Second Mexican American War in 1919

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Jan 2021 06:05

Maybe those adjacent to the US? I'm not cognizant enough of the economics and politics of the issue.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Futurist » 08 Jan 2021 07:11

Seems easier to just annex northern Mexico due to its small population and low population density, no?

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by T. A. Gardner » 09 Jan 2021 06:50

I think the best course for the US would be a land grab of the northern most bits of Mexico and the Baja peninsula. That is, the US invades with the intent of taking parts of Northern Mexico such that they get access to the Pacific and Caribbean along a defined natural line of border that is reasonably defensible along with outright taking the Baja peninsula.
The later gains them little really other than the land, but having access to the Pacific in the Gulf of California this means that Arizona now has port access to the Pacific. At the time, the Baja was sparsely populated as was much of the land near the US border. That would mean assimilation would be reasonably easy comparted to taking the entire country.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 Jan 2021 16:01

T. A. Gardner wrote:
09 Jan 2021 06:50
I think the best course for the US would be a land grab of the northern most bits of Mexico and the Baja peninsula. That is, the US invades with the intent of taking parts of Northern Mexico such that they get access to the Pacific and Caribbean along a defined natural line of border that is reasonably defensible along with outright taking the Baja peninsula.
The later gains them little really other than the land, but having access to the Pacific in the Gulf of California this means that Arizona now has port access to the Pacific. At the time, the Baja was sparsely populated as was much of the land near the US border. That would mean assimilation would be reasonably easy comparted to taking the entire country.
Taking the peninsula would have been simple, but using and keeping it is a different story. A Naval base at the southern tip would protect the mouth of the Sea of Cortez to a certain extent, but to what purpose?

Providing a port and open sea access to Arizona seems good in theory, but there were only 300,000 people there in 1917 and little in the way of surface infrastructure to take advantage of a port for large scale traffic. Providing continuous safe passage this far north would almost certainly require occupation of the two largest islands as well. And what of the Mexican ports on the west coast of the mainland? Would there be conflicts with fishing vessels? Pirates? Dust ups between the navies of both nations?

For what? Even today the Baja has little intrinsic value. It is sparsely inhabited and has little in the way of economic potential other than a vacation spot.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by T. A. Gardner » 09 Jan 2021 18:03

maltesefalcon wrote:
09 Jan 2021 16:01
Taking the peninsula would have been simple, but using and keeping it is a different story. A Naval base at the southern tip would protect the mouth of the Sea of Cortez to a certain extent, but to what purpose?
It gives the US a protected body of water on the Pacific side of the US for naval operations for one thing. Mexico is not going to be a naval threat at any point. Having a naval base at the tip of the Baja also gives the US a base closer to Panama than San Diego and an alternate anchorage.
Providing a port and open sea access to Arizona seems good in theory, but there were only 300,000 people there in 1917 and little in the way of surface infrastructure to take advantage of a port for large scale traffic. Providing continuous safe passage this far north would almost certainly require occupation of the two largest islands as well. And what of the Mexican ports on the west coast of the mainland? Would there be conflicts with fishing vessels? Pirates? Dust ups between the navies of both nations?
Yuma had been a port in the 19th Century and holding the oceanfront also means access to the Colorado River that could be used for inland transportation almost as far as the Grand Canyon. One thing this avoids is the rather dangerous rail connections through the California Coastal Range of mountains that existed at the time. Unloading at the port of Yuma or at what today is Puerto Penasco (aka Rocky Point) with a rail connection takes over a day of rail time, possibly two, off moving goods further East.

Image

Mexico has never had a strong navy and has rarely been in viable economic shape to afford one. Also, they would have to buy the ships from foreign builders as there is no indigenous naval ship building capacity.
For what? Even today the Baja has little intrinsic value. It is sparsely inhabited and has little in the way of economic potential other than a vacation spot.
You never know...

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 Jan 2021 19:06

Valid points above for the most part but I might add:

The Mexicans may not need a large navy to impede fishing or commercial traffic. Even the mighty US fleet could not patrol and protect the entire body of water from marauders and pirates. (Unless the US occupied the west coast as well down to Mazatlan, they would have to grant free passage for Mexican vessels on peaceful endeavours.)

And if Mexico occupied either or both of the northern islands, they could install guns or barriers to prevent further northward passage. As an alternative, mines or blockships could be used. The easternmost of these islands is so close to the west coast of the mainland as to be indefensible from assault in that direction. At what point does the US draw the line of occupation then.

