Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to outline the connections between internal colonialism and post-colonialism, two dimensions of an evolving colonial paradigm. To test these theories against historical reality, they are applied to ethnic Mexicans and Indians, especially Navajos, in New Mexico in order to ground them and colonialism in general at the regional level. This paper claims that internal colonialism continues effectively to explain the historic subordination of indigenous and mixed peoples within larger states dominated by other groups. This condition understood, the paper sees postcolonial theory as providing ideas to end internally colonized societies since the theory critiques the lingering negative effects of colonialism and envisions a world beyond it. Ultimately, this paper argues that contrary to earlier dismissals, internal colonialism gains credibility in light of more recent developments in postcolonial thought and in context of the evolving colonial paradigm.

Document Type



Internal colonialism, postcolonialism, paradigm, theory, historiography, New Mexico, Navajos, Mexicans


Chicana/o Studies | Ethnic Studies | History | Indigenous Studies | Intellectual History | Other American Studies | Other History | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | United States History


Author's Original Manuscript. This article is part of a series on internal colonialism by the author.




© 2015 by John R. Chávez