Uphold Mexican Nationalism

Enforce Restrictions on Foreign Property Ownership in Mexico

The Problem at Hand

In the 19th century, Mexico lost nearly half of its property, after permitting Moses Austin to establish an American colony, in what is present-day known as Texas. After Mexico had gained its well-deserved independence from Spain in 1821, it owned a large tract of land, which is now owned by the United States, including parts of the states: California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado. However, by permitting foreigners to create a settlement on their land, it resulted in them gradually losing control of these parts of their land.

At the moment, Mexico is opting to ease restrictions of foreign property ownership, which will enable foreigners to own property in Mexico. Easing these restrictions could result in a large influx of foreigners who are looking for property. A large immigration of foreigners could impact our government, economy, and culture in substantial ways--many of which could be negative. Keep in mind, through past experiences Mexico has seldom got the upper-hand in things subjecting to immigration and land ownership. Hopefully, by educating you of past experiences of allowing foreigners to own property on Mexican land, it will ask for a reassessment of easing the restrictions of property ownership for foreigners.


The Settlement of Texas

Americans first started coming to Texas, when the Spanish government permitted Moses Austin to start a colony, that would abide by the Spanish government and its laws. However, Moses died in 1821, which meant that his son, Stephen Austin, would then start the colony. The Mexican government told Stephen Austin his settlers would have to become Mexican citizens and members of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as learn Spanish. However, instead of trying to assimilate into Mexico’s current society, the settlers refused to learn Spanish and disapproved of converting to catholicism. They also traded rarely with Mexico, instead selling goods to the United States.

By 1830 there were 30,000 Americans in Texas. At that time, the American settlers outnumbered the Tejanos, which were a group of people in Spanish heritage, which considered Texas as their home, six-to-one. The large influx of Americans did a large amount of damage to the Mexican culture that existed there, as well as increase the tensions between the Texans and Mexico. The expeditious increase of American settlers in Texas provoked many of the Mexicans to enforce their culture into the American colony, yet when it would not work, they had to do something drastic. In 1829, the Mexicans jailed Stephen Austin, which happened to precipitate a revolt by the Texans, which again would not be tolerated by the Mexicans.

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Texas War for Independence

After Stephen Austin was jailed by the Mexicans, the Texans began a revolt. The Mexicans have been very open and kind to Americans by allowing them to settle in Texas, but this was how they were repaid. To protect their great Mexican culture and heritage, Santa Anna was forced to lead 6,000 troops to Texas to put down the Texans rebellion.

The first site of fighting was at the Alamo, famously known as “The Battle at the Alamo." The Great show of Mexican strength crushed the small 183 person Texan army. After 12 days the Mexican troops stormed the fort and took it back from the rebels.

Another famous battle was the “The Battle at San Jacinto." Led by Sam Houston, the 800 man Texan army brutally wiped out the Mexican army in 18 minutes, showing no mercy, even after all the Mexican generosity. They forced Santa Anna to sign a treaty giving Texas their freedom, which resulted in being only temporary. This treaty was different from the Treaty of Guadalupe, the official treaty agreed upon by the Mexican government.

After receiving their independence, Texas became known as Lone Star Republic. Separate from Mexico, they elected Sam Houston as their first president. They took advantage of the generosity of the Mexicans, and stole their land.


Mexican-American War

The war between Mexico and the U.S. began because of the American and Texans not assimilating into the Mexican culture and trying to take the land without accepting the Mexicans culture. In addition, they did not listen to Mexico’s warning concerning how the annexation of Texas would most likely lead to war between them.

However, when Texas accepted the U.S. annexation and American troops were put in Corpus Christi, Texas to prepare to attack the Mexican army. John Sidell was sent in to negotiate, but Mexico having no reason to negotiate, being that it was already their land refused to talk and war pushed closer.

War began in 1846 and the first battles were at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. The battles ended with surprising American victories against the strong Mexican military. Following this, revolts in California caused a rising group, “Bear Flaggers,” to break away from Mexico and join the U.S. The next battle, a major turn around at Buena Vista lead to the occupation of Mexico City. With the U.S. grip on many of Mexico's major cities, Tirst received orders to withdraw from these cities and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was made.


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war and any other dispute between the U.S. and Mexico for the time being. It was signed on February 2, 1848, and as a result of the treaty led to the U.S. acquisition of more than 500,000 square miles of territory, as well as emerged as a world power in the late nineteenth century. However, on the other end of the treaty, Mexico has gained very little and ended up losing nearly half of their legitimate territory. However, although Mexico gained little from the treaty, they, unlike the U.S. were willing to negotiate rather than continuing to fight any longer. It is unfortunate of the outcome of the Mexican-American War, because the whole dispute began when the Texans refused to abide by the Mexican government, after Mexico gave them consent to begin a colony on their land.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was brought to Mexico in draft form by the U.S. peace commissioner, Nicholas P. Trist, in the summer of 1847. The treaty involved terms such as the cession of Alta and Baja California and New Mexico. Unfortunately , concerning the negotiations of the treaty, the U.S. leaders assumed an attitude of moral superiority over the Mexicans. Therefore, it was very tough for the Mexican negotiators to draw a deal, which will benefit both of U.S. and Mexico equally. However, the Mexican leaders happened to be very rational and civilized with the negotiations since they knew what would be best for their country, and managed to still get U.S. to pay them somewhere in between $15-20 million dollars for the acquisition of Mexican land and the annexation of Texas; even though much of that was then credited to the debt the U.S. inflicted on Mexico before and during the war. In the end, Mexico was brutally deceived by the U.S. leaving them to deal with the damages the war had on their country, as well as the loss of nearly half of their territory.


The Best Alternative For The Problem

The best alternative to the problem that Mexico is facing about their restrictions on foreign property ownership, is to keep enforcing these restrictions, rather than ease them away. This will prevent other predicaments or disputes with foreigners, since if Mexico chose to ease the restrictions on foreign property ownership, it will most likely lead to a large influx of foreigners and immigration problems. It could also lead to problems of clashing cultures, and could then lead to tensions buildings between Mexico and the foreigners. In addition, for Mexico to be very generous and open to foreigners owning some of their property, it could lead to the foreigners thinking of it as their own land, just as the Texans had. Once they begin thinking of it as their own, they may start ignoring Mexican laws and rebelling, similar to what happened in Texas.

In the end, by easing restrictions on foreign property ownership, much of what happened to Mexico in the nineteenth century could easily happen again today. We wouldn’t want Mexico to lose anymore of their rightful land than what we've already lost to the stubborn Americans. In addition, if they allowed foreigners to own our property, it could cause us to become more susceptible to what is happening in the turbulent world around us, which could leave a lasting and crippling impact on everything Mexico has become comprised of. Therefore, by enforcing the restrictions on foreign property ownership, Mexico will be giving a better future to its citizens. It will also better preserve our fascinating culture, and our strong nationalism of our proud nation, Mexico.