Updated July 22, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

1513 After Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer, helped conquer what is now the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, he secured a commission to conquer and colonize the island of "Bimini", an island thought to lie north of Cuba. Legend has it that de León went to this island in search of the fountain of Youth. In the spring of 1513 he sailed from Puerto Rico NE through the Bahamas, siting land in March and landing near the site of St. Augustine in April. Ponce de León claimed what he thought was an island for Spain and named it Florida. He then sailed south, exploring Florida's coast and the Keys before he returned to Peutro Rico. In 1512 de Leon returned to Florida (the Tampa area) where he was attacked by Native Americans and died soon after from his wounds. ___________________________ 1526 Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón gained permission to colonize Florida in 1526. He sialed with three ships and is thought to have landed in the area of N. Carolina. Ayllon, along with many of the settlers with him died of fever that year. _______________________________ In 1565, Philip II of Spain charged Pedro Menendez de Aviles with removing the French Huguenots and establishing a permanent Spanish colony in Florida. Menendez successfully took over the France's Fort Caroline in NE Florida, and founded the sity of St. Augustine. __________________________________ More on Florida? _________________________________ In the Southwest Francisco Vasquez de Coronado travelled to modern SE Arizona and New Mexico in 1540 believing he would find a cities of gold. Although he did not find riches of monetary wealth, he and his lieutenants trekked to Hopi villages in N Arizona, the Grand Canyon, and the pueblos of the Rio Grande. In 1541 Coronado travelled to the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, and Kansas. _____________________________________ The Spanish founded Sante Fe c.1609 in the area of prehistoric Native American ruins. It is the oldesest capital city in the U.S. ________________________________________ https://www.infoplease.com/ce6/us/A0861505.html Texas History The region that is now Texas was early known to the Spanish, who were, however, slow to settle there. Cabeza de Vaca, shipwrecked off the coast in 1528, wandered through the area in the 1530s, and Coronado probably crossed the northwest section in 1541. De Soto died before reaching Texas, but his men continued west, crossing the Red River in 1542. The first Spanish settlement was made (1682) at Ysleta on the site of present day El Paso by refugees from the area that is now New Mexico after the Pueblo revolt of 1680. Several missions were established in the area; but the Comanche, Apache, and other Native American tribes resented their encroachment, and the settlements did not flourish. ________________________________________ https://www.infoplease.com/ce6/us/A0857128.html California History The first voyage (1542) to Alta California (Upper California), as the region north of Baja California (Lower California) came to be known, was commanded by the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who explored San Diego Bay and the area farther north along the coast. In 1579 an English expedition headed by Sir Francis Drake landed near Point Reyes, N of San Francisco, and claimed the region for Queen Elizabeth I. In 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno, another Spaniard, explored the coast and Monterey Bay. "During the early 1800's, the westward expansion of the United States alarmed the Spanish colonial governors. These officials restricted trade between the United States and the northern colonial provinces of New Mexico, Texas, and California. By so doing, they hoped to avoid a heavy flow of American settlers into the sparsely populated colonies. " Mexican independence and free trade "In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain. The new nation included the northern provinces, as well as present-day Mexico. Soon, free trade with the United States was established in New Mexico. The government of the Republic of Mexico tried to regulate U.S. trade in New Mexico, which led to increasing resistance among the New Mexicans, many of whom did not feel especially loyal to Mexico. Mexicans living in California, called Californios, also opened free trade with the United States and other countries. The Mexican government broke up the missions and gave or sold huge tracts of ranch lands to private individuals. As a result, a small group of several hundred Mexican landowners became very wealthy. But most Californios, like the majority of settlers throughout Mexico's northern territories, remained poor. The abundant resources of California attracted many American settlers in the 1830's and 1840's. The United States was already considering ways of acquiring California as a territory. The Californios enjoyed the benefits of their trade with the United States and saw advantages to becoming a U.S. territory. The Mexican government neglected its northern territories, and many Californios resented the interference of government officials from Mexico City. Texas had by far the smallest population of any of the northern Mexican territories, and the Mexican government's hold on Texas was weak. In January 1821, American merchant Moses Austin received permission from Spanish authorities in Mexico to settle 300 Americans in Texas. The project eventually passed into the hands of Austin's son, Stephen Fuller Austin. Instead of being limited to 300 settlers, however, the American settlement of Texas swelled to thousands of people. In 1836, Texas won its independence from Mexico and became a republic. " Conflict with the United States In 1845, the United States annexed Texas. In response, the Mexican government broke off relations with the United States. Texas claimed territory as far south as the Rio Grande, but Mexico disputed the claim, saying that Texas' southwest border was the Nueces River. These and other events led to the Mexican War (1846-1848) between the United States and Mexico. The United States won the war. