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The Teaching Company is a fabulous service. It allows one to take college level courses for the joy of learning. My favorites are the History Courses. I’ve covered the History of Greece, Rome, the Papacy, England (Tudors and Stuarts), and The Vikings (and a jolly lot they were). I am currently hearing “The History of The United States”.  I am currently hearing about the Mexico War in the 1840s.

Americans are not very educated, particularly when it comes to history. It is intriguing to hear Arizonians and Conservative types get into an uproar about illegal aliens, borders, and the ‘Mexicanization’ of the American Southwest.  I find it ironic to hear this section of the course, as most of the present day issues about ‘what Mexico is doing to us’ we did to them in the 1800s.

The Southwest USA was originally part of Mexico. By the 1800s we wanted more land; we more or less moved onto Mexican territory without permission, much to the protest of Mexico, who complained about ‘illegals’ on their turf. We started a war with Mexico somewhat on the grounds there were enough of us there now to justify taking it. General Scott purposely chose the route to Mexico City Cortes used to conquer Mexico. Upon surrender, Mexico was obliged to give up 2/5 of their turf, land which is now California through Texas. Worse luck for Mexico, they did this just before the 1847 ‘Gold Rush”.  The USA that got the gold. Later, Mexico was obliged to sell the Gadsden purchase, for railroad needs. This is now the southern part of Arizona ,where most of the present problems reside.

Looking at the bigger picture, all of history seems to be the continual movements of people from one place to another, either on the run or (hopefully) going towards something better – much to the chagrin of the people already there (ask Native Americans what they think about Manifest Destiny).  Forcing people out with physical barriers and punitive laws historically didn’t stop migration and metamorphosis.  Who knows where it will all go.

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