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Part One:
Considering place as well as how issues of ecology and the environment have
an effect on the economic, political and traditional histories of the collective states of the
Southwest region is an interesting question to pose. Ecology focuses on understanding
and defining the relationships between the environment and the organisms, which inhabit
that environment. Keeping this in mind, it can be demonstrated that the people of the
southwest were influenced by the environment and vice versa. For example, taking the
developmental history of the Taos region of New Mexico into account, according to
Lamar, Spanish frontiersman, precursors to American settlers of the region, began to
inhabit the Taos region
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of what would eventually become the state of New Mexico.
According to Lamar, from 1700 to 1865 these people were plagued by attacks from
marauding Native Americans and the frontiersman as well as the Natives, both parties
doing the same to the their attackers, each bartered captured hostages. This significant
period of Indian warfare was so long, in large part, because of the ecology of the region.
It was historically very isolated from other established colonies; its mountainous terrain
isolating it even greater from surrounding regions of New Mexico. Lamar elaborates on
the cultural implications stemming from the ecological differences of Taos, by stating:
isolated in their mountain communities and preoccupied with the basic problem
of physical survival, the culture of these subsistence settlers, became even more
simplified than that of the Santa Fe and Rio Abajo, (pg 38).
Furthermore, their isolation, as Lamar observes, led to The language [becoming] an
outdated and unlettered Spanish patois. Through many generations the Indian blood of
captured Navajo and Pueblo servants mixed with Spanish, darkening the skin of the
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average New Mexicanthe stern demands of this frontier had, more than elsewhere,
atrophied the Spanish heritage.
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(pg 38). This isolation obviously led to a significant
culture difference, termed by Lamar as an atrophy of the Spanish heritage, between the
residents of Taos, Rio Arriba and those of Santa Fe. A related, more in depth example, to
further the point, treated at length by Lamar is the Martinez family, also referred to as the
big family in Taos at the time. Lamar writes, Sheer isolation had led to such
intermarriage with local Valdez, Vigil, Jaramillo, Lovato, and Trujillo families that by the
year of Mexican Independence the Martinez tribe stretched throughout the Rio Arriba,
kitted together in a complex web of consanguinity, more characteristic of an old
paternalistic society than of a frontier one. This was, according to Lamar, in stark
contrast to the inhabitants of Santa Fe who were, land-rich dons living hacienda-
fashion...
The State and territory of Colorado is, in my opinion, the region of the southwest
whose history and development, was most overtly influenced by ecology. According to
Lamar, at the beginning of the nineteenth century gold deposits were discovered(p205).
Subsequently, these valuable deposits of ore, sought after by a wide range of people
initially, garnered substantial recognition and buzz for the region throughout the whole of
the United States, arguably. Since this first discovery, mining has played a major role in
the development of Colorado, and still does. The fact that the territory held the Platte
River and the Rocky Mountains, natural features conducive to the development of gold
and people of the time being able to recognize these landmarks as likely indications of
gold, provides a major example of how topography and geography have affected the
development and will further be shown to affect the cultural evolution of the region.
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Pikes Peak became a new Eldorado in much of the public conscious. The ensuing gold
rush caused a trend that Lamar refers to as townsite booming to occur, which caused
stores in St. Louis, Kansa City, and Omaha to market themselves as outfitters for the
Pikes Peak region. Sufficed to say, the discovery of gold in the Rockies, not only caused
Colorado to gain note in the contemporary happenings of the time, as previously
mentioned, but also caused the then soon to be territory of Jefferson to boom with a
specific subset of people looking to strike it rich, overnight as it were, in many cases.
Additionally, this subset population that the territory attracted, interestingly enough,
affected the political nature of Colorado to a significant extent. Many of the pioneers and
miners who came were according to Lamar, as well-versed in self government as any
people in the world. Colorado was originally going to be called the State of Jefferson,
however, when voters came to ratify the decision experienced miners and wiser leaders
remembered that statehood was a financial burden as well as a political privilege.
Therefore they rejected the document by a three to one vote, arguing that it would be
better to have a territory, since its basic expenses could then be underwritten by the
federal government. Furthermore, every three out of ten miners present were veterans of
the California gold rush. These men, well acquainted with the local problems of law and
order, set out to create mining districts, - a further evidence as to the trickle down effect
ecology has played on the political nature of Colorado and one whose trend, I would
argue, can still be seen in much of Colorados current legislation.
The Territory of Utahs ecology, namely that of geography, also affected its
history and the way it was settled. Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith, as
leader of the Mormon religion, saw Utah as an ideal location for the body of his church,
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because it was isolated and removed from contact with the rest of the world at that time.
