The Cultural And Racial Unity Of All Indigenous People

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Since 1492, the year in which Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, the “Native Americans”, or “American Indians”, the original inhabitants of these newfound lands, became a source of dispute and conflict. The terminology of the word ‘Indian’ suggests the cultural and racial unity of all indigenous people, but it was not an idea shared by them. On the contrary, a huge variety of languages, traditions, cultures, lifestyles, existed among the indigenous populations, and had done so for thousands of years. The unifying notion of ‘Indian’ gave a label to all natives, failed to recognise their differences, and became a tool of legitimisation of the Spanish colonisation of these people . After making a claim of these lands, the Spanish…show more content…
Following these philosophical and political ideas gave legitimacy to the categorization of people as inferior and superior races, and therefore the marginalisation of the indigenous people at the expense of the domination of the ‘white’ nation . The Mexican state used this European philosophy to reinforce their claims that the indigenous race was incapable of understanding civilised culture. David Brading describes the indigenous peasant’s lifestyle in the eye of the Mexican ‘white’ or mestizo as that of “industrious ants”, not that of a “free citizens of a liberal republic” , thus reinforcing their primitiveness and backwardness. Due to their closeness to nature, the indigenous people were considered an obstacle to the country’s modernisation .
Indeed, progress and modernity were the goals set in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. After most of a decade of armed conflict, national unrest and divisions was born a desire to rebuild the nation based on new ideals in the 1920’s. While previously the country had been divided due to a lack of common history, character, race, and language, where indigenous communities resembled separate countries in which inhabitants did not participate in national life, the Mexican state thought that unity and cooperation among all races would forge a new and stronger nation. As the
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