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p. 625. The whitening of the Westlocked

  • Stephen Aron


“What is the true significance of the word ‘white’?” asked Pablo de la Guerra, a delegate to the convention charged with writing a constitution for a new state of California, in 1849. The shifting definitions of who was white and what that meant affected not only the privileges of citizenship, but also where individuals lived and worked, what they were paid, and with whom they associated. ‘The whitening of the West’ shows how the reconstruction of this West as American entailed the remaking of race relations, the establishment of the federal government's supremacy, and the consolidation of an industrial capitalist order. The whitening of the West incited intense debate, fierce resistance, and bloody combat.

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