The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America
A Student's Guide to Essential Primary Sources
Schlager Anthologies for Students
Published by: Schlager Group Inc.
600 pages, 8.00 x 10.00 in
- ISBN: 9781935306849
- Published: March 2023
- ISBN: 9781935306856
- Published: March 2023
The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America offers a modern, original library reference set covering Hispanic American history from the 1100s to the present day. Modeled after the award-winning Schlager Anthology of Black America, this 2-volume set traces the history and culture of Hispanic America through 150 critical historical documents: speeches, letters, court cases, interviews, government reports, and visual images. The set is edited by Dr. Aaron E. Sánchez (Homeland: Ethnic Mexican Belonging Since 1900) and features the contributions of numerous scholars. The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America is available in both print and ebook and can be purchased directly from Schlager Group or from a variety of ebook distributors and print wholesalers.
With its breadth of content, The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America supports students and researchers in numerous courses, including:
- Latina/o Studies
- Chicana/o Studies
- Mexican American Studies
- Mexican American Literature
- Ethnic Studies
- Texas History
- U.S. History
- American Studies
The set offers an essential resource for students and researchers exploring topics regarding the cultural, social, and political influence of Hispanics in American society, the history of immigration, the effects of border enforcement, and more. Additionally, the set is useful for Hispanic American Heritage Month activities.
Approach and Organization
The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America features carefully curated documents along with scholarly introductions that put each document into its historical context. In addition, highly targeted activities help students engage with and analyze each textual document.
The set is organized into 12 chapters, ranging from Pre-contact and Contact with the Spanish (1492-1598) to Latinos in Modern Politics. Each chapter includes an introductory essay about the subject and contents found within it as well as a list of Further Reading resources—books, articles, and websites.The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America gives educators of all kinds an unparalleled resource to support their instruction and gives students and researchers a fresh, modern, and engaging way to examine historical documents. This essential tool helps students and researchers better understand the history and cultural impact of Hispanic life in America. Inclusive and accessible to a wide range of researchers, The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America is an essential reference tool for your library.
Chapter 1: Pre-contact
Chapter 2: Contact with the Spanish (1492-1598)
Chapter 3: The Spanish Borderlands and the Mexican North (1600–1840s)
Chapter 4: U.S. Expansion: Internal and external colonization (1830s–1898)
Chapter 5: Expansion and Migration
Chapter 6: Revolution and Reform
Chapter 7: Cultural Negotiation—Acculturation and Assimilation
Chapter 8: The Great Depression and Postwar Years
Chapter 9: Early Civil Rights and American Liberalism
Chapter 10: Civil Rights and Liberation
Chapter 11: “The Decade of the Hispanic” and Hispanic Politics in the 1980s
Chapter 12: Latinos in Modern Politics
For some, it might seem strange for an anthology of Hispanic history to begin with indigenous creation stories of the pre-contact era (Chapter 1). Some critics might also argue that it is just as difficult to assemble an anthology on “Latino” or “Hispanic” history, when the various communities that comprise those terms can seem so disparate in terms of geography, ideologies, and time periods. Even the use of the various terms (Latina/o/x, Hispanic, etc.) that describe these communities highlight the complex identities and contested histories of these groups. And yet, there is a political and material reality of shared experience and action among these communities that have more than their fair share of differences. They are bound in past and present not because of the unique histories and cultures of their home countries, but because of their shared experiences with and in the United States. So how does one then account for a history of Hispanic America for a group that has been assembled from so many communities inside and outside of the United States at different points in time?
Historians of U.S.-Latino communities are the not first that have dealt with this question. In fact, the theoretical model that informs this collection is borrowed from historians of early America. This anthology has adapted the “continental turn” with additional hemispheric approaches to address the long history of Hispanic America. The continental turn in early American history allowed historians to understand local worlds globally through the continent, while an anthology of Hispanic America lets us understand global worlds through local communities across the continent. As this anthology shows, as the nation-state became increasingly defining of our geopolitical world, Hispanic history became increasingly transnational. The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America uses a continental turn that connects the nation and its eventual citizenry to indigenous empires and homelands; Atlantic and Pacific worlds; imperial and neocolonial colonies and dependents; and Spanish and North American borderlands. Continental Hispanic histories tell us of the incompleteness of the American project—the unfinished aspects of its practices and principles, of how its universalisms failed to include many, and also how it inspired colonial projects of its own. Those colonial projects then brought many people to its shores who joined the ranks of citizens but also challenged the limitations of citizenship. In this way, the use of hemispheric and continental lenses tells not just the story of Hispanic America, but the history of the nation itself.
