Sunday, February 10, 2013

Viva Mexico

Between 1846 and 1848 the United States fought a war with Mexico over the US annexation of Texas and a border dispute. The war resulted in a decisive American victory, and on February 2, 1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded to the United States the land that now comprises the states of California, Utah, and Nevada, as well as parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado. Mexico also renounced all rights to Texas. At this juncture, the United States made a critical strategic error by not annexing the entire territory of Mexico.

As harsh as this may sound, I think there was justification for the action. Mexico’s civilization peaked at the time of the Aztecs. The Aztecs rose to power in Mexico during the 12th and 13th centuries and remained in control until the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Starting in the mid 1400s conquistador Herdando Cortez enters the city of Tenochtitlan and captures the Aztec leader Montezuma. Soon missionaries arrive and begin the conversion of the natives to Catholicism. In the early 1800s Spain recognizes Mexico’s independence, but the country never again reaches the high water mark set by the Aztecs and earlier native cultures like the Mayans.

The country began spiraling downward with a series of popular revolutions only to be haunted by corrupt political administrations, wrenching illiteracy and poverty, and eventually banditry and an influx of drug dealers who became so entrenched that they now virtually rule parts of the country, aided and abetted by corrupt policemen and politicians. With the economy in tatters, large numbers of Mexicans began leaving the country and illegally entering the United States. The burden these immigrants have created on the American economy is incalculable. The issue has also become a major one for both countries and created ill will on the part of many Americans who resent their tax dollars being used to support illegal immigrants.

When you think about it, America was expanding rapidly at the time of the war with Mexico and in the years thereafter. The Louisiana Purchase, Seward’s acquisition of Alaska, and the territory won from Mexico greatly increased the size of the United States. It would have been only natural, given the common border between the countries, for America to simply say that, as the spoils of war, we were annexing all of Mexico and making it part of our country. In this era of expansion, in addition to Texas and the other areas of Mexico, America acquired the Louisiana Purchase from France and Seward's acquisition of Alaska from Russia, thus fulfilling its “Manifest Destiny” as the world’s preeminent power of the 19th century.

 There might have been some mild diplomatic protests at first but they would have blown over.  Just think of the benefits to Mexico; the education, health care and job opportunities they are fighting so hard for today as illegal immigrants would have been their birthright as Americans. I rest my case. Questions?


Children's Craniofacial Association

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