The Borderlands: 1880 - 1940 Essay

This essay has a total of 1615 words and 6 pages.

The Borderlands: 1880 - 1940

The time of change in the region called the "borderlands" occurred during the period
between 1880 and 1940. The region became urbanized and ended its years of isolation from
the rest of the world. In the past the region's economy was based on ranching and farming.
As the region became more urbanized the economy changed. The economy did not change
equally between the United States and Mexico, the United States' side of the border boomed
while Mexico's side did not. The cities that did prosper in region were based on the
actions of the United States. Actions that affected the cities in Mexico were Prohibition
and the Great depression. Events in the United States were not the only economic factor to
effect the region. The Mexican Revolution had great social and economic influence to the
region. On November 10 1910, the Mexican Revolution began and did not end until President
Diaz was overthrown. The United States and its border towns were heavily involved in the
conflict. The fighting was mainly in the north and they need supplies. The majority of the
weapons and supplies for the Revolution was brought in the United States. The border
cities in the United States became the chief suppliers of guns to the Revolution. This
form trade was illegal and mainly done on the Black Market. The legal trade that existed
before the Revolution disappeared with the outbreak of war. Mexico had closed the border
during the conflict to prevent the supply of arms. The United States had also tried to
stop the flow of arms but not successful. Eventually the United States had sent troops to
the region when the fighting spilled over the border. The troops stayed in the region
after the Mexican Revolution and were an economic boom to the region.The United States at
the turn of the century was under going a major social movement. The United States was
trying to change its society to a more moral country. The groups involved in the movement
consisted of many groups from around the United States. Some of the most notable groups
involved in the social reform movement were the churches in the country. They targeted
many aspects of life of the normal Americans. The social reforms targeted social ills such
as adultery, crime, and lastly, drinking. These groups had large number of followers, and
had considerable height in government. The social reformers political power extended from
small town mayors to U.S. Congressmen and Senators. The reformers were able to get many
local governments to become "dry" county, that is to outlaw alcohol. The reformers
ultimate goal was to outlaw alcohol entirely in the United States. They succeeded in the
late 1920's with the passage of the Volstead Act and an amendment to the Constitution of
the United States. Once the Volstead Act was passed it was illegal to produce, sell, or
consume alcohol in the United States. Many refineries, distilleries and bars closed in the
United States and moved across the border. Mexico benefited greatly from Prohibition when
drinking moved across the border. The area of greatest economical boom was at the border
towns, in particular Ciudard Juarez and Tujauna.Cuidad Juarez and Tujuana both benefited
from U.S. tourism before Prohibition. The cities mainly benefited from adult tourism, in
particular bars and prostitution. This business was started during the Mexican Revolution
when President Wilson sent U.S. troops to guard the border. The soldiers stationed on the
border, numbering as high as 10,000 men, needed entertainment. The troops would go across
the border to engage in activities not widely available on the U.S. side. After the
Mexican Revolution the U.S. troops remained on the border, so the adult entertainment
industry continued to grow. This growth was mainly limited to the number of troops and
where they were stationed. It was not until Prohibition that the adult tourism exploded on
the U.S.-Mexico border. The passage of the Volstead Act outlawed alcohol in the United
States, but this did not apply to Mexico. Many bars closed and moved to a location across
the border. The bar's patrons also followed the bars south of the border. Before
Prohibition, the bars in the Mexican border towns main clientele was U.S. soldiers, after
Prohibition everybody from the United States visited the bars. The two cities that
benefited the most from Prohibition were Cuidad Juarez and Tujauna. In Cuidad Juarez there
were 72 bars and 11 liquor distilleries catering mostly to Americans. El Paso, across the
border from Cuidad Juarez, becomes the largest convention center in the United States.
Many conventions were held in El Paso because of its location along the border. The
convention meetings would be held in hotels and convention centers on the U.S. side, and
after hours entertainment would move across the border to Cuidad Juarez. Although the
towns along the border boomed from the adult tourism, very few Mexican citizens benefited.
Most of the bars located in the Mexican cities were owned by U.S. citizens. Mexican
citizens did work in these establishments, but were paid a very lowly wage. The money
spent by the visiting Americans eventually went back to the United States in the pockets
of the bar owners. The distilleries that supplied the bars were no different then the bars
in terms of ownership. With prohibition, many liquor distilleries moved their plant across
the border and remained in business. The distilleries could not legally import liquor into
the United States, so they supplied the countless bars in the Mexican cities, or smuggled
them into the United States. Prohibition ended in 1933 and many of the bars that relocated
into Mexico moved back to the United States. As result of this mass exodus of bars back to
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