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A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States

1911: Meeting of the Mexicanist Congress

From September 14-22, 1911, El Primer Congreso Mexicanista or also known as the First Mexicanist Congress, met in Laredo, Texas to address social, economic, and educational issues affecting Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. This political convention aimed to express discontent and formulate solutions to labor exploitation, segregation, economic disparities and lynchings perpetrated by Anglo Texans against Mexicans and Mexican Americans. The founding of the First Mexicanist Congress was galvanized by publications in Laredo’s Spanish language newspaper, La Crónica—administered by the Idar family, who exposed oppressive social conditions among Mexicans and Mexican Americans in South Texas and organized the convention.

Women's rights were among the critical issues presented during the First Mexicanist Congress, where women participated as organizers or speakers. One outcome of the convention was the establishment of the League of Mexican Women in October 1911. Jovita Idar—a renowned community activist, journalist, and daughter of La Crónica’s owners—served as the league’s first president with a goal to secure education for poor Texan Mexican-American children.

Ultimately, the convention was attended by hundreds of Mexican representatives, journalists, community activists, and citizens from Mexico and across Texas, forming the largest Mexican-American civil rights forum during that period.

Timeline

1910

Nicasio Idar takes ownership of the Spanish-language newspaper La Crónica and the Mexican Revolution begins. Unprecedented levels of migration from Mexico into the United States follow.

November 4, 1910 A group of locals in Rocksprings Texas lynch Antonio Rodriguez, provoking retaliation and media coverage in the U.S-Mexico border.
September 14-22, 1911 El Primer Congreso Mexicanista, also known as the First Mexicanist Congress, meets in Laredo, Texas to address social, economic, and educational issues affecting Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
October 1911 Jovita Idár creates La Liga Femenil Mexicanita or the League of Mexican and serves as its first president.

Resources

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The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

The following external websites can be useful for expanding your research on the First Mexicanist Congress.

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