preview

Border Exchange In The 1950s

Better Essays
Let’s put a title here! The 1950s, for those who were not white men, were a time of deep oppression and are not looked back on fondly. However, John Benson argues that in regards to borders, the 1950s was “something of a golden age.” Those years were defined by nearly uninhibited border crossing, cooperation between Mexico and the United States, and the celebration of cross cultural relations. Now, in 2017, the border is heavily militarized and border crossing is demonized. The 1970s marked a shift in border control policies, and since then cross border relations have become more and more strained. Cadava, in Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland noted that in the post-war era, “the Good Neighbor policy shaped U.S.-Mexico…show more content…
There is talk within the current administration concerning the necessity for the United States to “build the wall” to separate ourselves from Mexico-- yet Donald Trump is not the first one to have suggested this. Cattle had been part of the cross border exchange for an extended period of time, but in the 1950s an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease temporarily halted the cattle trade. A border fence was proposed, so the possibility that the disease would spread could be contained. However, unlike today, both “Mexicans and Americans alike called the proposed fence a ‘repulsive’ symbol of ‘division’” that they would not stand for. This fence would be “an impediment to the flow of people” who constantly travelled between Mexico and the United States. This was exemplified through the department store, Jácome’s, which actively promoted cross border exchange. Situated in the heart of Tucson, Jácome’s was a “gathering point” for people “living on both sides of the border” as it was inviting to both Mexicans and those living in the United States. The name of Jácome’s store appealed to both groups of people. Jácome kept the accent over the “a” in the name, which causes the name to be “distinctly Spanish.” Meanwhile, the apostrophe makes the name distinctly English, since the apostrophe is not used in the Spanish language. “White clients from the United States” were intrigued by Jácome’s, because it was “an exotic, regionally authentic” department store, while Mexican shoppers were drawn to Jácome’s since it “was the store that welcomed them the most.” Additionally, Jácome’s accepted pesos as payment, rather than requiring shoppers to exchange their pesos for US dollars before shopping. This allowed for Mexican shoppers to feel more welcomed and at home while shopping at Jácome’s, which further expanded the cross-border
Get Access