Free «Analysis of Three Related Articles» Essay
This week’s readings and writings aim at exploring the unknown incidents or events about Los Angeles at the beginning of its historic context. In this analysis, the paper will utilize three related articles. These include Los Angeles in the Beginning, History of Series: El Pueblo, and The Los Angeles Archipelago.
The article Los Angeles in the Beginning starts by depicting Los Angeles in 1769 as a place which was not only rich in fertile land for production, but rather was spacious enough and thus provided requisite for large settlement. Father Crespi describes Los Angeles on his first camping as, “a very spacious valley, well-grown with cottonwoods … this plain where the river runs was very extensive” (p.1). He narrates that on crossing its river, the land had a large vineyard which had numerous wild grapes and bushes full of roses and that “…the soil was fertile and was capable of producing every kind of grain and fruit planted on it.” Even more significant was the heterogeneous population component that dominated the region.
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However, it is the presence of these multiethnic and multicultural groups of 44 settlers that led to the foundation of the City of Los Angeles in September 4, 1781. According to the article, the demographic composition of the current known Los Angeles County, in 1800, comprised of Mestizos, mixture of Indians, Blacks, and Spanish population (p.1). The article notes that, due to the presence of the first Spanish governor, Don Felipe de Neve, the Spanish formed the ruling power of the region through which they even tried to convert the Gabrielino Indian population into Christianity. Even up to the duration between 1821 and 1848, Los Angeles was still part of the Republic of Mexico. The long period was as a result of the failure of the attempt by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to oust the California born ruler Pico. This happened between the year 1842 and 1845. It was until 1846 when the American military leadership was felt in the region that that the Mexicans experienced revolution (p.1).
On the other hand, Los Angeles is being depicted as a region that serves as the best reminder of the vision and leadership of the early Angelenos. The article History of Series: El Pueblo denotes Los Angeles Pueblo as “the heart of Mexican community.” This was based on the fact that Mexicans reaffirmed their traditional loyalties by defining Los Angeles as a society which was characterized by traditional culture, secular, and religious fiesta. In Los Angeles in the Beginning article, it is the land survey and agitation for the public to buy land for $1.00 per acre by Lieutenant Edward C. Ord that has resulted into the current Los Angele’s street patterns (p.2).
Thearticle also noted the massive population increase, which was witnessed from 1880 to 1890 in Los Angeles. The population had increased from 11, 000 to 50,000. This was basically contributed by the existence of transcontinental railroads. According to the article, the larger portion of this population began to move to the city by the year 1900 due to the rapid growth of agricultural produce, light industries, and transportation sector.
In addition, the article Los Angeles in the Beginning highlights a number of factors that may have led to the current international corporations and industries in Los Angeles. According to the author, most of the current industries had originated from the infrastructure development and the discovery of potential energy sources from 1893. The article also notes that, “the discovery of the major oil field in Los Angeles by E.L Doheny” was a major contributor in transport transformation from railway to automobile (p.2). The establishment of the most perfect electric system in the world in Los Angeles in 1901 was even more significant. These developments did not only boost Los Angeles economically, but they resulted into more population accumulation, which was nearly $320,000 in 1910.
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However, the Great Depression in 1930s severely impacted on the foreign population who had immigrated into the city. As pointed out in the article Los Angeles in the Beginning, “in 1930s, severe drought and depression with an intense earthquake of magnitude 6.3 had stroked the city of Los Angeles.” This impacted negatively on its economic status, thereby resulting into disproportionately high unemployment. It is with such impact that the L.A. adopted a forced repatriation policy that saw Mexicans being deported back to Mexico (p.2).
Los Angeles was also a land of inequality and racial discrimination. This was evident in 1960s, where the urban-renewal project only focused on the social service ability of residents. Another instance was the riot against Vietnam War in 1970s, which made it clear that the blacks were being discriminated against (p.2). Today, Los Angeles has become a harbor for Latin American refugees and the Orient people who continuously migrate in to the region and bring with them the vital cultural diversity.
According to McWilliams in his article The Los Angeles Archipelago, the social lines in Southern California, especially in Los Angeles, were arranged on the basis of community insurgence, which was adversely contributed by population migration (314). He notes that “migration has segregated social classes by communities which run the gamut from lower-lower to upper-upper.” This social structuring denotes that people who ascend in social ladder tend to inhibit a social community structure which differs from their normal community. However, this is not the case in Los Angeles.
As pointed out by McWilliams, Los Angeles is a provincial center in Southern California with only two distinct social lines, “foreigners” and “natives” (314-315). He notes that “Los Angeles is a remote appendage whose land-spread is proverbial with foreign elements who exists in isolation.” While San Francisco is depicted as cosmopolitan zone due to the presence of cultural heterogeneity, Los Angeles does not enjoy this stand based on the presence of “helot classes” who cannot influence the region’s social standing (p.315).
On the other hand, the article History of Series: El Pueblo states thatthe Mexican population became segregated by the residence of other population around Los Angele’s plaza. This groups developed educational institutions, social organizations, newspaper, and cultural life that averted their social and cultural norms. As noted in this article, Los Angeles had established a Hollywood movies production location (p.2). This significantly earned movie stars such as Gloria Swanson hefty salaries up to the tune of $20,000 per week.
The notion of Los Angeles as being a land of racial and cultural discrimination, as was illustrated in the article Los Angeles in the Beginning, tends to be captured by McWilliams’ perception. According to him, Los Angeles harbors large groups of “foreign” colonies who have always remained few in social standings due to their inability to assimilate Los Angeles’ social pattern (315). To him, the impact of these foreign groups can effectively change Los Angeles’ social standing only through the basic modification of social pattern.
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For instance, the presence of highly-urbanized environment in Los Angeles did not only disintegrate Mexican folk-culture, but rather disorganized the Mexican community and affected their second generation. McWilliams notes that even the second generation of Mexican could not adjust to conform to other immigrant groups due to the presence of persistent prejudice (318). This is cultural isolation, and it is still eminent in Los Angeles, meaning that the county has not achieved cultural integration (McWilliams 328).
In conclusion, Los Angeles is a city that is composed of multicultural and multiethnic background and elements. It is, therefore, necessary for the people of diverse ethnic and cultural group in this city to learn to accommodate one another to enable a true reflection of the life of all people living in America. This would allow the city’s residents to benefit from the importance of cosmopolitan and cultural inclusion.
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