico City where the Mexican government had fled as U.S. troops advanced. Its provisions called for Mexico to cede 55% of its territory, including present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property. As Richard Griswold del Castillo states, "The Mexican War (1846-1848) and the treaty that ended it were undertaken against the backdrop of Manifest Destiny, the body of ideas and sentiments by which English speaking Americans justified territorial expansion into lands held, occupied, or claimed by Mexicans and Indians" (4). As Griswold del Castillo continues, he claims that this idea of expansion would have great repercussions because it was immoral to "buy" the land of a defeated nation. The United States government did not acknowledge the fact that they were stealing land from their neighbor and annexed northern Mexico into the United States. Although the U.S government did not acknowledge the backdrop of Manifest Destiny written into the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the document is packed with convincing rhetoric that promises to protect Mexicanos. Article V's provision stipulated the Texas border at the Rio Grande, while the most commonly noted articles when examining Mexicano protection are articles VIII, IX, and X, which call for the protection of property and civil rights of Mexicanos living within the new United States border. These three articles affected more than 100,000 Mexicanos. Article VIII states that Mexicanos had one year to "elect" to become a citizen or not and absentee landholders would have their "property inviolably respected" and others land would "be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property (Griswol

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
2009
June 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
25
Pages
PUBLISHER
Purdue University Press
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
100.3
KB

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