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A Socio-Economic Study of Two Mexican-American Barrios (Essay Sample)


For this assignment, I WAS TO read "Tucsoneses and Angelenos: A Soci-Economic Study of Two Mexican-American Barrios, 1860-1880" by Dr. Richard Griswold Del Castillo found in EN AQUEL ENTONCES (pp. 80-86).
WRITE a 750-word essay that answers the question: Why were Mexican-American conditions better in Tucson than in Los Angeles in the American Southwest based on the evidence used? What do you think of Dr. Griswold Del Castillo's assumptions and generalizations compared to the "Carlos I. Velasco" article from Module 13? Do they come to the same conclusion?

A Socio-Economic Study of Two Mexican-American Barrios
Tucson and Los Angeles, in American Southwest, are linked by their common origin in defensive Spanish imperial policy. Tucson defended the wealthier communities in Northern Mexico while Los Angeles was part of the defense to Californians against foreign encroachment. However, the social history of the two has been very different. Richard Griswold, a native of Los Angeles and a PHD holder in History from University of California made comparison between Tucson and Los Angles in his article: Tucsoneses and Angelenos: A Socio-Economic Study of two Mexican-American Barrios, 1860-1880. From the comparisons made, it becomes clear that conditions were more favorable, and seemingly higher standard of living in Tucson than in Los Angeles during the period between 1860 and 1880, (Griswold). In this essay, focus will be directed on establishing why the conditions of Mexican-Americans were considered better in Tucson than in Los Angeles.
Using the 1864 and 1880 censuses for Tucson and comparing them with the 1860 and 1880 censuses for Los Angeles, the various findings shows the systematic differences in socio economic development of the two. Contrast made against the two include in the light of various factors that are discussed in detail in this essay. Comparison is made on various factors including numbers of people working as laborers and servants, the miners, shopkeepers and merchants, farmers and ranchers and employment to laboring and non-laboring jobs. In all these comparisons, the conditions in Tucson are seemingly better than those in Los Angeles. As discussed below, the following paragraphs explains why conditions were better in Tucson than in Los Angeles.
In 1860, 62 percent of Angelenos worked as laborers against 42 percent in Tucson. In 1864, however, there were no servants listed for Tucson while this became the second most popular occupation in Los Angeles, (Griswold). Occupation of working as a servant would be considered as a low occupation. This is because servants were counted as property of their masters. This highly shows that the conditions were much better in Tucson because there were less listed servants in Tucson compared to Los Angeles.
Secondly, in Tucson almost 45 percent of the Mexican American Force worked as either merchants, miners or teamster. These kind of jobs hardly required supervision and were majorly self-employed. In Los Angeles, however, these occupations constituted less than 18 percent of all the people employed, (Griswold). Jobs such as miners, shopkeepers and saddlers, which seemingly had a degree of autonomy constituted less than 8 percent. Based on the difference in occupation, in Tucson, people were highly employed for more valuable and favorable jobs and they also had high living standards compared to those who lived in Los Angeles. Statistically, about 36% of the people were employed for the white collar jobs in Tucson while only 13% of people living in Los Angeles had the opportunity.
The population of the farmers and the size of ranches in Tucson was double those of ranches and population of farmers in Los Angeles. This is a clear explanation for the wide range of occupational choices existed between Tucson and Los Angeles. As more than a quarter of the employed Tucsoneses worked in their own farms and ranches, only 8 percent of Angelenos worked in their own, (Griswold). By 1864, decline in rural land tenure was experienced in Los Angeles, while this was not the case with Tucson. ...
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