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History Review, Por Favor: The United States and Mexico

In the midst of all the immigration battles, one might ask why so many people from Mexico (or other countries for that matter) are coming to America illegally. Some of them might be doing it in a desperate attempt at a better life, others are lured by the welfare state, while others are doing it because they are involved with drug cartels or some other criminal or even a terrorist organization (e.g. Hezbollah has been infiltrating our southern border, and probably our northern border as well).

But one reason that stands out from the others is the fact that some Mexicans are coming here illegally because they believe that the Southwestern United States was stolen from Mexico, and hence they plan to take it back.

Where (and why) did they come up with this nonsense? After all, the Southwest became part of American over 150 years ago. The answer: it was the result of bitterness from losing the Texas Revolution in 1836 and the Mexican War (1846-1848). Students in Mexico are taught that the United States launched a war of aggression against Mexico, and took the present-day Southwest as a result. I wouldn’t be surprised if such propaganda goes beyond the classrooms throughout Mexico.

In addition, some Americans (both then, during the 1840s, and today) believe that the Mexican War had no purpose except for territorial acquisition. Although the concept of “Manifest Destiny” played a role, the ego of some Mexicans (particularly Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna during and after the Texas Revolution) was equally significant. In fact, the Mexican Army launched an invasion of Texas in 1842 over a border dispute–Texas claimed the Rio Grande was it southern border, while Mexico claimed the Nueces River (located north of the Rio Grande) was the border–a dispute which would lead to the Mexican War.

In addition to the border dispute, Mexico was bitter over losing the war to Texas several years before, and thus sought to prove itself. It was not to be, for the Texans would eventually force them back across the Rio Grande. Not only did Mexico fail to avenge their previous loss, but their invasion persuaded Texas to become the 28th state.

To put it in a nutshell, the real motives behind the Mexican War was the concept of “Manifest Destiny” among some Americans and the ego of some Mexicans.

As previously mentioned, the border dispute between Texas and Mexico led to war in 1846. The United States emerged victorious, and under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the border between the United States and Mexico was established at the Rio Grande. Another provision of the treaty was the United States’ purchasing the California and New Mexico territories (consisting of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming) for $15 million ($410 million today).

Thus, the United States never stole any land from Mexico. So, if anyone tells you otherwise, point this out to them. You might also inform them of the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, in which America purchased the present-day southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico for $10 million ($260 million today). And of course, you should remind them that Texas won its independence from Mexico just as America won its independence from Britain. By the way, the Republic of Texas consisted of not only Texas, but also parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

It should also be noted that most of Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica to be exact) were once part of Mexico. I wonder if Mexico plans to take back those countries. Meanwhile, there are some pro-immigration groups who advocate expelling all white people from North America (claiming that it was stolen by Europeans). Not only is this idea racist, but it is also hypocritical since most Mexicans (and other Hispanics) have European ancestry, not to mention the fact that they continue to speak the language of the conquistadors (Spanish). In addition, I don’t recall the rest of North America’s (the United States minus the Southwest, Canada, the Caribbean, Greenland, Panama, and Belize) belonging to Mexico.

So if Mexico really wants the Southwest back (minus Texas and the portions of states previously mentioned), they are going to pay America $670 million–take it or leave it. I would also demand the release of Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi as part of the agreement.

The question is would the Mexican Government actually take advantage of this offer, or would they advocate its citizens taking the Southwest back for Mexico in the same way that Saddam Hussein always considered Kuwait to be part of Iraq (which led to the Iraqi invasion in 1990)?

Image: Courtesy of: http://wegolas.wikispaces.com/URi+H

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Andrew Linn

About the author, Andrew Linn:

Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to examiner.com and Right Impulse Media.

View all articles by Andrew Linn

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