Mid Winter Anniversary of Mexican American Relations

Mid winter anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Mid winter anniversary of the first US Mexican boundary marker

Yesterday, Feb 2, was interesting for three reasons.

Mid Winter Anniversary of Groundhog Predictions

First, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania saw his shadow. Now you have six more weeks of winter. What better place to spend that than down here in Mexico, healing on holiday?

Mid Winter Anniversary of the Peace Treaty

Second, Feb 2 was the 169th anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe. In 1848, the United States of America and the United States of Mexico (its official name) signed the treaty to establish “a solid basis relations of peace and friendship” and end the Mexican-American War. The two sides negotiated the terms in Guadalupe, a village outside Mexico City, the capital. It’s where the Mexican government had fled from the invading US Army. A few weeks later, the congresses of each nation ratified the treaty.

The war moved the border about one thousand miles south. Changing hands were:
* Texas, which already had thousands of American immigrants and had declared itself a republic,
* California, which had a Russian fort and whose American immigrants had also declared their independence, and
* New Mexico, which then included today’s Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado.
All totaled, it was about half of what had been Mexican territory.

In those days, the Indians, Mexican peasants (who lacked basic rights), and American settlers amounted to way less than 120,000 in the whole territory. That’s fewer people than Victoria Texas (ever heard of it?) has today. And transportation and communication were so slow, taking months. Hence the vast territory was not much ruled by a distant capital. Instead, the few landowners pretty much settled affairs.

Mid Winter Anniversary of the War’s Aftermath

The mid 1800s was not the only time that soldiers crossed the border. It happened again 70 years later during the next war in Mexico, against one of its dictators. (Diaz originated the saying: “Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close to the US.”) In 1916, Pancho Villa — ex-bandit turned general — and his band attacked Columbus New Mexico. The US retaliated by sending General Pershing and Lieutenant Patton — who later won fame in World War II — deep into Mexico.

To escape the horror of the revolution that wrecked the economy and killed as many as one of every six Mexicans, many thousands fled to the lost territories. Naturally, some Anglo Americans reacted with alarm. That’s when they first conceived the notion of calling someone an illegal immigrant.

A couple decades later, the US was close to invading again, that time to claim oil. That war for oil was avoided. But alas, future wars for oil came to pass elsewhere.

While the treaty of Guadalupe did move the border, it did not erect a wall. It left the border quite porous. People could cross it any time in either direction. Gradually, that changed.

Mid Winter Anniversary of Rekindling Animosity

Finally third, the guy in the White House boasts of building a wall between America and its southern neighbor — like the Great Wall of China to keep out the hordes of Mongols. Yesterday, the AP reported he told the president of Mexico that the US might have to solve crime in Mexico by invading. So, could it work the other way, too? Could Mexican troops solve crime in American cities, the most dangerous places in North America?

Let’s cut to the chase, to the core issue: desperate migration. To end it and expand pleasurable tourism, expand prosperity. That’s what everybody seeks.

It’s a job made to order for Americans. Gringos are Mexico’s biggest importers and investors. With that economic power, Americans could forget about walls and instead do things like:
* invest in high-speed rail and solar power
* incubate creative start-ups like plant-based medicine
* buy bonds from localities that punish graft and recover land values
* negotiate higher environmental standards, and
* quit arming the federal government.
These reforms have proven themselves successful elsewhere. Then Mexico could quickly catch up to America and Canada.

We can be thankful that politicians are more bark than bite. Still, since that guy in the bully pulpit has been so rude to our neighbors, it’d be a nice gesture for gringos to vacation in Mexico and show another — friendly — side of America. Friendliness is what tourists encounter in Mexico.

Stay six weeks and miss the rest of groundhog winter. While visiting, you could even heal on holiday. To arrange your medical or dental vacation, just contact DocTours.

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Author: jeffery

Traveler, Next-Pat, organizer of for-profits and non-profits, author published in both the popular and academic press (usually on "geonomics" or ecological economics), and inventor of non-polluting engine, conscious-raising language, and other goodies.

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