US annexes all of Mexico in 1848: what does the US look like today?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by M79, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    Tripledot has already given the example of the Seminoles, but the Mexicans would be starting with far larger numbers, better weapons, and an army. The Confederacy lasted 4 years against comparable odds. Mexico lasted 4 years against the French before the US started directly supporting the Mexicans. Cuba fought for independence against Spain from 1868 to 1878, 1879 to 1880, and 1895 to 1898 before the US intervened. Annexing all of Mexico would cost far more time, money and lives than OTL's Mexican-American War. And if US will lasts long enough to finish the conquest, they will probably still have to garrison Mexico heavily for at least another decade.
     
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  2. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    The Germans were an immigrant community moving into a English-majority nation. They did end up speaking English, but up until World War I a lot of them lived in ethnic German towns or neighborhoods. For many of them, German was their first language, they went to German language schools, they attended German language churches, they read German language books and newspapers printed in the US. Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonites still live in separate communities where they still speak German.

    As DanMcCollum correctly noted, the Mexicans would not be an immigrant community moving into a English-majority nation, the Americans would be an immigrant community moving into a Spanish-majority region.

    American government structures would replace Mexican government structures, but DanMcCollum was talking about "social and cultural infrastructure", which would not disappear. Even in those parts of Mexico which were annexed in OTL, Hispanics have maintained a distinct cultural identity. In the Mexican core region they would remain the majority, with their own distinct language and culture. That could erode over time, but the American South maintained a distinct dialect and culture even though they had vastly less difference in language, culture, and religion from the rest of the United States than the differences between the language, culture, and religion of the United States and the language, culture, and religion of Mexico.

    English certainly is the the global lingua franca and it has affected the cultures of former British colonies, but even Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have maintained separate cultural identities, not to mention India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Belize, Jamaica, etc.
     
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  3. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    New Mexico did have the population to be a state when it was annexed. The reason it didnt was because the US wanted an Anglo majority, not a Mexican one. Here this is a toss up, greater incentive in mining could mean more non Hispanic settlers, but it could also mean more Mexicans moving for work once the south gets stabilized and wage labor becomes the norm.
    Yes and no.

    Even in the early 1900s the US had a TFR in the 4s, which is still really high. Im going to infer the same will happen with Mexico. But extractive and rural industries tend to delay the demographic transition, and for a while those will still be Mexicos main moneymakers. Theyre also labor intensive, which creates demand for more workers, especially if wages are high. More importantly, the demand will give incentive for large amounts of immigration, who combined with the high TFR will cause the population to swell. Mexico is unfortunately going to be per capita poorer given

    I could see 15 mil by 1870, 30-40 mil by 1890, 80 mil by 1920/30, and probably about 200 mil by the modern day at the absolute most.

    Assuming of course nothing interrupts that after the brutal multi sided and transcontinental civil war.
     
  4. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    Thx, first off.:)

    I'm presuming you reject mechanization having a perceptible impact in any of the labor-intensiive industries until either it's too late to matter, or ever.

    I'm also presuming you mean drawing labor from (frex) Central America, rather than from the U.S., which would seem to offer a supply of "immigrant" labor.

    What I'm still not clear about (& my ignorance may be showing:oops:) is why you think that's going to push the total population so high, over even the OTL number, which is affected so much by OTL Mexico's very much lower standards of living. I would have thought it being so much higher TTL would drastically cut the total pop, in line with drastic drop in birth rate, as wealth rises (relative to OTL, in this instance), even given demographic shifts. Or do you mean this is a demographic shift, against a net (or real) increase? That is, moved from the North/U.S., akin to the "sunbelt shift"?

    And thinking of that, does anybody want to opine on whether this would spur the devlopment of air conditioning?:eek: Or of anti-malarial drugs? Yellow fever drugs?
     
  5. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    Washington, DC is about 1400 nautical miles from Puerto Rico. It is about 1900 nautical miles from Veracruz.

    Puerto Rico is directly tied into the political structure of the US in a way Mexico never has been, but Puerto Rico still has a distinct linguistic and cultural identity. In OTL, people from foreign countries and free states immigrated to the former Mexican territories in far larger numbers than people from the slaveholding states. Until there is a direct rail connection to Mexico, sea travel will be the primary connection to the core Mexican territories. There would be some immigration to the core Mexican territories, but the majority of white immigrants will not want to be the minority in a largely Hispanic population, the majority of Protestant immigrants will not want to be the minority in a largely Catholic population.

    Another big obstacle to significant immigration to the core Mexican territories is yellow fever. In the two years the Mexican war lasted, 13% of the US troops died of disease. That doesn't sound like much, but those rates mean that in about 7 years, half of all US immigrants to the core Mexican territories will be dead. The same death rates would apply to US government administrators and US garrison troops. Mosquitoes weren't identified as the primary yellow fever vector until 1881, this wasn't proven until 1896, and didn't receive widespread acceptance until 1900. The first yellow fever vaccine didn't come into use until 1938.
     
