The Mexican American War Essay

2458 words - 10 pages

The Mexican-American war determined the destiny of the United States of America, it determined whether or not it would become a world power and it established the size of the United States of America. Perhaps the war was inevitable due to the idea of Manifest Destiny - Americans thought they had the divine right to extend their territory. The Mexican-American War started mainly because of the annexation of the Republic of Texas (established in 1836 after breaking away from Mexico). The United States and Mexico still had conflicts on what the borders of Texas was, the United States claimed that the Texas border with Mexico was the Rio Grande, but the Mexicans said that it was the Nueces River, so the land in between were disputed and claimed by both the United States and Mexico.

Hostilities started on April 24th, 1846, 2000 Mexican cavalry crossed the Rio Grande and attacked an American troop of 63 men. This was called the Thornton Affair, 11 troopers were killed and the rest were captured. After that, the Mexicans started bombing Fort Brown, the United States sent General Zach Taylor with 2400 men to relieve the fort. The Mexican general Mariano Arista with 3400 men rushed out to meet them. When the congress heard of the news, they declared ¡§American blood has been shed on American soil¡¨ and they declared war on Mexico. The Americans used a new artillery method called flying artillery, in which mobile light artillery was mounted on horse carriages and the cannoneers were mounted too, in addition, the shells exploded on impact, devastating the Mexican artillery, the Arista tried to route the Flying Artillery with the Mexican Cavalry but did not succeed. The American Artillery demoralized the Mexicans, so Arista decided to withdraw to a place in their favor. They moved into a dry riverbed at night which provided natural fortifications but making communication difficult. During the battle of Resaca de la Palma, both sides engaged in vicious hand to hand fighting, the American Cavalry managed to capture the Mexican Artillery resulting in the Mexicans retreating and rerouting, but because of the terrain, Arista could not rally his troops. The Mexicans had heavy casualties and were forced to abandon their artillery and other supplies. Fort Brown caused more casualties when the Mexicans were crossing the river of Rio Grande.

A month later, on June 14th 1846 in California, native English speaking people arrested the Mexican governor and imprisoned him and declared California the California Republic. Sloat claimed Monterey and took control of the California Republic. Later he transferred his command to Robert F. Stockton under the orders from congress. At the same time, Kearny with 1700 US troops marched to Sante Fe, New...

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