Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo - Part 2 - USA Essay Example

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Texas was a component of USA as per the Louisiana Purchase, however in 1819, Spain was granted the State during Florida negotiations - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo introduction. Mexico, together with Texas, gained independence by 1820 and the USA twice attempted in vain to have Mexico sell Texas to it. Texas was annexed by the USA after American immigrants settled in Texas prompting the outbreak of the May 1846 Mexican War.


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At annexation time, Mexico, after persuasion by Britain, had conceded to recognize Texas as an independent state provided that Texas would not join the USA. The USA therefore argued that it was not invading Mexican territory by annexing Texas since Texas had been independent nine years prior to the annexation. US president John Tyler assented to a legislation seeking to annex Texas on March 1st 1845. Annexation of Texas was effected on December 29th 1845 and Texas was declared the 28th state of the USA. he February 2 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo peace treaty ended the war and facilitated USA to acquire Texas, Upper California and New Mexico. The treaty was mostly USA-centered and was forced on the interim military authorities of Mexico. Guadalupe Hidalgo is a metropolis north of Mexico City from where Mexican forces had taken off from the advancing US military. The signatories to the treaty were Nichols P. Trist representing the USA and Luis G. Cuevas, Miguel Atristain and Bernardo Couto for the fallen Mexican government. Trist dismissed a recall order form Washington and discussed the accord in contravention of majority of his directions. The United sates Senate thus reluctantly sanctioned the accord (Richard, 1992, p.12)

Texas came into the USA alleging Rio Grande as her western and southern borders. Texas forwarded all her border disagreements against Mexico toward the USA government. John Slidell was sent by President Polk in 1845 to adjust disagreements pertaining to the Texan allegations in Mexico. However, Slidell didn’t receive a consideration from two consecutive leaders of politically-unstable Mexico and was expelled from Mexico in 1846.

The gathering of Mexican military along the southern Rio Grande banks and refusal to dialogue with Slidell by the Mexican authorities prompted Polk to direct General Zachary Taylor to advance toward the border. The Mexican leader crossed the Rio Grande in April 24th 1846 and murdered or injured sixteen officers upon Taylor’s refusal to move back to Nueces.

Upon receipt of reports regarding the attack in May 1846 by Washington, Polk passed a message to Congress declaring that America and Mexico were at war. Senate and the house voted overwhelmingly, by 40 to 2 and 174 to 14, to authorize a budget of $10,000,000 and 50,000 personnel to go to war. General Taylor had by then pushed back Mexican forces to the Rio Grande southern banks. He traversed Rio Grande occupying Matamoros, a Mexican border town several days following sanctioning of war. Taylor went further and captured three Mexican provinces’ capitals. All along Polk was always negotiating for cessation of hostilities. Slidell had remained in Mexico even after the outbreak of the war and Polk had sent Nicholas Trist to unite with Scott’s forces at Vera Cruz to negotiate early peace terms with Mexico. Additionally, Santa Anna had been allowed to go back to Mexico from his Cuban exile on promise that the dictator would facilitate a Mexico-American truce. Polk has also requested congress for $2,000,000 as a negotiation package at the time Taylor was close to Rio Grande days before general Kearny’s military campaign at Santa Fe and before Scott’s incursion (

Upon indications by the Mexican ambassadors to negotiate peace in early 1848, America offered terms similar to those accorded them prior to Scott’s invasion and occupation of Mexico City. The treaty required Mexico to cede New Mexico (encompassing Arizona) and California to USA and to regard Rio Grande as the western and southern boundaries of Texas. Mexico was also supposed to respect United States’ Texas claims. Mexico was paid $15,000,000 in cash and additionally the United States took up $3,250,000 worth of claims of American nationals on the Mexican authorities. The USA also recognized previous Southwest land donations and accorded Mexicans living in the region citizenship status (Richard, 1992, p.27)

The Guadalupe treaty required Mexico to cede 525,000 square miles, comprising 55 percent of Mexico’s territory before the war, to USA. America agreed to safeguard the safety of existent property claims of Mexicans in the annexed territories. America agreed to assume in excess of $3.25 million in outstanding debts owed by America to Mexico. Annexed region as per the treaty include sections of present day states of Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico and the entire Nevada, Utah and California (Reeves, 10905, p.61)

Such terms were indeed absolutely generous considering a number of facts including: Mexico didn’t have tight control over California thus the state could be annexed easily by France, Britain or Russia; New Mexico still was the nearly undisturbed home to Indian families; the expanse from Rio Grande to Nueces was nearly a wasteland and American military was in control of Mexico city. Many personalities urged Polk to annex Mexico completely but he rejected such proposals.

The treaty facilitated recognition of Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and Texas. Land borders were determined by a review group of American and Mexican representatives and printed to be the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. In December 30th 1853, Mexico and America agreed to change the original boundary by expanding the original 6 boundary indicators to 53. Subsequent 1882 and 1889 conferences did additional boundary clarifications since some markers were non-existent or had been destroyed (Richard, 1992, p.54).

California’s southern boundary was determined to be a line running from the Gila and Colorado rivers’ junction to Pacific Ocean. This was in order to grant USA San Diego and the magnificent natural port and to avoid reliance on likely inaccurate latitudinal designations. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo offered Mexicans United States citizenship way before Asians, Native Americans and blacks. Mexicans were grouped with whites from 1850-1920 in USA censuses.

Californian Community assets rights owe their genesis to the Mexican period. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that Mexican assets rights would not be violated. Early Californians felt the urge to carry on the society asset system as pertains revenue and property accumulation in marriage. This system was adopted into the Constitution of California. Despite the treaty, border quarrels persisted unchecked owing to the increasing desire by the USA to increase its country as well as Mexico’s heightened economic woes. The border has been continuously traversed by the military forces of the two nations. Mexican and American troops collided in the course of the Civil War in America.  The USA is said to have traversed the boundary in the course of the French Mexico intervention (Reeves, 1905, p.92).

Shifting of Rio Grande occasioned the Country Club Dispute involving Texas and Purchase land boundary. Controversies arising from society land donation allegations are existent in Mexico even today. Disputes regarding transforming the new territories into liberated or slave-accommodating states occasioned heightened South-North anxiety that precipitated the US Civil War a decade afterward.


Reeves, J (1905). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Richard, G. (1992). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict. London: Routledge

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Retrieved on 26th march 2009 from

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