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The treaty that spawned the Mexican American citizen

LatinaLista — To most people, February 2 is the day before the biggest football match of the season. Yet, for Mexican Americans, whether they know it or not, the day marks a historical milestone — it’s when Mexican American history was born.

Map of territory gained by US in The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

February 2 is the 165th anniversary of the signing of the most significant treaty between Mexico and the United States — The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

It’s because of the treaty that many Latino families who trace their origins to Texas’ Rio Grande boundary, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, parts of Wyoming and Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma are correct when they say that their families didn’t cross the border but the border crossed them.

For all the property, mineral rights, gold and oil that was (eventually) discovered on these lands, the US only paid Mexico $15 million. Because of the treaty, the US grew in size while Mexico lost 55 percent of its territory — 525,000 square miles.

As what usually happens with treaties between nations, details get changed before the final version is ratified and according to Wikipedia, those final details made a big difference as to how the United States folded Mexicans into the fabric of U.S. society.

Articles VIII and IX ensured safety of existing property rights of Mexican citizens living in the transferred territories. Despite assurances to the contrary, the property rights of Mexican citizens were often not honored by the U.S. in accordance with modifications to and interpretations of the Treaty.

…The treaty extended U.S. citizenship to Mexicans in the newly purchased territories, before many African Americans, Asians and Native Americans were eligible. Between 1850 and 1920, the U.S. Census counted most Mexicans as racially “white,” despite the actual mixed ancestry of most Mexicans. Nonetheless, racially tinged tensions persisted in the era following annexation, reflected in such things as the Greaser Act in California, as tens of thousands of Mexican nationals suddenly found themselves living within the borders of the United States.

Mexican communities remained segregated de facto from and also within other U.S. communities, continuing through the Mexican migration right up to the end of the 20th century throughout the Southwest

With the Latino population, mainly Mexican American, due to become the majority in California next year, it would seem that history is coming full circle and a new chapter is waiting to be written.

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  • Chuck Pineda
    April 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    It appears that Article 8 gave Mexican families in the conquered territories and THEIR HEIRS all the freedoms and rights of United States citizens.

    Therefore, all of you reading this comment should write the US Senate drafting the forthcoming federal immigration legislation and your congressional representative that the Treaty of Gradalupe Hidalgo guarantee’s US citizenship to the HEIRS of the families in the territories taken from Mexico at point of cannon and bayonets. This includes all Mexican and Latin American families in the United States of Mexico at that time and now. That would include the HEIRS of the families and recipients of California’s Greaser Act.

    Many of the Mexican families in the conquered Mexican territories later fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy or the Union. Their names are in the US Army enlistment records. For example Clemente Pineda fought for for the Union. And hundreds, if not thousands, fought for the Confederacy, especially out of Texas.

    Here, in California, I have run for Governor seven times as a Democrat, however, one the is not controlled by special interest and their controlled media. Therefore, when I run their media never lets the nation or the people know that their is a democrat who like Spartacus of old stood for the poor and slaves.

    In conclusion, the Military Industrial Complex or as I call it the Armament Industry controls Wall Street, the so called main street media, and its minions who orchestrate their agenda whicn means profits for them and higher taxes, of all kinds, just look at your cell phone bill, for us. Add the international bankers who took over our money in 1913, and you will understand why we the people or the masses find ourselves a little better off then the slaves of Spartacus. So, help your American Mexican brothers get their US citezenship via the 1848 Treaty of Gradalupe Hildalgo!

    My best,
    Charles “Chuck” Pineda, Jr.
    Democratic candidate for Governor of California,1986-2010.
    Designer and first Director of the CYA Gang Violence Reduction Project in
    East Los Angeles/Maravilla.

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