Aftermath of the Mexican War and the “Peace” Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

1218 WordsJul 6, 20095 Pages
In United States history textbooks, the chief significance of the Mexican American war was territorial and political. For $15 million, the nation added 500,000 square miles of western lands from Kansas to the Pacific, encompassing what is now California, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Utah and Colorado. The war also re-ignited disputes over slavery in the western territory. But for the region's Mexicans, the war's consequences were monumentally disastrous. When the treaty ending the war was signed, there were perhaps eighty thousand Mexican residents in the former Mexican territories that became the Southwestern United States. In the years that followed the war they suffered a massive loss of land and political influence. In early…show more content…
During the 1960s, a number of groups of Mexican Americans struggled to ensure compliance with the provisions of the treaty. They were especially eager to regain the land that had been granted to their ancestors by Spain and Mexico. In their fight to regain land for the rural poor in northwestern New Mexico, the New Mexican land rights crusader Reies López Tijerina and his Alianza movement invoked the Treaty of Guadalupe. In 1972, the Brown Berets, a youth organization, invoked the treaty in its symbolic takeover of Catalina Island, off the southern California coast. Year Text Article IX was intended to protect the civil and property rights of Mexicans who remained in the Southwest. The following paragraph appeared in the original treaty. The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic...shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States as soon as possible.... In the meantime, they shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and the civil rights now vested in them according to the Mexican laws. With respect to political rights, their condition shall be on an equality with that of the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States. The U.S. Senate replaced this clause with a more ambiguous statement, modelled after the Treaty that had brought Louisiana territory into the Union. [Mexicans not choosing to remain citizens of Mexico] shall
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