The Mexican American War Essay

903 words - 4 pages

Regardless of the decade or the country a person lives in, there seems to be a reckless disregard for the toll a war can take on human lives. When the Alamo was fought back in February 1836, it was about the independence of Texas from Mexico. In retaliation of the death and destruction of human life, Sam Houston retaliated in April and killed 630 Mexican soldiers and took General Santa Anna prisoner (Tindall & Shi, 2010). This was the start of the independence of Texas and the quest for annexation into the United States, which ultimately led to the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. This paper will briefly explain the reasons for the Mexican-American War and will describe the outcome of the war.
The Reasons
Numerous reasons can be cited for the Mexican-American War. The Americans who were living in Texas wanted greater representation and power from the Mexican government and the ability to keep their slaves. Unfortunately, they were denied on both accounts. The Mexican government opposed slavery. After the capture of General Santa Anna in 1836, he was forced to recognize the sovereignty of the Republic of Texas (Hickman, 2011), however; the Mexican government still considered Texas a province and would not honor General Santa Anna’s agreement. General Santa Anna was exiled to Cuba until he outwitted President Polk in 1846 and resumed command of the Mexican army.
In the course of the next nine years, the United States rejected the annexation of Texas into the union because they were concerned about having another slave state. Other members in government were concerned about Mexico and provoking a conflict. Before President Tyler left office and Polk became the eleventh president of the United States in 1845, he initiated the statehood proceeding in Congress.
When President Polk took over the office, the belief of “Manifest Destiny” was taking root. The belief was that America had a God-given right, or destiny, to expand the country’s border from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (Lee, 2011). Tension arose between the US and Mexico in 1846 after an attempt to purchase the California and New Mexico Territories was rebuffed over a border dispute. In Texas, the situation worsened when the southern border was disputed. Mexico claimed the border at the Nueces River, while Texas claimed the border at the Rio Grande. President Polk wanted to goad the Mexicans into a conflict to obtain Texas while also securing New Mexico and California, however; it was essential that Mexico commence it (Tindall & Shi, 2010). On May 9, 1846 the Mexicans attacked US soldiers, President Polk’s scheme worked. On May 13, 1846 President Polk signed the declaration of war. The Mexican-American War had begun.
The Outcome
With no actual war plan, the Mexican war was fought...

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