Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848,in The Villa of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Treaty was a resolution after so much bloodshed and in the end the U.S. courts interpreted the document to favor the United States of America. There were many tensions between the United States and Mexico that led to war, mainly on the issues of land and expansion. Mexico knew that they had to protect their territory from American settlers who where illegally taking up the land and violating Mexican laws but after the annexation of Texas and with Mexico's presidential instability, Mexico was venerable. United States President James K. Polk wanted territorial expansion to the west and he encouraged expansion. Both Mexico and the United States had different reasons to go to war but they both agreed on the treaty to stop the war. There was great controversy over the Treaty because the courts interpreted the document to their own convenience for territorial expansion for the United States. Because of such interpretations Mexicans living in the U.S. had problems over citizenship and property rights.

This shows the boundry between Mexico and The U.S. before the annexation of Texas.

Tensions and views that led to the Mexican War.

When the United States annexed Texas in 1845, the boundaries of the new state were not specified and were left for future interpretation and discussion with Mexico. Texas rebellion and independence from Mexico is an example of how The United states expansion towards the west was in full effect and at any cost. President Polk encouraged expansion and saw the coming war with Mexico as an opportunity for expansion. Meanwhile in Mexico there was presidential instability because almost every president since Mexico's 1821 War of Independence up until The Mexican War, had been overthrown. In 1845 President Jose Joaquin Herrera rejected American Overtures to negotiate the Texas dispute for fear he would provoke a rebellion by seeming to conciliatory. Polk used this rejection as a key incident to justify the declaration of war. Since the boundaries of Texas were unclear, a skirmish took place between the American and Mexican Troops on the north bank of the Rio Grande in 1846. Polk claimed that the United States was being invaded. Most of the conflicts and tensions were about the boundary of Texas which was unclear and both Mexico and the United states kept getting into each others way. Land Grand maps drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1829, 1833, and 1836 show that the Nueces River and not the Rio Grande, was the boundary between Texas and Mexico. The idea of the Rio Grande as a boundary dates back to the Louisiana Purchase that supposedly defines Texas as extending to the Rio Grande. So each Country had a different understanding of where the boundary was. Texas wanted the Rio Grande as the boundary and Mexico proposed to give up it's claim of territory between the Sabine and Nueces river, so Texas got to greedy because they wanted more territory beyond the Nueces river, which happened to be The Rio Grande. Mexico was defending their rights to their lands and the United states was mainly thinking towards the expansion of their territory. Polk knew that a war would greatly benefit the United States expansion and the Treaty was a legal loop hole for the United States to obtain more land from Mexico.

The attack on Monterrey by the American forces, was another attempt to presurre Mexico into a peaceful treaty.

The creating and signing of The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The treaty was created to stop the costly war and to gain more Territory for the United States, but the treaty was the last stage of negotiations for peace. During the first stage, the United States stood to gain a great deal and Mexico had little to gain by starting peace negotiations. On August 22, 1847 The U.S. army was on the outskirts of Mexico City and a more formal and open stage of negotiations was established between General Scott and General Santa Anna, an armistice. There were many negotiations and no one agreed on any of the demands of each side. Pressure was added by General Scott a day after the armistice ended, as he marched into Mexico city and fought the bloodiest battle of the war at Molina del Rey. On September 13 they captured Chapultepec and entered the city. Santa Anna fled with his army and resigned as President, the city surrendered on November 4. This just proved the instability of the presidency and the Mexican government and some of the pressures that persuaded Mexico into accepting to sign the treaty. The final stages of the compromise, were from the end of the armistice, on September 7, 1847, to February 2, 1848, when the final draft of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. After many financial and political pressures the commissioners met with Nicholas P. Trist in the Villa of Guadalupe Hidalgo and signed the treaty. The treaty gave the United States more land and an opportunity of expansion. Mexico only was guaranteed $15 million dollars and that their Citizens on the new American territory to their land and Citizenship. The treaty basically guaranteed the peaceful evacuation of American troops and the conflicts between both side to be resolved within the stipulations in the treaty. when the U.S. Senate received the treaty it did not accept articles 9 and made some changes to the article but the Senate completely took out article 10 and the article did not appear in the final treaty. The Protocol of Queretaro was not even mentioned in the final treaty. The treaty mainly benefited the United States of America because They ended up paying less money for more the valuble lands which were abundant in natural resources which helped them accerlate their induatrial growth in the twentieth century. But if Mexico had just given the territory of the Rio Grande to the U.S. then War would have been avoided or just delayed because sooner or later the U.S. would want to take away more of Mexico's land. The war was unavoidable because of Americas greed for territorial expansion and Mexico's desire to reclaim Texas and to not loose any territory. The Mexican war and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo are very important becuase they were pivitol in creating new bounderies and problems as well as setting in motion forces that influenced the histories of both contries.

Citizenship and Property Rights: U.S Interpretations (Violations) of the Treaty.

Articles eight and nine of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo grant American Citizenship and property rights to those Mexican citizens who do not elect to remain Mexican citizens. These articles affected about 100,000 thousand Mexicans including Hispanicized and nomadic Indians. The treaties provisions regarding citizenship and property were complicated by Legislative and Judicial (Supreme Court) interpretations. Only a few people chose to remain Mexican citizens when compared to the many that became U.S. citizens. After the treaty had been ratified and put in effect, the state constitutional convention agreed that the Mexicans remaing were not American citizens but requiere some further action by Congress to make them United States citizens. When the gold rush started there was a conflict between the yankees and the Californios, with land. Mexican Ambassador to Washington, Larrainzar, protested the treatment Mexican miners in California and their violation property and civil rights invoking the protection of the treaty. The Mexican Government failed to show specific evidence that native citizens where deprived of property and civil rights in violation of the treaty. There were many cases that tried to prove that there was a violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo reguarding citizenship and property rights. In the People vs. de la Guerra, the status of Mexican citizens is now defined. basically the United States Supreme court granted citizenship to Mexican Nationals and thus ended the struggle of many Californianos who were trying to keep their citizenship and property. The United States Supreme court interpreted the treaty to the convenience of the United States and violate the rights of many Mexicans and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The California state constitutional convention did not like the idea of giving Indian's full citizenship. In violation of the treaty the California Indian tribes wee deprived of all the protection that were specified in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Indian population in the state declined by more than 100,000 in just two decades because the y became victims of murder, slavery, land theft, and starvation. The white men kicked the people out from their tribal lands and the people were exterminated, genocide is the appropriate word to describe what happened to the California Indians in that time. The United States has been made up of many foreigners fleeing persecution, poverty, and social conditions, but many of the first so called Americans forgot through out history how it felt to be persecuted, or to suffer poverty, discrimination, or any of such relate events, that they too became the inflictors of pain and made others the victims of their crimes and greedy dreams.



  • Juan's Web Page

  • Important links to other sights

  • The Articles of The Treaty of Hildalgo

  • Information about James Polk



    Mail me with your Comments: