Social Representations during the Occupation of Monterrey by American Troops, (1846-1848).


  • César Morado Macías
  • Elizabeth Alvarado Martínez


Otherness, Social Representations, Monterrey, México-American War


This essay tries to establish the social representations during the occupation of Monterrey by American troops (1846-1848), through a documentary investigation where local documents and archives are reviewed to clarify the perception of Mexicans about the Americans' Nuevo León's capital occupation for 22 months. There were new ways of violence done in Monterrey for the first time, those infringed by a modern war which used artillery, urban combat in the downtown, professional military forces and new knowledge to legitimize the control of the people. War was the mirror where Mexicans verified their otherness, they saw other clothing, heard a new language and met Protestant religious expressions. Since then, the otherness vision was that of natives’ attacks, then, it turned into white men who exercised their ethnic and military supremacy and uncountable abuses to the civilians - both of the regular forces and the fearsome volunteers - . Now, categories such as savage, civilized, foreign, and invasive, constitute painful ways of experiencing otherness, almost always mediated by a power relationship. The documentary review allows us to measure on a microhistorical scale how the social representations that still exist about the other, are forged in the long term in this border area between two neighboring and asymmetric countries: Mexico and the United States.