Cart War (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: A series of armed raids against Tejano cartmen ends a profitable business enterprise and secures Anglo economic ascendancy in Texas.
Summary of Event
The 1857 Cart War, in which Mexican American cart teamsters in Texas were attacked by masked raiders seeking to destroy their trade, is rooted in the historic tensions between peoples of different ethnicities who resided in Texas. Soon after Euro-Americans began arriving in Spanish (later Mexican) Texas at the beginning of the nineteenth century, racial conflicts intermittently flared into violent encounters. Many whites had inherited negative images of Hispanic peoples from their Western European ancestors’ creation of the Leyendas Negras, or Black Legend. The Black Legend portrayed the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula and their descendants as cruel, lazy, vicious, arrogant, and dissolute. Many Europeans believed that intermarriage between Europeans and native peoples produced a “mongrelization” of races. Euro-American migrants into Texas generally regarded people whose backgrounds were Spanish, Mexican, or Native American as inferior.
This attitude of superiority accounts in part for the Texans’ war for independence against the Republic of Mexico from 1835 to 1836. Tejanos (Texas residents of Mexican descent, whether born in Mexico, the United States, or the Republic of Texas) became increasingly suspect in the eyes of...
(The entire section is 1303 words.)
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