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Author Topic: Annexing north Mexico 1800s  (Read 2515 times)
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« on: September 03, 2012, 02:00:23 am »
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I read somewhere that the US was proposing to purchase land from north Mexico during the American/Mexican war in 1845, but never went through. The proposed border was the south border of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coachuila, Nueva Leon and Tamauupas.  What do you guys know about the history of this event?

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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 11:56:46 am »
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I read somewhere that the US was proposing to purchase land from north Mexico during the American/Mexican war in 1845, but never went through. The proposed border was the south border of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coachuila, Nueva Leon and Tamauupas.  What do you guys know about the history of this event?

It was the war, as you say, but, of course, that was in 1847/8. When Mexico was properly defeated, Polk thought he'd get a better deal than the initial proposal that Mexicans had already, essentially, agreed to. It wouldn't have been a purchase of land, in the sense that no Mexican government would have agreed to even talk about it, if not for the fact that Mexico City (and much of the rest of the country) had been occupied. Anyway, the US North was dead set against it: annexation of a bunch of extra Texases, all of which would have likely become slave states, would have destroyed the ballance between North and South. If I recall correctly, some Northern politicians countered with a proposal to annex all of Mexico - which everyone knew to be completely impossible. That is my vague recollection - you'd do better to check the books for details.
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 12:29:51 pm »
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I read somewhere that the US was proposing to purchase land from north Mexico during the American/Mexican war in 1845, but never went through. The proposed border was the south border of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coachuila, Nueva Leon and Tamauupas.  What do you guys know about the history of this event?

It was the war, as you say, but, of course, that was in 1847/8. When Mexico was properly defeated, Polk thought he'd get a better deal than the initial proposal that Mexicans had already, essentially, agreed to. It wouldn't have been a purchase of land, in the sense that no Mexican government would have agreed to even talk about it, if not for the fact that Mexico City (and much of the rest of the country) had been occupied. Anyway, the US North was dead set against it: annexation of a bunch of extra Texases, all of which would have likely become slave states, would have destroyed the ballance between North and South. If I recall correctly, some Northern politicians countered with a proposal to annex all of Mexico - which everyone knew to be completely impossible. That is my vague recollection - you'd do better to check the books for details.

I read quite a bit on this subject a couple of years ago. Polk wanted California and other parts of northern Mexico and was willing to pay for them. The Mexicans wouldn't consider such a deal, so Polk provoked a war. There was considerable political difference about annexation. Most Whigs were opposed to any. Most Democrats wanted some, including a few who wanted all Mexico. Nicholas Trist, who negotiated for the US, had already been relieved of his post, but went ahead negotiating anyway. Polk wasn't thrilled with the treaty, but decided to accept it
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 03:58:22 pm »
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It would have been tricky to annex more than we did -- we got as much land with as few Mexicans as possible.
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 06:03:45 pm »
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It would have been tricky to annex more than we did -- we got as much land with as few Mexicans as possible.

Back then Monterrey wasn't much of a city, and Baja was pretty damn empty. So, the border could have easily run quite a bit further South. I guess, Tampico and Saltillo would have to stay on Mexican side, but there was still quite a bit of land that didn't have much of a settled population.

Of course, annexing lands around to the South of Texas would have been very hard to digest, but not because of the Mexicans: more because you might have been able to grow cotton there.
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 06:08:23 pm »
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It would have helped if you had a map:

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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 06:49:05 pm »
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First post updated with picture.
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 08:00:25 pm »

The main reason Polk accepted the treaty is that he doubted he could get the Senate to approve a treaty that took more, especially since he needed the votes or abstention of at least a couple Whigs to approve it.

There was an effort in the Senate to amend the treaty to gain more territory, but it was soundly defeated for the same reason.  However, if the Senate had been two-thirds Democratic, then likely Polk would have tried for more territory.
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 01:05:18 am »
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It would have been tricky to annex more than we did -- we got as much land with as few Mexicans as possible.

Back then Monterrey wasn't much of a city, and Baja was pretty damn empty. So, the border could have easily run quite a bit further South. I guess, Tampico and Saltillo would have to stay on Mexican side, but there was still quite a bit of land that didn't have much of a settled population.

