Mexican Cession

Area Mexico ceded to the United States in 1848, minus Texan claims. The Mexican Cession consisted of present-day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, the western half of New Mexico, the western quarter of Colorado, and the southwest corner of Wyoming.
A map of Mexico, 1835–1846, with separatist movements highlighted
Territory of the United States by 1850

Region in the modern-day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.

- Mexican Cession
Area Mexico ceded to the United States in 1848, minus Texan claims. The Mexican Cession consisted of present-day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, the western half of New Mexico, the western quarter of Colorado, and the southwest corner of Wyoming.

22 related topics

Alpha

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Compromise of 1850

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Proposals for Texas's northwestern boundary
Map of Mexico. S. Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia, 1847. New California is depicted with a northeastern border at the meridian leading north of the Rio Grande headwaters.
The United States Senate, A.D. 1850 (engraving by Peter F. Rothermel):
Henry Clay takes the floor of the Old Senate Chamber; Vice President Millard Fillmore presides as John C. Calhoun (to the right of the Speaker's chair) and Daniel Webster (seated to the left of Clay) look on.
An animation showing slave and free states and territories, 1789–1861
Map of New Mexico Territory in 1852
The Utah Territory is shown in blue and outlined in black. The boundaries of the provisional State of Deseret are shown with a dotted line.
Map of free and slave states c. 1856

The Compromise of 1850 was package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of territories acquired in the Mexican–American War.

David Wilmot

Wilmot Proviso

David Wilmot
The Wilmot Proviso was seen as a stumbling block for Presidential candidates, such as Taylor
Missouri Compromise Line. Modern state boundaries are shown for reference.
An animation showing the free/slave status of U.S. states and territories, 1789–1861, including the proposed Wilmot Proviso.

The Wilmot Proviso was an unsuccessful 1846 proposal in the United States Congress to ban slavery in territory acquired from Mexico in the Mexican–American War.

Cover of the exchange copy of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Peace treaty that was signed on 2 February 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

Peace treaty that was signed on 2 February 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

Cover of the exchange copy of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
"Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico by John Disturnell, the 1847 map used during the negotiations
Map o. S. Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia, 1847. Alta California shown including Nevada, Utah, Arizona.
First page of the original treaty
The Mexican Cession agreed with Mexico (white) and the Gadsden Purchase (brown). Part of the area marked as Gadsden Purchase near modern-day Mesilla, New Mexico, was disputed after the Treaty.
E. Gilman, [United States (after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo)], 1848

In the United States, the 1.36 million km² (525,000 square miles) of the area between the Adams-Onis and Guadalupe Hidalgo boundaries outside the 1007935 km2 claimed by the Republic of Texas is known as the Mexican Cession.

'''Clockwise from top Battle of Resaca de la Palma, U.S. victory at Churubusco outside of Mexico City, marines storming Chapultepec castle under a large U.S. flag,  Battle of Cerro Gordo

Mexican–American War

Armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848.

Armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848.