The Mormons had had a turbulent and less than ideal history, up to that point, with
regards to their relations with non-believers and had faced substantial opposition, and at
times even persecution, by those opposed to their beliefs. This being said, the unsettled
area, which would eventually become Deseret and later Utah, was an ideal location for
the group to Young. Had it not been so isolated it likely would have remained unsettled
by U.S. citizens for a longer period of time. Ecology also comprises the interaction of
organisms with each other. In this case, the Native Americans had already been
occupying portions of the region for many hundreds of years and therefore, had to be
dealt with, initially at least, so to speak, by the pioneering Mormons. In their efforts to
make the region their own and to keep their culture untangled by those opposed to their
doctrine, they initially treated the natives with some hostility, however this policy soon
turned to one of outreach and conversion with Mormons, feeding, teaching, and
converting Indians rather than fighting them This was in large part due to their theology.







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From the very start, the article Ethnicity by Mendoza and Shaul, presents the
theme of the Southwest as a region of diversity and hybrid cultural practices, having a
dynamic, shifting cultural and political identity by presenting the varied names proposed
by an eclectic group of people to describe the region itself. They write, Anthropologists,
archaeologists, cultural geographers, and natural scientists have labeled this borderlands
frontier the Greater Southwest, the Northern (Mexican) Frontier, and the Southwest
Culture Area. The variation of names itself suggests that the region has been many
things to many people. Furthermore, the article addresses the history and culture of
multiple Native American ethnicities, Hispanic and Mexican-origin populations,
African-Origin and Afromestizo peoples, Euro-American and European Immigrant
populations, and Asian Immigrants, each at length, and identifies, historically how these
subgroups added to the culture and ethnic identity of the region. By comparing and
contrasting these ethnic groups they answer the questions of why such a dynamic, hodge-
podge, hybrid culture exists and how this affects modern day conflicts in the region.
Historically, the southwest has a rich, long, and spiritual connotation, attributed to
it by its original occupants. These, namely the varied Native American peoples and those
of Hispanic and/or Mestizo origins have both attached spiritual meaning and identity to
the location. Mendoza and Shaul write, For the Native Americans, the Southwest is
like the sipapu openings in the floors of Anasazi and Pueblo kivas, or ritual enclosures
the place of emergence of the ancestors and all those who follow in the ways of the
ancestors. For the Mexican-origin population, or Mexican American and Chicanos of the
region, the Southwest is no less than the legendary Aztln of Mexican/Aztec lore. As
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demonstrated above a prehistoric spiritual identity has been associated with the land by
its earliest historic occupants. For these peoples it is a place of emergence and lore.
This is in contrast with the view of predominantly white settlers, who currently form the
largest demographic of the region, coming from European descent, for whom the article
asserts the land held no such spiritual significance. This contrast can, in large part, be
explained by the history of the region. Many settlers and explorers initially overlooked
the southwest as a suitable place for long term stay, being relegated as the Great
American Desert.
This soon changed when gold was discovered, and vast amounts of land became
available, with technology rendering both pursuits practical to predominantly American
settlers. According to the authors, This resulted in virtually all Native American
populations being resettled onto reservation lands, or near traditional tribal territories, by
1900. Despite the coerced mid- to late-nineteenth-century resettlement of Southwestern
Indian populations onto government-allotted and -controlled land reserves, or
reservations, each Native American group of the region nevertheless represents a
complex whole that conjoins cultural, social, historical, linguistic, and ethnic dimensions
and region-specific features and qualities. As evidenced, the original complex whole
cultural network of the then Native American tribes was up heaved by the new
ethnicity of those looking to settle the area in search of land and gold, in what the
article calls a coerced re-settlement occurring in a relatively minimal period of time.
This sudden and imposed upheaval of the pre-existing culture by another produced results
that provide a framework of discussion, set a historical precedence for, and offer an
explanation to the oscillating, hybrid culture that now exists in the region. Furthermore,
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Some contemporary American Indian ethnic and tribal groups maintain traditions
derived from the prehistoric Native American cultures of the core Southwest. This fact,
the degree of cultural continuity that may be inferred from it, and the physical settings
that the peoples occupy serves as a basis for linking the cultures of the past with the
ethnic and tribal peoples of the present, Therefore, despite the sudden upheaval, natives
have insisted on maintaining, to some degree, and in many instances, traditions derived
from the prehistoric Native American cultures of the core Southwest. However, they
have also been influenced by the cultures of European and Spanish settlers, which are
more contemporary to the region. This does well to explain the hybrid culture and
oscillating nature of this frontier region that resulted, in part, as a conjoining of
prehistoric and contemporary ethnic mindsets, identities, etc. among many occupants of
the southwest and most particularly those of native American ancestry.
