War Comes to a Close
Although U.S. troops occupied their capital, Mexican leaders hesitated to cede territory. This caused negotiations to drag on for months. Finally, on February 2, 1848, the U.S and Mexico came to terms. In the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexico agreed to surrender all claims to Texas and accept the Rio Grande as the boundary of that state.
This territorial exchange had long-term effects on both nations. The war and treaty extended the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean and provided a bounty of ports, minerals, and natural resources for a growing country. The abundance of lands also produced debates about extending slavery into the West. That dispute would help spark a nation-defining civil war.
Perhaps the most enduring effect of the war, however, is on U.S.-Mexican relations. While the war is remembered with passion south of the border, it is often overlooked to the north. And, although the two countries have developed strong bonds and friendly ties since 1848, these neighbors continue to struggle with distrust and misunderstandings created by the war, its effects, and its legacy.
Last updated: July 4, 2021