The University of Arizona
 

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Living Document
The Aftermath of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:
Land Adjudication, Citizenship and Immigration

Dr. L.M. Garcia y Griego
Department of History, University of New Mexico

February 12, 2011

ASM - Southwest Culture

ASM Podcasts - Episode 43 (44:05)

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Amistades, Inc. LogoThis program was produced by Lisa Falk, Director of Education, Arizona State Museum, in collaboration with Amistades, Inc.Opens in a new window, the University of Arizona’s Office of the Vice President for Research, and the University's American Indian Studies department.

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Transcript

Narrator

Welcome to an Arizona State Museum podcast. This podcast is one of five recordings from a symposium held in conjunction with the display of the original pages of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the Arizona State Museum during February 2011. The treaty pages were on loan from the National Archives. Arizona State Museum extends thanks to Amistades, Inc., the Vice President for Research at the University of Arizona, and the University's American Indian Studies department for support of the exhibition and the symposium. For more Arizona State Museum podcasts, go to www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/podcasts, or go to iTunes, keyword: Arizona State Museum.

Dr. LM Garcia y Griego

What I'm going to talk about this morning are four points. One is going to go very quickly and others are going to take longer. The first one is the consequences for Mexico, particularly for its politics and its foreign policy. A second point—and it's going to be a rather brief one but an important one—is the citizenship consequences of the treaty. The third point is international migration. We think of it as immigration. Mexico thinks of it as emigration. But essentially, what the treaty did is it established an international boundary. Where before you would have had an internal migration, it's now an international one, and one that crosses a demarcation of sovereignty.

And the final point is about land adjudication, particularly in New Mexico, as a consequence of the protection, or lack thereof, of the property rights of Mexican citizens that came with the territory of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Why New Mexico? Because the vast majority of Mexican citizens that came with the territory—after 1848—were concentrated in that state. But in terms of Mexican citizens, you had much smaller numbers, roughly one‑tenth of what was in New Mexico was in California and in Texas. It's a very different distribution.

So again, four basic points: consequences for Mexico, citizenship consequences, the international migration, and land adjudication.

So let me turn first to the consequences for Mexico of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. And I think one way to think about this is although we celebrate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the United States, and in fact, New Mexico has even established a day, the second of February every year is the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo celebration—in Mexico, it would sort of be like, in the South, celebrating Lee's surrender at Appomattox. It's not exactly something people would celebrate. I was in Mexico City actually on the second of February and I asked people about that, and that was exactly the parallel that was given to me.

Now, since I have to go very quickly, again raise your hand if I'm not clear.

The first consequence, in terms of the Treaty of Mesilla, of Gadsden, was that in fact Santa Anna lost his presidency. People got incredibly fed up with the way that the Mexican central government was dealing with the United States. Much of the turmoil that follows that, the internal civil wars with Yucatán and other parts of Mexico, were directly associated with essentially what would be considered to be a failed foreign policy on the part of the Mexican government.

The French intervention in Mexico in the 1860s essentially reinforced this. Because what is going through the uppermost minds of Mexicans as they think about relationships with the United States and relationships with other countries, is becoming prey to more powerful nations. Think of China in the late nineteenth century with Great Britain and you have a sort of carving out these pieces. That's what Mexico is trying to avoid in this particular context.

And you can see the results of this as early as Porfirio Díaz. Porfirio Díaz is nobody's favorite character in Mexican history. He's a dictator that rules Mexico for 30 some years. He's essentially a neo‑liberal. The terms change over time, and it's a complicated term, but  classical liberalism is basically about giving up common lands and enforcing, promoting capitalism, a very raw form of capitalism, in Mexico during that time. But notwithstanding the fact that Díaz, in terms of his politics, in terms of his domestic politics, is very closely aligned to what we would consider to be American politics of the same period—this is what was called the Gilded Age in the United States—notwithstanding that, Díaz is actually a nationalist, is anti‑U.S. in many other respects, in ways that you would not expect given the domestic political affinity.

