In the early 1800’s, the history of the Mexican-American War begins. The United States of America witnessed over eight-thousand immigrants flooding in from Mexico over the years. Mexico and America also argued about where the borders of their land lied. Mexico disagreed with America’s border lines making America upset with Mexico. Later on in 1845, the United States went out and annexed Texas, making Mexico irate.2 Mexico was not about to approve of the taking of Texas, so they talk to their ambassador and threatened war on them. The United States of America’s President James K. Polk made sure that was not going to happen by taking Brigadier General Zachary Taylor and his troops out of the winter camp at Corpus Christi and locating them to march southwestward to defend the Rio Grande.
Interpretations of the Mexican War by Americans fall into five different schools. One school blames the war on sectional interests, such as the conspiracy of the slavocracy of the Old South. Not all historians of the sectional interpretation agree that the South is responsible; some accuse the land-hungry West.3 A third school interprets the war in terms of imperial expansion: Manifest Destiny. But, the fourth interpretation lays the blame for the conflict on President James K. Polk.
Historians of the first school, James Ford Rhodes, Chauncey Watson Boucher, and John Douglas Fuller examine the role of the South. Rhodes’ interpretation, the earliest of them all, is a simple one: … an aggressive Southern slavocracy deliberately provoked Mexico into war in order to conquer land in which to establish additional slave states. Among those who popularized this view were the abolitionists Theodore Parker and William Jay.4
Rhodes’ account of the war left questions unanswered. As a Northerner, he reflected the feelings of the Whigs who had not forgiven the South for the catastrophe of 1861-1865.
The Mexican-American War was a defining moment in the relationship between Mexico and the United States of America. Tensions had been high between the two since before 1836. The war was short but bloody and major fighting ended when the Americans captured Mexico City in September of 1847. The war went on for two years on three different fronts, and clashes between the American army and the Mexicans happened a lot. There were about ten major battles. These battles involved thousands of men on each side. The Americans won all of them through a combination of leadership and better training and weapons. In 1835, all of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico were all part of Mexico. Texas broke off in 1836, but the rest was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico lost about half of their territory and the United States gained it all. The Mexicans and Native Americans who lived in those lands that America captured were included. They were to be given US citizenship or, if they wished, go to Mexico. The United States did not have proper reasons to use violence against the Mexican government. The war with Mexico can also be seen as a permutation of the United States’ belief in manifest destiny. Polk’s over ambition to seize new territory from the Mexicans and disappointment over their refusal to sell him California also possibly played a factor in his willingness to wage war against Mexico.5 The United States under the leadership of President Polk caused