'''Clockwise from top Battle of Resaca de la Palma, U.S. victory at Churubusco outside of Mexico City, marines storming Chapultepec castle under a large U.S. flag,  Battle of Cerro Gordo
The 1832 boundaries of Comancheria, the Comanche homeland
Comanches of West Texas in war regalia, c. 1830.
Mexico in 1824 with the boundary line with the U.S. from the 1818 Adams-Onis Treaty that Spain negotiated with the U.S.
The Republic of Texas: The present-day outlines of the individual U.S. states are superimposed on the boundaries of 1836–1845.
General Antonio López de Santa Anna was a military hero who became president of Mexico on multiple occasions. The Mexican Army's intervention in politics was an ongoing issue during much of the mid-nineteenth century.
Liberal Valentín Gómez Farías, who served as Santa Anna's vice president and implemented a liberal reform in 1833, was an important political player in the era of the Mexican–American War.
U.S. Army full dress and campaign uniforms, 1835–1851.
General Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.
Sarah A. Bowman "The Great Western," depicted as the Heroine of Fort Brown. At her death, she was buried with full military honors.
Overview map of the war. Key:
Abraham Lincoln in his late 30s as a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives, when he opposed the Mexican–American War. Photo taken by one of Lincoln's law students around 1846.
Ex-slave and prominent anti-slavery advocate Frederick Douglass opposed the Mexican–American War.
Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail for not paying poll taxes to support the war and later wrote Civil Disobedience.
War News from Mexico (1848)
Gen. Kearny's annexation of New Mexico Territory, August 15, 1846
A replica of the first "Bear Flag" now at El Presidio de Sonoma, or Sonoma Barracks
Reenactors in U.S. (left) and Mexican (right) uniforms of the period
The Battle of Monterrey September 20–24, 1846, after a painting by Carl Nebel
Battle of Buena Vista
Bombardment of Veracruz
Battle of Cerro Gordo, lithograph courtesy of the Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Scott's campaign
The Battle of Molino del Rey
The Battle of Chapultepec
Storming of Chapultepec
U.S. Army occupation of Mexico City in 1847. The U.S. flag flying over the National Palace, the seat of the Mexican government. Carl Nebel.
Battle of Churubusco by J. Cameron, published by Nathaniel Currier. Hand tinted lithograph, 1847. Digitally restored.
The mass hanging of Irish Catholic soldiers who joined the Mexican side, forming the Saint Patrick's Battalion
Mexican territorial claims relinquished in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in white
The Mexican Cession, shown in red, and the later Gadsden Purchase, shown in yellow
Second lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant
"An Available Candidate: The One Qualification for a Whig President." Political cartoon about the 1848 presidential election, referring to Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott, the two leading contenders for the Whig Party nomination in the aftermath of the Mexican–American War. Published by Nathaniel Currier in 1848, digitally restored.
Obelisk to the Niños Héroes, Mexico City, 1881
Memorial to the Mexican cadets killed in the Battle of Chapultepec, 1952
Commemorative plaque to the San Patricios, Mexico City, 1959
Palmetto Regiment Monument, State House grounds, Columbia, S.C. Wrought iron 1858. Sculptor: Christopher Werner
"American Army Entering the City of Mexico" by Filippo Constaggini, 1885. Architect of the Capitol
Mormon Battalion monument, Fort Moore Pioneer Monument (1950), showing raising the U.S. flag in Los Angeles, 1847

It ended the war, and Mexico recognized the Mexican Cession, areas not part of disputed Texas but conquered by the U.S. Army.

Taylor in the mid-1840s

Zachary Taylor

American military leader who served as the 12th president of the United States from 1849 until his death in 1850.

American military leader who served as the 12th president of the United States from 1849 until his death in 1850.

Taylor in the mid-1840s
Taylor's childhood home in Louisville, Kentucky
Taylor by Joseph Henry Bush,
General Zachary Taylor rides his horse at the Battle of Palo Alto, May 8, 1846
U.S. Steam Ship Monmouth returns U.S. General Zachary Taylor from victories in the war with Mexico at Balize, Louisiana, November 1847
Taylor/Fillmore 1848 campaign poster
1848 electoral vote results
Daguerreotype of Taylor by Matthew Brady, 1849
United States states (Texas border unsettled, California admitted in 1850) and territories during Taylor's presidency
President Zachary Taylor standing in front of his Cabinet, seated from left:
Reverdy Johnson, Attorney General; William M. Meredith, Secretary of the Treasury; William B. Preston, Secretary of the Navy; George W. Crawford, Secretary of War; Jacob Collamer, Postmaster General; Thomas Ewing, Secretary of the Interior; and John M. Clayton, Secretary of State. Lithograph by Francis D'Avignon, published by Mathew Brady, 1849.
An 1850 print depicting the death of Zachary Taylor
Taylor's mausoleum at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky
B.E.P. engraved portrait
Margaret Smith Taylor
Sarah [Knox] Taylor
Richard Taylor

Debate over the status of slavery in the Mexican Cession dominated the national political agenda and led to threats of secession from Southerners.

