Mexican Coal Mining Labor in Texas and Coahuila, 1880-1930

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Texas A&M University Press, 2000 - History - 294 pages
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The years 1880 to 1930 mark the period in Texas' coal mining history known as the hand loading era, during which the system of mining for coal by hand was established and gave way to new methods used on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border. The contributions of the large immigrant population who worked these mines have long been overlooked.

In Mexican Coal Mining Labor in Texas and Coahuila, 1880-1930, Roberto Calderon examines the complexities of mining, investment capital, labor markets, railroad construction, and racial ideology in Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, during a period of economic growth and social disruption. He discusses the history of the mines, the industrial and urban markets, and the life of workers and their response to changing conditions. He also uses variables such as education and literacy to analyze the influence of the immigrant laborers in two important Texas border counties, Webb and Maverick, in coal production. In so doing. Calderon revises the view that Mexican workers were careless and difficult to work with and documents their struggle for recognition and union organization.

Using a rich array of archival, statistical, government, and periodical material, as well as personal accounts, Calderon brings a new approach to a subject usually studied only in temps of its geology.

This informative volume is an original contribution to the fields of Chicano and borderlands history Texas history, and labor history.

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About the author (2000)

Roberto R. Calderón is an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Riverside.

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