Essays in Twentieth-Century New Mexico History by Judith Boyce DeMark

By Judith Boyce DeMark

Whereas the colonial and territorial classes in New Mexico heritage were good documented, and actually helped create the parable of the yank West, the modern interval is still principally unexamined. This number of essays treatments that lack through analyzing the dramatic social, monetary, and political alterations that experience happened throughout the 20th century.Thirteen essays current case experiences of farm households, groundwater legislation, mining, local American reviews, ranch tradition, the function of the army within the state’s financial system, the advance of the prison method, prepared hard work, the tuberculosis undefined, public healthiness nurses, tourism, and global conflict II eastern internment camps. A bibliographic essay presents extra assets for lecturers and scholars, and a photographic essay illustrates the state’s range.

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When a husband died while children were young, the woman often took over the man's job; likewise, a widowed man might take over the woman's job, caring for the children and house as well as his fields. These single spouses depended heavily on the oldest child for assistance. This was sometimes the case even if both parents were alive. If older children of both sexes were available, parents tended to divide their Page 18 work by gender, but if there was only one older child, he or she often performed the work of both genders.

Few of the many marketing cooperatives financed by the FSA were successful, and apparently few subsistence farm families made the transition to commercial farming. Instead, they migrated to urban areas where the war, and then the economic boom of the postwar period, provided a new safety valve for rural discontent. Farm families organized their labor by exporting it. Children used part of their wage earnings to subsidize remaining subsistence farms and to care for aging rural parents. 18 Was there an alternative?

The increase in military facilities created jobs for New Mexicans, especially in construction and service occupations. Other employment opportunities came with the increasing need for war-related technology. Two major facilities, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, opened during the war and are still major employers in the 1990s. Los Alamos was the site chosen for the construction of the first atomic bomb, and the first and only test of that weapon took place at the Trinity site on White Sands Missile Range.

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