- 2Origin of the Name:
- 4.2European Exploration:
- 4.1European Settlement:
- 4.2Mexican Rule:
- 4.3United States Rule:
- 4.1New Mexico in the Civil War:
- 4.220th and 21st Centuries:
- 7Flag of New Mexico:
- 8State Nickname:
After Texas was admitted as a state to the Union, it continued to claim the northeastern portion of present-day New Mexico. Finally, in the Compromise of 1850, Texas ceded these claims to the United States of the area in New Mexico lying east of the Rio Grande, in exchange for $10 million.
Congress established the separate New Mexico Territory in September 1850.
It included most of the present-day states of Arizona and New Mexico, and part of Colorado. When the boundary was fixed, a surveyor’s error awarded the Permian Basin to the State of Texas. New Mexico dropped its claims to the Permian in a bid to gain statehood in 1911.
In 1853, the United States acquired the mostly desert southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila River in the Gadsden Purchase. It wanted to control lands needed for the right-of-way in order to encourage construction of a transcontinental railroad.
New Mexico in the Civil War:
New Mexico played a role in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. Both Confederate and Union governments claimed ownership and territorial rights over New Mexico Territory. In 1861, the Confederacy claimed the southern tract as its own Arizona Territory and waged the ambitious New Mexico Campaign in an attempt to control the American Southwest and open up access to Union California. Confederate power in the New Mexico Territory was effectively broken after the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. However, the Confederate territorial government continued to operate out of Texas, and Confederate troops marched under the Arizona flag until the end of the war. Additionally, more than 8,000 men from New Mexico Territory served in the Union Army.
In the late 19th century, the majority of officially European-descended residents in New Mexico were ethnic Mexicans, many of whom had deep roots in the area from early Spanish colonial times. Politically, they still controlled most of the town and county offices through area elections, and wealthy sheepherder families commanded considerable influence. The Anglo-Americans tended to have more ties to the territorial governor and judges, who were appointed by officials out of the region. The two groups struggled for power and the future of the territory. The Anglo minority was “outnumbered, but well-organized and growing”. Anglo-Americans made distinctions between the wealthy Mexicans and poor, ill-educated laborers.
20th and 21st Centuries:
European-American settlers in the state had an uneasy relationship with the large Native American tribes, most of whose members lived on reservations at the beginning of the 20th century. Although Congress passed a law in 1924 that granted all Native Americans U.S. citizenship, as well as the right to vote in federal and state elections, New Mexico was among several states that restricted Indian voting by raising barriers to voter registration. Their constitution said that Indians who did not pay taxes could not vote, in their interpretation disqualifying those Native Americans who lived on reservations.