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Victory Through Broken Promises Essay

1877 words - 8 pages

After Mexico declared its independence from Spain, tensions between the United States and Mexico arose. Before the people of Mexico declared their independence, the treaty between the leaders of the US and Spain in 1819, Adams-Onis Treaty, had established that the border of Mexico lied along the Sabine River. In 1821, the US and Mexican governments signed a treaty stating that both governments will strive to maintain the peace and harmony among the Native Americans that live along the border between the two countries. However, due to the unique geography of the Sabine River the US and Mexico had different interpretations of where the border actually lied. This led to US leaders claiming the city of Nacogdoches as their own, while the Mexican government believed that it was within their territory. When the US President sent General Gaines to occupy Nacogdoches, it led to the anti-American sentiment that would fuel the Mexican-American War. There are many causes of the Mexican-American War but a major cause was the US government redefining terms of a treaty for their own benefit. Throughout history US leaders redefined the terms of treaties with other countries and people, such as the Treaty of Alliance with France and the Treaty of Fort Laramie, for the benefit of expanding United States territory.
The essential causes of the occupation of Nacogdoches were the treaties made by US leaders with both the leaders of Spain and Mexico. The United States government was looking to expand US territory which brought about tensions with Mexico. Texas was an especially difficult obstacle between US and Mexico peace relations because there were many US settlers in Texas. The US settlers outnumbered the amount of Mexicans in Texas and many of the US citizens wanted to be independent from Mexico, “some 20,000 Americans lived there [Mexico], far outnumbering the Mexican residents” . The fight for independence broke out between the Texans and Mexico but President Jackson wanted to remain neutral. President Jackson said that both the US and Mexico “should require the integrity of our territory to be scrupulously respected by both parties” . However, the border between US and Mexican territory was under debate. The treaty between the US and Spain in 1819 had established that the border of Mexico lied along the Sabine River, but there were two rivers leading into the Sabine Lake, the Neches River and the Sabine River. The US representative Anthony Butler recommended to the President that the US government should claim the Neches River as the border. Butler, a friend of President Jackson, was barely qualified to be a US representative, “[his] only qualifications for the post were an acquaintance with Texas and a strong desire to see the United States obtain it” . The decision to claim the Neches River as the border cut into the territory that Mexico believed to be their territory. On April 6, 1821, Mexican and US leaders signed a treaty “to prevent Indians living...

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