Gadsden Purchase

The Gadsden Purchase (english Gadsden Purchase, Spanish Venta de La Mesilla ) acquired the United States in 1853 by Mexico a territory of 77,700 km ² south of the Gila River, which is located in southern Arizona and New Mexico today. There a better route for a railroad to California was planned, however, was never built. Also for the construction of a canal in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Americans served as the basis of the contract.

First, the United States acquired for $ 15 million an area of ​​approximately 116,550 km ², which they had conquered in the Mexican-American War. The agreement to purchase was taken on December 30, 1853 between James Gadsden, the namesake of the contract, and the Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Gadsden was president of a railroad company, and was commissioned to negotiate a purchase contract with Santa Anna by U.S. President Franklin Pierce. Santa Anna refused at first, such a large land area of Mexico to sell. However, Mexico desperately needed money to rebuild his ailing military affairs and again to pay for the use of the army against the rebels.

The purchase contract was rejected not only by the Mexican population, but also by those U.S. senators who advocated the abolition of slavery and feared a power gain for the slaveholding South. To avoid a growing dispute between the northern and southern states, a new contract was ratified on 25 April 1854. This reduced the amount paid to Mexico $ 10 million and the area of 77.7 thousand km ². Among other things, the Baja California and parts of Sonora were excluded from the purchase. Gadsden put Santa Anna before the contract signed by Pierce, who also signed him on June 8, 1854.

On the Sonoita River, the United States Army built Fort Buchanan on November 17, 1856, to secure the newly acquired territory.