Segment from To be a Citizen?

The Clash Of Cultures In “The Cart War”

In 1857, Hispanic cart men traveling around San Antonio endured a series of attacks by white Anglo teamsters. The attacks came in the wake of the Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans living in the southwest United States the option to become American citizens. Hispanic cart man Antonio Delgado was killed in one of the attacks, because he wasn’t deemed “American,” even though he was a U.S. citizen. His death tells the story of a shifting definition of citizenship in a state undergoing some big changes in the mid-19th century.

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Citizenship Lesson Set

Download the Citizenship Lesson Set

The question of citizenship is one that permeates a conversation of US History. From the founding documents and their tension with the Alien and Sedition Act, to the story of enslaved Africans, Dred Scot, and the Reconstruction Amendments, and throughout US History with movements of nativism and protectionist immigration policies. As teachers we return to these themes throughout our coursework. This lesson treatment takes a closer look at the sectional crisis building from 1830 to 1860 and the impact of The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and asks students to define citizenship and inclusion for various groups.


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