Neither sovereignty nor property rights could forestall American geopolitical expansion in the first half of the nineteenth century. The conflicts that resulted from this clash of doctrine with desire are perhaps most evident in the history of the Chicanas/Chicanos of Texas, California, and the Southwest, who sought to maintain their land and property, as guaranteed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in the aftermath of the U.S.- Mexico War. Integrating an exploration of case law with political and social histories of the period, the Author explores the sociolegal significance of Chicana/Chicano land dispossession; exposes the racial, economic, and political motivations of the legislators, judges, and attorneys involved; and demonstrates the internal incoherence of land grant doctrine. Focusing on the material relationship of the past to the present, the author seeks to establish linkages between the past roles of law and legal structures in dispossessing Chicanas/Chicanos of their land and their present roles in structuring Chicana/Chicano political and economic subordination in the agricultural sector. The author concludes that the study of Mexican land dispossession suggests both the need to expand the traditional approach to teaching property law as well as the importance of deploying the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and international law in the struggle for racial equity.
Guadalupe T. Lunda,
Chicana/Chicano Land Tenure in the Agrarian Domain: On the Edge of a "Naked Knife",
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol4/iss1/2