Filibustering in Mexico, Part 1: Jose Maria J. Carvajal

The international boundary line that divides the US and Mexico is about 2000 miles of varying terrain that continues to be a tremendous source of conflict. Essentially, there is illegal immigration with no viable solution, and illicit drugs find their way to the US side despite the efforts of law enforcement.

Today, an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants, some coming from Mexico, many from South America and others from Central America, have crossed this expansive boundary. Many are looking for work while others engage in illegal activities.

Filibustering During the Age of US Expansionism: 1848-1860

This first part, of a two part video, is a short study about a time in Texas History, where a unique phenomenon termed “filibustering,” grew out of the chaotic political conditions that occurred in Mexico and the United States.

Filibusterers were individuals who attempted to invade Mexico in armed groups, often with a small militia force. One noteworthy filibustero of that time was Jose Maria J. Carvajal. Carvajal is a character closely associated with this activity, especially in the northern provinces of Mexico.

“Stories of the precious mountains of Sonora, the gold nuggets of the Gila, and the silver bullets of the Apaches, so current on the Mexican border, found ready acceptance among this class of fortune-hunters, who dreamed only of sudden and easy acquisitions.”
Hubert Howe Bancroft – American historian and ethnologist

The first part of this video focuses on the conditions that occurred as a result of the politics and power vacuum in Mexico between 1848-1860. As a result of the agreement and finalization of The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo set things in motion which made things worse for the Mexicans.

  • Mexicans assumed that the US would live up to its obligations
  • Enforcement of Neutrality Laws was not really understood
  • Federal agents did not that understood these laws
  • Too few people in the frontier prompted further Indian raids

Furthermore, the policies of successive Mexican leaders, add to that leaders that were deposed, created a vacuum of power which left the security of the frontier in question. Conditions that would soon favor the rise of the  filibustero, such as Carvajal.

Video Highlights

  • 1:15 Filibusters
  • 1:38 Jose Maria J. Carvajal
  • 3:20 The Politics in Mexico 1848-1860
  • 3:50 US Neautrality Laws of 1818
  • 5:39 Article 11
  • 5:59 Mexican Internal Politics
  • 5:52 Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
  • 7:11 Plan De Ayala
  • 7:30 Juan Alvarez & Benito Juarez
  • 8:00 1855 Ignacio Commonfort assumes the Presidency
  • 9:40 General Felix Zuloaga proclaims himself President
  • 9:55 US recognizes the Juarez government

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