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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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Breaking Ties, Building Fences

Breaking Ties, Building Fences

Making War on the Border

(p.119) Chapter Five Breaking Ties, Building Fences
Line in the Sand

Rachel St. John

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the decade of war that included both the Mexican Revolution and the United States' participation in the First World War, describing how war transformed the border from a site of interaction and cooperation to one of conflict and division—a transformation that was reflected spatially in transborder battles and the erection of border fences. During the war years, U.S. and Mexican officials began to replace the landscape of binational cooperation and conditional controls that had been developed with the countries' customs, immigration, and law enforcement needs in mind with stricter regulations on who and what could cross the border and armed men and physical barriers to enforce them. These measures, along with years of violence and bloodshed, took their toll on the social and economic ties that had bound border communities together.

Keywords:   war years, Mexican Revolution, First World War, transborder battles, border fences, border communities, binational cooperation

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