Research Paper Topic: “Why is New Mexico poor and what should be done about it?

1) Double-spaced, use a 12 font.
2) 1 ½” margins on left, 1” margins elsewhere.
3) At least 8 sources - half must be from sources other than the Internet.
4) Citation style - no footnotes, use the following: (Jones 1990) when using general background information, (Jones 1990, p. 8) when citing a specific fact or using a quote from a certain page. Then list your sources in any standard format in alphabetical order in a bibliography at the end of the paper.
5) No Wikipedia sources allowed – a letter grade deducted if you use this
6) Indent and single-space long quotes (avoid using too many).

Part 1)   How did this happen? (7 pages)
Discuss how geography helps explain why New Mexico is a poor state.
Part 2)   What should we do about it? (3 pages)
Give your opinion on how we can improve economic conditions in New Mexico.

In Part 1 analyze New Mexico’s historical and cultural geography for reasons for why poverty is so common here. Use historical/cultural facts and demographic/income figures.
New Mexico has been claimed by various Indian nations, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.   
As a result, New Mexicans often hold very different beliefs about whose place this is and how life should be lived. What are some of those core beliefs? Cultural diversity is a wonderful part of living here, but does this limit New Mexican’s ability to agree on how we can create a more prosperous future?
In Part 2 provide and briefly explain a thoughtful set of recommendations for what can be done to reduce poverty in the state. A huge variety of topics might be considered including: reducing social/cultural conflicts, improving educational achievement, changing tax policies, altering economic development and energy development strategies, and reforming U.S.-Mexico Border laws.

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1. New Mexico historical and cultural geography. Reasons for poverty.

The U.S. acquired most of New Mexico in 1848, as a result of the Mexican War, and the remainder in the 1853 Gadsden Purchase. Union troops captured the territory from the Confederates during the Civil War. With the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, the Apache Wars and most of the Indian conflicts in the area were ended.
Minerals are the state's richest natural resource, and New Mexico is one of the U.S. leaders in output of uranium and potassium salts. Petroleum, natural gas, copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, and molybdenum also contribute heavily to the state's income....

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