Learn California.org
Home Visit the Students section Visit the Teachers section Visit the Research California section Visit the Sitemap

The Conclusion of the War and the Theaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo

From a military point of view, the California Theater was a sideshow. Battles were fought on a small-scale level, between company and battalion-sized units rather than armies. The intervention of the Navy, once thought so vital by Bancroft (who was furious when he learned of Sloat's initial hesitation to occupy the territory), was proved unnecessary once the intentions of the British were revealed. Despite the importance of California to Polk, actually securing the territory was of tertiary military importance. Rather, American military and diplomatic strategy called for striking a blow directly at Mexico, which would force her to the negotiation table. This was effectively done when General Winfield Scott's forces stormed the castle Chepulaltech and occupied Mexico City, causing the overthrow of the Mexican dictator Santa Anna and forcing the new Mexican government to sue for peace. With their army smashed and their nation's heart overrun by foreign bayonets, the Mexicans were in no position to dictate terms, and there was talk in circles of both the US and Mexico of annexing the entire country from California to the Guatemalan border. However, the State Department's errant agent, Nicholas Trist, negotiated a treaty which many criticized as being too generous to the beaten foe, although it effectively fulfilled all American war aims. The Texas border was set at the Rio Grande. More importantly, the US purchased California and New Mexico for 15.25 million dollars, 12 million in cash and 3.25 million in absorbed American civil claims. The Treaty was signed on February 2nd, 1848, and sent by Polk to the Senate to be ratified on May 13th.

Continue to Next Section

Copyright ©2000-2009 LearnCalifornia.org. All rights reserved.