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war, awarded the United States the territory that now makes up the states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and part of Colorado and Wyoming. This vast area was home to approximately 80,000 Mexicans, most of whom were granted U.S. citizenship. The original draft of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo stated that the United States would honor any land grants that had been made by the government of Mexico. However, this provision was deleted in the U.S. government's revision of the treaty. Mexican officials protested this change. At the signing of the treaty, the U.S. representatives also signed the Protocol of Queretaro, which stated that the U.S. government's changes in the original treaty did not invalidate the civil, political, and religious guarantees that the treaty had extended to Mexican residents of the new U.S. territories. The U.S. government, however, did not ratify the Protocol of Queretaro, claiming that its representatives at the treaty signing did not have the authority to sign the protocol. Mexico's government also failed to ratify the protocol. Problems for landowners Many of the new Hispanic Americans were living on land that had been granted to them by the Mexican government. For many years after the war, Mexican-American landowners in the Southwest were able to maintain their claims. But as more and more Anglo settlers came in search of land on which to raise crops and livestock, the demand for land soared. Mexican-American landowners had to legally confirm their claims. The process was so lengthy and expensive that many were forced to take out large loans to pay court costs. They often sold large tracts of their land in order to pay off their loans. Many Mexican Americans were unable to communicate with the English-speaking judges and did not understand the U.S. court system. As a result, they were often cheated out of their legitimate claims to the land. By the late 1800's, most Mexican Americans had become tenants or workers on land that belonged to Anglo-Americans. The two groups lived apart in towns and cities, and each had its own schools, stores, and places of entertainment. The Mexican Americans called their sections barrios, the Spanish word for neighborhoods. During this period, the immigration of Mexicans to the United States was relatively small. Jobs on large cattle, sheep, cotton, and vegetable farms attracted some Mexicans to Texas. But the great period of Mexican-American immigration was yet to come. return to top Immigration in the early 1900's In 1900, the total Mexican-American population was estimated to be between 380,000 and 560,000. The early 1900's saw a sharp increase in the number of Mexican immigrants as economic conditions in Mexico worsened. In 1910, the Mexican Revolution broke out. This conflict plummeted Mexico into years of political and economic chaos. The revolution also sparked a tremendous wave of immigration that continued until the 1930's. Between 1910 and 1930, more than 680,000 Mexicans came to live in the United States. During the 1920's, Mexicans accounted for more than 10 per cent of all immigration to the United States. Most Mexicans fleeing the Mexican Revolution settled in the Southwest, where they took jobs in factories and mines or on railroads, farms, and ranches. In 1917, the United States entered World War I (1914-1918), and thousands of Mexican Americans volunteered for service in the U.S. armed forces. The wartime economy also provided new opportunities for Mexican Americans. Some were able to move into better-paying, skilled occupations in construction and in the war industries. Despite these gains, Mexican Americans continued to suffer discrimination in jobs, wages, and housing. To fight these conditions, they organized labor unions and took part in strikes to obtain higher wages and better working conditions. Mexican Americans also formed civic groups to deal with their problems. In 1929, the major groups merged to form the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Immigration restrictions In 1917, the United States passed a law requiring all adult immigrants to be able to read and write at least one language. In 1924, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration established the Border Patrol to control illegal immigration across the Mexican-U.S. border. Strict enforcement of the 1917 adult literacy law led to a decline in Mexican immigration in the late 1920's. This decline continued through the Great Depression--the economic hard times of the 1930's--when only about 33,000 Mexicans entered the United States. The 1930's brought heightened discrimination against Mexican Americans. Many people viewed them as a drain on the American economy because they held many low-paying jobs while other, "true" Americans went unemployed. In response to such angry views, the U.S. and