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Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 01:51 PM
How did the US and Mexico arrive at the far western boundary lines in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (2/2/1848)?

In 1773, Spain marked a boundary between Baja and Alta California around Ensenada as the boundary between the Dominican and Franciscan Missions. In 1804, apparently Spain made formal the boundary between the states of Baja and Alta California, but I don't know where the line was. I can only assume the same line marker was used near Ensenada. Perhaps the border was established at its current location before the Mex-Am war? If so, why was it put there?

The Treaty used the Gila River and a line from the intersection of the Gila and Colorado Rivers to a spot 1 league south of the southernmost point of San Diego Bay.

I understand the US was not interested in taking all or too much of Mexico as a result of the war essentially due to cultural differences and potential slavery issues, so they wanted to draw a line somewhere.

I also understand the Baja peninsula was sparsely populated and desert, but so was much of the area actually annexed.

1. Why didn't the US annex Baja? I know William Walker took over Baja on his own accord in 1853, after the war, with only 45 men, but was quickly acquitted of crimes in a California court due to the prevailing ideas on Manifest Destiny. If those ideas were so strong, why didn't they lead to US annexation of Baja in the first place? The ideas were strong but not THAT strong?

2. Why didn't the US, at the very least, annex the mouth of the Colorado River at the Sea of Cortez or Gulf of California along with some agreement as to rights of passage and use of the Gulf? I would think the US would want that as a potential natural resource and potential port while denying Mexico a potential strategic military point in terms of river access.

3. Why didn't the US and Mexico simply keep the established Spanish border at Ensenada between Baja and Alta California? If it was a given that Mexico would keep Baja, did Mexico want to ensure physical connection between the mainland and Baja?

4. Why didn't the US take the Tijuana area? Why stop at just barely taking enough to get the entire San Diego Bay plus a bit? If old boundaries between Baja and Alta were being disregarded anyway, I would think the US would want to take the Tijuana River and Valley pretty much adjacent to the San Diego Bay area in that they are basically connected as a geographic region. It was basically just ranch land at the time and not a big urban area filled with Mexicans, so I can't see a cultural barrier to the US wanting to take Tijuana.

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 02:06 PM
Adding the term "negotiate" to my Google search, I find this (http://www.dmwv.org/mexwar/history/peace.htm)...

The Mexican commissioners were disposed to agree to all the major American demands, save one: The cession of Lower, or Baja, California. This, for whatever reason (and several have been suggested by various historians) they adamantly refused to give up, also demanding that a strip of land, permitting unrestricted passage from Sonora to Baja California, also be included in the treaty. When Trist finally agreed to this concession, after an initial refusal to consider it, the remainder of the negotiations went more quickly. After that, the only other disagreement of any consequence which arose was over whether or not San Diego was located in Upper or Lower California. After much consulting of maps, it was finally agreed to include it in the territory ceded to the United States.

By the end of January 1848, it was apparent to Trist that he had obtained everything Polk wanted, with the exception of Lower California, the cession of which, according to his original instructions, was not as vital to the administration as that of New Mexico and Upper California (for which the U.S. paid $15 million).

How was Mexico in a position to demand anything?

and this (http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/war/wars_end_guadalupe.html)

The treaty in draft form was brought to Mexico by Nicholas P. Trist, the U.S. peace commissioner, in the summer of 1847. In its basic form it called for the cession of Alta and Baja California and New Mexico, the right of transit across the Tehuantepec isthmus, and the Rio Grande as the southern border of Texas. In exchange the United States would pay up to $20 million to Mexico and assume up to $3 million in U.S. citizens' claims against Mexico. In subsequent negotiations the demand for Baja California and the right of transit were dropped.

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 02:15 PM
and this (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/nbt1.html)

The treaty traced the boundary between the United States and Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico up the main channel of the Rio Grande to the southern boundary of the Mexican province of New Mexico. The line followed the southern boundary of New Mexico to its western boundary and north to the first branch of the Gila River, then down the Gila to its intersection with the Colorado River, and finally along the old Spanish-Mexican division line between Upper and Lower California.

What happened to the Mission marker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baja_California_peninsula)set in 1773?

