A more moderate treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

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Alright had Santa Anna not been in charge of Mexico at this time and there had been a more competent General / President in Mexico after the Texan Independence and during the Mexican-American War, what would a more moderate treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo look like assuming the US still won th war.
Could it be that only the annexation of the entire territory of Texas up to the Rio Grande and including the parts of New Mexico and Colorado it claimed be annex while Mexico gets to keep the rest?
Is this the mildest possible treaty even after Mexico looses the war? of could it be even better?
 
San Francisco Bay/Harbor was noted as lovely by the Americans well before the war, so they may angle for that, still.

Beyond that, perhaps just taking all of Texas at the Nueces River, if nothing else.
 
Not really. The OTL treaty was already extraordinarily mild considering the total defeat of Mexico. I don't think a more competent Mexican leadership is going to get anything better unless they are so much better that they can avoid defeat. Alto California for example, was already independent by the time the treaty was being discussed. There's basically no way Mexico is getting any of it back in even the most generous possible versions of GH.
 
Not really. The OTL treaty was already extraordinarily mild considering the total defeat of Mexico. I don't think a more competent Mexican leadership is going to get anything better unless they are so much better that they can avoid defeat. Alto California for example, was already independent by the time the treaty was being discussed. There's basically no way Mexico is getting any of it back in even the most generous possible versions of GH.
I agree. Guadalupe Hidalgo was the moderate form considering the scale of the military defeat and the push for total annexation. Without the Mexican Army doing better in the field I doubt any shake ups of the political establishment in Mexico City are going to substantially change the peace treaty
 
I agree. Guadalupe Hidalgo was the moderate form considering the scale of the military defeat and the push for total annexation.


Orioes,

Agreed. The US envoy, Trist, ignored both instructions from Washington and his own recall notice while negotiating the treaty. What he produced was the moderate treaty. It was accepted by Senate, despite the earlier hard line, when realization of just how much land was involved and how it might upset the delicate North/South political balance. (Which it still did.)

Without the Mexican Army doing better in the field I doubt any shake ups of the political establishment in Mexico City are going to substantially change the peace treaty

Again, agreed. With the US occupying the capital and supplying their forces with not too much difficulty, Mexico is in a very poor condition to negotiate. The US engage in a number of ancillary expeditions after taking Mexico City too, facing little organized opposition, and that weakened the government's hand even further.


Bill
 
Alright yeah that was might doubt. It always seemed in most AHs it goes worse for Mexico never a tad bit better.
But what if Mexico City is never taken. The war in the north is still disastrous but a better defense is placed in Veracruz and American forces don't make it to Mexico City could a better leader than Santa Anna sue for peace earlier and give the greater Texas area plus chunks of the north (Utah, Colorado north of Nevada) to the US in the peace?

About Alta-California's independence was this a real thing with hopes of it staying independent? The bear flag revolt was mostly a norther California thing based in Sacramento with a few action in San Francisco; Mexico never recognized the independence the south was still mostly empty and Mexican in its population. If Mexico is left in a better state after the war couldn't it try to re-annex it? and actually be successful at least in bitting the southern chunk off? and then have the US take the north?
 

Jasen777

Donor
Argument about the "moderate" if the treaty aside, you guys are forgetting that the op brings up an alternate war. The U.S. could win the war without the Mexico City campaign, just winning battles in the north.

Without an early pod though, California is a goner. The best case in a U.S. victory for Mexico may be they keep New Mexico-Arizona.
 
Alright yeah that was might doubt. It always seemed in most AHs it goes worse for Mexico never a tad bit better.
But what if Mexico City is never taken. The war in the north is still disastrous but a better defense is placed in Veracruz and American forces don't make it to Mexico City could a better leader than Santa Anna sue for peace earlier and give the greater Texas area plus chunks of the north (Utah, Colorado north of Nevada) to the US in the peace?

About Alta-California's independence was this a real thing with hopes of it staying independent? The bear flag revolt was mostly a norther California thing based in Sacramento with a few action in San Francisco; Mexico never recognized the independence the south was still mostly empty and Mexican in its population. If Mexico is left in a better state after the war couldn't it try to re-annex it? and actually be successful at least in bitting the southern chunk off? and then have the US take the north?

Well, there was no real interest in an independent California. The republic didn't even last a month, they were so eager to join the U.S. However, the problem with Mexico retaining any of the OTL Mexican Cession is that the U.S. took no territory that was not already fully in American hands. For example, all of Alta California was in American hands by January 1847. Indeed, by that time, everything the Americans took was already fully in American hands, with the subsequate invasion of Mexico proper primarily to get the Mexicans to admit defeat. Even if that invasion didn't go as well as OTL, Mexico still has no means to retaking any part of Alta California or the territories linking it to Texas.
 
Seems some New Mexicans were not that happy about changing hands.

During the 1846-47 U.S. conquest of New Mexico, an uprising at Taos against American occupation proved to be one of the bloodiest and least understood episodes of the entire military campaign.
Entire Article on the Taos revolt: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Vicious-fighting-marked-Taos-revolt

From another source:
War with Mexico in 1846 hastened the dominance of the Anglo-American influence. General Stephen Kearny marched to Santa Fe in 1846 without firing a single shot.

