Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ("Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo" in Spanish) is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United Statescite web|url=|title=War's End: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo|publisher=Richard Griswold del Castillo|date=|accessdate=14 June|accessyear=2007] [The U.S.-Mexico Border: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, John C. Davenport, P.43, ISBN 0-7910-7833-7] to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico, that ended the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). The treaty provided for the Mexican Cession, in which Mexico ceded 1.36 million km² (525,000 square miles; 55% [cite web|url=|title=Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo||date=|accessdate=27 June|accessyear=2007] of its pre-war territory, not including Texas) to the United States in exchange for US$15 million (equivalent to $313 million in 2006 dollars) and the ensured safety of pre-existing property rights of Mexican citizens in the transferred territories, the latter of which the United States in a significant number of cases failed to honor. [U.S. Congress. Recommendation of the Public Land Commission for Legislation as to Private Land Claims, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, 1880, House Executive Document 46, pp. 1116-17.] [Mexicanos: A history of Mexicans in the United States. Manuel G. Gonzales, Indinana University Press P.86-87 ISBN 0-253-33520-5] [The U.S.-Mexico Border: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, John C. Davenport, P.48, ISBN 0-7910-7833-7] The United States also agreed to take over $3.25 million ($68 million in 2006 dollars) in debts Mexico owed to American citizens.

In Mexico, the war is sometimes referred to as the "War of North American Invasion" ("La Intervención Norteamericana"). Mexico had controlled the area in question for about 25 years since it had seceded from the Spanish Empire in 1821 in the Mexican War of Independence. The Spanish had conquered the area from the Native American tribes over the preceding three centuries.

There were approximately 80,000 Mexicans in the areas of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas during this period and they made up about 20% of the population. [RICHARD L. NOSTRAND (1975) MEXICAN AMERICANS CIRCA 1850* Annals of the Association of American Geographers 65 (3) , 378–390 doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1975.tb01046.x]

The Treaty took its name from what is now the suburb of Mexico City where it was signed on 2 February 1848.

The cession that the treaty facilitated included parts of the modern-day U.S. states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming, as well as the whole of California, Nevada, and Utah. The remaining parts of what are today the states of Arizona and New Mexico were later ceded under the 1853 Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States paid an additional $10,000,000.


Under U.S. President John Tyler, The Republic of Texas was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1845. It became the 28th state later that year under President James K. Polk. The Mexican government had long warned that annexation meant war with the United States, and had never recognized the Republic of Texas as an independent country. The United Kingdom and France, which both recognized the independence of Texas, repeatedly tried to dissuade Mexico from declaring war against its neighbor. British efforts to mediate were fruitless, in part because additional political disputes (particularly the Oregon boundary dispute) arose between Mexico, Britain and the United States.Before the outbreak of hostilities, on November 10, 1845, the U.S. President James K. Polk had sent negotiator John Slidell to Mexico to offer the country around $5 million for the territory of "Nuevo México", and up to $40 million for "Alta California". [Mills, B. 2003. "U.S.-Mexican War." Facts On File, p. 23. ISBN 0816049327] The Mexican government had simply dismissed Slidell, refusing to even meet with himcite web|url=|title=James K. Polk's Third Annual Message, December 7, 1847||date=|accessdate=27 June|accessyear=2007] as they were greatly insulted by such an offer. This is because earlier that year Mexico had broken off diplomatic relations with the United States over the annexation of Texas, which Mexico had warned would be considered an act of war if passed by the US Congress. Mexico's basis for this was partly a condition of the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 — which politically independent Mexico had inherited — in which the US had relinquished all claims to Mexican territory, ad infinitum. [ [ Adams-Onis Treaty, Article III.] From: Retrieved November 6, 2007.] After this snub Polk, an expansionist, himself took insultcite web|url=|title=James K. Polk's Third Annual Message, December 7, 1847||date=|accessdate=27 June|accessyear=2007] and actively sought to provoke war with Mexico. [Grant, U.S. 1885. [ "We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it."] "Personal memoirs of U.S. Grant, Volume I. Chapter IV". C.L. Webster & Co., p. 68 (no copyright in the United States). No ISBN.] [Smith, J.H. 1919. [ "The War with Mexico"] . The Macmillan Company, p. 446, [ 476] (no copyright in the United States). No ISBN.] After the Thornton Affair, a skirmish between Mexican and American troops which took place on disputed territory near the Rio Grande (see the Treaties of Velasco), President Polk signed a declaration of war into effect on May 13, 1846, forty-nine days before the Mexican Congress was forced to formally declare war on July 1.