The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America is made up of 150 documents, divided into twelve chapters and two volumes. It begins with indigenous stories of people who were important in their own right, whose cosmographies, beliefs, and forms of political organization were well developed prior to the arrival of Europeans. Their societies set the stage for contact, and many remained the dominant social and political forces on the continent well into the nineteenth century. The anthology then moves to contact with the Spanish (Chapter 2) in the Caribbean and North America. These were the areas of early Spanish contact and conquest. The Spanish and Mexican borderlands (Chapter 3) were spaces where Spanish and, later, Mexican settlers and forces negotiated with Native Americans. Borderlands are sites where neither group has full control or ability to exercise their power at will; these borderlands were no different.
The chapter on U.S. expansion (Chapter 4) explores the U.S. practice of both internal and external colonization. The nineteenth century was an age of imperialism, where western European nations divided large sections of the world amongst themselves for the purposes of extraction and exploitation. Many in the United States believed that the nation did not participate in such exploitative practices, but its colonization and expansion took continental shape in the forms of the Texas Revolution, the U.S.-Mexico War, the Indian wars, and eventually the Spanish-American War and other interventions. It was in John L. O’Sullivan’s 1845 essay “The Great Nation of Futurity” where the idea of manifest destiny was first expressed. According to O’Sullivan, U.S. expansion was not a destructive force tied to greed and exploitation, because the United States was a benevolent force called by providence and progress to bring only greatness to the world. By the late nineteenth century, with the frontier closed, the United States began to eye other territories in the hemisphere. In this period, President Theodore Roosevelt added his corollary to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. According to him, Latin America was not only within the U.S. sphere of influence, but it was also the nation’s responsibility to preserve order and protect freedom in those nations through military intervention if necessary. This can be seen in the 1903 Platt Amendment, where the United States created a colonial relationship by requiring that Cuba consent “that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence. . . .” U.S. expansion was met with resistance across the continent and hemisphere, whether it was José Martí writing about the emergence of “nuestra América” or in northern New Mexico at the end of the century by Las Gorras Blancas, or the White Hats. Many protested the incursion of American markets and systems of government. For them, the United States brought neither wealth nor freedom.
Chapter 5 shows how the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were bound to one another. The colonialism of the nineteenth century was tied to capitalism in the twentieth century across the continent and hemisphere. These new forces challenged previous ways of living and ideas about how the world functioned. Ethnic Mexicans felt this sooner than other Hispanic groups in U.S. history. The needs of increasingly longer supply chains pulled ethnic Mexican laborers into transnational labor streams. Far from Mexico, they found themselves working industrial jobs in far away places like Kansas and Pennsylvania, as the “El Corrdio de la Pennsilvania and “El Corrido de Kiansis” make clear. Colonial resistance through violence in the nineteenth century would give way to uneven civil rights strategies. In attempts to deal with the disruptive effects of industrial capitalism, different groups experimented with revolution and reform (Chapter 6). In the United States, U.S.-born Mexicans crafted a civil rights nationalism that emphasized citizenship and whiteness in the United States. Groups like the Latin American Citizens League and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) opted for this strategy. Others, like Emma Tenayuca and her husband, Homer Brooks, offered a critique of capitalism itself rooted in Marxism. Other countries in Latin America, like Mexico in 1910 and Cuba in 1959, used violent social revolutions to address the problems of inequality. Puerto Ricans, like Pedro Albizu Campos, protested American colonialism and were imprisoned. Campos wrote (in the document “Puerto Rican Nationalism”) that the United States had made “poverty . . . our patrimony.”
