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The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Preserves Mexicans' Rights in the Southwest

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848, ceded 525,000 square miles--55% of--Mexican territory to the United States. In exchange, the United States paid approximately $15 million in damages to pay for destruction of Mexican property by the U.S. military during the war. Thousands of Mexican, Spanish, and mestizo people in the ceded territory were now part of the United States; their citizenship status had to be worked out in treaty negotiations. Despite these provisions, most lost their rights and land as Anglo Americans moved into the southwest and set up state governments.

Article VIII: Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in said territories...without their being any contribution, tax or charge whatever...

Article IX: The Mexicans who...shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican republic...shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the meantime shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.  

Source | National Archives,
Creator | U.S. Government
Item Type | Government Document
Cite This document | U.S. Government, “The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Preserves Mexicans' Rights in the Southwest,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 11, 2023,

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