New Mexico and California

New Mexico and California -...

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New Mexico and California.   In 1821, Mexico opened Santa Fe, one of the oldest European settlements in North America, to U.S.  trade. In just a short time, wagon trains carrying American goods were making the long trek from  Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, along what became known as the  Santa Fe Trail.  While fewer  settlers went to New Mexico than to Texas, the commercial ties were profitable, and more important,  the establishment of the trail demonstrated that the Great Plains was not a barrier to westward  expansion.  Mexico also began to encourage U.S. trade with California, whose ports had been effectively off  limits to foreign shipping during the period of Spanish rule (1769–1821). Agents of New England  merchants established offices for the purpose of exchanging a wide variety of American-made  products for California cattle hides and tallow. Many of the agents married Spanish-speaking 
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