The war in Mexico's Northern territories largely ended on January 13, 1847, with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga. Mexico's subsequent defeat left them with little choice but to accept the United States' demands, or risk total annexation of Mexico.cite web|url=|title=James K. Polk's Third Annual Message, December 7, 1847||date=|accessdate=27 June|accessyear=2007] [ [ "Mexican Argument for Annexation."] "The Living Age", Volume 10, Issue 123. September 19, 1846.] Nicholas Trist, Chief Clerk of the State Department under President Polk, negotiated the treaty with the Mexican delegation, despite having been recalled by the President. [ Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.] "National Archives". Retrieved November 6, 2007.] Notwithstanding that the treaty had been negotiated against his instructions, given its favorable terms President Polk passed it on to the Senate.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The treaty was signed by Nicholas Trist on behalf of the United States and Luis G. Cuevas, Bernardo Couto and Miguel Atristain as plenipotentiary representatives of Mexico on February 2 1848, at the main altar of the old Cathedral of Guadalupe at Villa Hidalgo (today Gustavo A. Madero, D.F.), slightly north of Mexico City as U.S troops under the command of General Winfield Scott were occupying Mexico City.

Changes to the treaty and ratification

The version of the treaty ratified by the United States Senate eliminated Article X [ "The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo."] "Library of Congress, Hispanic Reading Room". Retrieved November 6, 2007.] , which stated that the U.S. government would honor and guarantee all land grants awarded in lands ceded to the United States to citizens of Spain and Mexico by those respective governments. Article VIII guaranteed that Mexicans who remained more than one year in the ceded lands would automatically become full-fledged American citizens (or they could declare their intention of remaining Mexican citizens); however, the Senate modified Article IX, changing the first paragraph and excluding the last two. Among the changes was that Mexican citizens would "be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States)" instead of "admitted as soon as possible", as negotiated between Trist and the Mexican delegation.

The treaty was subsequently ratified by the United States Senate by a vote of 38 to 14 on March 10, 1848 and by the Mexican government by a legislative vote of 51 to 34 and a Mexican Senate vote of 33 to 4, on May 19, 1848.

Protocol of Querétaro

On May 30, 1848, when the two countries exchanged ratifications of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, they further negotiated a three-article protocol to explain the amendments. The first article stated that the original Article IX of the treaty, although replaced by Article III of the Treaty of Louisiana, would still confer the rights delineated in Article IX. The second article confirmed the legitimacy of land grants pursuant to Mexican law. [ Treaty of Hidalgo, Protocol of Querétaro.] From: Retrieved November 6, 2007.]

The protocol further noted that said explanations had been accepted by the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Mexican Government, and was signed in Querétaro by A. H. Sevier, Nathan Clifford and Luis de la Rosa.

The United States would later go on to ignore the protocol on the grounds that the U.S. representatives had over-reached their authority in agreeing to it. [David Hunter Miller, "Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America", vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1937)]

Treaty of Mesilla

The treaty of Mesilla which concluded the Gadsden purchase of 1854 had significant implications for the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Article II of the treaty annulled article XI of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and article IV further annulled articles VI and VII of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Article V however reaffirmed the property guarantees of Guadalupe Hidalgo, specifically those contained within articles VIII and IX. [Mills, B. p. 122.]


In addition to the sale of land, the treaty also provided for the recognition of the Rio Grande as the boundary between the State of Texas and Mexico. [ [ Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Article V] . From: Retrieved November 7, 2007.] The land boundaries were established by a survey team of appointed Mexican and American representatives, and published in three volumes as The United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. On December 30, 1853, the countries by agreement altered the border from the initial one by increasing the number of border markers from 6 to 53. Most of these markers were simply piles of stones. Two later conventions, in 1882 and 1889, further clarified the boundaries, as some of the markers had been moved or destroyed.

The southern border of California was designated as a line from the junction of the Colorado and Gila rivers westward to the Pacific Ocean, so that it passes one Spanish league south of the southernmost portion of San Diego Bay. This was done to ensure that the United States received San Diego and its excellent natural harbor, without relying on potentially inaccurate designations by latitude.

The treaty extended U.S. citizenship to Mexicans in the newly-purchased territories, long before blacks, Asians and Native Americans were eligible. Between 1850 and 1920, the U.S. Census counted ethnic Mexicans in the white column. [Gibson, C.J. and E. Lennon. 1999. [ "Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-born Population of the United States: 1850-1990."] "U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division". Retrieved November 6, 2007.]

