HOME
The Info List - Mexican Cession





The Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States
United States
that Mexico
Mexico
ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. This region had not been part of the areas east of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
which had been claimed by the Republic of Texas, though the Texas annexation
Texas annexation
resolution two years earlier had not specified the southern and western boundary of the new State of Texas. The Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
(529,000 sq. miles) was the third largest acquisition of territory in US history. The largest was the Louisiana Purchase, with some 827,000 sq. miles (including land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces), followed by the acquisition of Alaska (about 586,000 sq. miles). Most of the area had been the Mexican territory of Alta California, while a southeastern strip on the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
had been part of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, most of whose area and population were east of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
on land that had been claimed by the Republic of Texas since 1835, but never controlled or even approached aside from the Texan Santa Fe Expedition. Mexico
Mexico
controlled the territory later known as the Mexican Cession, with considerable local autonomy punctuated by several revolts and few troops sent from central Mexico, in the period from 1821–22 after independence from Spain up through 1846 when U.S. military forces seized control of California
California
and New Mexico
New Mexico
on the outbreak of the Mexican–American War. The northern boundary of the 42nd parallel north
42nd parallel north
was set by the Adams–Onís Treaty
Adams–Onís Treaty
signed by the United States
United States
and Spain in 1821 and ratified by Mexico
Mexico
in 1831. The eastern boundary of the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
was the Texas
Texas
claim at the Rio Grande and extending north from the headwaters of the Jojo Rivera, not corresponding to Mexican territorial boundaries. The southern boundary was set by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which followed the Mexican boundaries between Alta California
California
(to the north) and Baja California and Sonora
Sonora
(to the south). The United States
United States
paid Mexico
Mexico
$15 million dollars for the land which became known as the Mexican Cession.

Contents

1 War Of Treaty 2 Subsequent organization and the North-South conflict 3 Gadsden Purchase 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

War Of Treaty[edit]

A map of Mexico, 1835–1846, with separatist movements highlighted

Alta California
California
and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico
Mexico
were captured soon after the start of the war and the last resistance there was subdued in January 1847, but Mexico
Mexico
would not accept the loss of territory. Therefore, during 1847, troops from the United States
United States
invaded central Mexico
Mexico
and occupied the Mexican capital of Mexico
Mexico
City, but still no Mexican government was willing to ratify transfer of the northern territories to the U.S. It was uncertain whether any treaty could be reached. There was even an All of Mexico
Mexico
Movement proposing complete annexation of Mexico
Mexico
among Eastern Democrats, but opposed by Southerners like John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
who wanted additional territory for their crops but not the large population of central Mexico. Eventually Nicholas Trist
Nicholas Trist
forced the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, explicitly redefining the border between Mexico
Mexico
and the United States in early 1848 after President Polk had already attempted to recall him from Mexico
Mexico
as a failure. Although Mexico
Mexico
did not overtly cede any land under the treaty, the redefined border had the effect of transferring Alta California
California
and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico
Mexico
to the control of the United States. Equally important, the new border also acknowledged Mexico's loss of Texas, both the core eastern portion and the western claims, neither of which had been formally recognized by Mexico
Mexico
until that time. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty, rejecting amendments from both Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
to also annex most of northeastern Mexico
Mexico
and Daniel Webster not to take even Alta California
California
and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico.[1] The United States
United States
also paid $15,000,000 ($482 million in 2016 dollars) for the land, and agreed to assume $3.25 million in debts to US citizens.[2] While technically the territory was purchased by the United States, the $15 million payment was simply credited against Mexico's debt to the U.S. at that time. The Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
as ordinarily understood (i.e. excluding lands claimed by Texas) amounted to 525,000 square miles (1,400,000 km2), or 14.9% of the total area of the current United States. If the disputed western Texas
Texas
claims are also included, that amounts to a total of 750,000 square miles (1,900,000 km2). If all of Texas
Texas
had been seized, since Mexico
Mexico
had not previously acknowledged the loss of any part of Texas, the total area ceded under this treaty comes to 915,000 square miles (2,400,000 km2). Considering the seizures, including all of Texas, Mexico
Mexico
lost 54% of its pre-1836 territory in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.[3] For only fifteen years from 1821 (when Mexican independence
Mexican independence
was secured) and the Texan Revolt in 1836, the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
(excluding Texas) formed approximately 42% of the country of Mexico; prior to that, it had been a part of the Spanish colony of New Spain
New Spain
for some three centuries. Beginning in the early seventeenth century, a chain of Roman Catholic missions and settlements extended into the New Mexico
New Mexico
region, mostly following the course of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
from the El Paso area to Santa Fe. Subsequent organization and the North-South conflict[edit]

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Soon after the war started and long before negotiation of the new US- Mexico
Mexico
border, the question of slavery in the territories to be acquired polarized the Northern and Southern United States
United States
in the bitterest sectional conflict up to this time, which lasted for a deadlock of four years during which the Second Party System
Second Party System
broke up, Mormon pioneers
Mormon pioneers
settled Utah, the California
California
Gold Rush settled California, and New Mexico
New Mexico
under a federal military U.S government turned back Texas's attempt to assert control over territory Texas claimed as far west as the Rio Grande. Eventually the Compromise of 1850 preserved the Union, but only for another decade. Proposals included:

