Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation examines the rise and fall of the Catholic, nationalist, and anti-communist Mexican Unión Nacional Sinarquista (UNS or National Synarchist Union) in the U.S. between 1936 and the 1960s. Whereas most scholars study the UNS as a Mexico-specific movement, I examine the organization as a transnational one. This project not only adds to the literature on the UNS, but in Mexican American, Western, and postrevolutionary Mexican history. The individuals that became sinarquistas found refuge from the Mexican church-state conflict in the U.S. in places such as Texas, California, and Chicagoland. The organization’s leadership therefore envisioned an expanded Mexico wherever its members were – in and beyond the country’s borders. The UNS mobilized and gained financial support from Mexicans in the U.S. to ultimately attempt to destabilize the anti-clerical postrevolutionary Mexican state back home. American Catholics amplified their cause, seeking to sway and hearts of minds of Americans, and ultimately the U.S. government, against the Mexican state. The UNS created a transnational conservative community among Mexicans in the U.S. that was eventually brought down through the combined efforts of the political left, media outlets, and both the U.S. and Mexican governments. The Catholic-influenced Mexican nationalism that drew the community to the movement in the U.S. led to its demise as opponents perceived the UNS to be a fascist enemy.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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