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Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of

GUADALUPE HIDALGO, TREATY OF

GUADALUPE HIDALGO, TREATY OF. On 2 February 1848, a senior State Department clerk, Nicholas P. Trist, signed a treaty at the town of Guadalupe Hidalgo (just outside of Mexico City) ending the war with Mexico. The previous fall, Gen. Winfield Scott had completed his advance from Vera Cruz along Mexico's Gulf coast, through the mountains and into the capital, Mexico City.

In April 1847, President James K. Polk had sent Trist, a loyal Democrat, to spy on Scott, a Whig whom Polk feared might oppose him in the election of 1848. After Scott gained the capital, Polk's appetite for Mexican territory seemingly increased, and he considered demanding all of Mexico. In early October 1847, Polk ordered Trist recalled. When Trist learned in November of the recall, he stalled, informed Mexican authorities he had to leave, and got Mexican leaders on 24 January 1848 to agree to earlier U.S. land demands. Trist signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo nine days later and sent it to the president. Thus, he negotiated and signed a treaty on behalf of the United States after he had been dismissed from his position.

The treaty called for Mexico to cede more than half its original territory, including the present-day states of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah and parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. It also made adjustments to the Mexico-Texas border (the Rio Grande became the boundary instead of the Rio Nueces). In all, Mexico ceded more than 500,000 square miles. In return, the United States paid Mexico some $15 million, most of which went to Americans with claims against the Mexican government.

The gain of land from this treaty caused problems in the U.S. Senate because of the deepening debate over the expansion of slavery. Subsequent problems in establishing the U.S.-Mexican border in southern Arizona and New Mexico would be resolved with the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, establishing what is the current boundary.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bauer, Karl Jack. The Mexican War, 1846–1848. New York: Macmillan, 1974.

Drexler, Robert W. Guilty of Making Peace: A Biography of Nicholas P. Trist. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991.

Eisenhower, John S.D. So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846–1848. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000.

Francaviglia, Richard, and Douglas W. Richmond, eds. Dueling Eagles: Reinterpreting the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846–1848. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 2000.

Charles M.Dobbs

See alsoCompromise of 1850 ; Gadsden Purchase ; Mexican-American War ; Wilmot Proviso .

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Guadalupe‐Hidalgo, Treaty of

Guadalupe‐Hidalgo, Treaty of (1848).The treaty that ended the Mexican War with the United States was signed in Guadalupe‐Hidalgo, a suburb of Mexico City, on 2 February 1848. President James K. Polk had already discharged negotiator Nicholas P. Trist, but the U.S. envoy used his imminent departure to persuade a fragile Mexican provisional government to consent to a substantial loss of territory rather than continuing a disastrous war or risking a more draconian peace. U.S. forces already controlled the capital, the major ports, and the northern half of Mexico. Polk, facing a fractious Congress and fearing the costs of an open‐ended occupation, reluctantly accepted Trist's handiwork.

The U.S. agreed to pay Mexico $15 million and assume adjusted claims of U.S. citizens of $3 million. The territorial settlement—a Río Grande boundary for Texas, and the annexation by the United States of Mexico's northern provinces—New Mexico and Alta California—was the most important and durable legacy of the treaty. The pact's most controversial provisions were those that assured political and religious liberty and the security of property to Mexicans who remained in the transferred territories. During the ratification process, the U.S. Senate modified Article IX, which had originally promised U.S. citizenship to these people “as soon as possible,” and struck out entirely Article X, which had guaranteed Mexican land grants in all of its former territories, including Texas. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty (38 to 14) on 10 March 1848.

Although U.S. emissaries sought to reassure Mexico through the “Protocol of Querétaro”—signed in that city when the two countries exchanged ratifications of the treaty in May 1848—that civil and property rights were not threatened by the Senate's modifications, these presumed privileges were in fact sharply circumscribed in the decades following the war.
[See also Mexican War.]

Bibliography

David M. Pletcher , The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War, 1973.
Richard Griswold del Castillo , The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict, 1990.

James E. Crisp

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"Guadalupe‐Hidalgo, Treaty of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848, peace treaty between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican War. Negotiations were carried on for the United States by Nicholas P. Trist. The treaty was signed on Feb. 2, 1848, in the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo, just outside Mexico City. It confirmed U.S. claims to Texas and set its boundary at the Rio Grande. Mexico also agreed to cede to the United States California and New Mexico (which included present-day California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) in exchange for $15 million and assumption by the United States of claims against Mexico by U.S. citizens. The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on Mar. 10, 1848, and by the Mexican Congress on May 25.

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Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Treaty of

Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Treaty of (1848) Peace settlement ending the Mexican War. Mexico ceded the present US states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The USA paid US$15 million in compensation.

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