The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in the conclusion of the Mexican-American War, however, its ratification was preceded by many complications. Many divergent views arose on the endorsement of the treaty between Manuel C. Rejon and Bernardo Couto. In 1848, the government officials of both Mexico and the United States reviewed the articles of the treaty which was an imperfect document at the time. Various errors and the vagueness of the articles led to territorial conflicts and the formation of a new treaty that resulted in surrendering more territory to the U.S.
The initial open and secret peace negotiation remained unsuccessful and the United States military occupied Mexico City in 1847, thus beginning the final round of peace negotiations which would ultimately lead to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Demanding a large section of Mexico’s northern territory, the treaty was signed and sent to the United States and Mexican senates to be sanctioned on February 2, 1848. The president of the United States, President James K. Polk concluded that continued warfare would not help reach better negotiations on the treaty, therefore, he accepted the terms and forwarded it to Congress for ratification. Various factions of Congress opposed its ratification. The Whig party had reservations about the treaty increasing the power of southern states by making slavery legal within the new borders. Others objected on grounds of their rivalry with Polk. Sam Houston and many others demanded the claim of more territory as outlined in the treaty. Many notable amendments were made by Congress to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, with an omission of Article X. The article protected the Mexican property rights in Texas; questioning the land privileges made by the Texas administration. The amended treaty was sent to Mexico and its ratification now relied upon them.
Mexico’s concerns regarding the treaty were more related to the issue of survival as Manuel Crescencio Rejón contended the treaty on grounds that it would result in Mexico’s economic subordination. He argued that the Mexican government had surpassed its authority in giving up its territory through secret negotiations. However, others favored it as it barred the United States from claiming more of the Mexican territory and increased military funding. Bernardo Couto was one of the original commissioners in support of the treating regarding it as “recovery rather than one of alienation”. He supported the treaty as according to him it prevented the devastation of the Mexican nation. In the end, Mexico opted to accept the treaty and it was ratified on May 19, 1848.
Explain in detail the California Supreme Court Case People v. De La Guerra. What are your views on the incorporation of the populations in the newly conquered territories?
The California Supreme Court Case People v. De La Guerra maintained that the 1848 treaty granted U.S. citizenship directly to the people who opted to neutralize the actions of Congress. A native of Santa Barbara, California, previously Mexico, Pablo de la Guerra pursued citizenship as per the terms of the 1848 treaty. In 1849, de la Guerra served as a member of the Constitutional Convention of California. As a result of the constitution’s approval, California became a part of the U.S. in 1850. Elected as a judge for California state court in 1869, his appointment was opposed by the people represented by M. M. Kimberly who filed a suit challenging his eligibility on grounds that only the citizens of the U.S. were entitled to the office. He also objected to de la Guerra’s claim for acquiring citizenship under Article IX of the treaty. California Supreme Court ruled in de la Guerra’s favour, upholding his right to run for public office. The verdict was based on the argument that when California was established as a state, all former Mexicans residing there had become U.S. citizens.
I believe that the case of People v. de la Guerra is vital in setting precedence for citizenship issues of today, especially for the Chicanos who have the right sanctioned through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In my view, the court’s decision to establish de la Guerra’s rights to political office was a major step in preserving the Mexican Americans’ rights. In the newly conquered territories, the natives have a right to be protected and the California Supreme Court ensured this, enabling the Native Americans to fend for themselves for years to come.
Article 1 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Article 1 enforces firm peace between the United States and Mexico irrespective of the places or the people. This universal peace would extend between the two countries, their borders, towns, cities, and people.
Article V of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Article V explicitly states that the two countries would strictly respect each other’s territory and there would be no changes to the boundary line until both countries agree to it. Any change should be lawful and in line with the constitution of each country.
Article VIII of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Article VIII safeguards the rights of native Mexicans residing in the newly conquered territories to live freely. It also offers property protection in case the residents opt to move to the Mexican Republic. They will be able to retain their properties without being subjected to additional tax or sanctions.
Article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Article IX provides a right for Mexicans to be incorporated into the Union of the U.S., allowing them to enjoy the rights as U.S. citizens under the Constitution. It safeguards their liberty as well as their property, allowing them to practice religion without constraints.
Article X of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Article X was eliminated by the U.S. Senate as it stated that the government would guarantee to respect all the land grants that were awarded to Spanish and Mexicans by their governments in the territories surrendered to the U.S.
Foreign Miners Tax Law
This law was passed in 1850 and it imposed a tax on foreign miners. The tax amount was set at $20/month. This was in response to the demands made by the Irish and the Germans and aimed at discouraging the immigrants from moving to the U.S. through the removal of economic benefits.
Land Law Act of 1851
This law was enacted in 1851, following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and after the establishment of California as a state. It resulted in the formulation of a three-member commission whose job was to verify the validity of land grants that were awarded to the Spanish and the Mexicans.
Joseph Ives Limantour
He was born in Mexico City and was a French merchant who conducted California sea trade before America’s occupation of that territory. He was an advisor to the Mexican president Porfirio Diaz and also served as the Finance Secretary. He was exiled during the Mexican Revolution after running against Diaz. He died in 1935 while in exile in France.
Botiller Vs Dominguez
This was the famous ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court related to the establishment of the validity of the land grants to Spanish and Mexicans in the newly occupied territories relinquished by Mexico. The court maintained the invalidity of these grants unless confirmed by the members of the land commissioners within the time agreed by Congress.
To build a railroad through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and to defend Mexico from the raids of Native Americans, a treaty was signed by Mexico and the U.S. This treaty resulted in the Gadsden Purchase. The terms of the treaty required the U.S. to pay $10 million and Mexico to surrender the southern part of Arizona and the southwestern side of New Mexico. The treaty also resulted in concluding the U.S. patrol of the southern border enabling them to create the railroad.
Jacobo, R., Aguilar, E., & Gomez, A. (2020). Selected Readings in Chicana/o and Border History.