Jordan Lieser

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

James Siekmeier

Committee Co-Chair

Melissa Bingmann

Committee Member

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Committee Member

Lorena Oropeza

Committee Member

Michele Stephens


This dissertation begins by framing the overall relationship between the United States and Mexico during World War II and recognizes the significant economic role Mexico played in the U.S. wartime industrialization. With this framework in place, the emphasis of this research then turns to how Mexico pressured the United States government into addressing the racial prejudice which existed within the United States against what was perceived as a unified Latin American ethnic group. Thanks to the increased importance of Mexico, multiple parts of the United States government including the State Department, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the state government of Texas, and the state government of California all participated in what the author terms as "ethnic diplomacy." Ethnic diplomacy is a categorical delineation of diplomacy which emphasizes why different diplomacy occurred instead of the format of the diplomacy. In this case, the United States government actively sought to end racial prejudice in the American Southwest and beyond in the hope to remain "Good Neighbors" with Mexico at a time of global crisis when they could not afford otherwise.