Did a majority of the people in the Mexican Cession territories prefer Mexican rule or US rule in 1848?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,759
SoCal
Did a majority of the people in the Mexican Cession territories prefer Mexican rule or US rule in 1848?
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,959
Iowa USA
Is it accurate that (upper) California's population was much larger than New Mexico and Colorado/Utah territories?

Perhaps if the question is narrowed to opinion in the principal settlements in California?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,759
SoCal
Is it accurate that (upper) California's population was much larger than New Mexico and Colorado/Utah territories?
That I don't know, unfortunately. I don't think that Mexico actually had any censuses before 1895 and the US Census of 1850 can't be of much help here since a lot of Americans moved to California between 1848 and 1850 due to the Gold Rush there.

Perhaps if the question is narrowed to opinion in the principal settlements in California?
Yeah, you can answer this question only for these settlements.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
482
Comancheria
Maybe the majority of people in those territories were American Indians who preferred neither.
 
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Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,405
Albuquerque, NM
I think the focus should be on the New Mexico territory, later split into Arizona, Utah, Colorado and of course New Mexico. By 1848 Texas had joined the U.S.; one of the elements that led to the Mexican War in the first place. California had its own particular story with an ever increasing number of Americans engaged in shipping and trapping. Melville's Two Years Before the Mast was a record of his voyage from New England to the Pacific coast, and describes both the brutal life aboard a merchantman of the time, and what life was like in California. When gold was discovered the rush to California soon had more "Americans" than it could take.

New Mexico was different. These were the Northern-most outposts of Mexico where vast deserts made long journey's difficult. Spanish cruelty to the peaceful Pueblo's of the Rio Grand Valley resulted in Pope's Rising when the Spanish were forced to abandon all of what is New Mexico today. True, they were back in force eighty years later ... and the English Colonists were plotting their own rebellion. As the American frontier relentlessly advanced what came to be called the Santa Fe Trail changed from carrying fur trappers to large wagons sent to trade goods with the citizens of New Mexico ... at Santa Fe. I'm sure someone here will look up the population of Santa Fe in the 1850 census, and that may be as good data as we are likely to find. At the time New Mexico's population was primarily Native American, and those with a Mexican heritage with a small minority of American's like Kit Carson and the like. The Native American group was divided into the 19 Pueblos in the Rio Grand Valley and westward to LaGuna, Acama, Zuni, and the Hopi on Third mesa. They were peaceful and generally kept within their traditional territories. Other tribes common to New Mexico occupied virtually the rest of the territory. American settlers eager to occupy the Territory soon ran up against the Apache-Navajoes.

The Apache had a raiding culture where status and power tended to encourage periodic raids to plunder and beat their chests. One band might raid another, but inter-band marriages were common so the conflicts were limited. The exception was an unstinting and brutal war with the Mexicans. The Apache were murdered and bounties paid for ears, or thumbs. A village invited some a passing Apache band to a fiesta, then ambushed and murdered them in the midst of the gaiety. The Apache had their own repertoire of painfully killing man, woman and child without mercy. The warfare was so intense that the northern part of the territory where most American and Mexican inhabitants lived was virtually cut off from Mexico City. Believe me, the Mexican government was probably relieved to be rid of the Indian problems, and they got paid to boot. We got Manhattan island by buying from Native American swindlers, and Mexico got paid to get rid of a costly Provence. In addition the Treaty recognized the legal ownership of Mexicans living in the Territory with Land Grants. Still a bit of squabbling about some of those I think.

The Apache were initially pleased to be rid of the Mexicans and believed the U.S. would be their ally. It didn't turn out that way. The new Americans turned out to be greedy outlaws, sometimes with official sanction. The transition into fighting the Americans didn't take very long, and lasted through the 1880s. The history of the Apache Wars are fascinating and the original sources are pretty good. American's tended to be arrogant and unwilling to "blend" into the existing culture, so there were constant conflicts between ... say American cowboys with cattle to steal and passing Indians or Mexican peons. Until the American Civil War the "American" population remained small, but afterward displaced persons headed West. The population grew comparatively fast, but even when I was a child here in the Southwest things hadn't changed much since the turn of the century. After WWI things changed, but here the population is so thin and scattered old ways persisted long after the rest of the country was "modern".
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,337
There may have been some native Americans who mistakenly preferred the US. However, most native Americans and almost all mestizo and Spanish preferred Mexican rule.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,759
SoCal
There may have been some native Americans who mistakenly preferred the US. However, most native Americans and almost all mestizo and Spanish preferred Mexican rule.
What made Mexican rule more attractive? Its laissez-faire approach? Couldn't that have been a downside as well due to these regions being largely neglected by the Mexicans?