Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




After years of struggling and fighting a revolution, Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821. The United States closely monitored the subsequent developments within the country until 1825, when diplomatic relations were finally established. By this time, various problems involving American citizens in Mexico had already seriously hampered diplomatic ties between the two nations. Over the following years, the claims cases escalated in number and created a multiplicity of complications. The complaints varied significantly in the amount of damages sought and in respect to the justice of the claims. Many claimants alleged that their vessels had been attacked -- sometimes without provocation other individuals were illegally arrested and even physically abused, while a large number had property confiscated or damaged. The majority of the claims were legitimate and justified. However, some of the claimants exaggerated the circumstances and inflated the damages or losses. The claims posed a variety of complicated questions because of the detailed nature of the events surrounding the complaints and because many of the disputes were over physical assaults, mental anguish, monetary losses, insults to the American flag, and national character, as well as questionable involvement by Mexican officials...



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