And part of this has to do with, from the Mexican perspective, the U.S. did not live up to its treaty obligations. One of the key treaty obligations, from the Mexican point of view, which is what I'm trying to articulate here, was that the United States was responsible for keeping the Apaches from going into Mexico from the United States. Mexico's not finding that the U.S. is able to do that, and that is something that you find diplomatic note after diplomatic note, all the way through the 1850s up to the 1880s. And then later, you have complaints on the Mexican side, that when the U.S. does do it, it invades Mexican territory in pursuit, in hot pursuit, of the Apaches and other American Indian tribes that they were having problems with.

Now, when we move forward—very quickly, this is going to be about 100 years of Mexican history in about three minutes—with the Mexican revolution in 1910, what you find at that point in time, some 60 years after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, you find essentially almost a universal anti‑U.S. reaction within Mexico, with respect to any possible relationship with the United States. The revolution itself is a nationalist movement that has very strong anti‑U.S. undertones.

And when Woodrow Wilson—you can argue about whether he was well intentioned or not, but at least he articulated that the invasion of Vera Cruz was well intentioned, supposedly to attack Victoriano Huerta, the dictator of Mexico at that time, and to support Carranza, who's the surprise, at least for Wilson. Carranza does not welcome that U.S. intervention on his behalf, so to speak, and the reaction of everyone in Mexico is “U.S. stay out.” Stay out of our business. You have no business here. We don't need any favors. No me ayudas, compadre is sort of the attitude in that.

And, of course, let's not forget the Zimmermann Note from World War I. This is a context in which it seems incomprehensible today, but it was actually thinkable for people to talk about Mexico having an alliance with Germany at the time of World War I, and that Mexico might recover some of its territories as a consequence of such an alliance in the event that Germany prevailed.

And also in that particular context, it's important to keep in mind that the United States had to maintain a whole—thousands of troops—on the Texas border, concerned about the possible frictions with Mexico. At a time when the United States needs to send troops to Europe, some of its troops have to be contained within U.S. territory because of potential frictions with Mexico. Now that's actually quite striking.

Guess who was Secretary of the Navy at that point in time? Franklin Delano Roosevelt is Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson. He gets the lesson, and what you're going to find in the 1930s when he becomes President, he promotes the good neighbor policy, he looks for an entirely different relationship with Mexico precisely to avoid that kind of situation where the U.S. is potentially facing an insecure border to the south at the same time that it has a conflict elsewhere.

So at the time of World War II—you notice I said we were going to be going very quickly in Mexican history here—at the time of World War II, President Ávila Camacho is the successor to Lázaro Cárdenas. Ávila Camacho finds it in his interests, finds it in Mexico's interests, to support the United States and actually to declare war on Germany, something that Mexicans were startled by.

First of all, Mexico doesn't declare war on anybody was sort of the attitude at the time. Why should we do that? And secondly, ally with the United States? What are you thinking? Ávila Camacho has to take to the airwaves, talk to Mexicans and say, “Those maps that we have in our textbooks that say that that territory is temporarily occupied by the United States, you know like New Mexico, Arizona, that actually belongs to them. We lost that war. We have to, let's get over it. They're now our allies. Germany's the bigger threat. We need to turn there.” For the broader Mexican citizenry that's actually news. That's something that's not something they had internalized at that point.

Americans at that point had completely forgotten about 1848 and how we got the territory, but the Mexicans had not forgotten. Which reminds me of that apocryphal conversation between a Mexican diplomat and a U.S. diplomat where the Mexican diplomat tells the U.S. diplomat, “The trouble with you guys is you never remember, and we never forget.”

So, what are the consequences of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? I would characterize it as distorted Mexican politics, a nationalist foreign policy, and a political regime that should not have lasted as long as it did. Essentially, a corrupt regime until Vicente Fox overcomes in the year 2000. That kind of support for the symbolism of the Mexican Revolution, way beyond the time when the governments are not actually responsive to the revolutionary ideals at all, was made possible by the fact that people saw in the United States an external enemy.

