Arguably, in the entire history of United States, the most unusual and peculiar event was California acquisition, as well as the New Mexico. The acquisition was tremendously significant in development and expansion of United States. Furthermore, it was the most significant outcome of Mexican War, more important as the annexing of Texas. In the year, 1846-1848, Mexican-American war took place; momentarily, this was the most defining opportunity of American history. Perhaps, in the year 1850, California became part of United States. The Mexican Army was defeated by United States army, after various engagements the army entered Mexico City. Generally, United States got full ownership of California in the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty.
Formerly, California was an intermediate territory of Spanish missionary in around the seventeenth century. There settlements can be dated to the foundation of San Diego in the year 1769. In the year 1822, the entire California region became one of the territories of Mexican republic; it remained part of Mexico until the commencement of the Mexican-American War1. After the acquisition of California by United States, a lot of changes took place. The changes included political, economic, as well as social.
Without doubt, the 1846-48 Mexican-American war was fought chiefly to allow United States to increase their territorial boundaries. All this expansions took place at the expense of Mexico. During this time, the most hostile point was Texas; herein, the rival Mexico and expansionist group fro United States took the fights. White immigrants in Texas had gained independence in 1836 from Mexico. Before the annexing of texasin1945, President Polk James, sent his representatives to negotiate the buying of California and New Mexico, but the Mexican commander had refused to accept the negotiations2. This is when tension began between Mexico and United States each one of them decided to send troops into Mexico-Texas border.
U.S army, under Taylor Zachary, provoked the Mexican army, and 13th may 1846 Polk received declaration to go to war from United States congress. After approximately fifteen months of war, the government of Mexico went for temporary armistice, and then began the negotiation for lasting peace with Polk Zachary representatives3. Mexican delegation went against settlement proposal from United States, leading to a stoppage of the peace agreement. The war took various forms, but United States won.
Before the beginning of the American-Mexican War in 1846, Californian population was approximately two hundred and twenty thousand, which include Americans, Mexicans, and the majority of the population had been Indians. Declaration of war on Mexico took place in May of 18454. During this time, General Taylor had emerged a winner in Resaca De la Palma, and Palo Alto battles, as well as compelling Monterey to surrender. As a matter of fact, these operations and battles became an indicator of United States Army prompt accomplishments. In the course of 1848, New Mexico and California were relinquished to United States.
Hostilities and move to acquire Mexico began in Rio Grande valley; the expeditions to possess New Mexico and California were organized by various federal authorities. These two territories were the regions of United States enemies. General Kearney Stephen, vested various expeditions, and forces took his commands which took place at Fort Leavenworth. During this era, a lot of strategies had been set to insure ultimate success in the struggle to acquire California. The move to acquire California took various steps. On June after the arrangements expeditions moved from Leavenworth Fort, and took possession of New Mexico capita city called Santa Fe. The move received minimum resistance, because four thousand Mexican Army who had been deported to guard the city offered no opposition as they were approached.
Conversably, while the operation took place in the Western border of United States and New Mexico, captain Fremont John whose territory was to engage exploration on Rocky Mountains in the western slopes, was busy causing revolutions at California Province5. Actually, to some reasonable extend he had anticipated expeditions movements has commanded by General Kearney. Captain Fremont strategies were not warlike; hence, he specialized on peaceful and scientific tricks. In fact, he had none of the soldiers in his company during the explorations. Despite the peaceful tricks, Mexican commander realized the intentions of Captain Fremont, as exciting American settlers to revolt against the Mexicans.
Fremont in view of the threatening attacks, and for rebellious reasons, he promptly occupied a mountain thirty miles away from the city, which overlooked at Monterey. He entrenched the mountain and raised the American flag as he awaits the enemies to attack. He spends time there until March 1986, where Fremont retired northwardly, by way of Oregon. After passing the Oregon, Fremont received information from Sigler Levi and Neal Samuel that some individual had been sent to pursue him. The individual came from Lassen’s Rancho, and were sent by Mexican Governor of California. The pursued by the Mexican commander was a show of hostility and rebellion6.
Undeniably, a series of events led to the acquisition of California. Several captains and lieutenants were sent to war to destroy the powers of Mexico. Various revolutionary groups undertake the mandate to acquire California by all means. Others advocated for negotiations, but other believed war was the absolute means. General Kearney approached with the troops to the eastern boarders of Mexico under, together with naval forces assisted in the conquest process7. Having informed on hostilities the troops hastened to Monterey where they took it without considerable opposition. During the capture, custom-house was taken hold of, then the flag of America raised, and from that day California was declared part of United States.
The last battle that Americans fought and won was the Battle of La Messa. Most Californians and Mexican forces surrendered to United States Army. This marked the end of a long resistance and war in California, which saw the Treaty of Cahunga Signed in 1847. As a matter of fact, the acquisition of Californians by United States was finalized in the year 1848 after the ratification of agreement by the senate, as well as signing of Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty8. The signing signaled complete surrender of Mexicans, and the deal finalized the purchase of California and New Mexico. Furthermore, the treaty brought to an end the American-Mexican war. In the treaty, United States had to pay some money to Mexico in order to acquire California. In addition, a new boundary that drawn, and California since then became part of United States.
Undoubtedly, many changes took place in California after its acquisition by United States. The most significant changes that took place were brought by the famous California Gold Rush, which took place in 1848. Gold was discovered in Sierra Nevada at Sutter’s Mill. The Gold Rush led to an incredible increase in population. The merchants and miners settled in California so as to benefit from the lucrative trade of Gold. In fact, the Gold Rush opened California to the entire world. But after a decade, the population of Native Americans dropped.
After the acquisition of California, military managed all the affairs. But in 1849, military Governor invited a convention of the constitution, which unanimously declared slavery illegal. Later, California received its official statehood. During this time, small towns acted as the state capital until 1854 when Sacramento was made the capital9. Despite the distance, California was involved in the civil war10. During this era, California was dominated by powerful capitalist’s politicians who controlled finance, shipping as well as mines. California continued to grow politically, economically and socially. Due to mining, railroads began to be built, furthermore, the level of employment increased tremendously. Mining and railroad construction companies hired many employees. This opened California to be a world city, where people could travel using transcontinental railroad.
Additionally, the acquisition of California led to arrival of Chinese people who were lured to come and work because of high wages. As diversity increased in California City, constitutional conventions and laws began to be implemented so as to guide the rights and freedom of the people11. The completion of transcontinental rail lines in 1869 linked the state of California to the rest of United States. Furthermore, the achievement in the engineering sector began to grow, this included building of houses as well as construction of dams, which provided water and power to the southern part of California. California began to develop a robust ecosystem, and beautiful scenery.
Progressively, oil was discovered in 1920s, thereafter, California began to be one of the profitable states in United States. Furthermore, movies began as a studio system and made California famous12. Many people were attracted to cheap land, natural geography, as well as enjoyable climate. After some decades, free spirits and the age of baby boomers began. After the acquisition of California, the state began to be the land of easy-going, open hearts, as well as nourishing climate. In 1950s, California became the economic power, full of industrial and commercial expansion.
Nemos, William & Bancroft, Howe. History of California. California: Wadsworth, 2008.
Starr, Kevin. California: A History. London: Springer, 2005.
Walton, Bean & Rawls, James. California: An Interpretive History. New York, 2003.