Mexican Cession

The Mexican Cession is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. This region had not been part of the areas east of the Rio Grande which had been claimed by the Republic of Texas, though the Texas annexation resolution two years earlier had not specified the southern and western boundary of the new State of Texas. The 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 had been part of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, most of whose area and population were east of the 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 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 and New Mexico on the outbreak of the Mexican–American War. The northern boundary of the 42nd parallel north was set by the Adams–Onís Treaty signed by the United States and Spain in 1821 and ratified by Mexico in 1831 in the Treaty of Limits (Mexico-United States). The eastern boundary of the Mexican Cession was the Texas claim at the Rio Grande and extending north from the headwaters of the Rio Grande, 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 (to the north) and Baja California and Sonora (to the south). The United States paid Mexico $15 million for the land which became known as the Mexican Cession.

Mexican Cession
Area Mexico ceded to the United States in 1848, minus Texan claims. The Mexican Cession consisted of present-day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, about half of New Mexico, about a quarter of Colorado, and a small section of Wyoming.

Mexican–American War

File-Mexico 1835-1846 administrative map-en-2
A map of Mexico, 1835–1846, with separatist movements highlighted


Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico were captured soon after the start of the war and the last resistance there was subdued in January 1847, but Mexico would not accept the loss of territory. Therefore, during 1847, troops from the United States invaded central Mexico and occupied the Mexican capital of 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 Movement proposing complete annexation of Mexico among Eastern Democrats, but opposed by Southerners like John C. Calhoun who wanted additional territory for their crops but not the large population of central Mexico.

Eventually Nicholas Trist forced the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, explicitly redefining the border between Mexico and the United States in early 1848 after President Polk had already attempted to recall him from Mexico as a failure. Although Mexico did not overtly cede any land under the treaty, the redefined border had the effect of transferring Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo 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 until that time.

The U.S. Senate approved the treaty, rejecting amendments from both Jefferson Davis to also annex most of northeastern Mexico and Daniel Webster not to take even Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico.[1] The 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 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 claims are also included, that amounts to a total of 750,000 square miles (1,900,000 km2). If all of Texas had been seized, since 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 lost 54% of its pre-1836 territory in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.[3] For only fifteen years from 1821 (when Mexican independence was secured) and the Texan Revolt in 1836, the 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 for some three centuries. Beginning in the early seventeenth century, a chain of Roman Catholic missions and settlements extended into the New Mexico region, mostly following the course of the Rio Grande from the El Paso area to Santa Fe.

Subsequent organization and the North–South conflict

Soon after the war started and long before negotiation of the new Mexico–United States border, the question of slavery in the territories to be acquired polarized the Northern and Southern 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 broke up, Mormon pioneers settled Utah, the California Gold Rush settled California, and 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:

USA Territorial Growth 1850
  • The Compromise of 1850, proposed by Henry Clay in January 1850, guided to passage by Douglas over Northern Whig and Southern Democrat opposition, and enacted September 1850, admitted California as a free state including Southern California and organized Utah Territory and New Mexico Territory with slavery to be decided by popular sovereignty. 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. (but not slavery itself), and the Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened.

Gadsden Purchase

It quickly became apparent that the Mexican Cession did not include a feasible route for a transcontinental railroad connecting to a southern port. The topography of the 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 of 1853.

See also

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

References

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

External links

1848 United States presidential election

The United States presidential election of 1848 was the 16th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1848. In the aftermath of the Mexican–American War, General Zachary Taylor of the Whig Party defeated Senator Lewis Cass of the Democratic Party. The contest was the first presidential election that took place on the same day in every state, and it was the first time that Election Day was statutorily a Tuesday.Despite Taylor's unclear political affiliations and beliefs, and the Whig opposition to the Mexican–American War, the 1848 Whig National Convention nominated the popular general over party stalwarts such as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. For vice president, the Whigs nominated Millard Fillmore, a New York Whig known for his moderate views on slavery. Incumbent President James K. Polk, a Democrat, honored his promise not to seek re-election, leaving his party's nomination open. The 1848 Democratic National Convention rejected former President Martin Van Buren's bid for a second term, instead nominating Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan. Van Buren broke from his party to lead the ticket of the Free Soil Party, which opposed the extension of slavery into the territories.