I once angered quite a bit a U.S. representative when I said, “The analogy between Mexico and the U.S. is, think of Poland and the Soviet Union.” He didn't like that comparison, but for many Mexicans that is, in fact, the analogy—this huge monster you have right next door who will intervene in your domestic affairs, who will send troops and who will take territory from you. The point here is that kind of history takes a long time for people to forget. It is particularly difficult for people to forget when they lose a war when people who win wars don't remember these things.

If you wonder about this go to the South. Talk to them about the War Between the States. That memory is still quite vivid and, in fact, politically there is an analogy here. It's not an accident that the Democratic Party won all the elections in the South until the 1960s. A hundred years after the Civil War they are still remembering that the party of Lincoln was not the party that they should support. Notwithstanding the fact that in some ways it was contrary to their ideological interests. Finally they figured that out in the 1960s.

In Mexico you had the same thing. This is what I mean by distorted politics in terms of these concerns. So the upshot is that you have your very strong Mexican suspicion of the U.S. It's, I think, less today for a variety of reasons we can go into in the questions and answers. Even today I would argue intervention of the U.S. in Mexican internal affairs is never far from Mexicans’ thinking about the relationship with the U.S. Although we in United States don’t think of that as something the U.S. would do, it's not far.

When I lived in Mexico City for about a decade in the 1980s, people were arguing about the U.S.‑Mexican war every week in the Mexican newspapers. I mean it's really an amazing thing. What this means is that in some ways the past hadn't really been past, to quote a famous Southern novelist, with respect to Mexican history.

Let me turn to citizenship consequences. The explicit part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with respect to citizenship was that the Mexican citizens that remained in that territory would have one year to return to—not to return, but to leave that territory and to go to Mexico. Or if they remained in the United States they would de facto, default would be the term we might use today, become U.S. citizens.

However, what we don't often look at is what U.S. citizenship laws were like during that period. They were essentially designed to permit the naturalization of white persons, particularly white males. It takes a long time for U.S. citizenship legislation to catch up with what we think of as the appropriate citizenship laws of today.

It's not until 1865 that African Americans have citizenship. Remember Dred Scott in 1857 is basically a decision that says that not just slaves but African Americans do not have American citizenship. In the 1880s with the Chinese and subsequently with the Japanese, other Asian immigrants, you have a similar situation where they're not acknowledged as having citizenship. In fact, they're not naturalizeable. You have other Supreme Court decisions of the same kind.

It's not until the 1930s that Native Americans are recognized as U.S. citizens. Prior to that they're treated as—considered as—foreigners. That's why you have treaties with the Navajo Nation. You have treaties with the Apaches and many other Native Americans.

So this is an important point. The thing to keep in mind is that Mexicans would have been perceived, and were perceived, in the 19th century essentially as half‑breed Indians—that was the term that was referred to—and would not have been considered citizens except that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo explicitly conferred that. For that reason they had citizenship at that point in time.

Let's turn to the issue of immigration, how that relates to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Mexican population that was incorporated with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as I mentioned earlier, was largely concentrated in New Mexico.

Am I talking too fast? My mouth is getting dry and that's often what happens when I talk too fast.

Now the period between 1848 and 1900 is often thought of as a period where there's no immigration from Mexico at all. Actually there's a slow movement but constant movement of settlers, of temporary workers, vaqueros, cowboys, but also of settlers particularly into what today we call south Texas. The area between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River—that triangle between Corpus Christi, Brownsville and I can't remember the third point on that triangle south of San Antonio. It would be Laredo, I guess. That particular area is the area that attracts most of the immigration from Mexico in the latter part of the 19th century.

