In 1846, the Mexican-American War had begun. Mexico believed that its borders extended to the Nueces River in Texas while Texas believed that the Mexican border ended at the Rio Grande River. In 1844, U.S. Congress accepted Texas as the 28th state of U.S.A. The U.S. army then moved into the Texas border area to ensure that the Mexicans didn’t cross the Rio Grande River, which the U.S. government considered the official border. This led to a declaration of war between the two sides.
The Mexican-American War
The war began in 1846 and continued until February, 1848. The first battles of the war were fought in the border area located on the Mexico-Texas border. Here, the Mexican army was defeated and soon, the American army took the war inside the Mexican frontier.
The Mexican army continued fighting but lost one important city after another. Finally when the Mexicans lost control of the capital city of Mexico City, the Mexican government agreed to sue for peace with U.S.A. This resulted in the treaty which was called the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848. It was signed at the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, located near Mexico City. After ratification by the U.S. and Mexican governments, the treaty came into effect on May 30, 1848. It was officially titled ‘Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement’ between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic.
America had won the war while Mexico had been defeated. So most of the things agreed upon in the treaty were directly in the favor of America. For one, Mexican government agreed to end the war and to stop all fighting against the U.S. forces.
Mexico also lost nearly 35% of its territories. It gave up the area comprising of the modern-day states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, parts of Wyoming, Colorado and nearly half of New Mexico. In return, the U.S. government was required to pay $15 million and also settle any claims the Mexican government had on the U.S. citizens, which amounted to $3.5 million.
In all, the treaty added 525,000 square miles to the land belonging to U.S.A. In the treaty, the Mexican government also agreed to accept the Rio Grande River as the official border between U.S.A. and Mexico which was what led to the war in the first place.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in February, 1848. However, it took a while for both governments to ratify it. Meanwhile, a major part of Mexico was under the control of the American forces who continued to face opposition from Mexican army and guerrilla warriors as well.
Finally, when the treaty was ratified by both sides, it became effective in May, 1848. That is when all fighting really came to an end. American forces then went back to the U.S. border while the land they had occupied in Mexico was given back to the control of the Mexican government.