However, there was resistance to the newcomers. After a "foiled plot" in Santa Fe in December of 1846, the Taos Rebellion broke out on January 19, 1847. Governor Bent and others who were considered to be sympathetic to American occupation were murdered. The revolt spread to Turley's mill near Arroyo Hondo where Simeon Turley and several other Americans were killed. Padre Martinez provided sanctuary for several Americans who sought refuge at his house. When news of the revolt reached Santa Fe, Col. Sterling Price led a retaliatory force toward Taos. He defeated some of the rebels at Santa Cruz de la Cañada and then at Embudo, 23 miles south of Taos. Price then marched on to Taos. The final and decisive battle took place at the Taos Pueblo Church where the insurgents were fortified. The bombardment that followed killed at least 150 and destroyed the church, although its ruins still remain. Whether the insurgents were Indians or Spanish or both is one of the questions regarding the rebellion which have never been answered.

In 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the Mexican American war and ceding today's Southwest to the United States. All non-Indian inhabitants of the area who did not leave within one year became U.S. citizens. With the discovery of gold in California in 1849 an "avalanche of humanity" poured into the Southwest, making Manifest Destiny a reality in Taos. As with Indian land claims, the Hispanic loss of land has been disputed by land grant activists. In addition, many small communities in northern New Mexico shared common pasture land. These communal lands were lost to the U.S. government, through court judgements to land schemers; and sometimes because individual members of the community wanted a private parcel, thus forcing the division of communal property into individual ownership.
Maybe, Mexico could have kept New Mexico in a more moderate treaty.
 
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Like Metro points out, much of what's supposedly said to be already taken by the US was not. Most of Arizona and New Mexico was still Indian land and most of southern California was not in Bear Republic hands. The Rio Grande Valley was still overwhelmingly Mexican (still is, over 90%). The Nueces strip was never under Texan control, unhappy with being handed over, and sporadically revolted against US rule into the 1870s. (Even an aborted revolt in the 1910s.) Most of the border cities today on the Rio Grande sprung up from refugees who did not want to be American, Nuevo Laredo for example.

Have as a POD Trist taking that into consideration, against his orders just like he did IRL.

Or maybe a POD much earlier in time where Hidalgo or Morelos wins independence, not Iturbide, with a much angrier and fiercely nationalistic populace rather than criollo elites who tear the nation apart for its first two decades jockeying for personal advantage. The US faces a united nation, likely poor from mismanagement and losing its financial elites, but not a nation constantly at war for 25 years and deeply divided with a number of local revolts. The war would still likely end in loss for Mexico, but not as great. Such a nationalist new nation might even have sent its own colonists to Texas rather than invited Americans. Conceivably there's an outside chance Mexico loses only its border regions, east Texas and Colorado, plus north California.
 
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Well with an earlier POD (and not even exaggeratedly early) we can have a rich unified Mexico that can hold itself militarily against the US with fair enough odds.

No I was thinking of a POD past Texan independence. And the treaty does not need to be much more moderate. Basically: could Southern California, a larger territory of La Mesilla (southern Arizona/New Mexico) and/or the Nueces Strip stay in Mexico had Mexico done just a little bit better in the war?
 
Trist put himself at serious risk OTL with his actions in defiance of President Polk so I seriously doubt he'll dare to yield territories already in the hands of the US, let alone parts of Texas for a decade already.


jycee, Mexico needs to do much better to have any such chance. To start with, they'll have to defeat Scott's landings at Vera Cruz AND win one or more major victories in the north, thereby retaking some of the lost territory, or their bargaining position is still very poor.:(
 
Trist put himself at serious risk OTL with his actions in defiance of President Polk so I seriously doubt he'll dare to yield territories already in the hands of the US, let alone parts of Texas for a decade already.


Grimm,

Agreed. The treaty Trist negotiated and why Polk accepted it has more to do with domestic US politics than anything else. While the war was ongoing, it was popular the US population. Many US congressmen and senators had a different view however.

While the war was still in progress, the House passed a resolution thanking General Taylor for his service. Added to that resolution was an amendment chiding President Polk for "unconstitutionally" starting an "unnecessary" war. The House even began investigations into how the war began, foreshadowing the powerful House committee that examined the conduct of the Civil War during the war.

Towards the war's end even more opposition arose when it became clear that the US was going to acquire a huge territorial cession from Mexico. Whig opposition was especially fierce, it included Congressman A. Lincoln, and Whig newspapers slowly began effecting public opinion, especially in the North and Midwest. The war quickly became viewed as a little more than a Southern landgrab. Grant in his autobiography famously called the war "wicked" and Trist himself, although pro-slavery to the point of forging slave sales documents during his tenure as US consul in Havana, said the treaty made him ashamed as an American.

That gives us an inkling of the domestic political scene Polk faced when the Trist treaty arrived in Washington. He's been denounced in the House, his machinations that started the war are being investigated, and sections of the country are upset over the size of the cession. Polk also had other troubles, this time from the war's domestic supporters. He needed a bone to throw their way too.