It's significant. By 1900 you already have as many Mexican immigrants and as many post-1848 descendants of Mexican immigrants as you have people who were Mexicans who had been there before 1848. So that even before the Mexican revolution, which is when people think of as the start of the migration from Mexico to the United States, even before that point you already had what we might call the Mexican‑American population in the United States, is actually a majority post-1848 immigrants or descendants of immigrants, although it's roughly divided half and half between them.

Now, that movement accelerates very, very quickly in the twentieth century. You have a hundred thousand, approximately, in round numbers, people who are Mexican immigrants, people born in Mexico, residing in the United States in 1900. By 1910, that's about 220,000. It's more than doubled in one decade.

By 1920 it more than doubles again to about 480,000. And by 1930, if you look at the census, it's 640,000 or so. But you also have a number of other analyses of the census that show it's closer to about one million. Part of the problem is that Mexican immigration became rather controversial in the 1920s. You can see some parallels in terms of the rhetoric with respect to Mexican immigrants, particularly in California and in Texas during the 1920s, similar to what we've seen in the last couple of decades. And so people who would have declared themselves as having been born in Mexico suddenly said, “No I'm of Mexican origin, but I was born in the United States.” So all of a sudden you find more people in 1930 than could have been born from the parents that had come before, of the first generation. And that's how we can deduce things. In fact it's closer to about one million Mexican immigrants in 1930 residing in the United States. Of course, this is the eve of the Great Depression, 1930. You have a huge repatriation, a huge return movement, to Mexico. That population declines to about 400,000 within a decade. You have as many people move back to Mexico during the 1930s as had moved into the United States during the 1920s.

Now, when you look at border enforcement and think about the fact that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo essentially established a boundary, established differences in sovereignty between the two countries and migration control. Prior to 1894, you had no land border stations. You had no—there was no attempt to regulate movement from Mexico to the United States.

And the United States, quite frankly, didn't think of itself as a country that was receiving immigration across land borders. It had some coming from Canada, particularly from Quebec, into New Hampshire and Vermont, and some coming from Mexico. But the numbers are so small by comparison to the European immigration moving into particularly New York and Boston. Ellis Island is what people are thinking of at this point in time with respect to immigration. Not surprisingly, when you look at the numbers, it's about 800,000 immigrants arriving in the United States each year in the early part of the 20th century. Compare that to 10 or 20,000 per year and you can see why people are not particularly focused on migration across the border.

By 1907, 1908, you actually have border stations that are established where people are actually counting the people crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. And by 1917, you have a head tax imposed and you have a requirement that if people who were coming into the United States as immigrants pay a tax—pay a one-dollar tax per person. And that establishes certain kinds of requirements and registration. You begin to see something like the modern border emerge.

You had a sort a nascent border patrol, which early in that period is not called the border patrol at all. They were called Chinese inspectors. The reason for that is that you had the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. It wasn't particularly illegal for people from Mexico to cross into the United States. But it was for Chinese. And what the Chinese did is what everyone else has done since then. And that is they figured out that the border between the United States and Mexico is easy to get across. And once the United States stopped Chinese immigration in 1882—and renewed it again in 1892, and made it permanent in 1902—what the Chinese did is they started immigrating to Mexico and then crossing overland into the United States.

It's no accident that the best Chinese restaurants outside of Vancouver are in Tijuana and Mexicali. Mexicali was founded by Chinese, Cantonese‑speaking Chinese immigrants. It's a different immigrant from China than today. Most of the Chinese immigrants today are Mandarin speakers or Shanghai-ese speakers. These are from a province of China called Guangdong, which is not far from Hong Kong, that particular area which is where Chinese immigrated to the United States. So the precursors to the border patrol were Chinese Inspectors. There weren't that many of them, but that's who they were looking for. By 1924 you have a border patrol established whose major function is to focus on immigration from Mexico that's not being controlled into the United States.

So the border patrol has two functions at that point in time. One is to monitor the border for illegal crossings, crossings against U.S. immigration law. The second part is to go to ranches and farms. You still see that function on the part of the border patrol. They're focusing on these two areas.

