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Goldman 7

economic production in the Southwest: livestock, transportation, mining, and agriculture.17 To these should be added the work of artisans. In addition, the unpaid domestic labor of women which has not been considered part of economic production in a capitalist system until recent feminist thought has revised the definitions, must be included.18 In the 20th century, Mexican nationals and Mexican Americans also entered light and heavy urban industry as workers fanned out from the Southwest to other parts of the United States looking for better wages and conditions. Women left their homes for outside employment, rural and urban. They, and undocumented workers presently staff many of the lower paid and more onerous jobs in non-unionized factories and service industries.
During the 19th century when Mexico became independent of the Spanish empire and was established as a nation, ranching was one of the principal economic pursuits in the area now known as the U.S. Southwest. Vaqueros (cowboys) formed the laboring force, along with many Indians, on the great Spanish land grant ranches of California and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. These were patriarchal set-ups in which a few larger owners (who stressed their Spanish descent to differentiate themselves from the mestizo or mixed-blood workers) lived an idle but lordly existence based on unpaid Indian labor and a system of peonage, vestiges of which still survive today in southern Texas.
Arrival of the railroads after the annexation of northern Mexico decisively changed the economics of the region as land, with the help of the U.S. state, began to change hands from large, medium, and small Mexican landowners to Anglo ownership (sometimes though marriages with the Mexican owning class). Whereas Mexicans had been both owners and laborers, after 1848 they were increasingly relegated to the status of laborers. By the 1880s, after forty years of Anglo domination, the landowning structure had been largely undermined. Great ranches broke up as second
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