Mexican governments cosponsored a repatriation program that returned thousands of Mexican immigrants to Mexico. Growing discrimination The program was intended to encourage people to return voluntarily to Mexico, but thousands were deported against their wishes. Many of these immigrants had lived in the United States for more than 10 years. Their American-born children were U.S. citizens. In some cases, adults who were deported were U.S. citizens who were mistakenly or intentionally forced to leave their country. In California especially, many Mexican Americans were placed in detention camps, where they were mistreated by government officials. Of the approximately 3 million people of Mexican descent living in the United States in 1930, about 500,000 had been repatriated by 1939. The repatriation program created much anger and resentment among Mexican Americans. Family relationships were often strained because young people who had been born in the United States did not want to go to Mexico. In addition to the humiliation of repatriation, Mexican Americans suffered other forms of discrimination. Many restaurants refused to serve Mexican Americans. Public swimming pools, rest rooms, drinking fountains, and theaters were often segregated. Mexican-American schoolchildren were often forbidden to speak Spanish in schools and were sometimes punished severely for doing so. return to top Effects of World War II During World War II (1939-1945), more than 300,000 Mexican Americans served in the U.S. armed forces. Their courage and determination helped them earn proportionally more military honors than any other ethnic group. Many Mexican-American veterans returned from the war with new-found skills. Unwilling to go back to living with the pressures and barriers of discrimination, they formed a number of social, political, and service organizations, including the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) and the American GI Forum of the United States. Such organizations have helped Mexican Americans fight poverty, lack of education, and discrimination. World War II had renewed the demand for immigrant labor. In 1942, the U.S. and Mexican governments developed the bracero program. Under the program, Mexican braceros (day laborers) could enter the United States legally for seasonal agricultural work and for work on U.S. railroads. Bracero programs were in effect from 1942 to 1947 and from 1951 to 1964. The programs provided almost 5 million Mexicans with temporary work in the United States. The braceros often worked under harsh conditions for unsympathetic employers, but they took the work because they were unable to find jobs in Mexico. return to top Immigration in the mid-1900's The mid-1900's saw a great influx of Hispanic people into the United States. These new arrivals included not only Mexicans, but large numbers of Puerto Ricans and Cubans, too. Mexican immigration to the United States--both legal and illegal--climbed steeply during the 1950's. The U.S. government developed a program to curb illegal immigration. The program was highly publicized in order to encourage undocumented immigrants to leave voluntarily. It resulted in the deportation of a total of 3,800,000 undocumented immigrants. It did little, however, to control illegal immigration, which continued to increase from the 1960's through the 1980's. Puerto Rican migration The mid-1900's also brought the first great wave of people from Puerto Rico. This island had been a U.S. possession since 1898, and its people had been U.S. citizens since 1917. As citizens, Puerto Ricans may enter the United States without restriction. Between 1940 and 1960, more than 545,000 Puerto Ricans came to the U.S. mainland to look for jobs. By 1960, almost 70 percent of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland had settled in East Harlem in New York City. New York City has continued to have the largest Puerto Rican population of any mainland U.S. city, with about a third of all Puerto Ricans on the mainland living in the city. For many years, Puerto Ricans have remained one of the poorest groups in the United States. Unemployment among Puerto Ricans is about 50 percent higher than it is among the general population, and the poverty rate is almost four times higher. Cuban migration Cuban immigration to the United States picked up sharply during the late 1950's, as a result of increasing political turmoil in Cuba. Until the mid-1950's, only a few thousand Cubans came to the United States each year. But during the late 1950's and early 1960's, the number of Cuban immigrants increased dramatically. In 1959, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro came to power. He announced the restructuring of Cuban society. Many middle- and upper-class Cubans found Castro's plans threatening to their way of life. Between 1959 and late 1962, about 200,000 anti-Castro Cubans immigrated to the United States. In October 1962, commercial air flights between Cuba and the United States were suspended. Nonetheless, about 50,000 Cubans entered the United States between late 1962 and 1965. Many of these people sailed secretly from Cuba in small boats, some of which were apprehended by the Cuban navy before they reached the United States. In 1965, the United States and Cuban governments agreed to set up an airlift between Cuba and Miami. The airlift brought about 250,000 Cubans into the United States between 1966 and 1973. Until 1994, the United States welcomed Cuban immigrants as victims of an oppressive regime. Many of the first Cubans to