Now, the subsequent history with respect to immigration we're all familiar with. There was the Bracero Program for the temporary legal admission of Mexican workers between 1942 and 1964. There were approximately 4.6 million contracts issued. The number of actual workers (as people repeated) was probably closer to 2.2 million over 22 years. But contrary to what you might believe, it wasn't just in the Southwest. But Mexican braceros were recruited to work all over the United States: Mississippi, Ohio, some went to the far northwest—Montana, Oregon, Washington. They were all over the United States. And contrary to what people might expect, it wasn't during World War II, when we had the most severe labor shortages, that you had the largest number of Mexican braceros coming in. It was after 1954 that you had the largest number. The number actually peaked in 1957, somewhere around 450,000 Mexican braceros contracted each year to the United States. The program was terminated in 1964 and subsequent to that you've seen an uptick— a larger flow of people who enter the United States without documents.

So you could say from an immigration perspective the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo's enforcement essentially has to do with the enforcement at the border with respect to immigration, with respect to customs, and more recently with respect to dangerous materials and people, meaning anti‑terrorist concerns that we have since 9/11.

Let me turn to the last point that I have here, which would be land adjudication in New Mexico. This may seem like a rather minor subject and some of you may think it is a subject of the past, but it's actually very much contemporaneous as well. When the United States acquired this territory, within New Mexico there were 292 land grants.

Now land grants is an English translation of the term merced. It's not a terrific translation because we also have land grant colleges, which have nothing to do with land grants. Land grants was essentially land that was given originally by the King of Spain, subsequently Mexican authorities, mostly to communities but also in some instances to individuals. And usually it was for service or to provide some kind of protection for the communities in that area.

Most of the land grants in New Mexico range from around Socorro, which is sort of the central part of the state, central south, all the way to the north to the Colorado border. Many of them are on watersheds, between areas around mountains and rivers and they're not particularly in the desert parts of the state.

And many of these, particularly the community land grants, were given for what may be considered security purposes. Essentially, you had the initial Spanish settlements were in Santa Fe and in Albuquerque; that's where your elite, whatever elite you could talk about in New Mexico. Let's face it. New Mexico is a far extreme of northern New Spain; that's where you sent the foreigners, and the undesirables from the standpoint of Spanish colonial society.

That's why you find Sephardic Jews in that population—having people that were descended…—or foreigners. Foreigners for the Spanish meant Greeks; that's where you end up with a surname like "Griego" because you're descended from Juan Griego—whatever his surname was it was unpronounceable so they called him Griego—and that's how that came about.

You see that also when you look further south in South America. Every time you go away from Lima, Peru, or the further out you went from Lima, Peru, or the further out you went from Mexico City, which were the centers, the more likely you would be with the peripheral society. But to the extent that you had any elite at all, it was in Santa Fe and in Albuquerque; these were just Spanish settlers that you could find there.

And those communities were often subject to attack. Comanches, Apaches, particularly; to a lesser extent Navajo, but these were significant security threats, particularly during the 18th century. And as a response to that, what the Spanish authorities did is… They often, by the way, ended up with Apache orphans or Comanche orphans raised by Spanish families as a result of some of these attacks. The children got left behind. They would baptize them. And the way we know that is because the baptismal certificate says, "Niño Apache huérfano, José Garcia." Whatever his Apache name was, it got lost.

And these people, of course, were considered second-class citizens within Albuquerque, within Santa Fe, even though they were Catholic, they were Christianized, and so forth. We call these people genízaros. They were Hispanized Indians, essentially. And many of these persons, in order to give them some motivation for staying part of the society and doing something, were given lands in peripheral communities. That is, to the south of Albuquerque that would be Belén, Los Lunas, Tome. To the east, Cañón de Carnuel, Chilili, Manzano; to the north, San Antonio de Las Huertas. In Santa Fe, you have all these communities, Abiquiú, which was between Pueblo, at one point Pueblo, and then, went back to... You had essentially Indian communities or mixed communities. But they were no longer culturally Indian. Essentially Spanish culture, but of, genetically, Indian and mestizo communities. Second class citizens.