Partition
Marker of the Upper-Lower California partition

New Spain's province of California was divided into Alta California and Baja California on May 19, 1773 near San Juan Bautista Creek by Fray Francisco Palóu. A marker is erected in the place where the dividing committee began the measurements for the province's partition. The marker is behind the Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera, near Ensenada, Baja California.

Translated into English, the inscription on the marker reads:

San Juan Bautista Creek (Crespi, May 1 for the setting of the first international division line between Old or Lower California (Dominicans) and New or Upper California (Franciscans) five leagues to the north (Valley of the Medanos) being established by: Priest Francisco Palou on 19 August 1773 (Mojonera of Palou) in compliance with the instructions put forth on the April 7, 1772 Concordato. Rosarito Historical Society, Baja California A.C. at The Mission, Baja California, on 20 May 1990. Fieldwork and research: Mario Reyes Meléndez. Monument donation: Christenson - Carrozo Family. Construction: Students of the School of Tourism at U.A.B.C.(Autonomous University of Baja California).

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 02:38 PM
What happened to the Mission marker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baja_California_peninsula)set in 1773?

Hmm... (http://www.bajaquest.com/rosarito/baja12i.htm)

In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico in a political-religious decision, the Franciscans were asked to take over the administration of the missions. In 1772, a concordat (agreement) was signed between the King of Spain -with the support of the Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) and the Pope- and the leaders of the Dominican and Franciscan monks resulting in the division of California in 1773, using the local mountain range that meet the sea at Calafia. The Palou Frontier was establish as the dividing line between Nueva (new) or Alta (upper) California and Antigua (old) of Baja (lower) California.

The Franciscans took control of Alta California and everything north of the Palou Frontier (including what we now recognize as the State of California, USA) was their domain. Alternately the Dominicans controlled everything south of the frontier in Baja California. Fifteen years later, en 1788, the De Sales Frontier was establish and the boundary between the two Californias was relocated to the site of the Rosarito Creek.

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 02:45 PM
1787 map showing the line (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13854/13854-h/images/image-033-1.jpg)

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 03:21 PM
Location of Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&channel=s&q=%22Misi%C3%B3n+San+Miguel+Arc%C3%A1ngel+de+la+Frontera%22&ie=UTF8&hq=%22Misi%C3%B3n+San+Miguel+Arc%C3%A1ngel+de+la+Frontera%22&hnear=Sacramento,+CA&radius=15000&ll=32.261588,-116.012878&spn=1.082305,3.515625&z=9)

According to this (http://www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder/infrastructure/rosarito-plant-expansion/rosarito-ww-ea-2009.pdf), Rosarito Creek is at 32° 19’ N 117° 00’ W, which is a tad north, here (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&channel=s&q=%22Misi%C3%B3n+San+Miguel+Arc%C3%A1ngel+de+la+Frontera%22&ie=UTF8&hq=%22Misi%C3%B3n+San+Miguel+Arc%C3%A1ngel+de+la+Frontera%22&hnear=Sacramento,+CA&radius=15000&ll=32.209461,-116.895561&spn=0.067684,0.219727&t=p&z=13).

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 03:28 PM
Link (http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/mexico/Aguascalientes-M-xico/Baja-California-Sur.html)

Together with Alta California (now the US state of California), Baja California was made a Spanish province in the mid-1700s. It then officially merged with Alta California to create a territory of the Spanish viceroyalty (territory ruled by Spain) of Mexico. In 1804, Baja and Alta California were divided again into two separate provinces.

So the mission line apparently went out the window with the merger and then a new split in 1804. So the old mission line was probably gone and not a basis for much of anything by the time of the Mex-Am War.

This is starting to come together. I wonder why the 1804 split and how they drew the line then.

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 03:36 PM
... and why was the US so quick to end the war at that time and just drop Baja from its demands?

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 04:13 PM
According to the Library of Congress, the map used for negotiating the Treaty (http://militaryhistory.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=militaryhistory&cdn=education&tm=141&f=10&su=p897.6.336.ip_&tt=11&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/ghtreaty/) sets the Alta-Baja border south of the current border.

