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View Full Version : How Much Did The "Gadsden" Purchase Cost?


ralph124c
12-23-2007, 09:57 AM
The last (I believe) acquisition of land in the continental USA, was a purchase of land from Mexico-the "Gadsden purchase". Anybody know why we bought this land? And, what does the constitution say about purchased land? suppose we bought the Yukon from Canada-would the inhabitants automatically become US citizens? I like the idea of buying territory-as opposed to conquest. Could we buy a chunk of Siberia nad add it to the USA? How about if Mexico defaults on its debt-can a bankruptcy judge sell of Mexico to us?

Pushkin
12-23-2007, 10:10 AM
Obligatory Wikipedia link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_purchase) and all that.

IIRC another boundary dispute with Mexico was settled with land ceded to Mexico. All US citizens who lived there before the settlement of the border retained US citizenship. No idea how it would work in reverse.

Wendell Wagner
12-23-2007, 10:13 AM
It's not clear if the inhabitants would become citizens immediately. Of course, at the point that Congress admitted the land as a state, they would become citizens immediately. Barry Goldwater, who was born in Arizona before it became a state, ran for President in 1964 without anyone claiming that he couldn't do so because he wasn't a natural-born citizen. I don't know if that analogy holds up or not.

Great Dave
12-23-2007, 10:20 AM
The land was purchased because of railroads- it has one of the lowest passes over the continental divide, and being so far south, it would mean more traffic going thru the Southern States.

Exapno Mapcase
12-23-2007, 11:03 AM
And, what does the constitution say about purchased land?
Nothing. In fact, Jefferson raised an enormous storm of protest with the Louisiana Purchase because many people thought he had exceeded his authority. Afterward, it served as a precedent to allow other presidents to purchase land.

suppose we bought the Yukon from Canada-would the inhabitants automatically become US citizens?
No. Congress would have to pass legislation granting citizenship. It has done this with most but not all current territories. American Samoans are U.S. nations, not U.S. citizens.


I like the idea of buying territory-as opposed to conquest. Could we buy a chunk of Siberia nad add it to the USA?
You could argue that we've already done this with Alaska. But technically, Congress could add any land as a territory and possibly later as a state.

How about if Mexico defaults on its debt-can a bankruptcy judge sell of Mexico to us?
This, however, is just silly.

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