Commercial Conquest Worksheet

Answer the following questions after you have watched the videos for this activity.

1. Why were New Mexico and California considered so important by the U.S. government?

2. How did the central Mexican government treat its citizens in the outlying territories of New Mexico and California?

3. What was U.S. President James Polk's attitude toward acquiring New Mexico and California from the Mexican government?

4. How did the U.S. first gain influence in the territories of New Mexico and California?

5. What was the main trade route that the Americans used to reach New Mexico? What kinds of products did they sell to the people who lived in New Mexico?

6. Mexico had invited U.S. settlers to come to Texas and then ultimately lost control of that territory to those very same settlers. In the videos, there is discussion about how some of the Mexicans in New Mexico and California distrusted the new U.S. people who were coming to their territories. They may have feared that history would repeat itself and the Americans would take their territories as well.

What do you think may have been some strategies that the U.S. entrepreneurs used to reach out to their potential Mexican customers?