The U.S. Mexican War Essay

2454 words - 10 pages

The United States has always has been an oppressor of its neighboring countries, making any and all populations that stand in the way of what it wants an enemy. The U.S.-Mexican War was a violent and shattering event for Mexican citizens that lasted from 1846-1848. It drastically altered the course of Mexican and American history for years to come. Once the debilitating battle ended, the United States emerged a world power having acquired more than 500,000 square miles of valuable territory and Mexico spent years recovering from the loss of land and Mexican citizens. Ultimately, it was the “insatiable ambition of the United States, favored by [Mexican] weakness” that was the principle cause of the U.S.-Mexican War. This can be broken down into many potentially feasible explanations on the core causes; including, fault lying with American slaveholders in their support for the conquest of Mexico, the war as an American plot, and responsibility lying with President Polk of the United States. This paper discusses several of these concrete theories including Manifest Destiny, which is the belief that the U.S. has the right and responsibility to expand its borders outward, the unsettled disputes regarding the borders of newly annexed Texas, and the expansion of slavery.
While the U.S. maintained the belief that it was destined to expand itself from ocean to ocean, it caused a large amount of conflict and sorrow for citizens living within Mexico. Dispute first began after the U.S. surrounded the nation of Mexico after the Louisiana Purchase. With so much open territory available to settlers, it was a natural inclination for illegal inhabitation to occur. The U.S. “soon saw themselves masters of Louisiana, [ready to] spread their snares at once for the rest of the Floridas, and the province of Texas.” Mexico did not know how to handle this migration from the U.S. as its citizens were still in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. However, soon after the Mexican Republic was formed, it was realized that the U.S. expansion into Mexico could become a real danger. Mexico had just attained its freedom from Spain in the 1820s and as such, did not want to fall into another malevolent trap with the U.S., leaving its citizens unsure of how to proceed without starting a war. Though the nation of Mexico remained tentative of its international relations, American citizens and groups of American citizens “contribute[d] materially to aid the cause of Texas.” This was partly because not all migration was unsolicited before the annexation of Texas and as such, some Americans felt entitled to occupy Mexico. After Mexico declared its independence from Spain it needed more settlers to populate the areas of its nation with few citizens living in its regions. Thus, in order to ease tensions between the countries, a proposal was created that involved U.S. citizens living in Texas to become citizens of Mexico and pledge allegiance to the Mexican nation. “The settlers, it...

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