Arizona is a state of the United States of Mexico. Its capital is Sangre Roja and its major cities include Mendoza, Bald Eagle, and Armadillo. Its chief executive is the Governor of Arizona. It is bordered on the east by the state of Mexico del Norte, on the south by the state of Durango, on the west by the state of California, on the northwest by the state of Alaska, and on the northeast by the confederation of Manitoba. Its major newspaper is the Sangre Roja Voice.
Creation and Andrew Jackson's Grand Tour
Arizona was created by Andrew Jackson during the drafting of the Mexico City Constitution in 1820, out of territory which was originally part of the Province of California. At the time of its creation, Arizona's settled white population was less than 100 people, which suggests that Jackson meant for the state to serve as a rotten borough, giving the Anglos of Jefferson control of an additional four seats in the Mexican Senate.
During Jackson's grand tour of the United States of Mexico in 1823, he visited the Arizonan capital of Sangre Roja and gave an address before the Arizona legislature. He also spent much of his time in the state inspecting the land and speaking to the Indians. In his post-tour address to the Congress in Mexico City on 12 February 1824, Jackson spoke of the unexplored frontier of Arizona, which he said held the promise of wealth for intelligent and energetic young people (obviously referring to the young Anglos of Jefferson). "Go to these new frontiers," he said, "just as our forefathers came across the unknown wilderness, and like them, you will find a new Jerusalem."
California Gold Rush
When gold was discovered in California in 1838, prospectors from the Confederation of North America began to make their way west through Arizona. However, in September 1838 Jackson sealed off the border of California, and those North Americans who failed to sneak or bribe their way to the California gold fields either had to return to the C.N.A. or remain in Arizona to seek their fortunes there. Sobel does not say how many North Americans chose to remain in Arizona. The discovery of gold also led to the formation of the Jefferson & California Railroad, which began laying track in 1838, and would link Arizona to the rest of northern Mexico when it was completed in 1848.
In the 1839 Mexican elections, Liberty Party leader Miguel Huddleston of Durango called for equal rights for all free Mexicans, which gained him the support of Hispanos and Mexicanos who had settled in Arizona. Combined with party-building at the local level, this allowed him to win three of Arizona's four Senate seats, as part of a seventeen seat majority in the Senate. As a result, Huddleston was named the President by the Senate, and was inaugurated on 5 September 1839.
As the California gold rush receded in the 1840s, prospectors began searching for minerals in neighboring Arizona, and the northern part of the state was found to be rich in nonferrous metals, especially copper, zinc, and lead, as well as fertilizers. In neighboring Mexico del Norte, Mexican prospectors began to come into conflict with those entering the state from the C.N.A., especially in the disputed Broken Arrow region between the two countries.
Rocky Mountain War
On 7 May 1843, Assemblyman Pedro Hermión of Jefferson gave his Scorpions in a Bottle speech at a Continentalist convention in Henrytown, warning of impending war with the C.N.A. Hermión's speech made him the leading figure in the Continentalist Party, and proved particularly popular among the younger Indian chiefs in Arizona, who were eager to prove themselves against the North Americans. In the 1845 Mexican elections, the Continentalists were able to gain a second Senate seat in Arizona, helping to boost their seats in the Senate to fourteen, and giving the presidency to Hermión. The members of Hermión's Cabinet included Raphael Blaine of Arizona, who served as Secretary of State.
As Hermión had warned, the Rocky Mountain War broke out on 4 September 1845, the day before his inauguration. Seeing that his hopes for averting the war had proved futile, Blaine resigned as Secretary of State and successfully ran for the Senate. At the same time, Hermión's political adviser Arthur Conroy, also from Arizona, left Mexico City to run for Governor of Arizona. Like Blaine, he was successful.
Initially, the war was confined to North American incursions into Durango, Jefferson, and Mexico del Norte, but in 1849 a North American army under General David Homer drove west through Mexico del Norte, before making winter camp at the Arizonan settlement of Mendoza. The following spring, Homer's army continued west to California, where it was halted at the Battle of San Fernando. A second North American army under General FitzJohn Smithers followed in 1850, seeking to prevent Homer's army from being trapped in Williams Pass. Smithers' army reached the town of Bald Eagle in the early fall of 1850, and razed it in two days before continuing on to Williams Pass. In the subsequent Battle of Williams Pass, the two North American armies became trapped along with two Mexican armies. Over the next five months, the Mexicans lost over two thirds of their forces, while the North Americans lost over three quarters.