The Wilmot Proviso, which was created by Congressman David Wilmot, banning slavery in any new territory to be acquired from Mexico, not including Texas
Texas
which had been annexed the previous year. Passed by the United States
United States
House of Representatives in August 1846 and February 1847 but not the Senate. Later an effort to attach the proviso to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
also failed. Failed amendments to the Wilmot Proviso
Wilmot Proviso
by William W. Wick
William W. Wick
and then Stephen Douglas
Stephen Douglas
extending the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
line (36°30' parallel north) west to the Pacific, allowing slavery in most of present-day New Mexico
New Mexico
and Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Southern California, as well as any other territories that might be acquired from Mexico. The line was again proposed by the Nashville Convention of June 1850. Popular sovereignty, developed by Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
and Douglas as the eventual Democratic Party position, letting each territory decide whether to allow slavery. William L. Yancey's " Alabama
Alabama
Platform," endorsed by the Alabama
Alabama
and Georgia legislatures and by Democratic state conventions in Florida and Virginia, called for no restrictions on slavery in the territories either by the federal government or by territorial governments before statehood, opposition to any candidates supporting either the Wilmot Proviso or popular sovereignty, and federal legislation overruling Mexican anti-slavery laws. General Zachary Taylor, who became the Whig candidate in 1848 and then President from March 1849 to July 1850, proposed after becoming President that the entire area become two free states, called California
California
and New Mexico
New Mexico
but much larger than the eventual ones. None of the area would be left as an unorganized or organized territory, avoiding the question of slavery in the territories. The Mormons' proposal for a State of Deseret
State of Deseret
seizing areas from portions of the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
but excluding the largest populations in Northern California
California
and central New Mexico
New Mexico
was considered unlikely to succeed in Congress, but nevertheless in 1849 President Taylor sent his agent John Wilson westward with a proposal to combine California and Deseret as a single state, decreasing the number of new free states and the erosion of Southern parity in the Senate, while legitimizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Senator Thomas Hart Benton in December 1849 or January 1850: Texas's western and northern boundaries would be the 102nd meridian west
102nd meridian west
and 34th parallel north. Senator John Bell (with assent of Texas) in February 1850: New Mexico would get all Texas
Texas
land north of the 34th parallel north
34th parallel north
(including today's Texas
Texas
Panhandle), and the area to the south (including the southeastern part of today's New Mexico) would be divided at the Colorado
Colorado
River (Texas) into two slave states, balancing the admission of California
California
and New Mexico
New Mexico
as free states.[4] First draft of the compromise of 1850: Texas's northwestern boundary would be a straight diagonal line from the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
20 miles (30 km) north of El Paso to the Red River of the South
Red River of the South
at the 100th meridian west
100th meridian west
(the southwestern corner of today's Oklahoma).

The Compromise of 1850, proposed by Henry Clay
Henry Clay
in January 1850, guided to passage by Douglas over Northern Whig and Southern Democrat opposition, and enacted September 1850, admitted California
California
as a free state including Southern California
California
and organized Utah
Utah
Territory and New Mexico
New Mexico
Territory with slavery to be decided by popular sovereignty. Texas
Texas
dropped its claim to the disputed northwestern areas in return for debt relief, and the areas were divided between the two new territories and unorganized territory. El Paso where Texas had successfully established county government was left in Texas. No southern territory dominated by Southerners (like the later short-lived Confederate Territory of Arizona) was created. Also, the slave trade was abolished in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
(but not slavery itself), and the Fugitive Slave Act
Fugitive Slave Act
was strengthened.

Gadsden Purchase[edit] It quickly became apparent that the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
did not include a feasible route for a transcontinental railroad connecting to a southern port. The topography of the New Mexico
New Mexico
Territory included mountains that naturally directed any railroad extending from the southern Pacific coast northward, to Kansas City, St. Louis, or Chicago. Southerners, anxious for the business such a railroad would bring (and hoping to establish a slave-state beachhead on the Pacific coast[5]), agitated for the acquisition of railroad-friendly land at the expense of Mexico, thus bringing about the Gadsden Purchase
Gadsden Purchase
of 1853. See also[edit]

The Zimmermann Telegram, which partly offered Imperial German assistance to Mexico
Mexico
in returning a sizable portion of the Mexican Cession's southern territory, as well as the U.S. state
U.S. state
of Texas
Texas
to Mexico
Mexico
in 1917.

References[edit]

^ George Lockhart Rives. The United States
United States
and Mexico, 1821-1848. pp. 634–636.  ^ Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Articles XII-XV ^ Table 1.1 Acquisition of the Public Domain 1781-1867 Archived September 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. ^ google.com/books Quarterly of the Texas
Texas
State Historical Association, January 1904 ^ Richards, The California
California
Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War, p. 126 (2007).

External links[edit]

A Continent Divided: The U.S.- Mexico
Mexico
War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas
Texas
at Arlington

v t e

Territorial expansion of the United States

Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
(1776) Treaty of Paris (1783) Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
(1803) Red River Cession (1818) Adams–Onís Treaty
Adams–Onís Treaty
(1819) Texas
Texas
Annexation
Annexation
(1845) Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
(1846) Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
(1848) Gadsden Purchase
Gadsden Purchase
(1853) Guano Islands Act
Guano Islands Act
(1856) Alaska Purchase
Alaska Purchase
(1867) Annexation
Annexation
of Hawaii (1898) Treaty of Paris (1898) Tripartite Convention
Tripartite Convention
(1899) Treaty of Cession of Tutuila
Treaty of Cession of Tutuila
(1900) Treaty of Cession of Manuʻa (1904) Treaty of the Danish West Indies
Treaty of the Danish West Indies
(1917)

Concept: Mani

.