The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 2
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ended in failure. But the sting of failure was soon alleviated
through the annexation of Texas to the United States, and while
that government was planning to adjust the claims it had thus
inherited, the question changed from the status of a revolutionary
movement under the Mexican government to an international .sit-
nation. The climax of this transitory stage was reached in the
Mexican War, as a result of which New Mexico also became a part
of the United States. Thus the question was once more an in-
ternal problem, but under a different government, and here it took
the form of a. three cornered quarrel between Texas, New Mexico,
and the central government, in which Texas assumed the aggressive.
The Problems Involved Under the United States.-The first
problem which presented itself was that of ascertaining the atti-
tude of the United States government, and in this both Texas and
New Mexico were naturally interested. Before the American occu-
pation of New Mexico in 1846, the boundary question had not
seriously troubled the people of that department. The Santa Fe
expedition had, of course, brought an awakening to. the possibilities
of an encroachment from the east, and its outcome left them op-
posed to a division of their province by Texas. But they had con-
sidered the issue to be between Texas and Mexico rather than be-
tween themselves and Texas, and therefore had looked to the su-
preme government of Mexico to, keep their domain intact. Conse-
quently, for them the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo meant that the
Mexican government was no longer responsible for their territory,
and in spite of the declaration of General Kearny that he would
hold the department with its original boundaries,2 they feared that
the attitude of the new government under which they found them-
selves was favorable to Texas. These apprehensions were increased
as a result of statements made by President Polk, and they began
to feel that unless they took active steps to assert their rights, they
were facing territorial disintegration.
For the Texans also, the trend of events in connection with the
military occupation of New Mexico and the maintenance of the
military government had brought uneasiness. Even before the
establishment of peace, President Polk had been compelled to face
a question from Texas concerning the jurisdiction of the military
2Kearny's proclamation of August 22, 1846, in House Ex. Doc. 60, 30th
Cong., 1st seas. (Scr. no. 520), p. 170.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101078/m1/8/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.