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The United States annexes "All Mexico", 1848

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
The Philippines, a nation of 6.5 million and largely Catholic or Muslim, in 1900.
Point, that was a time America pulled off something similar. Though in that case, the country had only recently been independent (and that unrecognised) without AFAIK much time to develop a professional army, while Mexico's been independent for decades. The US is also able to claim they're fighting an "insurrection" and claims they're doing this for the Filipinos' own good, they're certainly not colonising, oh no, while Mexico would clearly be a war of conquest to everyone - and (cos Mexico's massive) require more men to do it.

So America could possibly do it in the short term at least, but they'd have to be happy to accept the cost.
 

History Learner

Active member
Point, that was a time America pulled off something similar. Though in that case, the country had only recently been independent (and that unrecognised) without AFAIK much time to develop a professional army, while Mexico's been independent for decades. The US is also able to claim they're fighting an "insurrection" and claims they're doing this for the Filipinos' own good, they're certainly not colonising, oh no, while Mexico would clearly be a war of conquest to everyone - and (cos Mexico's massive) require more men to do it.

So America could possibly do it in the short term at least, but they'd have to be happy to accept the cost.
The biggest difference I believe is that Mexico had a large annexationist sympathy within it that, to my knowledge, the Philippines never had.

Winfield Scott estimated the upper classes (who later supported the French invasion) as well as 40% of the population in general were in support, something other American observers noted. Mexican sources suggest the Liberals were divided, with the Puros also supporting the Americans, which means the Liberal opposition that later on fought the Mexicans in defense of Mexican independence OTL would be divided here. I don't discount the possibility that some insurgency would occur, but it just seems like in the absence of widespread popular support that it would be successful or lasting. The U.S. Army's Historical Series has a work on the occupation which notes that the best area of resistance was sustained in the densely populated Southern Mexico on the Mexico City-Veracruz axis, but that it liked popular support of the locals and was dependent upon the continued ability of the Mexican Government to fund it. Of course, the U.S. could screw it up and engender such, but once the general demobilization begins it seems the likelihood of that happening decreases as the volunteers go home and the professional army takes over full duties; the 10 Regiments Bill was making its way through Congress by the end of the war.
 

History Learner

Active member
Worth bearing in mind that in reality non-English languages were still very common until WW1, when the anti-German-language campaign started.

In my opinion the increased non-Anglophone population and established status of Spanish in Mexico would be unlikely to be challenged- federal politicians would of course have to be bilingual, but I don't think the English language would become the main conversational language.

On the contrary, the lack of civil war and spread of bilingualism might not only lead to French remaining in Louisiana as mentioned above, but could even result in stuff like Dakota becoming primarily German-speaking. With English's status in those states analogous to the role of English in the EU.
Sorry for just now getting to this, I missed it while responding to others!

It's worth noting that the First World War only accelerated existing trends with the use of German in the United States. In 1890, there had been about 800 German-language papers, but this declined to 613 in 1900 and then 554 in 1910 according to the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. The same was seen in other groups, such as French in Louisiana which was already on the decline before the Civil War because of Anglophone settlement and commercial ties. Ultimately, it wasn't so much as Government policy as the result of the Civil War but rather access to the wider American culture, economic ties, etc which ultimately lead to assimilation into the English-speaking majority.

I suspect Mexico, by means of its distance and expected settlement patterns, to take longer and likely Spanish will stay strong into the 20th Century although with English steadily increasing; first as a dual language or secondary one before gradually giving way to the language of predominance. We've seen this same pattern today in the American Hispanic community and even Mexico, IOTL, has now mandated English instruction on the basis of making Mexico bilingual because of the increasing importance of English due to economic factors. I suspect this would happen ATL, just moved up several decades.
 

History Learner

Active member
As far as I can see, the evidence in favour of notable annexationist sympathy in Mexico here is a) political opponents casting shade on Mexican liberals, or Americans saying 'Well, they probably want the war to be lost so they can return to power and they're quite pro-American, but they have to put on a patriotic face at the mo', b) an American source in the shape of Winfield Scott guesstimating only 2/5ths of the population wanted annexation (And uh, people wanted him as President) and c) that treasonous (and given what they were proposing, mad) elements in Northern Mexico during the US civil war were hoping for Confederate annexation and their own empowerment.

This is not remotely compelling evidence towards the notion that Mexicans wouldn't have behaved like most conquered people have behaved like when their national independence is extinquished from abroad. That notion feels very Murica, tbh.
Admittedly, there is a dearth of English-language sources on the Mexican response to the All Mexico movement in general or the war itself; I'm not sufficiently advanced in my Spanish abilities either (to the anger of my girlfriend, who is Mexican, lol) to go through their sources. That has forced me to rely on English translations of the political situation and accusations made by Mexican authorities contemporary to these events, as well as American observer responses. It's worth noting, however, that large swathes of the Mexican populace welcomed the Americans in the North and were generally ambivalent elsewhere; when the French came 20 years later, they too had a large body of the Mexican populace actively collaborate with them.