New Mexico

State in the Southwestern United States.

State in the Southwestern United States.

Wheeler Peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range
Puebloan ruins at Chaco Canyon
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
White Sands National Park
Rio Grande Gorge and Bridge
Shiprock
Köppen climate types of New Mexico, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Greater roadrunner (the state bird of New Mexico)
Ancestral Pueblo territory shown in pink over New Mexico
Statue of Popé, leader of the Pueblo Revolt. The statue, entitled Po'pay, is among two statues depicting New Mexicans at the United States Capitol National Statuary Hall Collection, the other being Dennis Chávez.
Territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México when it belonged to Mexico in 1824
"The indigenous people of northern New Mexico" by Balduin Möllhausen, 1861.
A Hispano boy in Chamisal, 1940.
A homesteader and his children at the New Mexico Fair in Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940
New Mexico population density map
San Miguel Chapel, built in 1610 in Santa Fe, is the oldest church structure in the continental U.S.
New Mexico state quarter, circulated in April 2008
An F-22 Raptor flown by the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB
Albuquerque Studios, built in 2007 for the rising demand of film production in the state
In this photo, the Mexico–United States border divides Sunland Park and the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
The railway station in Tucumcari
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter operation that runs along the Central Rio Grande Valley.
Downtown Santa Fe train station
Spaceport America terminal, The Gateway.
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The New Mexico Public Education Department is in Santa Fe.
Map of public New Mexico colleges and universities. New Mexico Higher Education Department.
Symbols of the Southwest: a string of dried chile pepper pods (a ristra) and a bleached white cow's skull hang in a market near Santa Fe
Interior of the Crosby Theater at the Santa Fe Opera, viewed from the mezzanine
Luminarias in the old mission church, Jemez State Monument
The Santa Ana Star Center
Zimmerman Library at The University of New Mexico
Zuhl Library at New Mexico State University
Walkway outside Golden Library at Eastern New Mexico University
Donnelly Library at New Mexico Highlands University

At the conclusion of the Mexican–American War in 1848, the U.S. annexed New Mexico as part of the larger New Mexico Territory.

Utah

State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

Map showing Utah in 1838 when it was part of Mexico, Britannica 7th edition
Brigham Young led the first Mormon pioneers to the Great Salt Lake.
A sketch of Salt Lake City in 1860
Deseret Village recreates Utah pioneer life for tourists.
The Golden Spike where the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in the U.S. on May 10, 1869, in Promontory, Utah
Children reading in Santa Clara, Utah, in 1940
Utah county boundaries
Köppen climate types of Utah, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Snow in Rose Park, Salt Lake City
The Rocky Mountain elk is the Utah state mammal.
The California gull is the Utah state bird.
Western black widow spider
Pando, considered one of the heaviest and oldest organisms on Earth.
Joshua trees, yuccas, and cholla cactus occupy the far southwest corner of the state in the Mojave Desert
"Welcome to Utah" sign
Utah population density map
The LDS Salt Lake Temple, the primary attraction in the city's Temple Square
First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City
Sri Sri Radha Krishna (Hindu) Temple
The Wasatch Front region has seen large growth and development despite the economic downturn. Shown is the City Creek Center project, a development in downtown Salt Lake City with a price tag of $1.5–2.5 billion.
One out of every 14 flash memory chips in the world is produced in Lehi, Utah.
Zion National Park in southern Utah is one of five national parks in the state.
Farms and ranches
Bryce Canyon National Park Amphitheater (winter view)
Mining has been a large industry in Utah since it was first settled. The Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake County is one of the largest open pit mines in the world.
Salt Lake International Airport is the largest airport in Utah
FrontRunner commuter rail serves select cities from Ogden to Provo via Salt Lake City.
TRAX light rail serves Salt Lake County
Jake Garn (top-right), former Senator of Utah (1974–1993), and astronaut on Space Shuttle flight STS-51-D
The Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City
The Scott Matheson Courthouse is the seat of the Utah Supreme Court.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City
The Eyring Science Center on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah
The Utah Jazz playing against the Houston Rockets
Robbie Russell playing for Real Salt Lake
Arches National Park
Pariette Wetlands
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Deer Creek Reservoir
American Fork Canyon
Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park
Salt Lake City
Logan
thumb|Ogden
Park City
Provo
Sandy
St. George
Layton
Monument Valley in southeastern Utah. This area was used to film many Hollywood Westerns.
The otherworldly look of the Bonneville Salt Flats has been used in many movies and commercials.