President Hermión was assassinated after giving an address to Congress on 19 June 1851. The Senate chose Blaine to serve out the remaining months of Hermión's term of office as Acting President, and the Continentalists nominated him for president. However, in the 1851 Mexican elections, the Continentalists lost their majorities in both houses of Congress, in spite of retaining two of Arizona's Senate seats, and four of the state's seven Assembly seats. Libertarian candidate Hector Niles was chosen as president, and was inaugurated on 5 September 1851.
Niles was elected on a peace platform, and in pursuance of this, he offered to meet with North American Governor-General Henry Gilpin to negotiate a settlement. However, Gilpin interpreted Niles' offer as a sign of weakness, and increased his efforts to defeat the Mexicans, including a second drive across Arizona to attempt to conquer San Francisco in 1852. The fall of the Gilpin government in February 1853 brought the pacifistic William Johnson to power in the C.N.A., and in April Johnson responded to Niles' earlier offer of negotiation. The two nations agreed to send negotiators to The Hague in the Netherlands, with the U.S.M. represented by Frank Rinehart, one of Arizona's two Libertarian Senators. An armistice went into effect on 1 August 1853, with both nations' armies retreating ten miles to create a neutral zone that ran from the Gulf of Mexico to the border of Russian Alaska.
The Conroy Reforms
Following the armistice, Niles ordered his Secretary of Home Affairs, Fidel Sonora, to "make an inventory of assets and liabilities, to determine where we stand." Sonora recommended that federal aid be provided to the Indian tribes of northern Arizona and Mexico del Norte, who had suffered the most from the war. In the final Hague Treaty of 1855 bringing the war to a conclusion, some territory claimed by Mexico del Norte was ceded to the C.N.A. This was seized upon by Continentalist leader Benito Calzón to attack Niles for "the betrayal of the memory of Pedro Hermión," and other Continentalists followed suit. By the 1857 Mexican elections, Niles' popularity had plummeted, and a Continentalist victory was assured.
Governor Conroy was able to gain the support of the Jeffersonian cotton interests, and this enabled him to win the presidential nomination by the Continentalist caucus. Although he had been dubious about the war, Conroy was able to run on the memory of President Hermión, and won an easy victory over Niles. In Arizona, the Continentalists were able to win three out of four Senate seats, and five out of seven Assembly seats.
Conroy did not share the Continentalist desire for an active foreign policy, preferring to concentrate on internal reforms. He was able to pass legislation creating a Control Commission for the railroads, as well as passing a harbors act to widen and dredge ports on Mexico's Gulf and Pacific coasts, and a bill to make elementary education compulsory in the U.S.M., though the last bill was declared unconstitutional by the Mexico Tribunal. Over the next ten years, the individual states passed their own compulsory education bills, and by the 1880s the U.S.M. had one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
Conroy also increased the professionalism of the Mexican diplomatic corps, and sought to improve relations with Great Britain and the Germanic Confederation, while retaining the country's old friendship with France. Conroy's record was successful enough to ensure another Continentalist victory in the 1863 Mexican elections.
On 10 November 1863, two months after his second inauguration, Conroy called a special session of Congress to request that the Constitution be amended to provide for the popular election of the president. In spite of opposition from wealthy businessmen including Bernard Kramer of California and Monte Benedict of Jefferson, the Presidential Election Amendment was passed in 1864. Conroy also persuaded Congress to accept a redistricting plan for the Assembly to go into effect in 1870 that would distribute seats according to a state's voting population, and alter the legislative process so that bills would only need a single passage by the Assembly, rather than two held at least six months apart. Both of these amendments were passed in 1865, in spite of the opposition of Kramer and Benedict.
In 1865, Kramer formed a consortium called Kramer Associates to fund the construction of a canal in Guatemala. When Conroy declined to use military force to win a canal concession from the Guatemalan government, Kramer and Benedict joined together to buy control of the Continentalist caucus. Conroy chose not to run for a third term in the 1869 Mexican elections, instead supporting his Secretary of State, Lorenzo Días of Durango. When the Continentalist caucus chose Kramer and Benedict's candidate, Senator Omar Kinkaid of California, on the first ballot, Conroy said, "I knew Kramer had power, but I did not realize its extent." Kinkaid went on to defeat the Libertarian candidate, Mexico del Norte Governor Henry Colbert, by 3,250,695 votes to 2,801,170, though Colbert won the vote in Arizona by 223,426 to 204,356.
