The Mexican-American War
The controversial Mexican-American War is sometimes bitterly remembered by Mexicans as the “War of North American Aggression,” but is often overlooked, if not forgotten, by citizens of the United States. This discussion on The Mexican-American War consists of two parts. The first part requires that you use the outline below on the Mexican-American War, the textbook, the internet, or another resource to answer the related question.
Do you think you would have supported or opposed the United States going to war with Mexico in 1846?
Explain at least three reasons to support your position.
The Mexican-American War
· Ideology and material interests drove Americans westward.
· American ideology, which became known as “Manifest Destiny,” assumed Americans had an inevitable God-given right and moral obligation to spread American values such as democracy, capitalism, and Protestantism across western lands to the Pacific Ocean.
· Material interests such as abundant land, natural resources, and trade opportunities also pulled Americans westward.
· Thousands of Americans continued to move west throughout the 1800s, settling in Mexican territories such as California, New Mexico, and Texas.
· Texas became the first disputed territory between Mexico and the United States in the 1830s.
· Spain had permitted Americans settlers to enter Texas in the early part of the nineteenth century, but Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821 and forbid American immigration in the 1830s.
· Americans in Texas wanted more freedom from the Mexican government, but Mexico’s army asserted its power in the region.
· Texas settlers revolted and called for independence from Mexico in 1835.
· The Mexican army defeated the rebels at the Battle of the Alamo in March, 1836, but the rebels were victorious the next month at the Battle of San Jacinto and declared Texas to be an independent republic.
· They asked to be annexed by the United States in 1837, but the U.S. hesitated because this was a controversial issue and Mexico still claimed Texas for itself.
Immediate Causes of the Mexican-American War
· The U.S. decided to annex Texas in 1845, shortly after James K. Polk, who ran for president in support of annexation, won the Presidential Election of 1844.
· Mexico did not accept the American annexation of Texas and refused to negotiate with the U.S. Government.
· In 1846, President Polk ordered American troops, who were stationed in Texas, deeper into disputed Mexican territory.
· The Mexican army responded to American advances by killing 12 U.S. troops, capturing 52 others, and attacking a U.S. fort.
· Polk considered this an attack on American territory and quickly asked Congress to declare war.
Outcomes of the Mexican-American War
· The United States won the Mexican-American War by 1848 and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
· The Mexican Cession, under this treaty, gave the U.S. one million square miles of territory, which included modern-day Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
· The U.S. also paid Mexico $15 million and acquired 80,000 new citizens who were living in these western lands.
· The acquisition of new territory would open up a number of economic opportunities in the West, but also lead to a dispute over the expansion of slavery in western territories, which would eventually result in the Civil War. For more information on The Mexican American War see this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican%E2%80%93American_War
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