Chapter 4: The U.S. - Mexican War in San Diego

Key Questions

  1. Why were there divided loyalties among Mexicans in San Diego?
  2. What happened during the American occupation?
  3. What happened during the rebellion of the Mexicanos in San Diego?
  4. What was the Siege of San Diego?
  5. What happened to Felipa Osuna de Marron during the War?
  6. Who won the Battle of San Pascual?
  7. What was the Pauma Massacre?


Twenty-two years after Mexico achieved independence from Spain, the United States declared war on Mexico. The war was one of unjustifiable agression to take Mexican lands that could not be gotten through diplomacy. California was the real prize. American merchants saw California's ports as key in their commercial expansion towards Asia.

The Mexican people in California fought against the American invaders and San Diego was one of the only places where they were victorious in defeating the U.S. Army. The war created political divisions among the Californios-- the Mexican Californians-- as well, and it provided cause for further hositilities between Indians and Mexicans. The war led to the American take-over of San Diego, followed by a rapid change in the society and culture of this region. After 1848 Mexicans became, in the words of Juan Sequin, the mayor of San Antonio, foreigners in their native land.

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