Treaty of Guadalupe
To close the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed by United States president James K. Polk and representatives from the interim government of Mexico; the leadership of the latter had collapsed upon their military defeat and the occupation of Mexico City by United States troops. The treaty itself had a number of long-term implications for the United States, in addition to ending armed conflict.
Because of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico was forced to give up control of considerable land to the United States. The elements included the following reagarding the land:
- The land that would become the states of Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
- Land was acquired in parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
- The United States now had uncontested access to the entire continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and had increased their land holdings dramatically.
With this increase in territory, however, would come other problems as well. Because of the land acquired through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the debate over the spread of slavery into new territories raged even further. Conflict between pro- and anti-slavery advocates would cause considerable problems when addressing the statehood of many of these western territories, and further divisions in the social and political realm would ultimately provide the fuel that would fire the Civil War.
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