The Whig choice of Zachary Taylor was made almost out of desperation; he was not clearly committed to Whig principles, but he was popular for leading the war effort. The Democrats had a record of prosperity and had acquired the Mexican cession and parts of Oregon country. It appeared almost certain that they would win unless the Whigs picked Taylor. Taylor won a plurality of the popular vote and a majority of the electoral vote, while Van Buren won 10.1% of the popular vote, a strong showing for a third party candidate.

Taylor's victory made him the second of two Whigs to win a presidential election, following William Henry Harrison's victory in the 1840 presidential election. Like Harrison, Taylor died during his term, and he was succeeded by Fillmore. Discounting Republican Abraham Lincoln's 1864 re-election on the National Union ticket, Taylor is the most recent individual who was not a member of the Democratic or Republican parties to win a presidential election.

Aboriginal title in the United States

The United States was the first jurisdiction to acknowledge the common law doctrine of aboriginal title (also known as "original Indian title" or "Indian right of occupancy"). Native American tribes and nations establish aboriginal title by actual, continuous, and exclusive use and occupancy for a "long time." Individuals may also establish aboriginal title, if their ancestors held title as individuals. Unlike other jurisdictions, the content of aboriginal title is not limited to historical or traditional land uses. Aboriginal title may not be alienated, except to the federal government or with the approval of Congress. Aboriginal title is distinct from the lands Native Americans own in fee simple and occupy under federal trust.

The power of Congress to extinguish aboriginal title—by "purchase or conquest," or with a clear statement—is plenary and exclusive. Such extinguishment is not compensable under the Fifth Amendment, although various statutes provide for compensation. Unextinguished aboriginal title provides a federal common law cause of action for ejectment or trespass, for which there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction. Many potentially meritorious tribal lawsuits have been settled by Congressional legislation providing for the extinguishment of aboriginal title as well as monetary compensation or the approval of gaming and gambling enterprises.

Large-scale compensatory litigation first arose in the 1940s, and possessory litigation in the 1970s. Federal sovereign immunity bars possessory claims against the federal government, although compensatory claims are possible by statute. The Eleventh Amendment bars both possessory and compensatory claims against states, unless the federal government intervenes. The US Supreme Court rejected nearly all legal and equitable affirmative defenses in 1985. However, the Second Circuit—where most remaining possessory claims are pending—has held that laches bars all claims that are "disruptive."

Botiller v. Dominguez

Botiller v. Dominguez, 130 U.S. 238 (1889), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court dealing with the validity of Spanish or Mexican land grants in the Mexican Cession, the region of the present day southwestern United States that was ceded to the U.S. by Mexico in 1848 under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The action was in the nature of ejectment, brought in the Superior Court of the Los Angeles County by Dominga Dominguez against Brigido Botiller and others, to recover possession of a tract of land situated in said county, known as 'Rancho Las Virgenes'. The title of the plaintiff was a grant claimed to have been made by the government of Mexico to Nemecio Dominguez and Domingo Carrillo, on October 1, 1834, but no claim under this grant had ever been presented for confirmation to the board of land commissioners, appointed under the California Land Act of 1851 (9 St. 631,) 'to ascertain and settle the private land claims in the state of California,' and no patent had ever issued from the United States to any one for the land, or for any part of it.

The Court held that no title to land in California dependent upon Spanish or Mexican land grants can be of any validity unless presented to and confirmed by the board of land commissioners within the time prescribed by the United States Congress.