Revolution and Dictatorship
The vote in Arizona exposed a growing polarization in Mexican politics. Although the country's Anglos and Hispanos tended to vote Continentalist, and Arizona's Indians did as well, the growing Mexicano electorate favored the Libertarians, and this was enough to win the state for Colbert. The same dynamic allowed Colbert to win the states of Mexico del Norte, Durango, and Chiapas. However, the overwhelming Anglo-Hispano majorites in the other two states outweighed this Libertarian majority in the rest of the country, creating a dangerous regional and ethnic divide in the U.S.M.
This divide grew worse in the 1875 Mexican elections. A growing faction of radical Mexicanos had appeared in the Liberty Party, led by Senator Carlos Concepción of Chiapas. When the party caucus met in Mexico City in late April and early May of 1875, Concepción made a bid for the presidential nomination, declaring ominously, "If I am defeated at this caucus, it will be because of my race and the opposition of powerful interests opposed to the well-being of all Mexicans." Although Colbert made another bid for the nomination, Concepción's chief rival was Arizona Governor Thomas Rogers, who had succeeded Conroy, and had formed a close friendship with him. Rogers won the nomination on the second ballot, with the support of the Anglos, most of the Hispanos, some Indians, and moderate Mexicanos. Concepción walked out of the Libertarian caucus, and the next day formed a third party called the Workers' Coalition.
Concepción had formed an alliance with the more radical Indian tribes in Arizona and Mexico del Norte, but this was not enough to let him win either state. On election day, Arizona cast 287,502 votes for Rogers, and 243,235 for Kinkaid, but only 18,708 for Concepción. Nevertheless, the Workers' Coalition was able to win 21% of the vote in Chiapas, and 11% nationally, allowing Concepción to claim a moral victory. After his defeat, Concepción disbanded the Workers' Coalition and announced the creation of a violent revolutionary organization called the Moralistas.
Over the next six years, the Moralistas carried out a guerrilla war aimed at overthrowing the Anglo-dominated government in Mexico City. Kinkaid was assassinated by a bomb thrown by an unknown assailant on 7 December 1879. His death, along with the outbreak of revolution in France and the massacre of the French royal family, brought on a state of panic within Mexico's political establishment. Kinkaid's successor, George Vining of Jefferson, created a secret police force called the Constabulary to combat the Moralistas, and placed Pedro Hermión's son Benito Hermión in charge. Vining himself suffered a fatal heart attack on 12 September 1881, nine days before the next election, and the Cabinet, at the behest of Kramer, suspended the elections and appointed Hermión to the new emergency office of Chief of State. When Thomas and the rest of the Libertarians objected, including Arizona Senator Winthrop Sharp, they were imprisoned or killed by the Constabulary, and a rump Senate confirmed Hermión's rule on 17 September.
Under the Hermión dictatorship, political control of Arizona was exercised from the offices of Kramer Associates in San Francisco, except for the areas under Indian control, which became semi-autonomous in fact if not in theory. Even after Hermión was deposed in 1901 and republican rule resumed in the U.S.M., the Indian areas of Arizona and Mexico del Norte remained outside the mainstream of Mexican society.
After K.A. President Diego Cortez y Catalán overthrew Hermión in October 1901, he acted through provisional president Martin Cole to restore democratic government, holding free national elections on 14 June 1902. As none of the fourteen men running for president won a majority, Cortez decreed a runoff election among the three most popular candidates, newspaper editor Pedro Sanchez of Mexico City, former Senator Anthony Flores of Durango, and former Secretary for Postal Affairs George Craig. With covert assistance from Cortez, Flores won 8,045,460 votes nationally, a plurality of 45%. In Arizona, which cast a total of 1,944,678 votes, Craig won a plurality of 843,455 votes, or 43%, while Flores won 761,087 (39%), and Sanchez won 340,136 (18%). Flores was re-elected six years later in the 1908 Mexican elections over Liberty Party candidate Frank Everhart, though Sobel does not give the vote totals for either candidate.
Flores chose not to run for a third term in the 1914 Mexican elections, and his United Mexican Party nominated Secretary of State Victoriano Consalus, while the Libertarians nominated Senator Albert Ullman of California. The major issue of the election was the warlike French President Henri Fanchon, who was clearly preparing to attack the U.S.M. Ullman won 1,104,302 (58%) of the 1,908,696 votes cast in Arizona, but Consalus won majorites in every other state but Mexico del Norte, and succeeded Flores as president.
