Qianna DixonProfessor Stone-CadenaLatinos in the Unites States15 December 2017Borderlands: The History of U.S. and Mexico Relationship Currently in 2017, the United States is under the Trump administration.
Even whilst running for President, Donald Trump went out of his way to bash and insult minorities. Spreading rumors and inciting hate in the hearts of those who just needed a reason or who already had hate in their heart and just needed someone to direct it at. The current Commander and Chief has definitely spent a great amount of time with much of his smearing campaign directed at one nationality that makes up a good amount of the U.S. population. These people are those of Latin and Mexican descent. When the president speaks of these people in the way that he does, one would assume that they have spent a great deal of existence as a nation, trying to the harm the United States and the citizens that reside—with his focus mainly on the border that separates the two countries.
With such a common enough belief, that Trump was elected President of the United States of America, one may find it best to dive deeper into the history of the relationship between the United States of America and Mexico. In order to do this, multiple perspectives must be considered. Since the main argument seems to be of who is more deserving of the land based on who was here first, it is best to go back as far as possible. The research conducted is purposed to analyze the timelines of assimilation struggles throughout Mexico and America and see how the two countries interact with one another.
This will in turn shed light on the effects these reigning powers have on its people—especially the indigenous people who have but so much say in the actions of the sovereign countries. Intentions will be exposed when light is shed on the driving forces and impositions of colonizers and imperialistic powers upon regions through international migration and property division. To truly analyze the tension behind the relationship between the United States and Mexico, it is best to reveal the history of the two countries—both individually and together, the troubles and decisions of the presiding governments and the decisions that were made on behalf of its citizens. Mexico’s history goes back to about 1400 BCE with the Olmec Civilization. This civilization was centered in the Gulf of Mexico and was one of the first great Mesoamerican civilizations. The people flourished agriculturally from the fertile lands. The culture included organized religion involving priesthood and they even made pyramids. The civilization came to an end around 400 BCE and few others follow.
There were the Mayans, the Toltec, Zapote, Mixtec, and then the Mayans again. The Mayans prospered in the Yucatan Peninsula for over a thousand years. When all the civilizations in between their rule took the reigning position, they never actually left. The Mayans are known for their innovative understanding in astrophysics and mathematics. They understood the concept of zero centuries before the Europeans did and developed the only fully functional writing system in the Pre-Columbian Americas. Their cities were well developed—housing schools, libraries, hospitals and even sporting arenas. What was really remarkable was their water system.
The Mayans did not have lakes, rivers or natural springs to provide the fresh water that their people needed, and so they constructed a complex series of channels in order to redirect and store enough rain to maintain the population. Oddly enough, when the Spanish arrived, many of these great cities had been abandoned. Researchers are still not exactly sure what happened, but it seems likely that disease combined with drought and the manipulation of their environment led to the civilizations collapse.
As their history continues, the reigning civilization soon becomes the Aztecs. The Aztecs ruled over about five million people but were rather ruthless, especially in their constant sacrificing of humans to gods. This made them unfavorable and so it was not hard for the incoming Spanish colonizers to turn its people against them in 1519. Meanwhile in what would later be known as the United States, Christopher Columbus has sailed from Spain and “discovered” the New World. His people, and those in alliance, slaughter and rape a large percentage of the population along the east coast. Those who were left alive were put to work as slaves to develop the land in the eyes of the colonizing power. Unfortunately, the colonizers also brought along diseases unknown to the Native American, whom were now enslaved.
Another large percentage died from various ailments and so the colonizing power brought over slaves to work instead. This became the foundation of the country. Fast-forward a few hundred years to 1840s. The United States has made great progress in technology and production and Mexico had tripled in size. Both countries had their individual issues. Mexico was still trying to set and common standard across the region. Both had largely unequal governments.
Mexico went through 30 leaderships changes, had 4 different types of government and many rebellions. The United States still had slavery, which helped the economy thrive but was just wrong and caused a division of opinion, splitting the country into the North and South—those who supported slavery and those who did not. As Mexico expanded, they had more populated area in central Mexico which they called states and there were less dense area which were considered territories. The territories were much larger—about half of Mexico—than the states but had far less inhabitants. What would later be known as California only had about 7,000 inhabitants. Most importantly, those inhabitants lacked protection from the Indian hostility in the area. For this reason, among others, Mexico invited the United States to migrate there to help protect and develop the land.
The American immigrants were given freedom to travel and trade with Mexico. They believed this was good, for the U.S.
was booming from the Industrial Revolution and had a better population count. Where Mexico had 7.5 million, the U.S. had 23 million.
It was not long before the American immigrants outnumbered the Mexicans 3:1, and conflicting beliefs became escalating problems. As populations rose, so did tensions. This resulted in the Texas Revolution.
The American immigrants who were let into the Mexican territories, namely what would later be known as Texas, brought Catholicism and slaves—although Mexico had already abolished slavery in 1829. The American immigrants also dislike the new rules set by Santa Anna, a Mexican politician. Texas fought Mexico and became an independent nation—although Mexico still did not formally recognize it. Meanwhile, the current President James K. Polk had his eyes set on Mexico’s northern territories, known as Territorio de Alta California and Territorio de Nuevo Mexico (most of Territorio de Nuevo Mexico had become Texas but still had a good amount left). Polk was affirm believer in Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that the United States were to connect the east coast with the west.
This becomes the driving force behind the Mexican-American War. James K. Polk offered Mexico 30 million dollars for the land, but Mexico turned it down. Polk then moves troops into a disputed zone between the Rio Grande and the Nueces Riverto.
Mexico still upset about Texas, responds by sending troops out and it results in the loss of 12 U.S. soldiers. Polk uses this and gets Congress to sign off on a war and in the course of two years proceeds to defeat Mexico. It ends with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed February 1848, which essentially was the submission of all land north of the Rio Grande to the U.
S. The U.S. erased Mexico’s debt to them, which was about 3 million dollars and proceeded to give Mexico 15 million dollars for the land now acquired.