The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 228
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Gutierrez was not a systematic political thinker, but he was prescient
about relations between his country and the United States. From his own
experience, he realized that the "Two Americas" were bound to be rivals
despite their common interests respecting European colonialism. Fear-
ing the invasion of Mexico by Spain and its allies, Jose Bernardo wrote a
passionate letter to his brother on March 1, 1822. "It should never be
doubted," he exclaimed," "that the United States must take up arms in de-
fense of our rights, as it is absolutely in the interest of all Americans that
European governments have no possessions in the Americas. ..." He nev-
ertheless warned that it would be dangerous to rely on the United States
without "necessary precautions." Unless proper care were taken, then
"poor us! poor Mexico!" Gutierrez then explained how the North Ameri-
can republic could devour Mexico in a manner unique to itself:
All the nations of the globe burn with the fire of desire to be masters of Mexico,
so much, that the whole world sees black smoke escape from their volcanic cham-
bers; but this can not be said of the United States, because they are very careful
that no one can see either smoke or fire escape from their departments, because
they know that a hidden subterranean fire is better and more destructive to the
obstacles of their interests. Such is the desire of all Anglo-Americans to enter into
Mexico, that if the [U.S] government should arrive at the point of calling upon
the people to enter, one will see a movement so widespread that there would be
no one of any class or sex that would not take up arms with the greatest ardor; all
[Anglo-Americans] generally desire this and believe that by just placing their feet
on Mexican soil, they will put an end to their poverty and will live a long life, and
for this and other reasons their entry [into the land] will always be alarming."
In these words, Gutierrez eloquently captured a dilemma of newly in-
dependent Mexico. The nation could not afford to antagonize the Unit-
ed States, but it should beware of opening its borders to North American
republicans. The Anglo-American people-and not alone their govern-
ment-appeared to be the greatest danger of all.
"Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara toJose Antonio Gutidrrez de Lara, Mar. 1, 1822 , cited in de
la Garza, Dos hermanos heroes, oo-1 o 1.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/280/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.