In a weird way, Trist gave Polk precisely the treaty the president needed. Without actually knowing it, Trist negotiated a cession that was just big enough to satisfy the war's supporters while also being just little enough to assuage the war's detractors. The fact that the ceded lands contained relatively few Mexicans probably helped with the latter too, the Senate actually amended the treaty in order to remove those sections granting Mexicans US citizenship within a year.

Domestic Mexican politics is also part of the equation. Trist and Scott loathed each other at first, but soon became great friends. Scott surely impressed on Trist the precarious nature of the US occupation of Mexican cities.

Between seizing Mexico City in Spetember of 1847 and the treaty being signed in February of 1848, the US army didn't stop it's actions and the Mexicans didn't stop theirs. The US launched expeditions against cities south of Veracruz and the Mexicans continually harassed US supply lines between Veracruz and Mexico City. This situation couldn't last for long. The Mexican government negotiating with Trist would lose what little control they had over the country or the US would find it necessary to begin major operations again. Scott was also facing that most American problem with his army; now that war was "won" everybody wanted to go home whether peace was actually at hand or not.

Trist must have had these Mexican domestic and US military issues in mind, especially given his friendship with Scott. Accordingly, Trist got as much as he could out of Mexico as quickly as he could and without also damaging the Mexican government's reputation too greatly.

Mexico needs to do much better to have any such chance. To start with, they'll have to defeat Scott's landings at Vera Cruz AND win one or more major victories in the north, thereby retaking some of the lost territory, or their bargaining position is still very poor.:(

Agreed again. Mexico needs victories and keeping Scott bottled up on the coastal plain, perhaps by having an earlier version of the 1862 Cinco de Mayo victory, which would leave the US army at risk for yellow fever could possibly do the trick. As it happened, Scott got his army into the relatively healthier uplands just in time.


Bill
 
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I had a thought for an alternate scenario, based on this one.

What if the Mexican succeed in defending California (or at least part of it), and the US resorts to "liberate" Rio Grande and Yucatan instead, which are included on the ATL Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty as either incorporated to the US or nominally independent?
 
The problem with that is nobody wanted the Yucatan, whereas California was one of the few things the North and South could agree on.
 
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The problem with that is nobody wanted the Yucatan, whereas California was one of the few things the North and South could agree on.

Well, the South was looking for more land to expand slavery. I figured they might just take whar they can get. Besides, the fire eaters might see Yucatan as a place to collect Indian slaves.
 
I once heard the U.S. officer drawing the border (a Colonel Lee, who became some what well known in the US Civil War), in his first draft put the California border North of San Diego, thinking the area north of there much more of a natural border (present day Orange County) and defensible border.
 
Seems some New Mexicans were not that happy about changing hands.

Entire Article on the Taos revolt: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local News/Vicious-fighting-marked-Taos-revolt

From another source:
Maybe, Mexico could have kept New Mexico in a more moderate treaty.


I've occasionally wondered whether the border west of the Rio Grande might have been set at 36º30' - the old Missouri Compromise line. So the South would have got a bigger Texas (or maybe even two Texas' but nothing in the Territories.
 

TFSmith121

Banned
The problem, as pointed out, is that Mexico had

Alright had Santa Anna not been in charge of Mexico at this time and there had been a more competent General / President in Mexico after the Texan Independence and during the Mexican-American War, what would a more moderate treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo look like assuming the US still won th war. Could it be that only the annexation of the entire territory of Texas up to the Rio Grande and including the parts of New Mexico and Colorado it claimed be annex while Mexico gets to keep the rest? Is this the mildest possible treaty even after Mexico looses the war? of could it be even better?

The problem, as pointed out, is that Mexico had - essentially - lost the vast majority of what eventually became the Cession territory in 1846, and - as demonstrated by Buena Vista, in February, 1847 - even when the Mexican field forces outnumbered the available US forces by roughly 3-1, they couldn't pull off a victory in what amounted to the Mexican "northeast."

Even if Scott's expeditionary had never been sent to "eastern/central" Mexico (for lack of a better term) by sea, the Cession was already a lost cause for the Mexicans.

The biggest "structural" problem for Mexico in comparison to the US in the first half of the Nineteenth Century was the US gained its independence in 1783; Mexico gained its in 1821, although the Spanish were still trying to intervene as late as 1829 - which was the conflict where a) Santa Anna emerged as a military hero, and b) Bustamante ended up overthrowing Guerrero with the army that had been assembled to fight the Spanish.

So, basically, the Americans have a four-decades-long lead over the Mexicans in terms of national consolidation, economic growth, creation of political stability, developing national institutions like and army and navy, absorbing immigrants, etc.

It's pretty close to impossible for Mexico to make up that gap by the time the two nations are facing off over what became the American southwest in the 1830s and 1840s, especially given the realities of Mexico's domestic politics.

Best,
 
I had a thought for an alternate scenario, based on this one.

What if the Mexican succeed in defending California (or at least part of it), and the US resorts to "liberate" Rio Grande and Yucatan instead, which are included on the ATL Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty as either incorporated to the US or nominally independent?

Instead of starting a new thread, you have to try to revive a 6 year old one?

Really?
 
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