Community property rights in California are a legacy of the Mexican era. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the property rights of Mexican subjects would be kept inviolate. The early Californians felt compelled to continue the community property system regarding the earnings and accumulation of property during a marriage, and it became incorporated into the California constitution.

Additional issues

Border disputes continued; the United States's desire to expand its territory continued unabated and Mexico's economic problems persisted, [The U.S.-Mexico Border: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, John C. Davenport, P.60, ISBN 0-7910-7833-7] leading to the controversial Gadsden Purchase in 1854 and William Walker's Republic of Lower California filibustering incident in that same year.

The border was routinely crossed by the militaries of both countries. Mexican and Confederate troops often clashed during the American civil war, and the U.S. is thought to have crossed the border during the war of French intervention in Mexico.

In March 1916 Pancho Villa led a raid on the U.S. border town of Columbus, New Mexico, which was followed by the Pershing expedition.

The shifting of the Rio Grande would much later cause a dispute over the boundary between Purchase lands and those of the state of Texas, called the Country Club Dispute.

Controversy over community land grant claims in New Mexico persist to this day.cite web|url=|title=Treaty of Guadalpe Hidalgo: Findings and Possible Options Regarding Longstanding Community Land Grant Claims in New Mexico|publisher=General Accounting Office|date=|accessdate=05 June|accessyear=2008]

ee also

*Gadsden Purchase
*Treaty of Cahuenga
*United States and Mexican Boundary Survey
*1848 in Mexico
*Annexation Bill of 1866
*United States Court of Private Land Claims
*Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (History of New Mexico)
*Land Grants (Mexican period of Arizona)
*Californios in literature



* Griswold del Castillo, Richard. "The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict." University of Oklahoma Press, 1990
* Ohrt, Wallace. "Defiant Peacemaker: Nicholas Trist in the Mexican War" Texas A&M University Press, 1997
* Jesse S. Reeves, "The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo", The "American Historical Review", 10 (Jan. 1905), 309-324, full text online at [ JSTOR]

External links

* [ Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and related resources at the U.S. Library of Congress]
* [ Text of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo]
* [ Copy of Treaty, including sections stricken out by Senate]
* [ U.S. General Accounting Office report on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, June 2004]
* [ Library of Congress Guide to the Mexican War]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo — ▪ Primary Source       This agreement ended the war between the United States and Mexico. It was signed on February 2, 1848, at Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo. By its terms, the United States paid Mexico $15 million for more than 525,000 square miles …   Universalium

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of — (Feb. 2, 1848) Treaty between the U.S. and Mexico that ended the Mexican War, named for the Mexico City neighbourhood where it was signed. It drew the U.S. Mexico boundary at the Rio Grande and the Gila River. For $15 million the U.S. received… …   Universalium

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of — (1848)    The treaty ending the Mexican War of 1845 1848 and transferring over half of the Mexican territory to the United States. Negotiated by Nicholas P. Trist for the United States and Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, Bernardo Couto, and Miguel Aristrain …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty — The treaty, perhaps better called the Treaty of Queretaro, of Feb. 2, 1848, which ended the War between the United States and the Republic of Mexico. 9 Stat 923. guadia.. A pledge …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of —  1848 treaty in which Mexico ceded to the United States what would become the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of — /triydiy sv gwadaluwpey hi(y)dalgow/ A treaty between the United States and Mexico, terminating the Mexican War, dated February 2, 1848. See Gadsden Purchase …   Black's law dictionary

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of — /triydiy sv gwadaluwpey hi(y)dalgow/ A treaty between the United States and Mexico, terminating the Mexican War, dated February 2, 1848. See Gadsden Purchase …   Black's law dictionary

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo — /gwahd l oohp hi dahl goh, ooh pee/; Sp. /gwah dhah looh pe ee dhahl gaw/ a city in the Federal District of Mexico: famous shrine; peace treaty 1848. 1,182,895. Official name, Gustavo A. Madero. * * * …   Universalium

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo — Gua•da•lupe Hi•dal•go [[t]ˌgwɑd lˈup hɪˈdɑl goʊ, ˌgwɑd lˈu pi[/t]] n. geg a city in the Federal District of Mexico: famous shrine; peace treaty 1848. 1,182,895 Official name, Gustavo A. Madero …   From formal English to slang

  • Guadalupe Hidalgo — /gwadəˈlupeɪ hɪˈdælgoʊ/ (say gwahduh loohpay hi dalgoh) noun a city in central Mexico; famous shrine; peace treaty between the US and Mexico, 1848 …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.