California Indian Wars

The California Indian Wars were a series of massacres, wars, and battles between the United States Army (or often the California State Militia, especially during the early 1850's), and the Indigenous peoples of California. The wars lasted from 1850, immediately after the acquisition of Alta California during the Mexican–American War became the state of California, to 1880 when the last minor military operation on the Colorado River that ended the Calloway Affair of 1880.

Following the acquisition of the Mexican Cession in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War, the small Federal garrison west of the Rocky Mountains was spread out over that vast territory. Shortly afterward, the economic effects of the California Gold Rush encouraged desertions that further weakened the garrisons within the territory of California. Following statehood, California State Militia became the parties engaged in most of the early conflicts with the Indians within its boundaries before the American Civil War. The state would seek compensation from the United States federal government for the cost of the operations and for the "depredations" of the Indians, that would not be settled for decades. Often the local miners or other settlers, impatient at the bureaucratic delay or political opposition involved with organizing militia companies, organized locally to operate against the Indians.

Later during the American Civil War, California and Oregon State Volunteers replaced Federal troops west of the Rocky Mountains and engaged in many conflicts with the Indians in that region including in California, Nevada and Utah, New Mexico and Arizona Territories. Within California they fought in the ongoing 1858-1864 Bald Hills War and in the 1862-1863 Owens Valley Indian War. Minor skirmishes occurred between local militias or Volunteers and the Yahi, Yana and Paiute in northeastern California into the 1870's. Following the Civil War, most hostilities in California were over except for a few minor skirmishes in the Owens Valley and in the Mojave Desert against the Timbisha and Chemehuevi. Federal troops replaced the Volunteers between late 1865 and early 1866 and again engaged in military actions in the remote regions of the Mohave Desert, Owens Valley and the northeast of the state against the Snakes and later the Modoc in the next two decades.

Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of territories acquired in the Mexican–American War. It also set Texas's western and northern borders and included provisions addressing fugitive slaves and the slave trade. The compromise was brokered by Whig Senator Henry Clay and Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas with the support of President Millard Fillmore.

A debate over slavery in the territories had erupted during the Mexican-American War, as many Southerners sought to expand slavery to the newly-acquired lands and many Northerners opposed any such expansion. The debate was further complicated by Texas's claim to all former Mexican territory north and east of the Rio Grande River, including areas it had never effectively controlled. These issues prevented the passage of organic acts to create organized territorial governments for the land acquired in the Mexican–American War. In early 1850, Clay proposed a package of bills that would settle most of the pressing issues before Congress. Clay's proposal was opposed by President Zachary Taylor, anti-slavery Whigs like William Seward, and pro-slavery Democrats like John C. Calhoun, and congressional debate over the territories continued.

After Taylor died and was succeeded by Fillmore, Douglas took the lead in passing Clay's compromise through Congress as five separate bills. Under the compromise, Texas surrendered its claims to present-day New Mexico and other states in return for federal assumption of Texas's public debt. California was admitted as a free state, while the remaining portions of the Mexican Cession were organized into New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory. Under the concept of popular sovereignty, the people of each territory would decide whether or not slavery would be permitted. The compromise also included a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law and banned the slave trade in Washington, D.C. The issue of slavery in the territories would be re-opened by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but many historians argue that the Compromise of 1850 played a major role in postponing the American Civil War.

David Wilmot

David Wilmot (January 20, 1814 – March 16, 1868) was a United States Representative and a United States Senator from Pennsylvania and a Judge of the Court of Claims. He was the prime sponsor and namesake of the Wilmot Proviso, a failed proposal to ban the expansion of slavery to western lands gained in the Mexican Cession. Wilmot was instrumental in establishing the Republican Party in Pennsylvania.

Duncan, Arizona

Duncan is a town in Greenlee County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 696. In 2015 the estimated population was 799.Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.

The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.

Duncan High School (mascot: Wildkats; school colors: red, grey, and white) competes in many sports, but is renowned for their football team.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.

