Nuestra California. Faire Californie entre deux constructions nationales et impériales (vers 1810-1850)

Abstract : The case of California brings to light the imperial character of nation-building in Mexico and the United States in the early 19th century. Concerning Mexico, in spite of a will to break with the colonial order and to harmonize the whole territory under the same laws, the frontier in general and California in particular are soon seen as places of exception. The equality of Indians proclaimed by Independence proves itself a hard reach. « Putting an end to the old system » in those regions comes to mean the end of the Franciscan missions and requires finding other ways to colonize them. However, the missionaries are so important to control the Indians that the government has to delay this policy. More over, the Indians have their own perception of the meaning of equality and sovereignty on their land. Settlers and soldiers are at first still attached to the colonial system as it is. But Mexican governors and other intermediaries convince a handful of young people to turn to a public career and the conception of California as a political project. A local elite comes to existence and is ready to revolt when they consider their rights flouted. Those revolts can be compared to other federalist revolts in Mexico as well as with settlers revolt in other settlers colonies. The political culture and the relationship with Mexico also evolves with the increase in circulations from the 1830s. The South becomes more connected to Mexico than the North, that becomes more connected to Oregon and the Western United States. Concerning the United States, the hopes of their consul at Monterey to promote a peaceful annexation is ruined by the attack of a frontier post by recent migrants in order to defend their rights to the land and to a « true republic ». This confrontation between Mexican-Californians settlers and United States migrants is one of two national and imperial projects on a same territory and illustrates the ambiguity of claiming sovereignty, liberty and equality on a conquered territory.
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Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Emmanuelle Perez Tisserant <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 4:02:20 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 1:46:48 AM
Long-term archiving on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 8:18:19 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-01142623, version 1


Emmanuelle Perez Tisserant. Nuestra California. Faire Californie entre deux constructions nationales et impériales (vers 1810-1850). Histoire. EHESS, 2014. Français. ⟨tel-01142623⟩



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