Was Mexico Part of the United States?

Learn about how Mexico ceded Alta California and New Mexico to The United States in 1848 and how tensions between both countries complicated U.S. efforts to find a southward route for a transcontinental railroad.

Was Mexico Part of the United States?

Immigrants from Mexico and Asia have had a major impact on the United States. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, which saw Mexico cede Alta California and New Mexico to the US. This was known as the Mexican Cession and included current Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado (Article V of the treaty). Additionally, Mexico waived all claims to Texas and recognized the Rio Grande as the southern boundary with the US (Article V).These tensions between Mexico and the US made it difficult for the US to find a southward route for a transcontinental railroad, since all viable routes passed through Mexican territory.

In 1847, the US attempted to purchase the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an isthmus in the southernmost tip of North America, as an alternative means of providing a southern connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. However, Mexico had already granted Mexican Don José de Garay the right to build colonies for Americans on the isthmus with capital of the New Orleans Company.Fearing that settlers would revolt like those in Texas had, Mexican President Juan Ceballos revoked the grant, angering the US. In 1853, Mexican officials evicted Americans from their properties in the disputed Mesilla Valley. When the US government failed to act, Governor William Lane of New Mexico declared that the Mesilla Valley was part of the US.

Mexican President Antonio de Santa Anna responded by sending troops into the valley.In an attempt to calm the situation, US President Franklin Pierce sent James Gadsden, the new US minister to Mexico, to negotiate with Santa Anna. Secretary of State William Marcy ordered Gadsden to renegotiate a border that provided a route for a Southern railroad, arrange for the release of US financial obligations from Native American attacks, and resolve monetary claims between countries related to Don José de Garay's project.The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach exhibits works from artists all over Latin America. The collection includes art from all Latin American countries, but not all countries are represented in every exhibition.

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