How some of the West was won

 

By Richard W. (not Davy) Crockett

 

Do the roots of the present immigration from Latin America, and Mexico in particular, lie in the way we acquired the Mexican Cession and other territories at the time of the Mexican War?  I am not sure, but there does seem to be from the Mexican point of view “poetic justice” in this immigration.

 

Some facts are these.

 

(1)                 Americans moving westward during the nineteenth century under the banner of “manifest destiny,” a slogan and self-fulfilling prophecy, around 1836 poured into Mexico, uninvited, no visas, no passports, no Emma Lazarus poem welcoming the “tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breath free.”  Americans simply crossed the “broken border” into Mexico.

(2)                 Some persons in southern states saw the prospect of the territories to the west, then part of Mexico as potential slave states.

(3)                 Under President Tyler, the United States annexed by joint resolution, not by treaty, Texas, which had just claimed independence from Mexico.  Many of the people doing this claiming of independence were the people who had trekked across the Mexican border, uninvited.

(4)                 Mexico saw this annexation of territory as an act of war.

(5)                 The Americans who crossed the border, uninvited, did so for economic reasons, like the present day Mexican immigrants to this country.  If the Americans got there early, they would acquire this land before it increased in price upon the fulfillment of its “manifest destiny,” that of becoming part of the United States. 

(6)                 The United States declared war on Mexico, and President James Polk signed the Declaration on May 13, 1846. The Mexican congress declared war in return on July 1, 1846. War with Mexico was fought between 1846 and 1848. 

(7)                 The war ended with the treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo, which created the Mexican Cession to the United States. The treaty was signed with Americans occupying much of Mexico, including Mexico City.  The cession, made under duress, ceded all of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming to the United States for $15,000,000.  This was 525,000 square miles or 55% of Mexico’s pre-war territory.

(8)                 The Treaty of Mesilla concluded the Gadsden’s purchase in which the United
States received additional portions of land now in Arizona and New Mexico in 1854. 

 

These are the circumstances that present day American Nativists proclaim the illegal status of present day Mexican immigrants to this country.  The flood of Mexican immigrants to this country looks like poetic justice to me.  By the way, Davy Crockett was killed at the Alamo by Santa Anna’s troops while trying to steal Texas from the Mexicans.

 

03/10/08