Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
During the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-48) the U.S. army invaded Mexico from several fronts. The Mexican Army was unable to prevent U.S. troops marching into and occupying Mexico City, resulting in the transfer of a vast swath of territory from Mexico to the United States. Historians offer several explanations for Mexico's inability to repel this invasion, and one of them is the disunity of the Mexican nation. Evidence of this disunity can be seen in the response of some local leaders when they were confronted with the invading army: instead of fighting, they elected to surrender, allowing U.S. troops to occupy their town. This decision was viewed as treasonous by many Mexicans. However, local leaders were not motivated by any desire to overthrow their country; rather, their choices were prompted by localism: the prioritization of local community affairs over national affairs. By examining the war experience of two particular towns, La Paz, Baja California, and Santa Fe, Nuevo-Mexico, it becomes clear that localism was a significant factor during the U.S.-Mexican War. Furthermore, it becomes clear that an analysis of the relationship between the local community and the nation is crucial to fully understand not only historical facts, but human behaviors and identities.
Foster, Kelsey, "Treason Town: Cities as Traitors During the U.S.-Mexican War" (2022). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8672.
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