Inspired by this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=332527 According to a recent Pew poll (http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=52), four of every ten Mexicans surveyed would like to relocate to the United States. Not just the poor, either – the results cut across lines of class and income.
Suppose it were not an issue? Suppose they already were living in the United States?
In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, there was an “All of Mexico Movement” in the U.S. Congress, clamoring to annex not just the territory for which the war had been fought (what is now California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico), but the whole defeated country. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h142.html It was defeated, for various reasons: The problem of policing so much newly conquered and thickly inhabited territory clearly would have been daunting. Many Anglo-Americans quailed at the prospect of making voting citizens of all those brown-skinned (and Roman Catholic!) Mexicans. And there was no slavery in Mexico --and the war was mainly a Southern-states project, to acquire territory in the West that could be settled as new slave states, and preserve the all-important North-South balance of power in the Senate. (The Wilmot Proviso, providing that no slavery should be allowed in any newly annexed Western territory, passed in the House but was defeated in the Senate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmot_Proviso)
What if, despite all of this, the “All of Mexico Movement” had succeeded?
Would the U.S. have ruled Mexico as a voiceless, voteless colony (like the Philippines, later), or would the Mexican states have been admitted to the Union on equal terms with the Anglo states?
Assuming the latter, would all Mexicans have resented the Yankees as foreign conquerors? Or would some have welcomed them as liberators from Santa Anna’s tyranny?
Would a Mexican nationalist rebel movement have emerged? Mexico had been a Spanish colony within living memory – and remained a society ruled by “Creoles” of pure Spanish blood. Was a sense of “Mexican” national identity developed enough, at that point, to be something for which common men would die?
How would American rule have affected the subsequent development of the Mexican states?
How would the inclusion of Mexico have affected subsequent U.S. history? The slaveholding South would have found itself sandwiched between free states to the north and south of it. Would that have prevented the Civil War? Or brought it on sooner?
Would the people of Mexico be better off or worse off than they are in our timeline?