“With Whatever Weapons: Mexico City’s People, National Identity, and the American Invasion, 1847”
For more than three decades now, scholars of Latin American history have published studies arguing that during Latin America’s tumultuous 19th century various groups of impoverished rural people, although long considered isolated, were able to develop visions of what 19th century states should be and their own versions of national identity. Surprisingly, there has been relatively little similar work for urban people. This talk will look at popular resistance to the American invasion of Mexico City to show how poor urban people under particular circumstances also expressed a vision of what the nation was and why it should be defended against extreme odds. It will also consider why their efforts were interpreted by both the Americans and the city’s elite as being little more than criminal behavior.