New Mexico bilingualism

carter pate (CPATE@UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 08:55:36 EDT

Can anyone provide a good accessible summary of the history of bilingualism in
New Mexico law? (It would be relevant to debates of global "officializing" of
English--shouldn't states' rights advocates be pressed to stand up for New
Mexico's right to practice bilengualism?)

I know this much: The Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo (1853) originally included
provisions similar to the Treaty ceding Louisiana to the U.S. These
assyred religious and cultural freedom to former residents who wished to
remain and become U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate in ratifying
the Treaty of G.H. dropped out that paragraph, and one assumes Mexico was in no
position to complain. Nevertheless, I have been informed that New Mexico is
bilengual in official policy. Does this stem from the 1911 Constitution, or
what? Interestingl;y enough I encountered an item in the Columbia Electronic
Enclyclopedia (attributed to R. W. Durrenberger) that English was not taught
in N. M. schools until 1898. I would have assumed that the Anglo dominance
which eroded the treaty rights of Cagians and Creoles in Luoisiana would have
taken effect more rapidly in the Southwest.

On the matter of "official English" it is also of interest that Pueblo Indians
(perhaps not Apaches/Navahos) were considered "citizens" by Mexico, and
hence entitled to the same protection as residents of European extraction.
Also, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War included similar provisions
for Spanish citizens; unfortunately, non-Europeans resident in Puerto Rico wer
e evidently considered "subjects", not citizens, and not assured these rights.
Would it not be logical to expect any demand for overall "official English" to
be directly coupled with immediate iondependence for Puerto Rico?

Not that I really expect political and social issues to strictly adhere to any
form of logic or legal reasoning, but perhaps stating a good case can force a
few reasonable people to recognize inconsistencies in political rhetoric.

Has anyone already developed this line of reasoning? Can you suggest a source
for "filling the gaps in documentation?