Mexico And Borders

International borders have always been centers of conflict, and the U.S.-Mexican border is no exception. With the European colonizing the New World, it was a matter of time before the powers collided. The Spanish settled what is today Mexico, while the English settled what is to day the United States. When the two colonial powers did meet

what is today the United States’ Southwest, it was not England and Spain. Rather the two powers were the United States and Mexico. Both Counties had broken off from their mother countries. The conflict that erupted between the two countries where a direct result of different nation policies. The United States had a policy of westward expansion,

while Mexico had a policy of self protection. The Americans never had a written policy of expansion. What they had was the idea of "Manifest Destiny." Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States had the right to expand westward to the Pacific ocean. On the other hand, Mexico was a new country wanting to protect itself from outside

powers. Evidence of U.S. expansion is seen with the independence of

Texas from Mexico. The strongest evidence of U.S. expansion goals is

with the Mexican-American War. From the beginning, the war was

conceived as an opportunity for land expansion. Mexico feared the

United States expansion goals.

During the 16th century, the Spanish began to settle the region.

The Spanish had all ready conquered and settled Central Mexico. Now

they wanted to expand their land holdings north. The first expedition

into the region, that is today the United States Southwest, was with

Corando. Corando reported a region rich in resources, soon after

people started to settle the region. The driving force behind the

settlement was silver in the region. The Spanish settled the region

through three major corridors; central, western and eastern. The first

settlements were mainly through the central corridor. The Spanish went

thorough what is now the modern Mexican state of Chihuahua into the

U.S. state of New Mexico. Eventually the Spanish established the city

of Santa Fe in 1689. The eastern corridor was through modern day Texas

and led to the establishment of San Antonio. The eastern expansion was

caused by the French expansion into modern day Louisiana. The Spanish

crown wanted a buffer between the French in Louisiana and central

Mexico. The last corridor of expansion was in the west, through the

sea, which led to the establishment of San Diego in 1769 and Los

Angles in 1781.

The Spanish were not the only European power to colonize the new

world; French, English and the Dutch also settled North and South

America. The Spanish and the French settled what is present day

U.S.-Mexico border region. The French settled modern day U.S. midwest,

while the Spanish settled present day Mexico and U.S. southwest. As

time went on, European influence in the region diminished.. The French

sold there claims to the United States, in 1803 with the Louisiana

Purchase. Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821. Once the

United States bought the Louisiana Purchase, western expansion began.

This set the stage for major conflict in the region.

The United States gained independence from England in 1775.

After 1775, the Americans started to expand west. By the time Mexico

gained independence, the United States had reached the Mexican

frontier. Mexico needed to protect its northern borders. To protect

the border region, Mexico needed to populate the area. Mexico

continued the policy started by Spain of allowing Americans to settle

Texas. The Americans had to follow Mexican law, religion and customs.

The settlement of Texas played into the United States’ expansion


Eventually Mexico City closed Texas from more Americans from

entering. This angered the Americans wanting to enter and Americans

already living in Texas. Texas revolted from Mexico in 1833. Mexicans

did live in Texas, and fought for the independence of Texas. The

majority of Texans were Americans and fought for their independence.

After the war the Americans intentionally or non-intentionally forced

most Mexicans out of Texas. The ones that stayed faced racial tensions

that continue to today.

After gaining independence from Mexico, Texas wanted to join the

United States immediately. The U.S. Congress voted against Texas from

joining the Union. Congress was worried that annexation of Texas would