The Gadsden Purchase occurred after the Mexican-American War and assigned 30,000 miles of northern Mexican land to the United States. The purchase would expand the land of future states, New Mexico and Arizona.
Gadsden Purchase Facts
- In 1853, Mexico was in need of money. President Franklin Pierce sent his minister to Mexico for the sale of their northern territory.
- The purchase was negotiated by James Gadsden, the United States minister to Mexico. It was sold for $10 million.
- Occurred in 1848 and sold 30,000 square miles of land to the United States by Mexico.
- In Mexican History, the sale is known as the sale of the Mesilla Valley.
- Expanded the land of what became Arizona and New Mexico
- Small compared to the Louisiana Purchase but significant from a railroad perspective.
- Lobbied in Congress by railroad interest groups. Its purchase would allow for a southern Transcontinental Railroad.
- Residents of the area were to be given the same protection as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave them.
- The residents of the area gained full US citizenship and slowly assimilated into American life over the next half-century.
- When the Civil War broke out, the Confederate States of America formed the Confederate Territory of Arizona, which occupied much of the lands of the Gadsden Purchase.
- In 1863, using a north-to-south dividing line, the Union created its own Arizona Territory out of the western half of the New Mexico Territory.
- These territories would be admitted to the Union in 1912. They did not play a significant role in the Civil War.
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