The US paid Mexico after winning the Mexican-American War, huh?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,329
We paid Spain for Florida (there was no war) but we were making them an offer they couldn't refuse, know what I mean?
The Adams-Otis Treaty also fixed the border between New Spain (later Mexico) and the US and a secret clause was that the US would continue not to help Spanish American rebels. Of course, Spain lost Mexico soon after and the US later took a big chunk of it.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,728
SoCal
@Futurist

The V.I. were purchased, yes. However, that was a decision of momentary military expediency (1917 IIRC). The US was concerned that the Islands might be sold to Germany and used as forward location for U-Boats. The US V.I. as far as I know have never been much economically, and are something of an anomaly. My opinion.
The US previously wanted to purchase these islands back in 1902 but that effort failed due to a tie vote in the upper house of the Danish parliament. So, even before WWI, the US was already interested in acquiring these islands. There was also a US attempt to buy two of these islands back in 1867 but back then I believe that the US Senate did not actually take up this offer.
 
Apr 2017
1,624
U.S.A.
Aside from the Spanish and Mexican examples above...
Britain seized south Africa from the dutch in the Napoleonic wars, keeping it in exchange for paying the dutch 6 million pounds.
When Cyprus was permanently occupied by Britain it was on the condition it was still in name an Ottoman territory and the British had to pay an annual payment to them (although they instead used the money to pay off ottoman debt to Britain).
And there are probably more I can't think of offhand.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,329
The Portuguese paid tribute to Chinese Emperor for hundreds of years for Macau. I believe that the British and Dutch also paid tribute to China while controlling nearby territories. This fit with the traditional Chinese view of outlying areas being tributaries and enabled the Chinese to save face.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,961
Sydney
the US history of paying money for land started with Manhattan ,the Louisiana purchase ..... Alaska
the reason is probably because it created a legal fact independent of force of arms
 
Oct 2019
95
West Virginia
In reading Grant's memoirs, I learned the astonishing fact that the US actually paid Mexico money after the US won the war. I had a very difficult time believing this so I looked it up on Wiki and there it was:

The treaty gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, established the U.S.-Mexican border of the Rio Grande, and ceded to the United States the present-day states of California, Nevada, and Utah, most of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. In return, Mexico received $15 million[163] ($434 million today) – less than half the amount the U.S. had attempted to offer Mexico for the land before the opening of hostilities[164] – and the U.S. agreed to assume $3.25 million ($94 million today) in debts that the Mexican government owed to U.S. citizens.

Does anyone know why we agreed to this? I've never heard of a victor country paying a vanquished country after the war. The Marshall Plan might be a possible exception.
The war was an atrocity. Mexico was attacked for no reason other than the desire of the Southern states to expand slavery territory Westward. The USA paid for the territory, though nowhere near what it was worth, to stifle international criticism of its imperialist crime against Mexico.

President James K. Polk, an extremely unpleasant individual, ran into Congress claiming Mexico had attacked Texas after in fact he'd sent Gen. Zachary Taylor over the internationally-recognized border (the Río Nueces, not the Río Bravo as Polk pretended). So, effectively, the USA attacked Mexico to create a pretext for the war.

This was no heroic affair. Mexico was still devastated from its own War of Independence against Spain, it had a much smaller population than the USA, and was incapable of confronting the USA militarily. In addition, the Mexican leader at the time was the mentally unhinged Santa Ana, today regarded by Mexicans as a traitor.

It was a dirty business, and the treatment of Mexican people in the stolen territory over subsequent generations was an ongoing human rights disaster.

The New England states wouldn't even send troops for Polk's bloody war, as they recognized it for what it was: a slaver's ruse.

I am related to this vile President Polk, but I don't let that obscure the truth about his perfidy. He was the protégé of Andrew Jackson, another dubious individual.

Let's not forget that the USA also sent troops into Mexico to intervene in its Revolution, the USA of course siding with the pro-oil-company Gen. Huerta, who was installed as President after Madero was assassinated with USA complicity.

USA owes Mexico a lot more than anything that has been paid so far. Start with a colossal apology.
 
Oct 2019
95
West Virginia
Defeated countries are very often burdened by paying "reparations" to the victor. Revanche for lost lands and vengeance often result, but the US and Mexico have not been at war again for 170 years. The United States has gained much of its territory through purchase rather than through aggression (Louisiana; the former Mexican territories; Alaska).
Purchase? This ignores that nearly all of the territory of the Louisiana Purchase had to be conquered from the Native people! In the process, the USA government committed extensive crimes against humanity (Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, etc., etc., etc., etc.). "Rather than through aggression"? Hardly.

Rightly the USA still owes significant reparations to Mexico, not only for the illegal war of conquest, but for interference in Mexican affairs since and extensive abuse of Mexican workers on both sides of the border.
 
Oct 2019
95
West Virginia
It was also very useful as living space. The Western and Southwestern US territories perhaps more than the Louisiana Purchase territory.
Living space? Lebensraum?

Let's not forget there were already people living there. There is far too much of this attitude in here, that if the USA needs it, it's right to take it. USA interests matter, none other do. That is exactly the attitude which creates these problems in the first place.
 
Oct 2019
95
West Virginia
We paid Spain for Florida (there was no war) but we were making them an offer they couldn't refuse, know what I mean?
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was another such "offer".

The USA threatened that if Mexico didn't sign to relinquish its northern tier of states, the USA would continue conquering and take Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua, etc., as well.

Mexico signed that Treaty with a gun to its head.