In the animation above you can see how the states within México, the U.S. - México border, and the border with the Republic of Texas changed throughout the years. Because of these border changes, Mexican Americans say, "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us."
Through war and sale, tens of thousands of Mexican citizens suddenly became United States citizens.
Something else to consider? Canada, Mexico, and 31 other countries are on the American continents—North and South America. We, in the United States, sometimes irritate or insult people in these other countries by calling ourselves "American" because they, too, are American.
In French speaking Quebec in Canada, United States citizens are called Etats-Uniens. In many Latin American countries, United States citizens are called estadounidense. Both of these mean United States-ian.
“Becoming Part of the United States : Mexican : Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History : Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress : Library of Congress.” The Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/immigration/mexican/becoming-part-of-the-united-states/.
Golbez. “Mexico States Evolution.” Wikimedia Commons, Aug. 2013. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mexico_states_evolution.gif
Martinez-Carter, Karina. “What Does 'American' Actually Mean?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 20 June 2013, www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/what-does-american-actually-mean/276999/.
I often struggle to find websites with thorough explanations in simple language to help kids understand historical events or scientific concepts, so I decided to create some of my own!