America going to war vs Mexico
The Mexican War was a fight between America and Mexico from May 1846 to February 1848. “The Mexican war greatly added to the national domain of the United States.” (The American Nation, page 295) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848 and ended the Mexican War. This treaty forced Mexico to relinquish all of the land north of the Rio Grande, including what would eventually become California, in return for monetary compensations. The causes of the Mexican War with America can be traced back to Texas seceding and winning its independence from Mexico in 1836. At the end of the Revolution of Texas, Mexico refused to acknowledge Texas as independent, but due to the United States and other countries conferring diplomatic recognition Mexico was prevented them from taking military action.
For the next few years, many in Texas favored joining the United States, but the US did not take action due to the fear of increasing conflict and angering Mexico. In March 1846, Polk directed General Zachary Taylor to advance his army into the disputed territory and establish a position along the Rio Grande. “This decision was a response to new Mexican President Mariano Paredes declaring in his inaugural address that he sought to uphold Mexican territorial integrity as far north as the Sabine River, including all of Texas.” (Hickman “A Beginner’s Guide to the Mexican-American War”), Taylor established Fort Texas upon reaching the river and withdrew towards his supply base at Point Isabel. On April 25, 1846, “a US cavalry patrol, led by Captain Seth Thornton, was attacked by Mexican troops.” (Hickman “A Beginner’s Guide to the Mexican-American War”) Polk asked Congress for a declaration of war, which was issued on the 13th of May.
A) John O’Sullivan believes the annexation of Texas would be a positive move into the future for America. This is supported by “patriotism, already begins to thrill for her too within the national heart.” (American Issues, page 249) Another example is “She was released rightfully and absolutely released from all Mexican allegiance, or duty of cohesion to the Mexican political body, by the acts and fault of Mexico herself, and Mexico alone.” (American Issues, page 249) John O’Sullivan’s out of the box ideas and thinking into the future helped the American citizens to realize that it was an important asset to have Texas as a state. He would have never thought that without Texas today that America would not be what it is today.
B) Texas had already seceded from Mexico and wanted to be recognized with independence apart from them. Texas had already been a small part of the United States since American citizens were settled there after the secession, so he all he wanted was for their annexation to be finalized. C) John O’Sullivan believed that Texas belonged to the United States. Since the Americans had settled there, O’Sullivan believed it should become part of the United States by finalizing their annexation.
A) Corwin compares the American invasion of Mexico to the British invasion of the colonies by saying “But this same American goes into a sister republic…” America already had most of the land and thought they deserved to take Texas too. A simple way of summarizing this would be to say that America was doing the same thing to Mexico, as England had done to America when the colonies wanted to break apart from under the rule of the king of England.
B) Thomas Corwin argued that America went to war simply because they wanted “more room.” He says that the Senator of Michigan came to him and said they will have two hundred million in a few years and need more room for citizens, but Corwin says you already have two hundred million and you have enough space and you charge per acre. Corwin tells the Senator that there is enough room to bury the dead Americans, and that if they come to Mexico’s territory in search of land that Mexico will “greet you with bloody hands, and welcome you to hospitable graves.” (American Issues, page 262)
C) Corwin also writes that America went to war to claim the Great Harbor of San Francisco. The Chairman of the Committee says that because it is the best harbor on the pacific, that they ought to have it. Corwin tells the President that he has seen many criminal courts in his lifetime, and never has he heard or seen a thief steal something and use the excuse of it being the best they have ever seen.
Thomas Corwin took the position that the increasing of the West was the express purpose of extending slavery into a larger country since at the time it one free state to become a stater of the union there would have to be a slave state. Sullivan coined the phrase Manifest Destiny which was not the same thing. Sullivan felt that it was the US’s destiny that should and necessary for the US to expand its reach to all contiguous land to the Pacific. Mexico controlled much of this area including much of California. Polk had the goal of extending of the entire area including the Oregon territory which was part of the Manifest Destiny. Polk was successful in this Manifest Destiny. The problem of pursuing slavery into much of this area became a mute point since it was learned that most the area except for Texas was not conducive to slavery for the reasons that slavery was being used as an economic benefit.
After the war, most Mexicans still thought of Texas as part of their country and many Mexicans feel that Texas still belongs to them to this day. Americans have forgotten about the war, for the most part, many Mexicans are still irate about the “theft” of so much land. Even though there is no realistic chance of Mexico ever reclaiming those lands, Mexico is still pretty upset over their defeat.