  6. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    The US could have built a transcontinental railroad sooner than in OTL, but while the majority favored the central route built in OTL, politicians from the slaveholding states favored a southern route and blocked any attempts to fund a central route. Adding Mexican states may change that balance, but it will make the deadlock worse, so in TTL a transcontinental railroad probably won't be built until at least a decade later than in OTL.

    In a 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, 27 percent of registered voters considered themselves to be Texans first. That's 170 years after Texas was annexed.
     
  7. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    The technology of mechanization that would have significantly reduced labor in cash crop agriculture in Mexico did not come until the 1900s

    Aside from El Salvador Central America wouldn't offer immigrants due to their tiny populations. Instead itd be from a number of sources- China, India, maybe Vietnam, the English Caribbean after 1880 (due to a big bust in sugar), Europe in general. Potential from also American migrants but this is difficult to predict given it depends on how wages are there, ease of movement, and desires (wages vs land vs political freedom).

    So consolidation of land in the 1800s tended to paradoxically explode populations as living standards fell for some reason. You see this in Syria, Britain, Argentina, and India. This combined with improvements in nutrition (generally) and sanitation lead to a huge boom that has "inertia" without concentrated efforts of birth control and family planning. Like for example in Nigeria.

    Given I posit this change happening in the 1850s, Id wager itd carry on with high TFRs of 6-7 for several generations until urbanization and primary education lessen it to ~4 by the turn of the century. Only when you get womens emancipation and education does this really get cut down. And we're a few decades too early for that for a number of reasons. As well, this is impacted by immigrants and a culture of natalism that was a reaction to the failures of the 1700s/early 1800s.

    It would.

    Armies arent a good comparison for this. They tend to focus less on sanitation than cities, and most immigrants who would be more susceptible to yellow fever would move to cities in the first place where theyd be less likely to get infected.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  8. Bucky Decent Chap

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    I'm currently reading Crucible of Command about the views and leadership styles of Grant and Lee in both the USMWar and the USCW. Highly recommended.

    One thing that comes across about RE Lee is what a white Chauvinist he was. He serving in Texas between the wars he speculated favorably on the need for exterminating the Indians. During the invasion of Mexico, he opined that the best way to deal with the Mexicans, as a people, was to push them all into the Pacific and repopulate the country of Mexico with Protestant European farmers. I'm certain there was some hyperbole involved, but this was not an aberrant opinion in the 1840s in North America. Manifest Destiny was not about conquering North America; it was about repopulating it.

    (It's an interesting contrast with Ulysses Grant who took favorable and compassionate views toward the brown, red, and black Americans of his day--judging men by their work ethics rather than their cultural deviance from the Anglo-American norms he was familiar with--even before he came around to support the ending of slavery and the expansion of the franchise)

    I don't think the country was capable or inclined toward actual extermination or "ethnic cleansing" to use a modern phrase. Like how the American Indians were shoved out of the way, it would probably have been handled as a matter of individual, local initiative rather than a sweeping national policy. But there was certainly among Southron Americans a propensity to devalue the humanity of non-whites and move in a deliberative fashion to disenfranchising them politically as well as economically. Treatment of Mexican Americans in Texas, New Mexico, and southern California definitely attests to the likelihood that the position of military occupation would have led to political brutality against at least the mestizos and lower castas of Mexico.

    If anything, the inspiration of Mexico's harsh casta laws might have inspired a greater racial rigidity & organization in the US, with separate legal lowering of statuses for mulattos, quadroons, and partial native-blood Americans. (Instead of well defined castes a la Mexico, of course, the US racial system just had the one-drop standard for blacks (with the occasional octoroon or yellow-bone learning to "pass") and a depends-on-where-they're-living standard for Anglo-Amerind mixes.)

    Of course the pragmatic end of a greater conquest of Mexico would be the eventual trainwreck. Mexicans of the era were notoriously inspired by Napoleon and the Enlightenment. They were quick to revolt and ferocious in fighting for their regional rights. As localized as US politics was in the early 19th C, Mexico was a dozen times more parochial, more balkanized, and more ready to fight to sustain local privileges & customs. What happened to the French in the 1860s would quickly happen to the Norteamericanos in the early 1850s. America just wasn't up for sustaining a hostile occupation a century before Vietnam. There would be plenty of atrocities and

    It's certain they wouldn't even try an occupation of the Yucatan or the Tierra Caliente. American observers in the was were very impressed by the fertility of the Mexican Valley. An occupation/annexation would concentrate there around Mexico City, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Acapulco... wherever the economy was suffering from a lack of middle class entrepreneurship. Like with the Great American Desert, there would some places where Anglo-Americans would try moving in and profiting and large swaths of land where Mexicans would be pushed too. There would probably be experiments with slaves working the silver mines around Guanojuato.