List of cities and towns in California

California is a state located in the Western United States. It is the most populous state and the third largest by area after Alaska and Texas. According to the 2010 United States Census, California has 37,253,956 inhabitants and 155,779.22 square miles (403,466.3 km2) of land.California has been inhabited by numerous Native American peoples since antiquity. The Spanish, the Russians, and other Europeans began exploring and colonizing the area in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the Spanish establishing its first California mission at what is now San Diego in 1769. After the Mexican Cession of 1848, the California Gold Rush brought worldwide attention to the area. The growth of the movie industry in Los Angeles and Hollywood, high tech in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, tourism, agriculture, and other areas in the ensuing decades fueled the creation of a $1.85 trillion economy, the ninth-largest in the world.California is divided into 58 counties and contains 482 municipalities. One, San Francisco, is a consolidated city-county. California law makes no distinction between "city" and "town", and municipalities may use either term in their official names. They can be organized as either a charter municipality, governed by its own charter, or a general-law municipality, governed by state law.According to the 2010 Census, 30,908,614 of California's 37,253,956 residents lived in urban areas, accounting for 82.97% of the population. The first municipality to incorporate was Sacramento on February 27, 1850, while the most recent was Jurupa Valley on July 1, 2011. Eight cities were incorporated before the state's September 9, 1850, admission to the Union. The largest municipality by population and land area is Los Angeles with 3,792,621 residents and 468.67 square miles (1,213.8 km2). The smallest by population is Vernon with 112 people, while the smallest by land area is Amador City at 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2).

List of historic properties in Cave Creek, Arizona

This is a list, which includes a photographic gallery, of some of the remaining structures and monuments, of historic significance in Cave Creek, a town in Maricopa County, Arizona. Cave Creek was first inhabited by the ancient Native-American tribe known as the Hohokam. The area, which in the 1800s belonged to Mexico, was ceded to the United States in what is known as the Mexican Cession of 1848. Cave Creek is located within the area which became known as the United States Territory of Arizona. In 1986, The Town of Cave

Creek was incorporated. Some of the structures are listed in the National Register of Historic Properties.

Mexican–American War

The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the Intervención estadounidense en México (United States intervention in Mexico), was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, not formally recognized by the Mexican government, disputing the Treaties of Velasco signed by Mexican caudillo President/General Antonio López de Santa Anna after the Texas Revolution a decade earlier. In 1845, newly elected U.S. President James K. Polk, who saw the annexation of Texas as the first step towards a further expansion of the United States, sent troops to the disputed area and a diplomatic mission to Mexico. After Mexican forces attacked U.S. forces, Polk cited this in his request that Congress declare war.

U.S. forces quickly occupied the regional capital of Santa Fe de Nuevo México along the upper Rio Grande and the Pacific coast province of Alta California, and then moved south. Meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron of the U.S. Navy blockaded the Pacific coast farther south in lower Baja California Territory. The U.S. Army under Major General Winfield Scott eventually captured Mexico City through stiff resistance, having marched west from the port of Veracruz on the Gulf Coast, where the U.S. staged its first ever major amphibious landing.

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, forced onto the remnant Mexican government, ended the war and enforced the Mexican Cession of the northern territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States. The U.S. agreed to pay $15 million compensation for the physical damage of the war and assumed $3.25 million of debt already owed earlier by the Mexican government to U.S. citizens. Mexico acknowledged the loss of what became the State of Texas and accepted the Rio Grande as its northern border with the United States.

The victory and territorial expansion Polk envisioned inspired great patriotism in the United States, but the war and treaty drew some criticism in the U.S. for their casualties, monetary cost, and heavy-handedness, particularly early on. The question of how to treat the new acquisitions also intensified the debate over slavery. Mexico's worsened domestic turmoil and losses of life, territory and national prestige left it in what prominent Mexicans called a "state of degradation and ruin".