During the Hundred Day War between France and the U.S.M., over 8,000 Negro slaves joined a French drive on Mexico City. When the French were defeated at Chapultepec in August 1914, the slaves were arrested and put on trial for treason. On 4 January 1916, the day before the Mexico Tribunal was due to hand down its verdict, the slaves were freed during a bloody raid on the Federal Prison staged by North American students.
The Chapultepec Incident sparked a nationwide debate in the U.S.M. on whether or not to abolish slavery. Support for abolition was strongest among Anglos, Hispanos, and Indians in Arizona and California, while the greatest opposition came from the majority-Mexicano states of Chiapas and Durango. President Consalus was unable to find a political solution, which led the Libertarians to nominate General Emiliano Calles for president in the 1920 Mexican elections. Despite running a poor campaign, Calles' popularity allowed him to win 54% of the vote against Consalus, including 1,403,468 (64%) out of 2,203,361 votes in Arizona.
With help from K.A. President Douglas Benedict, Calles was able to gain passage of the Manumission Act in May 1920, and within a year Mexico's Negro slaves had been freed. Many of the freedmen, including the most militant, went to the Indian-controlled areas of Arizona and Mexico del Norte, where they found refuge and employment, and soon began intermarrying with the Indians.
One such freedman who emigrated to Arizona was Philip Harrison, who married an Osage Indian woman and organized his fellow freedmen into the Black Justice Party. Harrison and his followers sought reparations from the Mexican government for a century of slavery, and also the creation of a Negro state. The B.J.P. also began preparing for "justice day," a planned guerrilla war against the other Mexican races.
The Rainbow War
Calles was defeated for re-election in the 1926 Mexican elections against the U.M.P. candidate, Assemblyman Pedro Fuentes of Chiapas, who had opposed manumission and campaigned against K.A.'s control of Mexican politics. Calles won 1,546,807 (61%) of Arizona's 2,553,405 votes, but Fuentes won majorities in all the other states. Fuentes attempted to rein in K.A., but was unsuccessful, and was defeated in his turn in the 1932 Mexican elections by the Libertarian candidate, Senator Alvin Silva of Durango. Silva won 1,909,935 (63%) of the 3,010,000 votes cast in Arizona. Six years later, with the threat of war looming, Silva was re-elected, winning 1,900,956 (56%) of Arizona's 3,366,643 votes.
Harrison launched his Rainbow War on 12 March 1944, possibly in response to President Alvin Silva's announcement that he was suspending the 1944 Mexican elections due to the ongoing Global War between Mexico and the Japanese-United Empire alliance. From his base in Arizona, Harrison and his underground army of at least 5,000 Negro guerrillas terrorized the Anglo, Hispano, and Mexicano populations of northern Mexico. After Harrison's death in a gun battle in Armadillo, leadership of the B.J.P. fell to Miguel Calhoun of Durango.
After suffering a series of defeats in the war, Silva was forced to call elections in January 1950. His campaign against U.M.P. candidate Admiral Paul Suarez was divisive, and Suarez won a narrow victory which Silva disputed. In Arizona, Silva won 2.054,687 (57%) of 3,605,382 votes cast. The political violence of the campaign grew worse as Suarez' inauguration approached, and on 18 January 1950 a cabal of army officers led by Colonel Vincent Mercator carried out a coup d'etat. Under Mercator's rule, the Constabulary was enlarged, and by 1952 the B.J.P. had been crushed and forced to retreat to its base in the Indian-controlled area of Arizona.
Sobel's sources for the history of Arizona are Harper Reichart's The Quiet Messiah: Arthur Conroy of Arizona (Mexico City, 1952); Barbara Hoover's unpublished M.A. thesis The Role of Mineral Investigations in Mexico del Norte, Arizona, and Jefferson During the 1840s and 1850s (Jackson University, 1962); Douglas Wayne's The Black Indians of Arizona: An Anthropological Study (New York, 1969); editor William Argylle's Voices of Protest: Black Mexicans After Manumission (Mexico City, 1970); and Guy Fowler's Indians: The Quiet Mexicans (New York, 1971).
This was the Featured Article for the week of 16 March 2014.
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