So it appears the parties drew a new line, essentially maintaining the traditional Alta-Baja partition. This partition moved around a bit in the past but generally stretched back to the old Mission days. They negotiated adjustments to the exact partition to simply ensure, at a minimum, inclusion of San Diego Bay for the US and a "land bridge" connecting Baja to mainland Mexico. That was "good enough" for the US, as it appears Polk was getting impatient and wanted an agreement 6 months prior.

Bearflag70
02-28-2010, 04:56 PM
Also, I guess I can make a WAG as to the cost-benefit of acquiring Baja:

Essentially, it's a strip of mountains and desert. There isn't mush in terms of a major port, except by La Paz and Esenada, and La Paz is a helluva long way from the rest of the acquired territory.

Access to the Sea of Cortez doesn't offer much that you don't already get by taking San Diego and San Francisco; it's not very effective to ship things up the Sea of Cortez when you can just ship to San Diego.

Although it doesn't appear it would have been difficult for the US to take Baja, for whatever reason, Polk wanted it over months prior based upon what he decided were the "major objectives." I can only assume these objectives include getting a Pacific presence with a couple major ports... done deal. Baja would have just been icing on the cake and not really worth the additional trouble, especially considering the US took $5M off the table as an offset.

Jim's Son
02-28-2010, 07:41 PM
Weren't there some real political maneuvering going on that lead to this treaty. I can't find my copy of James McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" which mentions it in the beginning but essentially President Polk, whose term was expiring (he was elected promising only to serve one term) got impatient with Nicholas Trist and tried to get him withdrawn because Polk decided he wanted more. Trist ignored him and got a treaty. The Senate had people who wanted more and others who wanted less but enough were happy enough to ratify it. As it was, the opposition party (Whigs) ran one of the heroes, General Zachary "Old Rough and Ready" Taylor and won the election anyways.

The Mexican-American war was controversial in its day. Ulysses S Grant in his "Memoirs" calls it the most unjust war ever waged by a strong nation against a weaker one. One Whig in Congress remembered how the Federalists disappeared after opposing the War of 1812 and sarcastically announced he was now if favor of pestilence and famine too.

As it happened, the Americans weren't happy with the final borders and negotiated the Gadsden Purchase to get southern Arizona (including Tucson) and New Mexico.

Freddy the Pig
02-28-2010, 07:44 PM
... and why was the US so quick to end the war at that time and just drop Baja from its demands?Because the war was expensive as all get-out. And most Whigs were opposed to the war, and had done well in the Congressional elections of 1846, so it was starting to look like a political albatross.

Mexico was certainly in a weak position in 1847, but not completely helpless. The Polk administration needed a treaty (else the expensive occupation would drag on forever), and they needed a functioning Mexican government with which to negotiate it. If they demanded even more, there was risk that Mexico would dissolve into anarchy--bad for the US, as we saw later during the Pancho Villa era.

As it happened, Polk did up his demands in April 1847. He recalled Trist and intended to send another commissioner who would demand Baja and much of what is now northern Mexico. Trist realized the danger of this course, ignored his recall, and negotiated a treaty satisfying Polk's original demands. When the treaty arrived in Washington, Polk decided it was good enough and sent it to the Senate, which ratified it despite Southern complaints that it was too soft and northern Whig complaints that it was too severe.

Bearflag70
03-01-2010, 12:19 AM
Thanks. Your input helps as does this article (http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1970/5/1970_5_12.shtml).

SimonB35
04-20-2010, 02:10 PM
Bearflag
Thank you for a nice piece of research. You might be interested in an exhibit of historic maps of the US-Mexico border that is now showing at University of San Diego. Search for the Trans-Border Institute and they have the details. One of the speakers at the reception on 4/21 is talking about Conde's personal map that he used to negotiate the Gadsden Purchase.

Bearflag70
04-20-2010, 03:12 PM
Bearflag
Thank you for a nice piece of research. You might be interested in an exhibit of historic maps of the US-Mexico border that is now showing at University of San Diego. Search for the Trans-Border Institute and they have the details. One of the speakers at the reception on 4/21 is talking about Conde's personal map that he used to negotiate the Gadsden Purchase.

Thanks. I wish I could attend.

Balthisar
04-20-2010, 04:03 PM
As it happened, the Americans weren't happy with the final borders and negotiated the Gadsden Purchase to get southern Arizona (including Tucson) and New Mexico.
This. We tend to lose site of this because the Treaty of Guadalupe kind of tends to overshine it.

