Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

(1848)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo put an official end to the Mexican-American War. Many of the treaty's twenty-three articles are still in effect today. The introductory paragraph lists the treaty's authors, states their credentials, and proclaims their authority to negotiate on behalf of their respective countries. Although the document states that each of the negotiators has “full powers” to act on behalf of their government, the truth was not so simple. In fact, the U.S. negotiator, Nicholas Trist, had been recalled by President Polk in a letter Trist received in November 1847. Trist ignored his instructions to return to the United States and negotiated the treaty in direct defiance of Polk's orders. The preamble also describes the treaty's scope by declaring it a treaty of “Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement.” Thus, the treaty was intended not only to end the war but also to resolve the long-standing question of Mexico's...

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Storming of Chapultapec (Library of Congress)

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