Anglo-American Penetration of the Southwest:
The View from New Mexico
N THE EARLY YEARS OF MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE TEXANS AND NEW
Mexicans anticipated close cooperation with the United States.
This was a natural expectation for the predominantly Anglo-American
population in Texas. But the hopes of New Mexicans were equally
sanguine because of economic benefits associated with the Santa Fe
Unfortunately, the climate of opinion changed before 183o. Mexi-
can documents clearly reveal a growing disenchantment with norte-
americanos.' Their penetration was difficult to control and insidious
in its influence on the northern frontier. During his administration,
President Guadalupe Victoria became alarmed by the aggressive tactics
of Texas settlers, and after the Fredonian revolt in 1827, the Mexican
Congress curtailed the activities of all immigrants from the United
States by passing stringent anti-immigration laws which ultimately
contributed to the rebellion in Texas and added to the impoverish-
ment and isolation of New Mexico.
While the United States government noted these developments,
Mexican officials were overwhelmed by too many internal problems
in the hinterland to recognize the immediate consequences of their
policies along the northern frontier. Norteamericanos traveling and
trading through New Mexico assumed that administrative lapses were
further proof of Mexican inferiority, and when local officials intro-
duced revenue-raising policies to compensate for Mexico City's ap-
parent lack of concern, extreme hostility was generated among the
merchant community. Demanding protection of their rights, these
Anglo-Americans sent reports to Washington which had no small
effect on that government's decision to occupy New Mexico.
*Daniel Tyler, assistant professor of history at Colorado State University, is at present
preparing a biography of Manuel Armijo.
'In this paper the terms norteamericano, North American, and Anglo-American are
used interchangeably to include citizens of the United States, Anglo-Saxons, and other
foreigners whom the Mexicans associated with the United States. The Mexican documents
are not always specific, occasionally including Texans in their reference to norte-
americanos or extranjeros.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed October 7, 2015.