Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

5187 Words21 Pages
RESISTANCE TO THE BROKEN PROMISES OF
THE TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO

Katie Menante Anderson
INTRODUCTION
Human beings, no matter what race or ethnicity or place or time, will not tolerate injustice forever. Webster’s defines injustice as a “violation of the right or of the rights of another” (Merriam-Webster, 1990). The history of the United States is filled with such violations. From the early challenges to religious freedom in Massachusetts to the broken treaties and systematic removal of Native Americans from their land to the abominable practice of slavery in the United States, our nation’s reality rarely measures up to the principles and ideals penned by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and The Bill of
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Were these individuals villains or heroes, bandits or patriots, terrorists challenging the authority of the US Government or freedom fighters defending their own land, culture and ethnicity?
SOCIAL BANDITRY One of the earliest forms of resistance against the American occupation of the Greater Southwest was social banditry. As individuals realized through personal experiences that the promises in the treaty were not being upheld they resisted through banditry. Acuna describes social bandits as individuals who rebel against an injustice and through that rebellion gain the popular support of their race. They are not necessarily social revolutionaries with goals of transforming society. These individuals have just had enough (71). Citing the work of British social historian Eric Hobsbawn, Gilberto Lopez y Rivas explains that “social banditry is one of the most primitive forms of organized social protest and [that it is] a phenomenon almost universally [identified] with rural conditions where the oppressed has neither developed a political awareness nor acquired more effective means of social agitation” (Lopez y Rivas, 1979, 100). Mexicans living in Texas and the Greater Southwest after the Mexican- American War fit into this description of a rural environment. Moreover, any access they had to US courts and politics was undermined by
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