Why were they placed there? Well, they were buffer communities. When the Apaches and the Comanches would attack, that's where they would hit first. And their job was to ring the church bell to make sure that people in Santa Fe and in Albuquerque had a half hour or more advanced warning. They were cannon fodder. That's another way to look at it. That is the lands that they got. And some of these communities got fairly large tracts, in order for them to be able to hunt, fish, grow their crops and so forth and so on.

Now U.S., in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, assumed the obligation of protecting all of these private property rights, including community property rights. But the implementation of that, just like the implementation with respect to Mexico, was not what was necessarily considered desirable.

I don't have time to go into the details of this, but you had surveyors general that, essentially, reviewed petitions, reviewed the Spanish documents. And the responsibility on the U.S. side was to essentially acknowledge or recognize those communities as if they had been presented by Mexican law, inotherwords to follow Mexican legal requirements in so doing.

The New Mexican case took forever. It took just a very, very long time. It was long drawn out. It began in 1854; in the 1880s you still didn't have these things resolved. So in 1892 they established a court of private land claims, which actually accelerated the process but didn't improve upon it in my opinion.

And in that context you had—some communities essentially were stripped of the common lands. One of the most important decisions at that time was one that actually went up all the way to the Supreme Court. It's called the United States versus Sandoval. It is a case decided in 1897 [actually 1913; 231 US 28 –ed.] where essentially the court ruled that the common lands belong to the sovereign, not to the community. And as a consequence, since they belonged to the sovereign, which would have been Mexico in 1848, they now belonged to the United States Federal Government in 1897. And so that's how we got these huge Forest Service lands and BLM lands in New Mexico subsequent to that court decision.

As a result, in that particular case, of U.S. v. Sandoval, approximately 1.4 million acres were lost—1.4 million is a lot of acres—out of seven communities. Total, in terms of all of the land grant communities, probably 3.4 million of the claimed acres were lost, some because the land grants themselves were not adjudicated.

Now some of you in this room may have heard of Reies Lopez Tijerina and the movement of Alianza Federal in the 1960s and the early 1970s to try to recover some of that land. I don't have time to go into the development of that particular movement except to say that it attracted national attention. You had the National Guard brought out in New Mexico at one point in response to it. It didn't succeed in returning a single acre of land, but it did bring a lot of public attention to that particular situation.

A couple of decades later, in the 1990s, you had land grant heirs organize themselves in order to develop some responses in order to recover some of that land. You had a land grant forum established in 1995. You had a bill introduced in Congress that actually passed the House, although it didn't pass the Senate, in 1998. You had a report by the General Accountability Office.  [The actual name at the time was General Accounting Office; effective July 7, 2004, it became Government Accountability Office. –ed.]

In New Mexico now since 2003 you have an interim committee on land grants that has actually been legislating on land grants and providing support and protection for land grant communities, community land grants in New Mexico. You had a non‑profit established, the Mexicano Land Education Conservation Trust. You had the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo established in 2006, and then most recently, in 2009, the New Mexico Land Grant Council.

What you have now in New Mexico is a new land grant movement. Small amounts of acreage have been returned. Abiquiú got 33 acres back. The town of Tome got back a community center and four acres, and you have Cañón de Carnuel got about 48 acres through a conservation easement. There's efforts to get land use rights. You still have 33 community land grants surviving and active. That's actually what's amazing after 160 years. You have these communities still trying to do that.

