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Articles IX and X
Digital History ID 561

Author:   Article IX
Date:1848

Annotation: The Mexican government signed the treaty under duress. Antigovernment rebellions had broken out, and the national government desperately needed funds to pay the army. British money brokers pressured Mexican officials to end the war and begin repaying the country's debts.

Despite assurances made during the treaty negotiations, by the end of the century, most Mexicans had lost their land. During the 1960s, a number of groups of Mexican Americans struggled to ensure compliance with the provisions of the treaty. They were especially eager to regain the land that had been granted to their ancestors by Spain and Mexico. In their fight to regain land for the rural poor in northwestern New Mexico, the New Mexican land rights crusader Reies López Tijerina and his Alianza movement invoked the Treaty of Guadalupe. In 1972, the Brown Berets, a youth organization, invoked the treaty in its symbolic takeover of Catalina Island, off the southern California coast.


Document: Article IX was intended to protect the civil and property rights of Mexicans who remained in the Southwest. The following paragraph appeared in the original treaty.

The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic...shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States as soon as possible.... In the meantime, they shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and the civil rights now vested in them according to the Mexican laws. With respect to political rights, their condition shall be on an equality with that of the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States.

The U.S. Senate replaced this clause with a more ambiguous statement, modelled after the Treaty that had brought Louisiana territory into the Union.

[Mexicans not choosing to remain citizens of Mexico] shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted, at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of the Constitution; and in the meantime shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.

Source: Charles I. Bevans, ed. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949, vol. 9 (Washington, D.C.: Department of State, 1937), 791-806.

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