Of course, annexing lands around to the South of Texas would have been very hard to digest, but not because of the Mexicans: more because you might have been able to grow cotton there.

Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 01:28:52 am »

Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 05:41:30 am »
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Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.

I recall an interesting discussion of the status of Baja when I was in college in 1976. Mexico's balance of payments was a wreck and a peso devaluation was looming. Oil was newly discovered but not yet developed, and the US was reeling from the actions of the OPEC cartel. Border issues in SoCal were heating up. The hypothesis we debated was whether the US should provide a financial bailout of Mexico through a purchase of Baja and guaranteed prices for Mexican oil.
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 01:43:19 pm »
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Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.

Tijuana wouldn't have existed: it is where it is because of the border.
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 02:06:45 pm »

Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.

Tijuana wouldn't have existed: it is where it is because of the border.

While it wouldn't be the same, Tijuana most likely would exist as a suburb of San Diego.
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2012, 02:11:54 pm »
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Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.

Tijuana wouldn't have existed: it is where it is because of the border.

While it wouldn't be the same, Tijuana most likely would exist as a suburb of San Diego.
Of Rosarito, surely.

What wouldn't exist is National City.
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2012, 06:04:24 pm »
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I recall an interesting discussion of the status of Baja when I was in college in 1976. Mexico's balance of payments was a wreck and a peso devaluation was looming. Oil was newly discovered but not yet developed, and the US was reeling from the actions of the OPEC cartel. Border issues in SoCal were heating up. The hypothesis we debated was whether the US should provide a financial bailout of Mexico through a purchase of Baja and guaranteed prices for Mexican oil.

You realized, of course, that no Mexican government delegation during the 20th century would have stayed in the room long enough for you to finish formulating such a proposal (unless, of course, you had Mexico City militarily occupied first, and held the said delegation captive)? Even hearing this out would, probably, be viewed as (capital "T") Treason. Negotiating this would be so out of question, it wouldn't even be funny. This discussion could not have been any more "serious", than a proposal for US to sell Alaska to Zanzibar.
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« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2012, 06:42:24 pm »

Baja California Sur still isn't densely populated, so why not throw that in, too? Mexico didn't even give them statehood until 1974.

Believe it or not the Mexicans were able to keep us Gringos out of southern Baja during the Mexican War, mainly because for us it was a sideshow far removed from any supply lines.  In any case, it was thought to be worthless desert.  What is surprising is that we didn't use the Mexican border between Alta and Baja when it came time for the treaty.  Mainly that was because we weren't certain if San Diego was north or south of that border and we definitely wanted San Diego for its harbor.  However, if we had used the Mexican border between the Californias, Tijuana would be a US city with its suburb of Rosarito Beach being the Mexican border city.

Tijuana wouldn't have existed: it is where it is because of the border.

While it wouldn't be the same, Tijuana most likely would exist as a suburb of San Diego.
Of Rosarito, surely.

What wouldn't exist is National City.

No, of San Diego, since where Tijuana is would be north of the US-Mexico border in that case.  National City would likely still exist, but South San Diego would be part of Tijuana.  Moving the border a few miles south would not affect San Diego's status as the southernmost major port on the west coast of the United States, so it would still be the major city in the region.
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2012, 07:08:10 pm »
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There would have been San Diego suburbs in the area, that's for sure. But no real reason to think that there would have been a city called Tijuana, nor that its core area would have been anywhere near where it is now. Tijuana's one and only reason to exist, at least originally, is the presence of the border. There would have been a Mexican city wherever the border would have passed.
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 12:35:09 pm »
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There would have been San Diego suburbs in the area, that's for sure. But no real reason to think that there would have been a city called Tijuana, nor that its core area would have been anywhere near where it is now. Tijuana's one and only reason to exist, at least originally, is the presence of the border. There would have been a Mexican city wherever the border would have passed.
...which would also be spilling north of the border. All the Mexican border cities do. That was the logic I was using. (Tijuana would be where it is even if there were somehow no San Diego... the port got filled in by an earthquake or whatever... it's as much a suburb of LA as of San Diego.)
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