Spanish Settlement Of The West Essay

1472 words - 6 pages

International borders have always been centers of conflict, and theU.S.-Mexican border is no exception. With the European colonizing the NewWorld, it was a matter of time before the powers collided. The Spanishsettled what is today Mexico, while the English settled what is to day theUnited States. When the two colonial powers did meet what is today theUnited States¹ Southwest, it was not England and Spain. Rather the twopowers were the United States and Mexico. Both Counties had broken off fromtheir mother countries. The conflict that erupted between the two countrieswhere a direct result of different nation policies. The United States had apolicy of westward expansion, while Mexico had a policy of self protection.The Americans never had a written policy of expansion. What they had wasthe idea of 'Manifest Destiny.' Manifest Destiny was the belief that theUnited States had the right to expand westward to the Pacific ocean. On theother hand, Mexico was a new country wanting to protect itself from outsidepowers. Evidence of U.S. expansion is seen with the independence of Texasfrom Mexico. The strongest evidence of U.S. expansion goals is with theMexican-American War. From the beginning, the war was conceived as anopportunity for land expansion. Mexico feared the United States expansiongoals.During the 16th century, the Spanish began to settle the region. TheSpanish had all ready conquered and settled Central Mexico. Now they wantedto expand their land holdings north. The first expedition into the region,that is today the United States Southwest, was with Corando. Corandoreported a region rich in resources, soon after people started to settle theregion. The driving force behind the settlement was silver in the region.The Spanish settled the region through three major corridors; central,western and eastern. The first settlements were mainly through the centralcorridor. The Spanish went thorough what is now the modern Mexican state ofChihuahua into the U.S. state of New Mexico. Eventually the Spanishestablished the city of Santa Fe in 1689. The eastern corridor was throughmodern day Texas and led to the establishment of San Antonio. The easternexpansion was caused by the French expansion into modern day Louisiana. TheSpanish crown wanted a buffer between the French in Louisiana and centralMexico. The last corridor of expansion was in the west, through the sea,which led to the establishment of San Diego in 1769 and Los Angles in 1781.The Spanish were not the only European power to colonize the new world;French, English and the Dutch also settled North and South America. TheSpanish and the French settled what is present day U.S.-Mexico border region.The French settled modern day U.S. midwest, while the Spanish settledpresent day Mexico and U.S. southwest. As time went on, European influencein the region diminished.. The French sold there claims to the UnitedStates, in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. Mexico gained independencefrom Spain in 1821....

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