The United States of America and Mexico
The war between the United States of America and Mexico broke out in 1846 and ended in 1848. At that time, Mexico was in great debt to the United States. In addition, Mexico claimed a large part of the northern American territory, which is now a part of the United States. The territories were the states of California and Texas. These were the richest of the territories in dispute, and each of the rivaling parties wanted to have them in its possession. The conflict went on for two years and ended with the fall of the Mexico City. Mexico had to agree on the terms presented by the United States as a settlement. Mexico eventually agreed to cede its northern territories in exchange of cancellation of its debts and payment of some money to its government (Vargas 45).
Analysts regard the war as United States invasion of Mexico. From another perspective, the war is regarded as an intervention. The concept of intervention is the most prominent among the contemporary society. The major contributor to the outbreak of the war is the United States annexation of Mexico. Upon the institutionalization of the treaty of Guadalupe, several states that had been part of Mexico now belonged to the United States. The United States determined the terms of the treaty as it had won the war. Americans argued that the states were part of the United States. The Mexican generals had no option but to accept the terms and relieve their country of the burden of debts and war. In this regard, Mexicans accepted the Rio Grande as the new boundary for the northern part of their country. In addition, the United States canceled the debts owed by the Mexican government. The United States also paid eighteen million dollars to the Mexican government as a part of the settlement.
The war and the treaty are controversial issues, particularly regarding how the Americans handled these issues. Before the war broke out, the United States did not have adequate reasons to attack the Mexican states. The United States government knew that the Mexican government did not have the capability to pay the debts it owed. Exploiting this situation, the United States launched an invasion of Mexico. The invasion appeared as a ploy of the US to gain an additional territory from Mexico. The American military power was considered to ensure a successful takeover (Vargas 75). The treaty was also flawed regarding the ethical aspect of the conditions in it. The United States imposed the conditions on Mexico, and due to the position of Mexico at the time, it had to accept the treaty. This event was one of the greatest events in American history. It defined the economies of the two nations in the following years.
Nicholas Trist, an official of the state department in the United States, negotiated the treaty of Hidalgo. The United States dictated the treaty contents since it had an upper hand in the negotiations. Mexicans lost the war and were in deep debt. In addition, the Mexican government and Americans treated the event as a conventional war. A significant number of people regarded this as a breach of the rules since the land under dispute had other issues other than the war alone (Vargas 104). The treaty was the final resort since other negotiations had failed. The United States included monetary transactions in the treaty, causing a controversy over the validity of the peace negotiations. The post-war negotiations pushed the Mexican border further south. In addition, the people in the acquired territories obtained the United States citizenship.
A major problem after enacting of the treaty was the segregation of Mexican people. In the following years after the signing of the treaty, the inhabitants of the territories acquired by the United States obtained citizenship. However, the communities in the north of the United States discriminated against the communities in the south. Mass migrations started as people moved from the new territories to avoid discrimination. Culture shock and the difference in the constitutions of the United States and that of Mexico complicated the issue. The greatest problem was racial discrimination. Mexicans had different rules regarding slavery. Adapting to the American system proved difficult for the new citizens. The economic system of the United States was quite different from the Mexican system. The change of citizenship of the former Mexicans created confusion in business transactions.
Americans did not honor their part of the treaty to the letter. After several decades, the American civil war commenced and pressure mounted on the Confederate forces of the south. During the war, the troops violated conventional border regulations and crossed into Mexico. In addition, the breach of the border was also a breach of the Guadalupe Hidalgo. In the 20th century, during the French intervention, Mexican troops also crossed the border of the United States and launched an invasion. In retaliation, the Americans breached the border as a counter attack. Furthermore, in the 19th century, the Rio Grande shifted. This caused a new conflict over the location of the border. This is because the treaty of Guadalupe defined the border between the United States and Mexico as the Rio Grande (Vargas 85). A community land grant, which was ratified in the initial treaty as a part of the conditions, had to be fulfilled to the letter in order to avoid any disputes in this regard.
The war and the subsequent treaty of Guadalupe could be seen as the United States’ means of forming a large federation. Particularly, the North Americans wished to acquire territory in Mexico. The only way they could achieve this objective was through war and economic bullying. In addition, the United States had a delicate political state, which included the debate over the validity of slavery. The north of the United States wanted to abolish slavery, while the southern states intended to retain the practice. Slavery was a normal practice to the citizens of the newly integrated states before the American civil war. The southerners wanted the new states to continue holding slaves, while the northern states wanted full integration. Full integration into the United States federation would make the new states equal to the older states and the citizens in these states would have equal rights and access to amenities.
Another issue affecting the implementation of the treaty of Guadalupe was the exemption of some disputed territories near the border of the United States and Mexico. These territories were the cause of dispute between the United States and Mexico. In the light of the events of the 19th century, there was a need to revise the treaty of Guadalupe. The treaty did not satisfy the basic rule governing a treaty. First of all, the United States dominated the treaty’s terms. It imposed most of the terms on Mexico. This imposition of the conditions is the cause of the persistent disputes between the two countries (Vargas 25). Furthermore, the Americans had not given enough time before going to war. The United States of America used its superior power and military might to conquer the Mexican territory, for which they had spent a relatively small amount of money.