Pima Villages

Pima Villages, sometimes mistakenly called the Pimos Villages in the 19th century, were the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) villages in what is now the Gila River Indian Community in Pinal County, Arizona. First, recorded by Spanish explorers in the late 17th century as living on the south side of the Gila River, they were included in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, then in Provincias of Sonora, Ostimuri y Sinaloa or New Navarre to 1823. Then from 1824 to 1830, they were part of the Estado de Occidente of Mexico and from September 1830 they were part of the state of Sonora. These were the Pima villages encountered by American fur trappers, traders, soldiers and travelers along the middle Gila River from 1830's into the later 19th century. The Mexican Cession following the Mexican American War left them part of Mexico. The 1853 Gadsden Purchase made their lands part of the United States, Territory of New Mexico. During the American Civil War they became part of the Territory of Arizona.

Reconquista (Mexico)

The Reconquista ("reconquest") is a term that is used (not exclusively) to describe the vision by different individuals, groups, and/or nations that the Southwestern United States should be politically or culturally reconquered by Mexico. These opinions are often formed on the basis that those territories had been claimed by Spain for centuries and had been claimed by Mexico from 1821 until being ceded to the United States in the Texas annexation (1845) and the Mexican Cession (1848), as a consequence of the Mexican–American War.

Santa Fe de Nuevo México

Santa Fe de Nuevo México (English: Santa Fe [Holy Faith] of New Mexico; shortened as Nuevo México or Nuevo Méjico, and translated as New Mexico in English) was a province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and later a territory of independent Mexico. The first capital was San Juan de los Caballeros from 1598 until 1610, and from 1610 onward the capital was La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís. The naming, capital, the Palace of the Governors, and rule of law were retained as the New Mexico Territory, and the subsequent U.S. State of New Mexico, became a part of the United States. The New Mexican citizenry, primarily consisting of Hispano, Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, and Comanche peoples, became citizens of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Nuevo México is often incorrectly believed to have taken its name from the nation of Mexico. However, it was named by Spanish explorers who believed the area contained wealthy Amerindian cultures similar to those of the Aztec Empire (centered in the Valley of Mexico), and called the land the "Santa Fe de Nuevo México".

Slave states and free states

In the history of the United States, a slave state was a U.S. state in which the practice of slavery was legal, and a free state was one in which slavery was prohibited or being legally phased out. Historically, in the 17th century, slavery was established in a number of English overseas possessions. In the 18th century, it existed in all the British colonies of North America. In 1776, slavery was legal throughout the Thirteen Colonies; starting with Pennsylvania in 1780, about half the states abolished slavery during the Revolutionary War or in the first decades of the new country. Slavery became a divisive issue; it was a major issue during the writing of the U.S. Constitution, and slavery was the primary cause of the American Civil War. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in December 1865, abolished slavery throughout all of the United States.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo in Spanish), officially titled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty signed on February 2, 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–1848). The treaty came into force on July 4, 1848.With the defeat of its army and the fall of its capital, Mexico entered into negotiations to end the war. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay US$15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to US$5 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah and Colorado. Spaniards in those annexed areas had the choice of relocating to within Mexico's new boundaries or receiving American citizenship with full civil rights.

The U.S. Senate advised and consented to ratification of the treaty by a vote of 38–14. The opponents of this treaty were led by the Whigs, who had opposed the war and rejected Manifest destiny in general, and rejected this expansion in particular. The amount of land gained by the United States from Mexico was further increased as a result of the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, which ceded parts of present-day southern Arizona and New Mexico to the United States of America.

United States territorial acquisitions

This is a list of United States territorial acquisitions and conquests, beginning with American independence. Note that this list primarily concerns land the United States of America acquired from other nation-states. Early American expansion was tied to a national concept of manifest destiny. Manifest destiny is an idea that white settlers are destined by God to expand their territories westwards, spread their ideologies on the land, and put leverages on the Indigenous people in order to gain larger territories. Manifest Destiny not only resulted in war with Mexico during the mid-19th century, but in relocation and brutal massacre and mistreatment of the Indigenous peoples, Hispanic, and other non-Europeans, such as afro-descendants, who resided in the territories no occupied by the United States.

