Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Essay

5186 Words Oct 20th, 2011 21 Pages

Katie Menante Anderson
Human beings, no matter what race or ethnicity or place or time, will not tolerate injustice forever. Webster’s defines injustice as a “violation of the right or of the rights of another” (Merriam-Webster, 1990). The history of the United States is filled with such violations. From the early challenges to religious freedom in Massachusetts to the broken treaties and systematic removal of Native Americans from their land to the abominable practice of slavery in the United States, our nation’s reality rarely measures up to the principles and ideals penned by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and The Bill of
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One historian, Justin H. Smith, even received a Pulitzer Prize in 1920 for his book, War With Mexico, which blamed the war on Mexico and relieved the conscience of the American people who were then free to believe that, “Mexicans should have been grateful for they now had the benefits of democracy and were liberated from their tyrannical past (Acuna, 2004,52).” In other words, these new Mexican-Americans should be glad because they, through the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, have become citizens of a country that foundationally proclaims “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo failed to uphold and affirm the ideals of American equality and justice towards the Mexican-Americans. In word, the treaty promised the Mexican people citizenship and equity under the law, a special regard for their language, customs and religion and it promised to recognize land titles and private property throughout Texas and the Greater Southwest (Acuna, 2004, 56-58). In deed, the promises of the treaty were ignored and the Mexican people were left with few, if any, options for legal recourse. The Anglo ideals of equity, justice and personal freedoms were realized within the dominant culture but rarely applied

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