flee Castro's dictatorship in the early 1960's were from wealthy families and were well educated. The U.S. government granted asylum to these people and offered federal help to qualified applicants in finding homes and in making job contacts. Most later Cuban immigrants were relatives of the first group or were poor people looking for work. Problems with Cuban migration A major influx of Cuban immigrants was the arrival in 1980 of the Marielitos. Numbering about 125,000, the Marielitos were a group that the Cuban government wanted out of Cuba. They included many unskilled workers, criminals, and mentally ill people. These people were put aboard boats at the Cuban port of Mariel and sent to Miami. The U.S. government allowed the Marielitos to enter the United States, though U.S. officials had not expected such large numbers of people and were at first unaware of the presence of criminals on board the boats. Some of the criminals were placed in U.S. prisons. Many of them were rehabilitated and released. A few were returned to Cuba. In 1994, thousands of Cubans set out for southern Florida on small boats and rafts to escape poverty in Cuba. But soon after the influx began, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the United States would not accept any more of the refugees. This policy was designed to avoid the cost of settling large numbers of refugees in Florida. Many of the Cubans were stopped at sea by U.S. ships and taken to a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay on Cuba's coast. Living conditions for Cuban Americans Nearly two-thirds of all Cuban Americans live in Florida. More Cuban Americans live in Miami than in any other U.S. city. Large numbers of Cubans also live in suburban towns outside Miami and in Tampa, on Florida's west coast. Although the Little Havana section of Miami remains the center of the Cuban-American population, many Cubans have now moved into the city's more affluent neighborhoods. Some of Miami's most successful businesses are owned and operated by Cuban Americans. New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago also have significant Cuban populations. Cuban Americans face many of the same problems that trouble other minority groups, though to a lesser degree. In the 1980's, the level of educational achievement among Cuban Americans matched the national average. The unemployment and poverty rates of Cuban Americans are much lower than those of other Hispanic groups. return to top Immigration in the late 1900's People from Latin America continue to immigrate in large numbers to the United States. In the 1980's, Hispanics accounted for more than a third of all legal immigration to the United States. For many, the United States represents opportunities unavailable in their homelands. Most desire to work hard to improve the lives of their families. From the 1970's to the early 1990's, large numbers of Hispanic immigrants came from war-torn countries in Central America, including El Salvador and Nicaragua. Many of these immigrants were children and teen-agers whose parents had been killed or had disappeared. Some U.S. citizens felt that Central Americans fleeing military conflict should be granted political asylum in the United States. However, the U.S. government maintained that most of these immigrants had been motivated by economic, not political, concerns. Therefore, they were not entitled to the special treatment given political refugees under U.S. immigration law. Many of the immigrants from Central America were placed in large detention camps until they could be relocated or returned to their homelands. Hispanic Americans today A high rate of immigration and a high birth rate have combined to make Hispanic Americans one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States. Between 1980 and 1990, the Hispanic population of the United States increased five times faster than the total population. Many experts predict that Hispanics will be the nation's largest minority group by the mid-2020's. Some non-Hispanics in the United States fear that the country's rapidly growing Hispanic population will not adopt the language, customs, and viewpoint of the dominant, English-speaking culture. Some of these people fear that their way of life will be replaced by the "foreign ways'' of Hispanic Americans. Others worry that a large Spanish-speaking minority will become a permanent underclass, locked out of economic advancement by a lack of fluency in English. Many historians and sociologists discount such fears. They point to the many immigrant groups that have become part of American culture. They also note that except for recent immigrants, most Hispanic Americans can speak English. Nevertheless, language has become an increasingly controversial issue in some states with large Spanish-speaking populations. By the early 1990's, about 20 states had passed laws making English the states' official language. Some people support the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would make English the official language of the United States. An increased demand among Hispanic Americans for Spanish-language media led to the development of two national Spanish-language television networks. In addition, more than 370 U.S. radio stations broadcast in Spanish in the 1990's--about seven times the number of Spanish-language stations in operation during the 1960's. The number of Hispanic newspapers, magazines, and journals published in the United States also increased dramatically.

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