So let me conclude then on these points by saying with respect to Mexico, the treaty affected Mexico profoundly, both its politics and its foreign policy. It affected the way we think of citizenship, with respect to Mexicans and Mexican immigrants in the United States. At some level the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is applied every day with respect to immigration law and immigration enforcement, and not just immigration enforcement, but customs and everything else that has to do with the border. We now have triple fencing along major parts of the border, and Boeing got this huge contract to build something that didn't work. And you have, I would say, selective enforcement. Selective enforcement, not just with respect to immigration, customs, but also with respect to the obligations that the United States has in these areas. However, it didn't stop the population movements, and I think that's what we're going to talk about in subsequent presentations.

Thank you very much.

Questions  
Man 1

Yeah. I apologize ahead of time if my question doesn't deal specifically to what you talked about—but I always have a question when I teach my students about the Treaty, that the Texas independence and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo created, what I say is, some of the first Mexican-Americans in this country. Is there any documentation or knowledge of other communities that were set up, like in Louisiana or Arkansas, before Texas independence, of Mexicans that they came to the United States?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Yes. New Orleans had a few. We're really talking about incredibly small numbers. If you look at the Spanish cession of Florida, 1819, and then there's a US Record Decision Parchment... I can't remember the rest of it. It's about an 1833 decision relating to that. It has to do with the property rights of people who lived in Florida. Some were Spanish, but some were also Mexican, living in there. But you're talking about incredibly small numbers. If Texas and California with 5,000 to 7,000, then that's smaller than the student body of this University, are relatively large outside of New Mexico, then obviously in Florida and New Orleans you're talking about a few 100 at most. Yeah.

Man 3

I understand clearly the distrust of the Mexican people of the United States since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo up until World War II. And you described that James Taylor occurred around World War II. Wasn't that distrust renewed with US intervention in some of the other Central American countries, such as Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras? Because perhaps the Mexican people would have thought, “Well, here the United States is meddling in the affairs of the countries south of Mexico. Maybe we're next,” et cetera.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Yes. In fact during the Reagan administration, when you had some issues with respect to Nicaragua in particular, and I was living in Mexico City at the time. One of the comments from the Mexican Foreign Ministry was, “We already have one border with United States; we don't want to have a second one to the south.” But I think the broader point to draw from all of this is that, and this is one of the points that I neglected to mention because I was in a hurry trying to get to the end of the time. One of the broader points is really important is that this really shaped Mexican foreign policy with respect to international events generally. Mexico consistently opposes intervention. Consistently, regardless of who it is. That's part of the reason why Mexico ended up supporting Cuba, even though it didn't necessarily, ideologically, support Cuba after 1959. That's been part of that Mexican tradition. It’s also made Mexican foreign policy far more conservative than it might otherwise have been. So you have Mexicans essentially supporting state sovereignty at the expense of human rights. Human rights and state sovereignty are often juxtaposed. On that side, whereas Mexicans might otherwise have supported human rights, you end up seeing that a larger power like the United States will often use human rights within the country as an excuse for intervening in the domestic areas, and for that reason you find that kind of reaction.

Dr. Michael Brescia

I'm just going to add to Dr. Garcia, even as late as 2003, Mexico did not support the UN resolution that the United States wanted to invade Iraq. So... even under Vincente Fox.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

And that was with a government that was very pro-US. But the force of Mexican tradition in this particular area just made it very, very difficult.

Man 4

Thank you very much.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Any other questions? Yes ma’am?

Woman 1

In the year that after the treaty that said anybody that wanted to move back to Mexico could, how many people returned to Mexican territory?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Only a few thousand. At some point I saw some numbers suggesting a little over 2,000 people moved. That's what was recorded. We don't actually know. I’m a demographer as well as a historian. One of the problems is, measuring how many people leave is always a lot harder than measuring how many people enter. So, I would characterize that as a rough guess. It's very approximate.

Yes sir?

