Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Article III

Ending the U.S. war with Mexico

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When the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848, it formally ended the U.S.-Mexico War. From September 1847 to February 1848, four men — Nicholas P. Trist, Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, Don Bernardo Couto, and Don Miguel Atristain — gathered in a town outside of Mexico City called Guadalupe Hidalgo to write the “Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement Between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic.” At the conclusion of their talks, Mexico recognized Texas as part of the U.S., agreed to a border at the Rio Grande, and gave up New Mexico and California in exchange for $15 million. The treaty was ratified in the U.S. on March 10, 1848, and approved by Mexico’s Congress on May 30, 1848.

In U.S. history, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is seen as a pivotal moment within a larger narrative of Manifest Destiny that allowed the United States to extend its lands to the Pacific Ocean. In Mexican history, the treaty is seen as a land grab that robbed Mexico of a prosperous future. Over 175 years later, the treaty continues to impact the people, policies, and relationships of North America.

Article III of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo outlined how the United States would remove its troops from Mexico following the end of the U.S.-Mexico War. The end of hostilities and the orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops would demonstrate a commitment to establishing a peaceful relationship between the neighboring countries.

This article stipulates that upon ratification of the Treaty by both the United States and Mexico, U.S. naval forces would immediately stop blockading Mexican ports. U.S. troops stationed within Mexico’s interior would be withdrawn as soon as possible. This process of evacuation was to be completed with the utmost urgency, with the Mexican government providing all necessary assistance to ensure the smooth exit of U.S. forces.

Article III also lays out how all Mexican customs houses occupied by U.S. forces were to be returned to Mexico, and all duties on imports and exports collected by the United States were to be delivered to the Mexican government.

Specifically, the evacuation of U.S. forces from Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, was to be completed within one month of the ratification of the Treaty (by June 30, 1848) or sooner if possible. This prompt withdrawal of U.S. forces from the heart of Mexico signified the end of the military occupation and the return of Mexican sovereignty over its territory.

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Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Article III Artifact from Washington, DC
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