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The Mexican Cession is a place or region in the southwestern United States that Mexico handed over to the U.S. with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, right after the Mexican-American War.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mexican Cession or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Mexican Cession worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE TREATY OF GUADALUPE-HIDALGO
- The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was a peace treaty between the United States and Mexico. It was also the reason the Mexican War ended. The conflict between the two countries lasted from 1846-1848 until the treaty was signed on February 2, 1848.
- It took place in Guadalupe-Hidalgo. It is a city in south-central Mexico. The main reason for the treaty is defined as the “Mexican Cession.”
THE CAUSES OF MEXICAN CESSION
- The Mexican War was the pinnacle of a series of conflicts between the United States and Mexico. The war also included the 1836 War of Independence of Texas from Mexico, Texas’s seizure by the United States, and the affirmation of the United States citizens for monetary damages against the Mexican government.
- A group of United States citizens claimed that they had been affected and their property was damaged during the civil conflicts followed by the 1821 Mexico War of National Liberation against Spain.
- Another reason was the disagreement of the two countries about the southern boundary of Texas. The Mexicans claimed that the Nueces River was the boundary, while the Texans affirmed that the boundary was further south and west along the Rio Grande River.
- The conflict also began due to the persistence of the United States to obtain California. Originally, California was a Mexican province where 700 United States citizens had settled by 1845. They stated that if they did not acquire California, the French or British government might have obtained the territory.
- The racial and cultural tensions that were developed between the mid-nineteenth century also became a reason for these conflicts.
- The domination of Indian people by the Spanish that has been going for centuries produced a rich cultural and racial combination of the Mexican people. Through the Catholic missions, the Spanish influence spread and bridged the southwestern United States.
- The Catholic missions became the core of the people’s economic life and social life, and gradually, Mexico established its own social structure.
THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION AND MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR
- In 1821, the great establishment of farmers and ranchers started the Mexican Revolution against the Spanish. After the revolution ended, having an interest in economic development, the Mexican government pursued settlers in Texas.
- The Mexican landowners were established in agriculture and ranching aspects until the invasion of Anglo-Americans in the 1830s and the gold rush of 1849 in California.
- This was a disaster for the Mexican nation and landowners because their land was simply taken from them.
- This caused the Mexicans to break their diplomatic relations with the United States when the U.S. annexed (the addition of country or region) Texas in 1845. The current president of that time, James K. Polk, sent General Zachary Taylor across the Nueces River to claim Texas’ southern boundary.
- The president also dispatched a Louisiana politician and trader, John Slidell, to join the invading army with instructions for purchasing the land in dispute. Slidell offered $5 million for New Mexico and $25 million for California.
- The Mexican government refused the proposal, thus leading to General Zachary Taylor’s advancement to the Rio Grande River’s mouth. This also led the Mexican government to send troops over the Rio Grande because they stated that Taylor was in the act of aggression.
- With these, President Polk proclaimed that the Mexicans invaded the United States’ soil, which made Congress declare war on Mexico on May 13, 1846.
- The United States performed well during the war. The United States prevailed over the Mexican military force and occupied Mexico City in September 1847.
THE MEXICAN CESSION
- With the military success of President Polk, he also began the thought of annexing the whole of Mexico. He ordered a low-level U.S. agent, Nicolas Trist, to cut through this very ambitious goal when he began negotiating the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo for the U.S. side.
- However, President Polk became outraged when he learned that Trist only secured the original U.S. demands. Despite this, Mexico lost about one million square miles of land (almost half of its territory) with the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.
- The territory or region termed the “Mexican Cession” includes California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Wyoming, and some parts of Colorado.
- With these, the Mexican government received $15 million, and United States would settle all claims of its citizens against Mexico that amounted to more than $3 million.
- The Mexican citizens in the acquired region were presumed to be legal U.S. citizens unless they left the area or registered as a Mexican citizen within one year. The treaty also allowed the citizens to have religious freedom, property, and civil rights.
- According to Article IX, the Mexican citizens in this territory would be incorporated into the United States of America and admitted the enjoyment of all rights of citizens of the United States.
- With these, the delicate balance in Congress between slave states and wage-labor states rekindled Congress’s debate over slavery after acquiring this land from Mexico.
- Southerners wanted to enlarge the territory that would enter the union as slave states. For that reason, both parties opposed the war with Mexico. Thus, this explained how the Mexican Cession played a big part in the nation’s drift towards Civil War.
Mexican Cession Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Mexican Cession across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mexican Cession worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mexican Cession which is a place or region in the southwestern United States that Mexico handed over to the U.S. with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, right after the Mexican-American War.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mexican Cession Facts
- Timeline of Cession
- Filling the Boundary
- Jumbled Treaty
- Annexing Mexico
- The $15 Million Exchange
- Mexican Cession
- Questions of the Citizen
- Rio Grande Crossword
- The ‘Cession’
- Today’s Mexican Cession
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Link will appear as Mexican Cession Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 5, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.