Abstract

In Southern California, regional and national myths of agrarian life as pastoral became entwined with paternalistic policy and racialized visions of the Mexican laborer. Re-worked in the context of the New Deal and increasing strike activity across California after 1928, these rural myths and policies shaped plans for the resettlement of Mexican-American workers in self-sustaining villages within Los Angeles County. Under the direction of government officials, reformers, and employers, these plans articulated diverse ideologies and agendas: the New Dealer’s commitment to reform and rehabilitation through planning and paternalism, and the employer’s drive to segregate and racialize labor under a pastoral ideal. Yet the village schemes foundered; weakened by employers’ lack of commitment to worker welfare and fears of rural sedition, by the inconsistencies of the New Deal rehabilitation policy, and by an inability to manipulate the realities of agribusiness. This failure bore testimony to the mythic nature of an agrarian tradition in California.

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Notes

1 Hubert Howe Bancroft ,
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(San Francisco: History Company,
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),
264
.
2 Phoebe S. Kropp ,
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43
, 44, 46;
Bancroft ,
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Cletus E. Daniel ,
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18
.
3 Daniel ,
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63
.
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14
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Matt García ,
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6 Daniel ,
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18
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Carey McWilliams ,
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17 McWilliams ,
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18 Carey McWilliams , "
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20 García ,
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29 Sáinchez ,
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30 García ,
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32 Paul S. Taylor , "
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,
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34 Weber ,
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79
,
104
;
Daniel ,
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,
168
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35 McWilliams ,
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,
92
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36 N. O. Nelson to Dana Bartlett, sent with cover letter from Bartlett to Lynch, Oct. 28, 1912, Dana Webster Bartlett Folder, Box 1, Lubin Papers.
McWilliams ,
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Carey McWilliams ,
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38
Works Progress Administration
,
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39 Ibid.
40 Ibid.
41 Ibid.
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43 WPA, American Born Mexican Survey.
44 Ibid.
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Francis J. Weber , "
Preface
," in
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lxxxiv
;
Memo. , "
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,"
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The Mexicans in the United States
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75
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340
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Daniel ,
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McWilliams ,
Factories in the Field
,
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McWilliams ,
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John Anson Ford ,
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Mitchell ,
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181
;
Stein ,
California and the Dust Bowl Migration
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154
.
57 Daniel ,
Bitter Harvest
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270
;
Stein ,
California and the Dust Bowl Migration
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159
,
161
.
58 Weber ,
Dark Sweat, White Gold
,
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;
Stein ,
California and the Dust Bowl Migration
,
151
.
59 McWilliams ,
Ill Fares the Land
,
238
, 378;
McWilliams ,
Factories in the Field
,
303
;
Weber ,
Dark Sweat, White Gold
,
135
.
60 WPA, American Born Mexican Survey.
61 Daniel ,
Bitter Harvest
,
63
;
Weber ,
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,
134
.
62 Carey McWilliams, Untitled Report [post-1937(?)],
Division of Immigration and Housing Folder, 1938-1942, Box 67;
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63 Daniel ,
Bitter Harvest
,
58
;
McWilliams ,
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,
95
.
64
Los Angeles Examiner
,
Feb. 28
,
1913
,
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.
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65 McWilliams ,
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,
3
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James J. Rawls , "The California Mission as Symbol and Myth,"
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Abigail A. Van Slyck , "
Mañana, Mañana: Racial Stereotypes and the Anglo Rediscovery of the Southwest's Vernacular Architecture, 1890-1920
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5
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66 McWilliams ,
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,
5
.
Guerin-Gonzales ,
Mexican Workers and American Dreams
,
135
;
Daniel ,
Bitter Harvest
,
35
.