The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 7
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The Negotiation of the Gadsden Treaty
By the beginning of September, after having been in Mexico
City only three weeks, he had evolved a philosophy of Mexican
revolutions, reached a definite conviction regarding the motives
which uniformly actuated Mexican statesmen, and begun a series
of urgent appeals for more complete and liberal instructions with
reference to the amount of territory to be acquired. The wars
,f independence at the beginning of the century had not achieved
liberty or democracy, he said; they had merely achieved inde-
pendence from Spain by an alliance between the church, the
native Spaniards, and the Creoles, none of whom cared anything
about freedom, equality, or popular government. They had been
interested in the people solely as objects of plunder and exploita-
tion, and they had soon fallen upon each other because the spoils
had not been sufficient to satisfy the greed of all. Thus the
army came to be employed as an instrument of tyranny: thus
despotism, sustained by a military force which remained loyal
only so long as it was well paid and well fed, sprang into exist-
ence. All of this had a very direct bearing upon Gadsden's
mission; and the early days of September found him far from
pessimistic as to the outcome. The Mexican treasury had shown
a seventeen million dollar deficit during the last fiscal year; the
people who possessed ready cash were shipping it out of the
country; there was little prospect of borrowing on the credit of
the church; rents and internal revenues would come in too slowly
to meet an emergency; and yet there were numerous signs of an
approaching revolution, and Santa Anna's army must be paid or
lost. Would not these factors appear to justify the acquisition
of more territory than originally contemplated-the five frontier
states, for instance? If Santa Anna's immediate necessities should
become extremely pressing, would it not be wise to place at once
into the hands of the despot a portion of the sum to be offered? How
large was the contingent fund of President Pierce? How much
money would the United States be willing to offer for these
frontier states? These were some of the questions propounded
by the enthusiastic agent of manifest destiny.
Moreover, in his most sanguine moments Gadsden rejoiced at
another possibility. Santa Anna might be overthrown by the Mod-
erates, and this group would perhaps "tender . . . the whole
Country, to be annexed hereafter under our Constitutional require-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/13/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.