Following the Mexican–American War in 1848, the region was annexed by the U.S., becoming part of the Utah Territory, which included what is now Colorado and Nevada.

Santa Fe de Nuevo México

Kingdom of the Spanish Empire and New Spain, and later a territory of independent Mexico.

Kingdom of the Spanish Empire and New Spain, and later a territory of independent Mexico.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east of Santa Fe: a winter sunset after a snowfall
Map of Mexico in 1824 showing the Province of Nuevo México

The U.S. Army under Stephen Kearny occupied the territory in 1846 during the Mexican–American War, a provisional government was established, and Mexico recognized its loss to the United States in 1848 with the Mexican Cession in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Texas

State in the South Central region of the United States.

State in the South Central region of the United States.

Early Native American tribal territories
Nicolas de La Fora's 1771 map of the northern frontier of New Spain clearly shows the Provincia de los Tejas.
Stephen F. Austin was the first American empresario given permission to operate a colony within Mexican Texas.
Mexico in 1824. Coahuila y Tejas is the northeasternmost state.
Surrender of Santa Anna. Painting by William Henry Huddle, 1886.
The Republic of Texas with present-day borders superimposed
Captain Charles A. May's squadron of the 2nd Dragoons slashes through the Mexican Army lines. Resaca de la Palma, Texas, May 1846
Spindletop, the first major oil gusher
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Texas Hill Country
Steinhagen Reservoir
Palo Duro Canyon
Franklin Mountains State Park
Big Bend National Park
Köppen climate types in Texas
Colonia in the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexico–United States border
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A geomap depicting income by county as of 2014
Cotton modules after harvest in West Texas
An oil well
Brazos Wind Farm
Electronic Data Systems headquarters in Plano
Astronaut training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston
The Alamo is one of the most recognized symbols of Texas.
Big Tex presided over every Texas State Fair since 1952 until it was destroyed by a fire in 2012. Since then a new Big Tex was created.
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Houston
Texas A&M University
Rice University
The Texas Medical Center in Houston
The High Five Interchange in Dallas
"Welcome to Texas" sign
Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Terminal E at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston
Port of Houston along the Houston Ship Channel
The Texas State Capitol at night
Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, 36th president of the United States
George W. Bush of Texas, 43rd president of the United States
AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys
Playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007

In return, for US$18,250,000, Mexico gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the Mexican Cession in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas's borders were established at the Rio Grande.

Photo by Mathew Brady

Stephen A. Douglas

American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

Photo by Mathew Brady
Stephen A. Douglas
Adele Cutts, c. 1860
The United States in 1849, with Texas's land claims on New Mexico shown
The United States after the Compromise of 1850
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler – An 1856 cartoon depicts a giant "Free Soiler" being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Douglas shoves a black man down his throat. A victim of lynching can also be seen in the background.
Stephen A. Douglas, photograph by Mathew Brady
Abraham Lincoln was Douglas's opponent in both the 1858 Senate election in Illinois and the 1860 presidential election.
Statue of Douglas at the site of the 1858 debate in Freeport, Illinois
Douglas (dark blue) had the support of most Northern delegates on the presidential ballot of the 1860 Democratic National Convention.
Douglas was defeated by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, as he won electoral votes from just two states.
Plaque at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, commemorating Douglas's "Protect The Flag" speech of April 25, 1861
Douglas's tomb
Douglas's widow, Adele, in mourning dress. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Douglas depicted on the Series 1875 $10,000 Certificate of Deposit

The United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican–American War and acquired the Mexican Cession in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.