    But mostly there would be literally dozens of organized rebellions on scales the American government & nation were simply not prepared to handle. The US took pretty much all it could handle in 1848. Doing more would have been a form of national suicide. Best guess: the country would quickly break up into at least 2, possibly 4 or five smaller nations (none of which would contain Mexico) over the attempt to conquer Mexico. It's just not something any serious person would think about attempting.
     
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  9. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    Given the OTL segregation limits on Latins, I'd have to wonder if they'd be treated differently when there are so many more of them, "threatening the white race" or the "purity" of the country (even before Neo-Nutzies:rolleyes: ).
     
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  10. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    I'll accept that, but that still leaves (by today) a century of high SoL (I'm not going to continue to type "standard of living":rolleyes:) to overcome the high initial number.
    Okay, that makes sense.
    I don't disagree, but my understanding is, birth control or no, the birth rate drops in lockstep with the reduced death rate, almost exactly one generation later, as SoL rises. So even if you take no actual action on birth rate, it will drop: the need for large families falls, so the numbers drop, & wealth increases in the next generation; rinse & repeat until you reach now, with a rate under the rate of replacement (except, it appears, in Catholic majority countries like Ireland & Italy :rolleyes: ).

    I agree, women's suffrage plays (played) a part, but suffrage was (in part) a product of wealth, too (& improved technology), so I can't see that being crucial.

    I agree, pop's going to spike after "takeover", but it won't ever get to 200mil, not when even the OTL situation, with much, much lower SoL for much longer, didn't produce that. Immigration would have to be absolutely enormous, IMO.

    I think we're really just disagreeing on scale, here, not so much on facts.:) I'm finding it informative, either way.:cool:
     
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  11. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Not using nautical miles places it at about 1,600 but that's besides the point. If for comparison, however, Washington D.C. to Nuevo Laredo is 1,730 miles.

    Puerto Rico is indeed tied to the United States in a way Mexico never has....if we're talking about OTL, where Mexico was never a part of the United States. ATL Mexico is directly annexed by the United States, meaning Statehood unlike Puerto Rico and, more importantly, direct rail connections so as to bind the commerce of the new territories to the rest of the Union and to allow for more readily available communication as well settlement. I'm also not sure where you're getting the idea American Whites won't settle in Mexico, given we have the OTL example of large numbers of Southern Whites living as minorities within the Black Belt of the South. You bring up the differing religion, to which I will retort with the IOTL example of Louisana.

    Undoubtedly disease is an issue, but we once again have the IOTL example of the South. Further, attempting to compare the circumstances of an Army at war, a very unsanitary situation on the whole of itself and one rife with exposure to things like Malaria or Yellow Fever, to one of peacetime conditions isn't a very good comparison.

    And just as the Germans, they would end up inevitably assimilated into the majority culture for the most part. As you note, the Germans had their own newspapers, their own communities and indeed often made up the majority in the regions they settled; they still ended up speaking English and adopting to the predominant culture for the most part.

    That there will be a regional identity in the former Mexico goes without question, but such does not preclude any sort of assimilation to the dominant American culture.

    Sure, but no one claims a language alone binds a nation. Attempting to compare, India to Wales or Malaysia to Scotland is an apples to oranges comparison for obvious reasons too.

    The Pacific Railway surveys found that the Southern route was actually the best, and this was the reasoning behind the Gadsen Purchase. By the time said Purchase was made, however, the sectional divide had reached the point that the deadlock on the matter had arose. Here, without the need for an additional purchase and the sectional divide unlikely to flare up as bad it did in IOTL 1854, the railway will definitely begin construction in the 1850s.

    So in other words the overwhelming majority of Texans, even in the extremely polarized political environment that exists in our modern day, still place being American first? Exactly as I've been saying, I do believe. :)
     
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  12. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    To be more precise Washington, DC is about 1880 nautical miles from Veracruz. Converting to actual miles makes the distance about 2160 miles, not 1600. Nuevo Laredo was founded in 1848 by a few dozen Mexican families and is completely irrelevent to the issue. Until there is a direct rail connection to Mexico, sea travel will be the primary connection to the core Mexican territories.
     
  13. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Whether Nuevo Laredo was a large settlement is besides the original point, which was the comparative distance between Mexico and Puerto Rico to Washington D.C. and thus the center of American power. Mexico, besides being closer, is also connected by land and thus more easily connected into the United States as a whole, pun intended, because of first railway and then, later on, road connections.
     
  14. pathfinder Member

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    If the US can weather an initial decade or so of guerilla warfare from discontents, it stands a good chance of keeping Mexico in the long term (barring any concerted attempts at assimilation or government overreach). In 1848 the country had been independent for a little over 2 decades and Mexican nationalism had hardly begun to solidify. Moreover a good portion of Mexicans would likely be either supportive or apathetic towards their conquerors, much like during otl French Intervention.
     