As for Puerto Penseco becoming a major commercial port for large scale transport of goods(as opposed to pleasure/fishing/tourism). Now that diplomatic relations between the two nations are more cordial, would the inevitable lure of any potential profit have ensured that in any case, no matter whose territory it is in?

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Futurist » 09 Jan 2021 20:54

maltesefalcon wrote:
09 Jan 2021 16:01
T. A. Gardner wrote:
09 Jan 2021 06:50
I think the best course for the US would be a land grab of the northern most bits of Mexico and the Baja peninsula. That is, the US invades with the intent of taking parts of Northern Mexico such that they get access to the Pacific and Caribbean along a defined natural line of border that is reasonably defensible along with outright taking the Baja peninsula.
The later gains them little really other than the land, but having access to the Pacific in the Gulf of California this means that Arizona now has port access to the Pacific. At the time, the Baja was sparsely populated as was much of the land near the US border. That would mean assimilation would be reasonably easy comparted to taking the entire country.
Taking the peninsula would have been simple, but using and keeping it is a different story. A Naval base at the southern tip would protect the mouth of the Sea of Cortez to a certain extent, but to what purpose?

Providing a port and open sea access to Arizona seems good in theory, but there were only 300,000 people there in 1917 and little in the way of surface infrastructure to take advantage of a port for large scale traffic. Providing continuous safe passage this far north would almost certainly require occupation of the two largest islands as well. And what of the Mexican ports on the west coast of the mainland? Would there be conflicts with fishing vessels? Pirates? Dust ups between the navies of both nations?

For what? Even today the Baja has little intrinsic value. It is sparsely inhabited and has little in the way of economic potential other than a vacation spot.
Couldn't a US-ruled Baja provide additional space for California's rapidly growing population, though? Granted, this would be more of a 21st century issue than a 20th century issue, but still.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 Jan 2021 22:41

Futurist wrote:
09 Jan 2021 20:54
maltesefalcon wrote:
09 Jan 2021 16:01
T. A. Gardner wrote:
09 Jan 2021 06:50
I think the best course for the US would be a land grab of the northern most bits of Mexico and the Baja peninsula. That is, the US invades with the intent of taking parts of Northern Mexico such that they get access to the Pacific and Caribbean along a defined natural line of border that is reasonably defensible along with outright taking the Baja peninsula.
The later gains them little really other than the land, but having access to the Pacific in the Gulf of California this means that Arizona now has port access to the Pacific. At the time, the Baja was sparsely populated as was much of the land near the US border. That would mean assimilation would be reasonably easy comparted to taking the entire country.
Taking the peninsula would have been simple, but using and keeping it is a different story. A Naval base at the southern tip would protect the mouth of the Sea of Cortez to a certain extent, but to what purpose?

Providing a port and open sea access to Arizona seems good in theory, but there were only 300,000 people there in 1917 and little in the way of surface infrastructure to take advantage of a port for large scale traffic. Providing continuous safe passage this far north would almost certainly require occupation of the two largest islands as well. And what of the Mexican ports on the west coast of the mainland? Would there be conflicts with fishing vessels? Pirates? Dust ups between the navies of both nations?

For what? Even today the Baja has little intrinsic value. It is sparsely inhabited and has little in the way of economic potential other than a vacation spot.
Couldn't a US-ruled Baja provide additional space for California's rapidly growing population, though? Granted, this would be more of a 21st century issue than a 20th century issue, but still.
In 1919 California had fewer than 3.5 million people; which was 10th by state, not 1st. Lots of room for expansion. California is a fairly large state with plenty of open land even today. In fact 12 states have a higher population density now. It's just that most people choose to live in a few crowded metropolitan areas. And as you said this is a 1919 question, not 2021.

Suppose the extra land on the Baja peninsula suddenly became available. To what purpose? It's mostly either desert or mountain, so of little value for farming. There was virtually no infrastructure in the way of proper roads, railroads and electricity nor resources to build them. So little chance of a manufacturing economy either. The Hispanic population would likely be unreceptive to an influx of Anglo settlers as well. This would require a lot of security forces to maintain order. More than it was worth IMHO.

