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The Brief History Of The Problematic Relationship Between Mexico And The United States

Perhaps in no other part of the globe, there is a case like that of Mexico and the United States, two countries that share a border of more than 3,000 kilometers and yet are separated by profound differences of historical, political, economic and cultural type. Over the past 150 years Mexicans have had to pay a high price for being one of the only two countries in the world that share land boundaries with Uncle Sam (the other is Canada): in the 19th century they had that to give half of its territory to the neighbor of the North and in the current century live in the middle of a robust economic dependence of the United States, which has three times more population than Mexico, a gross national product 15 times greater, an overwhelming military superiority and as if that was not enough,

However, although the big beneficiaries of this unequal relationship are the Americans, they also depend on their poor neighbors in non-negligible aspects, the most important of which has been and will continue to be the strategic location of Mexico, which on more than one occasion It has influenced Washington’s foreign policy at decisive moments. On the other hand, the oil wealth and the massive external debt of Mexico, added to the significant investments of American private capital, contribute to increasing the interests of North America in the Aztec nation.

Apart from the armed and unarmed interventions of the United States, still alive in the collective memory of Mexicans, relations between the two countries have been marked in recent times by factors such as the massive migration of citizens from Mexico to the United States. United, drug trafficking, bilateral trade, foreign debt, and diplomacy. In these and other points, many contradictions, misunderstandings, and even resentments have been revealed, the result not only of profound differences between the two nations but also of past events.

Economic And Territorial Expansion

One of the first consequences for Mexico meant living next to a much more productive and more powerful country in the process of economic and territorial expansion was the loss of about 50% of its area. The great sacrificed with the “conquest of the West” was Mexico, which in the first half of the nineteenth century did not have the adequate resources to adequately protect the vast semi-populated areas of the North that since the beginning of the century were subject to aggressive colonization by American farmers, ranchers, merchants and adventurers. In the sight of these appeared in first place Texas, a vast and rich territory equivalent to more than half of the surface of Colombia.

As early as 1829, President Jackson proposed to the Mexican government the purchase of Texas with the following arguments: “The comparatively small value for Mexico of the territory in question; its remote and disconnected situation; the disarranged condition of their businesses; the repressed and languishing state of its finances … everything contributes to pointing out and recommending to Mexico that which detaches itself from a portion of its territory that is of insufficient and problematic benefit”.

After several years of clashes with the troops of the Santa Anna regime, the American residents proclaimed the independence of Texas in March 1836. The subsequent entry of Texas into the American Union (July 1845) and the numerous border incidents between Mexican forces and Americans, made the open war between the two nations inevitable, which lasted between 1846 and 1848.

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