On December 30, 1853, the United States and Mexico established their existing border with the completion of the Gadsden Purchase. Only five years after the United States acquired most of the present-day states of California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada following the Mexican-American War, the U.S. completed the Gadsden Purchase for $10 million. The Gadsden Purchase provided the U.S. with what is now southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.
Originally, the U.S. wanted to build a transcontinental railroad through the new territory, using slave labor. The debate over slavery was already so contentious that the project received no federal funding, and the first transcontinental railroad was ultimately built farther north.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry acquire Verb
to get or take possession of.
natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.
Encyclopedic Entry: border establish Verb
to form or officially organize.
transcontinental railroad Noun
railroad that spans an entire continent.