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Manifesting AmericaThe Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space$
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Mark Rifkin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387179.001.0001

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Partial Citizens and Insurgent Masses

Partial Citizens and Insurgent Masses

Narrating Violence Past and Present in Post-1848 California

(p.149) 4 Partial Citizens and Insurgent Masses
Manifesting America

Mark Rifkin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines competing land claims in California in the wake of the Mexican-American War. It illustrates how former Mexican nationals were inserted into the U.S. legal system in ways that superimposed U.S. property-law over existing forms of landholding and how U.S. officials refused to recognize native peoples as polities. State legislative debates and Antonio María Osio's The History of Alta California (1851) reveal how Californios invoked the memory of the war to contest the erasure of their prior modes of governance and territoriality. In the absence of formal political acknowledgment, native peoples engaged in forms of insurgency (most famously the "Garra Uprising"), which popular and administrative accounts represented as expressions of Indian savagery that indicated the need for the reorganization of the mission system. The continued attachment of native peoples to their homelands despite the absence of official acknowledgment is illustrated through a reading of the testimonio of Julio César, a Luiseño whose account was collected in the 1870s.

Keywords:   Mexican, Californio, citizenship, missions, Antonio María Osio, Julio César, Garra Uprising

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