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The Borderlands 1880 1940

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The Borderlands: 1880 - 1940

The time of change in the region called the "borderlands" occurred during the period between 1880 and 1940. The region became urbanized and ended its years of isolation from the rest of the world. In the past the region's economy was based on ranching and farming. As the region became more urbanized the economy changed. The economy did not change equally between the United States and Mexico, the United States' side of the border boomed while Mexico's side did not. The cities that did prosper in region were based on the actions of the United States. Actions that affected the cities in Mexico were Prohibition and the Great depression. Events in the United States were not the only economic factor to effect the region. The Mexican Revolution had great social and economic influence to the region.

On November 10 1910, the Mexican Revolution began and did not end until President Diaz was overthrown. The United States and its border towns were heavily involved in the conflict. The fighting was mainly in the north and they need supplies. The majority of the weapons and supplies for the Revolution was brought in the United States. The border cities in the United States became the chief suppliers of guns to the Revolution. This form trade was illegal and mainly done on the Black Market. The legal trade that existed before the Revolution disappeared with the outbreak of war. Mexico had closed the border during the conflict to prevent the supply of arms. The United States had also tried to stop the flow of arms but not successful. Eventually the United States had sent troops to the region when the fighting spilled over the border. The troops stayed in the region after the Mexican Revolution and were an economic boom to the region.

The United States at the turn of the century was under going a major social movement. The United States was trying to change its society to a more moral country. The groups involved in the movement consisted of many groups from around the United States. Some of the most notable groups involved in the social reform movement were the churches in the country. They targeted many aspects of life of the normal Americans. The social reforms targeted social ills such as adultery, crime, and lastly, drinking. These groups had large number of followers, and had considerable height in government. The social reformers political power extended from small town mayors to U.S. Congressmen and Senators. The reformers were able to get many local governments to become "dry" county, that is to outlaw alcohol. The reformers ultimate goal was to outlaw alcohol entirely in the United States. They succeeded in the late 1920's with the passage of the Volstead Act and an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Once the Volstead Act was passed it was illegal to produce, sell, or consume alcohol in the United States. Many refineries, distilleries and bars closed in the United States and moved across the border. Mexico benefited greatly from Prohibition when drinking moved across the border. The area of greatest economical boom was at the border towns, in particular Ciudard Juarez and Tujauna.

Cuidad Juarez and Tujuana both benefited from U.S. tourism before Prohibition. The cities mainly benefited from adult tourism, in particular bars and prostitution. This business was started during the Mexican Revolution when President Wilson sent U.S. troops to guard the border. The soldiers stationed on the border, numbering as high as 10,000 men, needed entertainment. The troops would go across the border to engage in activities not widely available on the U.S. side. After the Mexican Revolution the U.S. troops remained on the border, so the adult entertainment industry continued to grow. This growth was mainly limited to the number of troops and where they were stationed. It was not until Prohibition that the adult tourism exploded on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The passage of the Volstead Act outlawed alcohol in the United States, but this did not apply to Mexico. Many bars closed and moved to a location across the border. The bar's patrons also followed the bars south of the border. Before Prohibition, the bars in the Mexican border towns main clientele was U.S. soldiers, after Prohibition everybody from the United States visited the bars. The two cities that benefited the most from Prohibition were Cuidad Juarez and Tujauna. In Cuidad Juarez there were 72 bars and 11 liquor distilleries catering mostly to Americans. El Paso, across the border from Cuidad Juarez, becomes the largest convention center in the United States. Many conventions were held in El Paso because of its location along the border. ...

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