From the 1920s to the post-World War II years (Chapters 7 and 8), Mexican immigration to the United States became more entrenched and controversial. In his writings, including the poem “Alma pocha,” Américo Paredes criticized Mexicans who looked down on Mexican Americans, while he also lamented a feeling that was becoming common among Hispanics: one of belonging fully to no country—feeling neither “Mexican” nor “American.” At the same time, the Great Depression in the 1930s was a period of great angst and anxiety. As whites headed west from hard hit areas like Oklahoma and Kansas in search of work in the agricultural fields of California, they displaced many Mexican workers, as American businesses were often quick to hire whites over those deemed of color. This led to tensions in these areas. For the first time, America saw new immigration laws and practices that targeted Mexican nationals living within the United States. During World War II, however, the U.S. government recognized the need for labor to work in the country’s factories. The resulting Bracero Program eventually brought more than 4 million Mexican workers to the United States.
The struggles for equality and liberation would continue into the 1960s and 1970s (Chapters 9 and 10). Social conditions had not changed for many in places like San Antonio, or East Los Angeles, or Pilsen in Chicago, as the reports from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1968 show. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino organization that operated in the Northeast and Midwest, tied domestic civil rights to global liberation, with a focus on race, class, and gender—all while focusing on feeding impoverished children. In this context, a cultural renaissance that focused on culture, language, and history emerged among the many groups—especially among Chicanas/os and Nuyoricans, new terms that described their new identities. This can be seen in poems like “Blanket Weaver” by Sandra María Esteves.
The final chapters highlight the ambiguous inclusion and renewed exclusion of Hispanics in the United States. As the 1970s progressed, the sizeable populations of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Mexican Americans found a shared label: Hispanic. The term was first introduced in the 1970s and was codified nationally in the 1980 Census. The 1980s were subsequently called the “Decade of the Hispanic” (Chapter 11) as these groups gained greater notoriety in business, politics, and mainstream culture. The Decade of the Hispanic also coincided with greater diversification of the Hispanic community, as more Central Americans fled the violence of U.S.-sponsored governments in their home countries. Guatemalans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and others made their way to the United States as a direct cause of the Reagan administration’s Cold War policies (see Reagan’s “Address to the Nation on United States Policy in Central America” from 1984). The National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR, now called UnidosUS) report “The Decade of the Hispanic: An Economic Retrospective” offers a summary of the 1980s with all its promises and problems.
By the 1990s, the presence of Hispanics in the nation was undeniable (Chapter 12). Politicians and policy makers blamed them for the economic and social problems of the nation. Proposition 187 in 1994 targeted undocumented immigrants for California’s budget problems. In 2004 Samuel Huntington identified the “Hispanic Challenge” as the source for the supposed fracturing of the nation’s social cohesion. In 2016 Donald Trump accused Hispanics of being criminals and made building a 2,000-mile-long wall a central feature of his campaign. Of course, Hispanics were also politicians and policymakers themselves, from both sides of the aisle, and they offered their own solutions and visions for the nation. Linda Chavez, Lionel Sosa, Leslie Sanchez, and Herman Badillo detailed how Hispanics were key to reinvigorating and strengthening the nation through conservative politics. Mexican American Bill Richardson and Cuban Americans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz even ran for president of the United States. Puerto Rican Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic justice of the Supreme Court. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, according to the Latino Donor Collaborative, Hispanic spending in the United States alone would comprise the seventh largest GDP in the world. Hispanic America, then, continues to have global ramifications.
There is no single history or anthology that could cover the entirety of the complex and vast histories of Hispanic America, but The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America provides a crucial continental and hemispheric interpretation that transforms groups of disconnected nations and peoples into a social world integrated by historical processes like trade, colonization, and expansion and also ideas of democracy, liberation, and the nation-state. These various communities were bound by conversations, markets, and migrations as much as by expansion, extraction, and labor systems. This anthology offers an understanding of Hispanic America that is more than just a contribution to a generic American national narrative. The Schlager Anthology of Hispanic America highlights the unfinished nature of the American project at multiple moments in history and into the twenty-first century.
—Aaron E. Sánchez