How much money did they give Mexico for Texas to be owned by the US?

In one of the events that have left a deep mark on the history of Mexico, The United States paid 15 million Mexican pesos for the transfer of Texas, according to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed on February 2, 1848. This treaty marked the end of the Mexican-US War. (1846-1848) and resulted in the cession of vast territories, including Alta California and New Mexico, to the United States.

The amount of 15 million pesos, although considerable at the time, generated controversy as it was an insufficient price for a territory as rich in natural resources as Texas. The cession marked the beginning of the territorial expansion of the United States to the west and south. President Antonio Santa Anna was not in the power of Mexico when this treaty was signed, which was created under the administration of the interim president Manuel de la Peña y Peña.

If this sum is adjusted to the current economic reality, according to the United States consumer price index, the 15 million pesos dollars of 1848 would be equivalent to approximately 470 million dollars in 2023. However, this calculation is an estimate and It does not take into account factors such as economic growth and productivity.

The cession of Texas to the United States was formalized by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which established the delivery of Texas and other territories in exchange for the aforementioned sum. This treaty was negotiated by Nicholas Trist, a US representative, defying President Polk’s instructions and generating controversy in his country.

In addition to Texas, with the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded the territories of Alta California and New Mexico


United States National Archives

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An expensive agreement for Mexico

Documentary sources supporting the payment of $15 million to Mexico include the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo itself and the diaries of American diplomats involved in the negotiations. These documents confirm the cash payment to Mexico in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, currently located in the north of Mexico City.

This treaty not only involved the transfer of territories, but also the commitment of the United States to pay the debts that the Mexican government owed to American citizens. In addition, it guaranteed the protection of property and civil rights of Mexicans residing in the newly acquired territories.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was a significant step in the history of both nations and established the foundation for the demarcation of the border between Mexico and the US. This agreement not only had territorial implications but, over time, became a challenge to determine the exact location of the border markers, leading to the creation of the International Border Commission and carrying out a survey to establish a definitive demarcation of the border line.

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