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  15. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    In 1810, Louisiana had a population of about 76 thousand, compared to a total US population of about 7.1 million. It was pretty easy to overwhelm the Catholics of Louisiana when they made up just over 1% of the population of the US. In 1850, Mexico had a population of about 7.5 million, while the US had a population of about 23 million. A total annexation makes former Mexicans about 25% of the US population. For contrast, in 1850 about 2.2 million people living in the US were born outside the country. To get the former Mexicans down to 1% of the population, TTLs 1850 US would need to magically teleport over 660 million more Europeans to the US, which is over 3 times the actual population of Europe in 1850.

    There were some whites living as minorities in parts of the slaveholding states, though only in South Carolina were whites the minority of the population of the entire state. However, virtually all of the white people were not immigrants, and the slaves didn't move there voluntarily. Even in areas where blacks were the majority, it was the slaves that were forced to give up their language, religion, and culture; not the whites who had already been living there.

    OTL's census results also show that European immigrants were far less likely to move to slaveholding states, due to slaves bringing down the wages of free workers and, probably, some racism. In 1850, New York had more immigrants than the whole of the Confederacy had 10 years later. The 1860 Census shows about 1 in 40 people in the states that formed the Confederacy were immigrants, as opposed to about 1 in 6 for the rest of the country. The former Mexico wouldn't be as wage depressed as competing with slaves and there would probably be less period racism against Hispanics than there was against slaves, but you're still going to see a lot less Anglo immigrants to the core Mexican territories than you did to the states of the Midwest and Far West. It sure won't be 1 in 6 of the population, it probably won't be 1 in 10. With at least 90% of the former core Mexican states remaining Hispanic, there is no credible way that Mexican culture, language, or religion would be replaced.
     
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  16. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    You seemed to have missed that in the core Mexican territories, the majority culture, language, and religion were Mexican. In 1850, German immigrants made up about 8% of the US population - it took about 70 years to fully assimilate. In a US annexation of Mexico, Mexicans would probably make up at least 90% of the core Mexican states - there is no credible way they would be assimilated.
     
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  17. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    The idea that there would be a rail connection to the Mexican heartland in 10 years or less is rather optimistic. In OTL, the Mexican-American War ended in February of 1848. The TransContinental Railroad opened in May of 1869, 21 years later. The first railroad to cross the Mexican-American border appears to be the Texas-Mexican Railway, starting in September of 1888, 30 years after the end of the Mexican-American War. And obviously, a Mexican War where all of Mexico is annexed is going to take years longer than OTL's war. The French spent 5 1/2 years failing to conquer Mexico. In an ATL where the US annexes all of Mexico, a more realistic estimate for the first rail connection between the two would be 1890 to 1895

    Workable Goblin is correct - for the first several decades after annexation the main connection to the Mexican heartland will be by sea.

    In 1898, there cannot be 50 years of regular rail traffic between the two, because there were no US-Mexico railroads in 1848. Even 20 years of regular rail traffic by 1898 is unlikely.
     
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  18. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    I have to disagree. With demand to supply an occupying/pacifying force, a railway would be extremely useful (just as it was for the Northwest Rebellion). Getting one built might well be a lot easier than OTL, & so, too, getting the national railway started (& finished!).
     
  19. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    More correctly, southernerr Jefferson Davis claimed that the Southern Route was best. If the US annexes all of Mexico, they might be done by 1854, the time of OTLs Gadsden Purchase. If all Mexican states were immediately admitted as US states that would add about 21 more states to the existing 31, but that is never going to happen. Immediate statehood would mean 24% of the House of Representatives and 40% of the Senate are Mexicans, which no Anglo politician is going to accept. Southern politicians would be especially opposed to it because they might get 5 or 6 Mexican states as slave states with the other 25 to 26 being free states. And while the northern tier of former Mexican states might support the southern route for a Transpacific railroad, most Mexican states gain nothing from any of the proposed routes for a transcontinental railroad and would probably vote against it. Another complication would be politicians from the slaveholding states refusing to spend public funds on "internal improvements". OTLs Transcontinental railroad didn't start until 1863 and it only started that soon because most of the slave states had seceded and were no longer able to block federal funding of the railroad.
     
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  20. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    ...Except that ignores the U.S. didn't flood Louisiana with other Americans, nor is doing what you propose even required to culturally assimilate a region.

    To which I will repeat what I previously stated: Black Belts. In those regions Whites were by far the minority, yet it was the Black population that assimilated.

    Of course you won't see as many Whites moving to Mexico simply because of the way the climate is, but you'll still see plenty move in that. That Mexico will retain a cultural distinctiveness has been already stated, that it will be much more different than, say, Texas is not really valid.