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Line in the SandA History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border$
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Rachel St. John

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141541

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141541.001.0001

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Holding the Line

Holding the Line

Fighting Land Pirates and Apaches on the Border

(p.39) Chapter Two Holding the Line
Line in the Sand

Rachel St. John

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores both the alternate versions of spatial organization and power that persisted and evolved in the borderlands and how the nation-states managed to suppress them in the first four decades of the border's existence. In order to establish military authority and make the boundary line a meaningful marker of territorial sovereignty, the Mexican and U.S. militaries had to defeat two very different threats—the first from filibusters from outside the region and the second from Apache people who had long lived in the borderlands. While both of these struggles revealed how far the United States and Mexico still had to go before they could claim to fully control the borderlands, they also provided evidence of the subtle ways in which the boundary line had already begun to change the landscape of power in the region.

Keywords:   spatial organization, power, borderlands, military authority, territorial sovereignty, filibusters, Apache people

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