Man 5

I know there was some other debate where the border was going to be created, with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. How aggressive was the American government in supporting taking the Baja, or even taking more of the central part of Mexico than where the line was drawn?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Well, it's a complex story, but what's actually striking about the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is how aggressive the Mexicans were. There were loud complaints on the American side. “Hey, they lost the war and here they’re arguing like they won it.” It was a very long drawn out process. Nicholas Tryst even ended up losing his formal powers and actually ended up negotiating the treaty without formal authority and so forth. You had subsequent attempts about talk about incorporating other parts of Mexico.

But for the most part, that particular debate was framed in a context of the extension of slavery within the United States. And a good part of the concern particularly the South was to expand further south in order to have additional slave territories. The northern part of the country was not as keen on that for reasons we already know from US history. So the United States itself is divided on this particular question. But the Mexicans actually negotiated very strongly. They were less concerned about the loss of territories, you can see from the final negotiations, than they were about the loss of people. And anywhere where they had people they weren't particularly keen on the loss of the war to lose territory. That said the northern part of Mexico was very under-populated at that point in time.

Yes sir, in the back.

Man 6

My understanding is that...

Dr. Garcia y Griego

I'm having trouble hearing you, sir.

Man 6

My understanding is that the Richardson family in New Mexico finds its roots in this land grant story you were telling.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

That's news to me.

Man 6

OK.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Richardsons, the Mexican side of the family is from Mexico City, everything that I read. They had nothing to do with New Mexico.

Man 6

OK.

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Now there was a lady here. Yes ma'am.

Woman 2

What power structure was interested in the lands, from US side? Who was forcing the issue?

Dr. Garcia y Griego The US‑Mexican war?
Woman 2

Mm‑hm.

Dr. Garcia y Griego I think that's going to come up with some other folks, I'd rather leave that for later. Yes, sir. Please speak up.
Man 7

Yeah. Do you think that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has an impact in current immigration law? And if so can you describe it?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Well, it has an impact in the sense that it set the stage; it created the context for it. Otherwise I would not... I think that from the standpoint of indigenous peoples it creates a huge issue because it divided... you draw an artificial line, and you have communities, and I can't remember the names of some of the particular communities, but there's some that can actually move back and forth as a result of agreements between the United States and Mexico, because their ancestral lands straddled the entire US‑Mexican border. That is actually the major consequence I see from the standpoint of that question you just raised.

One more question. Yes, sir.

Man 8

My question...you mentioned this, around the time of World War II, that the Mexican government was perhaps, for lack of a better word, vacillating whether it would ally with the United States or with Germany, etc. I understand...

Dr. Garcia y Griego

No, that was World War I.

Man 8

Oh, OK.

Dr. Garcia y Griego In World War II, there was no vacillation on the Mexican government's part. The Mexican people weren't quite prepared for that.
Man 8

OK. Thank you for correcting me on that. I understand that around World War II as well, you had two other heads of states. One is Brazil, Getulio Vargas, and then in Argentina, Juan Peron. And they were sort of undecided too. Now, would not the Mexican government had also communicate similar sentiments with regards to the views of, with the other two heads of state? They probably were talking to each other?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

I'm not familiar with their communications, but I'd be very surprised if that had any influence on Mexican foreign policy or Argentine foreign policy. Juan Peron in Argentina was actually very sympathetic to Germany, and the only reason they didn't ally was because of the potential conflict with the United States. I don't know the details in the Brazilian case, but it was not the communication between them that would have mattered. It had much more to do with their history. On the Mexican side, Mexican people sympathized with the United States but didn't want to ally with it, because of the history that they had.

Can I take that one, last one, and I'll just do very, very quick. Yes sir?

Man 9

Did you say something about African-American migration to the South before and during the Civil War era?

Dr. Garcia y Griego

Yes. Actually, between 1848 and the Civil War, you had a flight of black slaves into Mexico because, in fact, Mexico was not a slave...there was no slavery permitted. And so during that time you had a movement, and particularly in Vera Cruz, you still have a significant number of black Mexicans who are descended from some of these folks that moved south. Thank you very much.

[applause]

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