In the event you were wanting to read the entire text of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, you can now find it via a website called "Hispanic On Line—Hispanic Heritage Plaza." In the event you don`t know what the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is, it was the 1848 treaty between the United States and Mexico after the Mexican-American War of 1846-47 that gave the United States much of its southwestern territory.
In the event you don`t understand why a Hispanic website puts the treaty text on line, you`d better sit down and start thinking about it.
In a nutshell, the website puts the treaty text on its website not because its webmasters are so fascinated by the minutiae of American diplomatic history but because it is becoming increasingly clear that many Hispanic immigrants to the United States believe that a large part of the United States really belongs to them or their parent country, Mexico.
Why indeed should they not think that? In the first place, they probably reason that a nation that allows millions of legal and illegal aliens to immigrate year after year doesn`t really much care about itself, its borders, its territories, or its future.
In the second place, since the vast majority of these immigrants are from Mexico itself and since they retain Mexican citizenship, the more they move into the territories lost to Mexico by the treaty of 1848, the more plausible Mexican claims to it become.
After all, they know—as probably most "Anglo" (i.e., non-Hispanic white) Americans probably do not know—that a major reason for the Mexican-American War in the first place was that thousands of Americans had moved into Texas when it was still a province of Mexico, at the invitation of the Mexican government.
Once enough Americans had moved to Texas, Texas simply ceased to be Mexican in any but the formal political sense and became American.
Texas then revolted against Mexico, won its independence, and eventually joined the Union as a state. Mexico broke relations with the United States, and war followed within a year or so—when Mexican troops invaded lands claimed by Texas and ambushed a U.S. Army patrol.
Aside from the naked act of aggression by Mexico, the point is that mass immigration—of the kind that Mexico itself encouraged into Texas—led to the break-up of the country. Mexican immigrants to this country can reasonably expect history to repeat itself, and since the seven states of the American Southwest are already more than 25 percent Hispanic in their population, the repetition may come a bit sooner than most gringos realize.
The website`s commentary about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by one Lalo Lopez, [Legacy of a Land Grab], doesn`t quite claim that the treaty was a mere mask for military aggression and conquest, but it certainly slants that way.
"Some promote the idea that the war against Mexico was a pretext for a massive theft of its land,"
Sr. Lopez writes rather coyly,
"and the treaty ... simply formalized the theft of half of Mexico`s territory—something that would violate any international law today."
Well, yes, some do say that, but then some don`t.
Sr. Lopez doesn`t quite get around to telling us about the point of view of those who don`t.
In the absence of mass immigration from Mexico, controversy about the Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo would be relegated to the place they belong—the history books. But given the reality of mass immigration, the reality that the immigrants remain Mexicans in Mexican law and even vote in Mexican elections, and the reality that the Mexican government subtly encourages Mexican immigrants to think of themselves as Mexicans, then the war and the treaty suddenly spring back to life.
"In 2000," the Hispanic website informs us glowingly, "Latinos were 35.3 million strong" in the United States.
Why is "strong" the right word for the growth of the Hispanic-American population? It`s the right word because strength—power—is what they`re really interested in.
"California is going to be a Mexican state,"
"We are going to control all the institutions. If people don`t like it they should leave."
Well, not quite.
We don`t do that because the leaders of the U.S. government and of both political parties are on the side of the colonizers.
Until Americans get rid of their own government and its leadership class, they can`t hope to keep their own country, regardless of the wars our ancestors fought and the treaties they signed.
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
October 21, 2002