The USA already had plenty of open desert land in California, Arizona and New Mexico. But very few wanted to live there. So few in fact that Arizona was so sparsely populated that they did not even achieve statehood until 1912.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by History Learner » 09 Jan 2021 23:05

Futurist wrote:
08 Jan 2021 01:02
Wood's Presidency was only going to last for seven years at the very most. As for the 1924 Immigration Act, Yes, it didn't restrict Latin American immigration, but AFAIK, a part of the reason for this might have been that there simply wasn't that much Latin American immigration into the US during this time (even during the Mexican Revolution) and thus there might have been less of a perceived need to restrict it than there was for European immigration (especially Eastern and Southern European immigration). Just compare how many Italians or Jews came to the US between 1880 and 1925 versus how many Mexicans came to the US during this time period.
Woods death was not natural; he died accidently during surgery. Even then, given two terms is eight years, I doubt even assuming a hard limit of seven years changes that much.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Futurist » 09 Jan 2021 23:07

History Learner wrote:
09 Jan 2021 23:05
Futurist wrote:
08 Jan 2021 01:02
Wood's Presidency was only going to last for seven years at the very most. As for the 1924 Immigration Act, Yes, it didn't restrict Latin American immigration, but AFAIK, a part of the reason for this might have been that there simply wasn't that much Latin American immigration into the US during this time (even during the Mexican Revolution) and thus there might have been less of a perceived need to restrict it than there was for European immigration (especially Eastern and Southern European immigration). Just compare how many Italians or Jews came to the US between 1880 and 1925 versus how many Mexicans came to the US during this time period.
Woods death was not natural; he died accidently during surgery. Even then, given two terms is eight years, I doubt even assuming a hard limit of seven years changes that much.
True, it doesn't. But my point here is that a lot depends on whom exactly his successors are going to be.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by History Learner » 09 Jan 2021 23:15

Futurist wrote:
09 Jan 2021 23:07
History Learner wrote:
09 Jan 2021 23:05
Futurist wrote:
08 Jan 2021 01:02
Wood's Presidency was only going to last for seven years at the very most. As for the 1924 Immigration Act, Yes, it didn't restrict Latin American immigration, but AFAIK, a part of the reason for this might have been that there simply wasn't that much Latin American immigration into the US during this time (even during the Mexican Revolution) and thus there might have been less of a perceived need to restrict it than there was for European immigration (especially Eastern and Southern European immigration). Just compare how many Italians or Jews came to the US between 1880 and 1925 versus how many Mexicans came to the US during this time period.
Woods death was not natural; he died accidently during surgery. Even then, given two terms is eight years, I doubt even assuming a hard limit of seven years changes that much.
True, it doesn't. But my point here is that a lot depends on whom exactly his successors are going to be.
I agree that could have effects, but it could end up being a fait accompli by then too. I kinda have a TL idea based around this forming in my head...

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2021 04:41

If you want to post this TL here, you can try--but please ask the moderators here if this is actually allowed before you actually do this. I'd probably enjoy taking a look at it. :)

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Jan 2021 16:26

We'd have to find some strong economic incentive for annexation. Note that the oil boom of the 1920s in Mexico was not enough to bring back the US Army. & neither was the nationalization of the profitable Mexican based oil industry. Standard Oil just wrote off the loss. Until the anti foreign & socialist movement gained control the model of nominal independence/economic control worked for US policy in Mexico.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by maltesefalcon » 10 Jan 2021 17:17

One more point to consider on the annexation of the Baja.

The US may have had an opportunity to push the border of the Arizona territory to the northern shore of the Sea of Cortez during the 1850's. If they had included this in the Gadsen Purchase agreement that would likely have been a fait accompli. There is speculation that Santa Ana consented to the original purchase because he really had no other option. This way Mexico would at least get financial compensation, rather than having the land seized by force.

Since this would effectively sever the Baja from the rest of the Mexican State it would make sense to include that in the agreement as well.

That means per an earlier suggestion above that the terminus for the railroad could be at the Sea of Cortez.

However this was not undertaken. Perhaps there was a concern that the US needed a proper physical link to gold rich California. This despite the hardships of running the route through the mountains. But once done it was a better alternative than horse drawn traffic or going all the way around Cape Horn.

But there was no interest in doing so at the time. It's entirely possible that money from Big Railroad had more political clout at the time than Big Shipping, affecting the end result.

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Re: Second Mexican American War in 1919

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Jan 2021 19:42

maltesefalcon wrote:
10 Jan 2021 17:17
But there was no interest in doing so at the time. It's entirely possible that money from Big Railroad had more political clout at the time than Big Shipping, affecting the end result.
Yes

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