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November 16, 2009


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Peter Reich

Thanks to Al for this photo of a beautiful monument to an often ignored conflict. In my neck of the woods, southern California, there are a number of these because the area was ground central for the battles that brought the Southwest into the U.S., including an historic site and museum commemorating San Pasqual (Dec. 6, 1846) arguably the only Mexican victory (at least in terms of losses inflicted). As part of the summer program I direct in Mexico City at the Universidad Iberoamericana we visit the plaque listing the members of the San Patricio Battalion, the Irish-American deserters who were drawn to the Mexican army as a refuge from the nativism of 1840s America. For legal historians the Mexican-American War raises interesting issues of boundary determination, the legal standards to be followed after a transfer of sovereignty, and the property rights of residents of the conquered territories. Peter L. Reich, Professor of Law & Director, Mexico City Program, Whittier Law School.

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