The Mexican-American war was controversial in its day. Ulysses S Grant in his "Memoirs" calls it the most unjust war ever waged by a strong nation against a weaker one.
I tend to get the idea that "highly devisive" is much more descriptive than "controversial." The Democrats (particularly in the South) saw this as an easy route to expand their power in Washington, by acquiring new slave territories. This war had a lot to do with provoking our Civil War. All-in-all, though, I'm not in favor of giving the land back to Mexico!

It's kind of interesting being able to share the Mexicans' perspective in this, as well. For example, despite the unjustness of the war, I'm still proud of the Marines, and can shed a tear for them while standing within the the actual Halls of Montezuma from their anthemn, while at the same time having great respect for the bravery of the Niños Heroes who defended that very castle.

smiling bandit
04-21-2010, 11:00 AM
It's kind of interesting being able to share the Mexicans' perspective in this, as well. For example, despite the unjustness of the war, I'm still proud of the Marines, and can shed a tear for them while standing within the the actual Halls of Montezuma from their anthemn, while at the same time having great respect for the bravery of the Niños Heroes who defended that very castle.

While I, to, consider the war unjust, we also can't entirely leave out Mexico - or at least Santa Anna's - complicity in starting it. Santa Anna was a nasty customer, at best an enlightened despot and at worst a power-hungry traitor. He never made a deal he didn't break, and his military reputation was grossly inflated. While he wasn't incompetent by any means, he wasn't particularly great at anything except persuading people iof his greatness.

He made an enemy of the Church largely because it looked upon him with justified suspicion, threw out the Jesuits who had done so much for Mexico and particularly its native peoples, turned the Texas issue from a small problem into a major crisis, set the spark for war with the U.S., set taxes so onerous sections of Mexico revolted, and then betrayed his own country. hell, by the 1870's, he was still . The inadvertent introduction of chewing gum was his biggest success, and it wasn't even really his!

I don't think much of Polk, but Santa Anna was something else and almost the entire mess can be laid at his feet. I do not think the war would ever have happened had Santa Anna not been on the scene.

Mr. Excellent
04-21-2010, 11:31 AM
While I, to, consider the war unjust, we also can't entirely leave out Mexico - or at least Santa Anna's - complicity in starting it. Santa Anna was a nasty customer, at best an enlightened despot and at worst a power-hungry traitor. He never made a deal he didn't break, and his military reputation was grossly inflated. While he wasn't incompetent by any means, he wasn't particularly great at anything except persuading people iof his greatness.


All true, but I'll say this for the man - one of the causes of the war was that he wanted to enforce Mexican law in Texas, including the ban on slavery. As bad a fellow as Santa Anna was, on this issue he was on the unambiguously correct side.

t-bonham@scc.net
04-21-2010, 08:26 PM
The Democrats (particularly in the South) saw this as an easy route to expand their power in Washington, by acquiring new slave territories.I'm not sure I understand this. Mexico had already outlawed slavery within it's borders. (That was a main reason that Texas broke away -- Texans wanted to keep slavery going.) Are you saying that territories from formerly-slavery-free Mexican areas would automatically become slave states in the US, because they were south of the Mason-Dixon line? But that was already a controversial question, as for example in Kansas.

DrDeth
04-21-2010, 10:46 PM
We also forget that Mexico was both in a state of near anarchy and near bankruptcy at the time. Although the Mexican Politicos made noises about the treaty, the nation badly needed the infusion of cash.

And there also the point that Mexico had political control over that area for less than a generation, and that control was extremely tenuous.
"The northern states grew increasingly isolated, economically and politically, due to prolonged Comanche raids and attacks. New Mexico in particular had been gravitating toward Comancheria. In the 1820s, when the United States began to exert influence over the region, New Mexico had already begun to question its loyalty to Mexico. By the time of the Mexican-American War, the Comanches had raided and pillaged large portions of northern Mexico, resulting in sustained impoverishment, political fragmentation, and general frustration at the inability—or unwillingness—of the Mexican government to discipline the Comanches."