United States v. Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Co.

United States v. Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Co., 314 U.S. 339 (1941), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the power of Congress to extinguish aboriginal title is plenary and nonjusticiable but that Congress was presumed not to do so absent a clear intention. It is the leading precedent on the extinguishment of aboriginal title in the United States.

The suit was brought by the federal government, on behalf of the Hualapai against the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad. The Court held that the Hualapai's aboriginal title was not extinguished by (1) its lack of federal recognition or acknowledgment by treaty, statute, for formal government action; (2) the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (3) an 1854 federal statute creating the office of Surveyor General of New Mexico; (4) and 1865 statute creating the Colorado River Indian Reservation; (5) the 1866 federal land grant to the railroad; (6) an 1870 federal statute creating the office of Surveyor General of Arizona; or (7) the 1874 forcible removal of the Hualapai to the Colorado River Indian Reservation.

However, the Court held that the 1881 creation of a reservation by executive order at the request of the Hualapai extinguished the tribe's aboriginal title outside of that reservation. The case distinguished aboriginal title in California from aboriginal title in the rest of the Mexican Cession and is frequently cited for its in-depth discussion of the test for the extinguishment of aboriginal title.

Wyoming Territory

The Territory of Wyoming was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 25, 1868, until July 10, 1890, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Wyoming. Cheyenne was the territorial capital. The boundaries of the Wyoming Territory were identical to the modern State of Wyoming.

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th president of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Taylor previously was a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War. As a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died sixteen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.

Taylor was born into a prominent family of plantation owners who moved westward from Virginia to Kentucky in his youth. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army in 1808 and made a name for himself as a Captain in the War of 1812. He climbed the ranks establishing military forts along the Mississippi River and entered the Black Hawk War as a Colonel in 1832. His success in the Second Seminole War attracted national attention and earned him the nickname "Old Rough and Ready". In 1845, during the annexation of Texas, President James K. Polk dispatched Taylor to the Rio Grande in anticipation of a battle with Mexico over the disputed Texas–Mexico border. The Mexican–American War broke out in April 1846, and Taylor defeated Mexican troops commanded by General Mariano Arista at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and drove his troops out of Texas. Taylor then led his troops into Mexico, where they defeated Mexican troops commanded by Pedro de Ampudia at the Battle of Monterrey. Defying orders, Taylor led his troops further south and, despite being severely outnumbered, dealt a crushing blow to Mexican forces under Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista. Taylor's troops were transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott, but Taylor retained his popularity.

The Whig Party convinced the reluctant Taylor to lead their ticket in the 1848 presidential election, despite his unclear political tenets and lack of interest in politics. At the 1848 Whig National Convention, Taylor defeated Scott and former Senator Henry Clay to take the nomination. He won the general election alongside New York politician Millard Fillmore, defeating Democratic Party candidates Lewis Cass and William Orlando Butler, as well as a third-party effort led by former president Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams, Sr. of the Free Soil Party. Taylor became the first president to be elected without having served in a prior political office.

As president, Taylor kept his distance from Congress and his cabinet, even though partisan tensions threatened to divide the Union. Debate over the status of slavery in the Mexican Cession dominated the political agenda and led to threats of secession from Southerners. Despite being a Southerner and a slaveholder himself, Taylor did not push for the expansion of slavery, and sought sectional harmony above all other concerns. To avoid the issue of slavery, he urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850. Taylor died suddenly of a stomach-related illness in July 1850, with his administration having accomplished little aside from the ratification of the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty. Fillmore served the remainder of his term. Historians and scholars have ranked Taylor in the bottom quartile of U.S. presidents, owing in part to his short term of office (16 months), and he has been described as "more a forgettable president than a failed one."

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