Do Not Let History Repeat Itself
Keep the Land Restrictions
The Mexican government is thinking about changing the country's constitutional restrictions on land ownership by foreign people. These limits prevent the foreign ownership of land within 60 miles of Mexico's boarders and 30 miles of its coast. The removal of these limitations would be both an insult and a dangerous decision when we look back on Mexico's history of wars with the U.S. and its troubles over Texas. These conflicts resulted in a damaged culture, loss of land, and the deaths of many brave individuals.
The Settlement of Texas 1820's-1830's
America's idea of "Manifest Destiny" drove it further and further West. One of the major areas that the country had its eye on was Texas, which was owned by Spain. At the time, the Texas area was underdeveloped and had a low population. Because of this, Spain, and eventally Mexico welcomed American settlers in an effort to develop the land, increase the population, and help prevent illegal immigration. In exchange for the chance to live on the land, Mexico required the Americans to become Mexican citizens, learn to speak Spanish, and convert to Roman Catholicism. Instead, the newcomers outright refused to comply with the demands. The Americans did not respect Mexican law, refused to learn how to speak Spanish, and did not convert. This would result in a large amount of culture clashes and increased tension. Eventually, the Americans would make a 4-1 majority in the Northern part of the area.
Texas War for Independence (A.K.A. Texan Revolution)
In response to the conflict started by the newcomers (See settlement of Texas) Mexico decided to crack down on the rebellious American settlers. In 1829, the Mexican government outlawed slavery. The settlers wanted to keep their slaves so they could grow cotton. The americans also didn't want to learn Spanish or follow Mexican laws. Very few settlers had converted to Catholicism. In 1829, the Mexican government closed the state to further American immigration. Texans had to start paying taxes for the first time. When Stephen Austin (son of Moses Austin, who was given permission by the Spanish government to start a colony in Texas. When Moses died, his son took over.) was jailed, the Texans did revolt. Santa Anna led 6,000 troops to Texas to put down the revolt. The first battle between the Texans and Mexicans took place at an old fort. It was called the Alamo. When it was over, all but five Texans were dead. The men not killed in the battle were executed by Santa Anna. Texans were shocked by the slaughter at the Alamo and vowed to fight for their freedom. Texan general, Sam Houston gathered more troops, 800 in all. It included Tejanos, American settlers, volunteers from the United States, and many free and enslaved African Americans met Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Their battle cry was, “Remember the Alamo!” It was over in 18 minutes. More than half the Mexican army was killed. Santa Anna was forced to sign a treaty giving Texas its freedom. With the Battle of San Jacinto,Texas was now an independent country.
The War with Mexico and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
In September, 1847, the Mexican-American War essentially ended when the American army captured Mexico City after the Battle of Chapultepec. With the Mexican capital city in American hands, diplomats took charge and over the course of a few months wrote up the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the conflict and ceded vast Mexican territories to the USA for $15 million and forgiveness of certain Mexican debts. It was a coup for the Americans, who gained a significant part of their current national territory, but a disaster for Mexicans who saw roughly half of their national territory given away.
The history of conflicts involving Texas and Mexico prove that we need the limitations on land ownership. In the settlement of Texas, The American settlers came to the area, essentially overthrew the Mexican culture, and disregarded Mexican laws and the conditions that had to be met for the land ownership. Afterwards, they would stir up a rebellion that would cause Mexico to ultimately lose the Texan area, however, the losses did not stop there. After the Mexican-American war, Mexico would be forced to lose about half of its land to America in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. All this started witn uncontrolled land ownership by foreigners, which proves that the restrictions on Mexican property ownership by foreign individuals should stay in place. Removing them would be an insult to the country, and a risk that should not be taken.