In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there was a gold-rush level fever to leave a mark on El Paso. However, the early 20th century boomtown was not a miraculous new beginning. Rather, it was the tail-end of the American Imperialism which began with the Monroe-Doctrine and Manifest Destiny. The collision with El Paso del Norte was an unsustainable reaction to the quick absorption of Mexican land, resources, and human capital. The immigration influx, US prohibition, and Mexican Revolution –– juxtaposed to the great depression across the country –– made El Paso seem more stable than it really was.

Once prohibition and the revolution ended, WWII began. By the time that conflict started winding down, television and commercial flights became more prevalent. El Paso del Norte began to lose it’s novelty. More importantly, halfway through the century industrialists would begin discovering plastics, shipping containers, and globalization. When technology and resources became dependent on seaports, being 700 miles away from water was a bad idea. This began a new era of El Paso del Norte dispersion. Unlike the locals who had spread around the country for centuries, now “El Pasoans” were no longer relegated to just “Spanish,” “Mexican,” or “Indians.”

The Downward Spiral