2 Mexican residents from Mexican Republic to United States Territory was relatively painless.Historically conquered people must subordinate to the ruling government and many personalaspects of their culture are open to censure and reorganization. Usually the conquered lose their lands and their citizenship. In this case the victorious United States did not subjugate or politically marginalize the defeated. Mexicans retained their property rights and became UnitedStates citizens. In fact, after the war Mexicans quickly reestablished power in the judicialsystem.
There were a variety of reasons that it took New Mexico over six decades to become astate, the Mexican character of the Territory was the most mitigating factor in that denial.
For New Mexicans themselves the concept of statehood was somewhat abstract and theconsequences of statehood were unclear. New Mexicans were more concerned with theimmediate problems of safeguarding their land titles than statehood. There were millions of acres tied up in complex issues of Spanish and Mexican land grants. Often only trees or arroyosmarked real estate lines. The Treaty had confirmed existing titles to land but those titles wereoften in dispute. The United States Congress set up the Office of the Surveyor General in 1854to settle issues of land ownership. That government office is credited with confusing the landgrant issues more than ever.
Because of the disputes over property lines and even borders, the majority of NewMexicans were apathetic to statehood when the first offer came in 1850. The New Mexican
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ARTICLE IX. “The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, …shall beincorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congressof the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without; restriction.”
In his book Anglos and Mexicans: In the Making of Texas, 1836-1986 (1987), David Montejano discusses what heterms as the “Rivalship of Peace” between Mexicanos and Anglos. In this study Montejano examines therelationship and conflicts between Mexicanos and Anglos, which is a model used to study the entire AmericanSouthwest.
Robert and Roberts pp. 238-239.