Mexican Irredentists

In Mexico are there any groups of more than negligible size which seriously argue for the return to Mexico of the land it lost to the United States after the Mexican-American War?

There probably are groups who want to reclaim the land out of a sense of pride. Then, you have the people with the money who see the U.S as a safety valve for all the poor people who, if they had no place to go, might start to make trouble.

As one relative told me, “What do these (pick an expletive) think we’ll do with that land? They expect everything to stay there with this (Mexican) government? No! Everything will move to Washington or Wyoming. Do they think we (my family owns ranches) won’t get the farms or do they think we’ll suddenly become generous? And why are they so interested in getting more land instead helping with the problems in what we have now?”

The simple answer is no. It is no more than a unrealistic fantasy for a few. Not something to even bother thinking about to the great majority.

Slowly and surely, our old territories will shift back to our control.

I’m wondering who even these “few” are? Excluding people with whom I’ve been inebriated and having those types of deep, what-if conversations. :wink:

Well, there’s the Mexia Movement.

And then there’s Azltan a bunch of racists who also (surprise, surprise) are a bunch of rabid anti-Semites too.

And, there was the Zimmermann Telegram which promised Mexico the return of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona if they would make war on the U.S.

Mexico’s response was (quoting directly from Wikipedia):

[ul]
[li] Attempting to re-take the former territories would mean certain war with the United States.[/li][li]No matter how “generous” it was, Germany’s “financial support” would be worthless. Mexico could not use it to acquire arms, ammunition, or other war supplies, because the United States was the only sizable arms manufacturer in the Americas. [*]The Royal Navy controlled the Atlantic sea lanes, so Germany could not possibly supply any quantity of arms.[/li][li]Even if Mexico had the military means to re-take the territory it would have had severe difficulty accommodating and/or pacifying the large English-speaking population.[/li]Mexico had even cooperated with the ABC nations to prevent a war with the United States, generally improving relations. If Mexico were to enter war against the U.S. it would strain relations with ABC nations—who would later declare war on Germany.
[/ul]

In other words, thanks, but no thanks.

The vast majority of Mexicans have come to terms of the loss of their Northern territories. Mexico has a lot of issues and grabbing these territories won’t solve them. Few Mexicans have any real attachment to these territories. It isn’t like this was ancient homeland, or they have homestead claims.

One can argue it didn’t lose anything as it never really had anything, and that the funds they accepted were badly needed:
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 had doubtful 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/...adalupe&page=2

And another 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.

Read about the state Mexico was in during that period.

wiki “Political divisions inside Mexico were another factor in the U.S. victory. Inside Mexico, the centralistas and republicans vied for power, and at times these two factions inside Mexico’s military fought each other rather than the invading American army. Another faction called the monarchists, whose members wanted to install a king (some even advocated rejoining Spain) further complicated matters. This third faction would rise to predominance in the period of the French intervention in Mexico.”

The federalists asked Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna to overthrow Bustamante and he did, declaring General Manuel Gómez Pedraza (who won the electoral vote back in 1828) as the “true” president. Elections took place, and Santa Anna took office on 1832. Constantly changing political beliefs, as president (he was president eleven different times),[7] in 1834 Santa Anna abrogated the federal constitution, causing insurgencies in the southeastern state of Yucatán and the northernmost portion of the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas. Both areas sought independence from the central government. After negotiations and the presence of Santa Anna’s army eventually brought Yucatán to again recognize Mexican sovereignty, Santa Anna’s army turned to the northern rebellion.

Several states went into open rebellion: Coahuila y Tejas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. Several of these states formed their own governments, the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Yucatan, and the Republic of Texas. Only the Texans defeated Santa Anna and retained their independence. Their fierce resistance was possibly fueled by reprisals Santa Anna committed against his defeated enemies.

The Republic of Yucatán (Spanish: República de Yucatán) was a sovereign nation in North America that existed from 1841 to 1848. It encompassed the present Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán, which during the Spanish domination were the colonial Captaincy General of Yucatán, under New Spain, but separated from the Viceroyalty of Mexico…The attitude of the Mexican President Herrera led the January 1, 1846, the Departmental Assembly of Yucatán, Yucatán declared independence from Mexican territory once again.
OK, now go to a map of Mexico. Mark off Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas (and Chiapas). How much do you have left?
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.