Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

(1848)

Impact

The most obvious impact of the treaty was that Mexico lost over half of its national territory to the United States. Although it was sparsely inhabited at the time, the ceded territory would grow in economic importance in the future. For example, the discovery of gold in California in 1848 set off a gold rush that transformed the region into an important economic center. Although much of the newly acquired land was arid, new technology and investment in irrigation would allow agriculture to flourish during the twentieth century. The acquisition of so much new territory made possible the rise of the United States as a world power.

The treaty also had important consequences for Native Americans and the approximately 100,000 Spanish-speaking inhabitants of the ceded territory. The westward expansion of the United States prompted a series of conflicts with Native American groups, including the Sioux, Apache, and Navajo nations. These groups were decimated by disease and...

Image for: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Storming of Chapultapec (Library of Congress)

View Full Size