Interestingly, the Hispanic origins of the Southwest, according to the authors, did
not follow a similar pattern to that of the Native Americans, of a sudden and short
usurping of land rights and abrupt amalgamation of cultures. Rather, theirs occurred in
what the authors describe as, five primary periods of historically documented patterns of
migration and colonization and these periods constitute, a significant cohort of this
Southwestern ethnic group or national-origin population (referring to those of Hispanic
ancestry). From the perspective of the article, many of these periods seem to have had
underlying political motivations propelling them. The authors state, The Mexican-origin
population in the Southwest concerns the ongoing struggle for a unified political identity
and a modicum of cultural autonomy and self-determination. This ongoing, still current,
struggle finds its roots in the political history of the region, with U.S interventionism
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playing a major role in the attitudes and political trends at play, as evidenced by the
statement Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano ethnicity and political and cultural
activism continues to hinge on that historic turning point when Mexico ceded its
Northwestern frontier, the contemporary U.S. states of California, Arizona, Nevada,
Utah, New Mexico, and Texas to the United States of America. This political heritage is
still in force today among this ethnicity, as evidenced by numerous, current political
groups, trends, and legislation.
Although the authors address more than just the three ethnic groups treated in this
article, it seems that Native American and Spanish cultures have likely had the greatest
impact on molding the current culture of the southwest, even greater, they argue, than
that of Euro-Americans, who currently comprise the largest population in the southwest.
This is asserted when the authors state, From Pueblo architecture, settlement, and art
styles through to Hispanic and Mexican settlement patterns, architecture, foods, and
agricultural traditions, the historical and cultural impact brought to bear by these two
populations is generally unmistakable in modern Southwestern communities. While some
architectural historians argue for the importance of the American-era emphasis on
invention of the Santa Fe style of architecture, for instance, the underlying reality is that
these architectural traditions are largely derivative or hybrid composites of both Hispanic
and Southwest Indian traditional styles and settlement designs refined over the course of
some four centuries of cultural interaction. Also, the ancient Native American and
Hispanic inhabitants of the region have received the lion's share of the narrative due to
the fact that the article gives emphasis to the most ethnically and culturally distinctive
and dominant traditions.
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3-4 pages double spaced for each question
Part Two:
1. Collection of telescopes
2. Cesar Chavez
3. Water rights and law
4. Reggie Jackson
5. Geronimo
6. Gun fight at OK Corral
7. John Chivington
8. Mel Brooks; Blazing Saddles
9. Barbed wire
10. Jesuits; Catholic priests
11. St. Joseph, Sacramento
12. Dentist
13. Levi Strauss.
14. Mountain Meadows massacre.
15. Picacho Pass, AZ.
16. The Battle of the Alamo begins.
17. Yellowstone National Park.
18. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
19. Nevada; nuclear waste.
20. Galveston, Texas.
21. A Century of Dishonor; Helen Hunt Jackson.
22. Colorado.
23. Apache; Camp Grant Massacre
24. Dawes. (The Dawes Act)
25. New Mexico and Arizona.
26. John Wesley Powell.
27. Comstock Lode; Nevada; 1873.
28. Nauvoo, Illinois.
29. James Cash Penny.
30. Santa Fe, New Mexico.
31. Acoma Pueblo.
32. Navajo.
33. Chicago, IL; Santa Monica, CA: Arizona
34. Houston, Texas.
35. John Muir; Sierra Club.
36. Zoot Suit Riots.
37. Nevada.
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38. Bonneville Salt Flats; Utah.
39. The Downwinders.
40. John Ford.
41. Hombre; Paul Newman.
42. Georgia Totto O'Keeffe.
43. Musical Instrument Museum.
44. Rex Allen; Wilcox, AZ; Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum and Wilcox
Cowboy Hall of Fame.
45. The Black Dahlia; Elizabeth Short.
46. William Mulholland; St. Francis Dam.
47. Chinatown.
48. Hoover Dam.
49. Frank Lloyd Wright.
50. Nevada 84.5%
Alaska 69.1%
Utah 57.4%
Oregon 53.1%
Idaho 50.2%
Arizona 48.1%
California 45.3%
Wyoming 42.3%
New Mexico 41.8%
Colorado 36.6%