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8.8.1 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo [Exchange copy]

Excerpt from the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which added nearly two million square miles to the United States, including present-day California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming,and ended the Mexican War. This page shows the handwritten text of Article VIII in both English and Spanish.
U.S. Government. 3/4/1789-
1848 February 2
Manuscript

Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo [Exchange copy]. February 2, 1848. National Archives and Records Administration, Series: Perfected Treaties, 1778 - 1945, Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006;

Article VIII “Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico ... shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories. ... Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories, may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. ...In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guaranties equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.” The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo concluded the war between Mexico and the United States. The United States took vast new lands in the Mexican cession, as Mexico was required to surrender 55 percent of its country’s territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah). The Texas border was also set at the Rio Grande river. The United States paid Mexico $15 million for war-related damage to Mexican property. The treaty also stated that Mexicans living in areas now part of the United States could expect that their property would remain theirs. The treaty also granted US citizenship to those living in the newly ceded territories. What do you think some of the opportunities and challenges might have been for those now living under a new government?
The Mexican–American War was the fulfilment of many Anglo Americans’ desire to make the United States a continental nation. President Polk was one of these US citizens looking to expand the amount of land available to Anglo settlement and development at the expense of those already living in the West. The treaty’s language suggested that the outcome of the war would not become a hardship for those now living within the United States. The reality was more complicated, as the remainder of these sources indicates.

[left page, left side in Spanish:]

Artículo VIII

Los mexicanos establecidos hoy en territorios pertenecientes antes a México y que quedan para lo futuro dentro de los límites señalados por el presente Tratado a los Estados Unidos, podrán permanecer en donde ahora habitan; o trasladarse en cualquier tiempo a la República mexicana, conservando en los indicados territorios los bienes que poseen, o enajenándolos y pasando su valor a donde les convenga, sin que por esto pueda exigírseles ningún género de contribución, gravamen o impuesto.

Los que prefieran permanecer en los indicados territorios podrán conservar el título y derechos de ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos.

[left page, right side in English:]

Article VIII

Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever.

Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the

[right page, left side in Spanish:]

Mas la elección entre una y otra ciudadanía, deberán hacerla dentro de un año contado desde la fecha del canje de las ratificaciones de este Tratado. Y los que permanecieren en los indicados territorios después de transcurrido el año, sin haber declarado su intención de retener el carácter de mexicanos, se considerará que han elegido ser ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos.

Las propiedades de todo género existentes en los expresados territorios, y que pertenecen ahora a mexicanos no establecidos en ellas, serán respetadas inviolablemente. Sus actuales dueños, los herederos de éstos, y los mexicanos que en lo venidero puedan adquirir

[right page, right side in English:]

United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.

In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees