Mexican American War Essay

Mexican American War

Mexican American war was fought from 1846 through to 1848. It was between the USA and Mexico. It was the first United States armed conflict to be fought on foreign soil. Mexico was politically pitied and military unprepared to stand up against the administration of United States expansionist President James K. Polk.

President Polk believed that the US has the “Manifest destiny” of the US to spread throughout the continent all the way to Pacific Ocean. The fighting was triggered by a skirmish regarding Rio Grande border and what followed was a series of victories for the US. Once the dust settled down, Mexico had already lost close to 1/3 of the territory in its possession which included present day, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona Nevada and California.

Causes of the war

There are several factors that led to the Mexican American War. In 1836, Texas had attained independence from Mexico. The US had initially declined to include it in the Union because of interests in northern politics which failed to support new slave state. The government of the Mexicans encouraged border reigns and also issued attempts of annexation that eventually, led to breakout of war.

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A couple of days before Mexico could cede land to the US there was a discovery of gold in California. Despite this fact, annexation measures were initiated quickly after the election of Polk in 1844 that had campaigned for Texas to be “re-annexed”.  Also, the territory of Oregon was going to be “re-occupied. Polk had interests on California, New Mexico and other parts that today make up the United States Southwest. He made the offer to buy the lands and once it was rejected, he went ahead to instigate a fight. He achieved this by moving his troops to the Rio Grande and Nueces River which were considered dispute zones. Additionally, both countries had made recognition the two were part of the state of Mexico Coahuila.

Start of the war

On 25th April 1846, a United States soldiers group was attacked by a Mexican cavalry. This took place at the disputed region under General Zachary Taylor’s command and roughly, a dozen men were killed. Afterwards, they held siege the American Fort that was along Rio Grande. Taylor made calls for reinforcements and with assistance of superior artillery and riffles, managed to defeat Mexicans at the Resaca de la Palma and Palo Alto battles.

After the battles, Polk said to the United States congress that the forbearance cup was already exhausted long before the United States boundary was passed by Mexico to shed American blood and invade their territory. 2 days later, on 13th May, a declaration of war was made by congress and this despite the opposition raised by northern lawmakers. Mexico did not make any official war declaration.

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References

http://www.history.com/topics/mexican-american-war

http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Mexican-AmericanWar/a/The-Mexican-American-War.htm