Was it as wide as the sources have suggested from the American end? Perhaps not, but there is enough agreement among them all to suggest there very much was an element of such on the Mexican end, although we are not sure exactly how large it was. Mexican authorities were sufficiently convinced of such to be greatly concerned about it in 1847-1848, later even having treason trials from such.
 

lerk

Gone fishing
I suppose if America does annex Mexico we get a much more alarmed UK which in response probably just annexes all of Oregon and becomes a lot more wary of the US in general. If the Civil War still happens I can imagine that the possibility of an Anglo-French intervention becomes more likely as they will probably see an independent South + the independent Mexico which will most likely emerge from it as a good way to cut America down to size and punish it for being so expansionist.
 

History Learner

Active member
Just as a general update, I contacted Pedro Santoni and he's generously provided me with several resources as well as some suggestions for me to track down further resources to see what exists on the Mexican side of the equation. Outside of that, I also emailed and had a correspondence with Amy Greenberg and Noel Maurer, which was likewise interesting; both Santoni and Greenberg agree with Fuller's interpretations and research, with Greenberg being the most emphatic. Maurer does not, however, although he did state that he sees it as possible that the U.S. could make an annexation stick if it wanted to. Both he and Santoni agree Winfield Scott's estimates of Mexican support are off base, however.
 
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Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
Admittedly, there is a dearth of English-language sources on the Mexican response to the All Mexico movement in general or the war itself; I'm not sufficiently advanced in my Spanish abilities either (to the anger of my girlfriend, who is Mexican, lol) to go through their sources. That has forced me to rely on English translations of the political situation and accusations made by Mexican authorities contemporary to these events, as well as American observer responses. It's worth noting, however, that large swathes of the Mexican populace welcomed the Americans in the North and were generally ambivalent elsewhere; when the French came 20 years later, they too had a large body of the Mexican populace actively collaborate with them.

Was it as wide as the sources have suggested from the American end? Perhaps not, but there is enough agreement among them all to suggest there very much was an element of such on the Mexican end, although we are not sure exactly how large it was. Mexican authorities were sufficiently convinced of such to be greatly concerned about it in 1847-1848, later even having treason trials from such.
'Large swathes of the population' re: northern Mexico seems a contradiction in terms to me, given how thinly populated it was. That's what made US annexation there entirely viable, and potentially it was viable further south, Baja etc, but that doesn't equate to the entire country's annexation being possible without a murmur from the population.

I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on this but googling around for JSTOR articles etc I'm not seeing any evidence of your claim of 'ambivalence' in Central Mexico and a lot of accounts that there was significant and bloody resistance to Scott's forces. And that's just for a temporary military occupation, not after a declared annexation. So I'm not really sure where you're getting the notion of ambivalence from.

The notion that an independent country of millions would settle down into being happy Americans after conquest is an extraordinary claim as it's very much counterintuitive to the human historical experience in the modern period, and extraordinary claims require strong evidence. I don't see that at all here.
 

History Learner

Active member
'Large swathes of the population' re: northern Mexico seems a contradiction in terms to me, given how thinly populated it was. That's what made US annexation there entirely viable, and potentially it was viable further south, Baja etc, but that doesn't equate to the entire country's annexation being possible without a murmur from the population.
The claim made by several American observers was that there was broad support, but in Northern Mexico in particular there was; this is not to say that region was excessively populated, just that it was a region that was particularly supportive of annexation or Americans in general terms. Think of it in terms of a political map, in that a party might have broad support but in certain provinces/states/etc it is especially powerful.

I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on this but googling around for JSTOR articles etc I'm not seeing any evidence of your claim of 'ambivalence' in Central Mexico and a lot of accounts that there was significant and bloody resistance to Scott's forces. And that's just for a temporary military occupation, not after a declared annexation. So I'm not really sure where you're getting the notion of ambivalence from.
There was indeed a resistance movement in Central Mexico, which I've mentioned earlier up thread and which was supported by the Mexican Government. The U.S. Army's Historical Series even has a free, online work you can read on the subject which goes over it, but it's noted by most sources that this partisan movement lacked popular support on the broad level; it was basically sustained by funds from the Mexican Government itself, rather than the locals.

The notion that an independent country of millions would settle down into being happy Americans after conquest is an extraordinary claim as it's very much counterintuitive to the human historical experience in the modern period, and extraordinary claims require strong evidence. I don't see that at all here.
As I've noted, most of the sources available-at least in English-suggest there was support. Given they were Americans, however, obviously there is a valid reason to wonder how much bias played a role in such assessments; it's why I've contacted the academics and am continuing my research. Specific to the historical human experience in the modern period as a general claim, however, I'd really recommend Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies by Peter Liberman. Collaboration is often extensive and resistance movements have very little effect in harassing the occupier or depriving him of economic gains at the expense of the occupied as a result.
 
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