THE TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO
Katie Menante Anderson
Human beings, no matter what race or ethnicity or place or time, will not tolerate injustice forever. Webster’s defines injustice as a “violation of the right or of the rights of another” (Merriam-Webster, 1990). The history of the United States is filled with such violations. From the early challenges to religious freedom in Massachusetts to the broken treaties and systematic removal of Native Americans from their land to the abominable practice of slavery in the United States, our nation’s reality rarely measures up to the principles and ideals penned by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights.
The story for Mexican-Americans is no different. The annexations of Texas in 1845 and the Mexican Cession in 1848 make evident the bulldozing efforts of the dominant Anglo culture to fulfill its “Manifest Destiny,” in spite its own declarations that “all men are created equal” and that the United States is a nation that believes in the personal freedoms of life, speech, property and religion. Confronted by the reality of Manifest Destiny and annexation, the new Mexican-Americans resisted the unjust domination of the U.S. Government and its citizens and challenged the broken promises of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Social banditry, the secret and nocturnal resistance of Las Gorras Blancas and their involvement in the newspaper La Voz del Pueblo and political party Partido del Pueblo Unido were different expressions of the Mexican response to the injustices they experienced by the United States and its Anglo citizens.
In the spring of 1848, the congresses of the United States and Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thereby ending the Mexican- American War and finally settling the two nations’ tenuous border dispute over Texas. According to the terms of the treaty, Mexico ceded over
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