Mexico had but tenuous control of that territory, (and others, see "Republic of the Rio Grande " and others). The Government was unstable, unpopular and bankrupt. It's legal and moral claim to areas which it had little control over and little support from the populace. The people- by and large- did not consider themselves "Mexican" and in many cases greeted the Americans as liberators, not conquerors.

In some cases, Mexico didn't really have any real political control until the 1835 "Constitutional Bases", whereby the federal republic was converted into a unitary one, and the nation's states (estados) were turned into departments (departamentos). And the Mexican American war started in 1846. That's about 11 years. Things were very fluid and chaotic from 1821 (Treaty of Córdoba) until 1835 and even after, with several areas declaring themselves independent.

In any case, the residents were mostly not Mexican, and did not want to be governed from Mexico.

Here's an earlier thread:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=530877&highlight=Guadalupe&page=2

And anotehr post by me:
But of course AZ was only part of Mexico for about a generation, and in fact the Californios deeply resented being part of Mexico. Before Mexico, it belonged to Spain for around 70 years. Before that AZ belonged to the one of the Pima indian tribes, likely the Sobaipuri- for about 100 years. They took it from the Hohokam, probably, although its possible it was a peaceful merge. The Hohokam existed in that area for around 1400 years. Who's the rightful owner then?

Even while AZ was technically part of Mexico, Mexico's control was tenuous- most of the time the Apaches and other tribes ruled the area. Note that in 1831 Tuscon only had 465 "Mexicans" while the same census listed rather more Indians.

While it is true that the Americans had Mexico at the point of a gun, Mexico was only too glad to accept the very generous $18,250,000 that the USA paid for those territories, (generally considered more trouble than they were worth) as Mexico was pretty well bankrupt. Not quite "taken by force", although certainly the threat was there. My guess is that Mexico likely would have taken the cash war or no war.

Per wiki "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" (and there were quite a few Americans living there too, as well as Natives). So,in fact the "Mexican" blood in that area was pretty damn thin.

The Natives- as usual- got the real hosing.
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=11298017&highlight=mexico#post11298017

Balthisar
04-22-2010, 10:41 AM
I'm not sure I understand this. Mexico had already outlawed slavery within it's borders. (That was a main reason that Texas broke away -- Texans wanted to keep slavery going.) Are you saying that territories from formerly-slavery-free Mexican areas would automatically become slave states in the US, because they were south of the Mason-Dixon line? But that was already a controversial question, as for example in Kansas.
I'm not suggesting that they would have automatically been accepted as states. But as territories, I'm only suggesting that it was the South's assumption that they'd eventually become slave territories. Since we ended up with the territories after the war, and they weren't made into slave territories, they were obviously wrong. That doesn't mean that it wasn't just a land grab for the purposes of expanding slavery. The funny thing is, I was defending the South as not being "the bad guy" in the civil war in another thread, but I can squarely blame them for making us the bad guy in this war.

kerko newbie
08-11-2011, 01:23 AM
I'm not sure I understand this. Mexico had already outlawed slavery within it's borders. (That was a main reason that Texas broke away -- Texans wanted to keep slavery going.) Are you saying that territories from formerly-slavery-free Mexican areas would automatically become slave states in the US, because they were south of the Mason-Dixon line? But that was already a controversial question, as for example in Kansas.

The Mason-Dixon Line had nothing to do with slavery...It served as the resolution of a boundary dispute between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland. I believe you intended to cite the Missouri Compromise and latitude 36°30′ north. Also, any new state below that line would not "automatically become a slave state." Being below that line meant a territory could decide to join the Union as a state that allowed slavery. California is a perfect example of a state that is located below 36°30′ north that voted to enter the Union as a "free state."

Elendil's Heir
08-11-2011, 12:12 PM
...The Mexican-American war was controversial in its day. Ulysses S Grant in his "Memoirs" calls it the most unjust war ever waged by a strong nation against a weaker one. One Whig in Congress remembered how the Federalists disappeared after opposing the War of 1812 and sarcastically announced he was now if favor of pestilence and famine too....

An obscure one-term Congressman from Illinois opposed the Mexican War as wrong-headed bullying from the outset, and took some political heat for it: http://dig.lib.niu.edu/mexicanwar/lesson6-packet1.html