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By “Mark Andrew Dwyer”


April 30, 2006 (Updated August 28, 2007)



Ass. Press has a long history of masterfully wrapping the cow manure that they are serving to American public under the name of "news".  They learned how to doctor the truth and turn it completely upside down without actually lying, just by selective reporting of the aspects, properly exaggerated, that support their barely masked anti-Americanism, while ignoring or discrediting the facts that contradict it. It didn't surprise me, although I found it reprehensible, that in the days of Mexican open assault on America's sovereignty over her Southwestern territory, Ass. Press declared themselves on the Mexican side.


In a recent article Old war haunts debate between Mexico, U.S., John Rice of Ass. Press did not leave much doubt as to which side of the invasion does he sympathize with when he begun from quoting general Grant who, reportedly, called American-Mexican war of 1848 "the most unjust war ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation," but didn't bother with facts that led to that war, never mind giving the U.S. any benefit of doubt as to justness of its action and show of goodwill and restraint. The point that Mr. Rice is advocating, namely, that Mexican actions and intentions were noble and legitimate while the Americans were just a bunch of brazen invaders into Mexican land, goes well along with the official line of many revisionist historians of Left orientation (including those who write textbooks on Mexico's history), but is at odds with historically established facts. And he may get away with it because American public education system has been hijacked by politically motivated activists that for last four decades or so put more emphasis on indoctrination and self-esteem building than on actual education of the students. (This well known deficiency is not idiosyncratic just to education of history. Mathematics, science, and even reading instruction, reached scandalously low levels as well – the students know how to solve math problems about as well as they know history of their own country.)


So, let's stick to the facts. Here they are:


In 1848, the U.S. won the war that Mexico waged in 1846. True, Mexico was a weaker country than the U.S. (as it is today), but that did not mean that Mexicans were not aggressive or were not threatening fiercely American interests in the region (just like they do today). Although the U.S. easily conquered Mexico City and incapacitated that country's administration and armed forces, rather than taking advantage of its tactical superiority the U.S. generously paid Mexican government almost 20 million dollars for Mexico's  giving up its claims to vast and sparsely inhabited land that was Mexican mostly on the paper only, and only for about 24 years. It has been estimated that only about 1% of total Mexican population was living in what is now known as the American Southwest, and their proportion among native populations in that region was of the same raw of magnitude (few percent, that is). In particular, there were no more than few thousands of Mexicans among some 300,000 of natives in (what is now) California at that time; some sources strongly suggest that the number of Mexicans of non-European ancestry in California at less than 1,000 living in three pueblos, one of them being Los Angeles - quite a flimsy excuse for claiming it a "Mexican historic land".


So, if not de facto Mexican then, perhaps, de jure? Let's see. The claims to the Southwest that Mexico renounced in 1848 have originated in 1821 when Spanish Empire collapsed and Mexican Empire was born. It claimed for itself rights to Spanish “American colonies” and that included vast territories stretching from today's Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Texas down to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. (Mexican Emperor seemingly overlooked the fact that the Philippines were under Spanish rule, too, and, therefore, "rightfully" belonged to Mexico.)  The claims were left largely unconsumed because Mexico, plagued with corruption and government overturns, was unable to establish any meaningful control of these territories, never mind developing them or organizing them into a functioning country.


But the very foundation of Mexican Empire's grandiose claims to (today's) Southwest as being part of the former Spanish American “territories” that Mexico gave herself the right to, was of dubious legitimacy (to say the least) as well. Spaniards were notorious for claiming everything that no one else claimed, and that was way more that they could swallow. Although Pope Alexander VI, shortly after Columbus discovered America in 1492, issued Bull Inter Caetera (confirmed in 1494 by the Treaty of Tordesillas) that gave Spain the right to a Western part of the new lands, Spaniards’ permanent presence in (what's known today as) Southwestern U.S. was marginal and their efforts to control the region begun only about 50 years before the Spanish Empire collapsed in 1821. I saw a Spanish map of North America dated at early 1700's where California was depicted as an island. This fact alone tells a lot about how superficial and short-lived Spanish "control" of these territories was.


To make a long story short, a pope gave half of North America to Spain, which "right" (that existed, mostly, on the paper only) Mexican Empire granted to itself in 1821. In 1822, Spain deemed that self-grant, and the Empire itself, illegal, null, and void, and about one year later, Southern provinces (a.k.a. United Provinces of Central America) seceded from it. In 1824, newly proclaimed Republic of Mexico declared the Mexican Empire void (and the Emperor a traitor), too. However, the new Republic gave itself the “right” to all North American “territories” that the Empire had claimed. After several but mostly unsuccessful attempts by various governments and juntas in Mexico City (including another short-lived Emperorship) to take these “provinces” under control, a few revolutions of their residents against these attempts, secession of Texas in 1836, and a war lost to the U.S. in 1848, Mexico finally gave up the last of her imperial efforts to subdue former Spanish colonies and ceded to the U.S. her mostly unconsumed claims to the American Southwest, for which renouncement she took from the U.S government almost $20 million in cash.


Now, millions of illegal Mexican "migrants" who came to the U.S. in last few decades (and whose ancestors never ever lived anywhere close to these territories), as well as the Ass. Press, use these facts as a foundation for their irredentism and revisionist claims to our land and all the improvements that we built on it. I don’t have to tell you how flimsy foundation it is1.


It is of utmost importance to note here that the value of that land in 1848 (the year when the U.S.-Mexican Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement, commonly known as the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, was signed on February 2nd) was marginal, and in no meaningful relationship to the value of this land today. The entire region consisted of undeveloped and inhabitable wilderness with relatively few established settlements and no economy or agriculture that might be worth of mentioning. The sole source of the astronomic value of this land today was the infrastructure that Americans built on it (paved roads, bridges, towns, cities, buildings, you name it) and proximity of strong American economy serving the needs of highly advanced, civilized American society.


At the end of his article Mr. Rice quoted a Mexican who deplored a loss of "half the country" to the U.S. I know another story regarding U.S. pre-empting "Mexican" land. "A long time ago, Americans took half the country from us," said one Mexican. "But that's only half as bad as it really  is" - he added. "They took the half that had all the paved roads in it."



Footnotes 1(Added August 28, 2008) Their arguments in this matter may be compared to (imaginary) claims by the workers in the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing that manufactures the Federal Reserve Notes (a.k.a. as dollar bills) that they are "entitled" to most of the proceeds of money printing because they are the ones who physically make those notes. Well, it may be true, although the level of automation makes me doubt how much of the work while printing money can be actually credited to workers, but the fact is that virtually all value of dollar is a result and function of the American economy and not the printing process itself, or its quality or laboriousness. Similarly, the high value of the American land and natural resources it covers is a result and function of the same, and Mexicans contributed very little, if anything (one should subtract from their contributions what they were paid and all the economic help they received from us), to these assets. This analogy is worth remembering while debunking Mexican irredentist claims (and other myths) against the U.S.  [top]



Readers’ comments:  Compelling […].




Old war haunts debate between Mexico, U.S.

By John Rice, Associated Press





NBC All But Ceded California to Mexico


Mexican Duplicity


Why Are Mexicans Populating the U.S.?



 Past commentary (April 27, 2006):Their” Land


Past commentary (April 23, 2006): They Pay More In Taxes Than They Receive In Services (Or Do They?)

Past commentary (March 29, 2006): Liberation and Socialism, Or The Marching Morons?


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