Social History for Every Classroom


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White Leaders Predict the Disappearance of Mexicans and Native Americans in California

With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the United States gained over half a million square miles of new lands in the Southwest. However, American settlers who traveled west to settle the land were not moving into unoccupied territory. Expansionist-minded leaders, though, predicted the eventual demise of Native American and Mexican peoples in the new territories.  

New York Evening Post, 1848:

The Mexicans are Indians-Aboriginal Indians...  They do not posses the elements of an independent national existence.  The Aborigines of this country have not attempted and cannot attempt to exist independently alongside of us.  Providence has so ordained it, and it is folly not to recognize the fact.  The Mexicans are Aboriginal Indians, and they must share the destiny of their race.  

J.P. Wideney, 1886:

Death and emigration are removing them [native Californians] from the land. They  no longer have unnumbered horses to ride and vast herds of sheep, from which one for a meal would never be missed.  Their broad acres now, with few exceptions, belong to the acquisitive American... Grinding poverty has bred recklessness and moroseness.  

Source | Quoted in American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, Labor and Ethnicity in the American West: The Oxnard Sugar Beet Strike, 1903 (Teacher's Handbook).  
Creator | Various
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | Various, “White Leaders Predict the Disappearance of Mexicans and Native Americans in California,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 22, 2023,

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