The Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Treaty That Ended The Mexican American War In 1848.

2139 words - 9 pages

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which came into effect on 2 February 1848, ended the Mexican-American war and formally resolved territorial disputes resulting from that conflict. The treaty required the U.S. government to pay the Mexican government $15 million dollars, this in return for an expanse of territory that later became the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. I intend to argue that the treaty benefitted the people who inhabited, and later came to inhabit, that territory. I also propose that, as a result of the transfer of territory from a dictatorial regime to one that was based on democratic principles, both Mexico and the United States ultimately benefitted in several ways.The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was not easily negotiated, for the disputes which underlay it went back to the question of Texas. Following the successful revolt of the Texans, including Mexicans who lived north of the Rio Grande, against the dictator Santa Ana, the Mexican government did not reconcile itself to the loss of this vast territory. Instead, it plotted and planned to recover Texas, by military force if necessary. The accession of Texas to the Union in 2 March 1845 poisoned relations between the United States and Mexico and set the stage for the Mexican-American War.The American President, James K. Polk, wanted to resolve these and other issues peacefully, but he also wanted to acquire California for the Union. When the Mexican government rejected his emissary, John Slidell, the stage was set for war. The causus belli was the corssing of the Rio Grande by a body of Mexican troops. A skirmish broke out and several American soldiers were killed. America declared war and drove the Mexican force out of U.S. territory. A force under General Stephen Kearny took Arizona, New Mexico, and California, while General Zachary Taylor drove south into Mexico. While his campaign was a disappointment, General Winfield Scott was much more successful. He landed at Veracruz, on the Mexican coast, and marched to Mexico City. The Mexicans capitulated. The war had lasted 21 months. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was signed in a suburb of Mexico City, ending the territorial tensions between the United States and Mexico for all time. The two nations never again fought a war.Why was the Mexican-American War fought. Was it driven by a blood lust for victory on the part of America? Some historians argue that the war was caused by America's hunger for land, a form of greed. Other historians, seeing Mexico as a corrupt dictatorship, argue that war was a result of Mexican aggression, not only against its American neighbors, but also against their own people. In this reading, Mexico was so determined to recover Texas, regardless of the wishes of the people who resided in that state, that it was willing to risk war with the United States.The two most important America figures during the Mexican-American War were President James Polk and General...

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