Ralph Waldo Emerson And The Mexican-American War

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American philosopher and an outspoken critic of slavery who is famous for leading the Transcendentalist movement in the nineteenth century, and famous for stressing the importance of self-reliance and individualism. “During the Mexican-American war, he is known for his famous quote, “The United States will conquer Mexico, but it will be as the man who swallows the arsenic which brings him down in turn. Mexico will poison us.” The immediate cause of this war was the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845 amidst the opposition from Mexico, and Emerson Waldo was always open to express his profound disapproval” (“A Biography of America”).
Through the words, “Mexico will poison us” Emerson Waldo meant that although the United States had the power to conquer Mexico, the aftermath was not counter-productive to its positive development. “He feared that the ultra-expansionist ambitions of the United States were tainted by ulterior motives, which in the long run would only harm the
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The history of the Mexican-American war dates back to 1835, when Texas seceded from Mexico. The main reason behind the secession was that Mexico had banned slavery. Critics of the war were convinced that the war was a precipitated power play by the southern slave owners to expand new lands for slavery and acquire new slave states. After the conclusion of the war, there was the acquisition of new territories that amassed to about one third of the total American land. This meant that, in addition to the already existing slave states like Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, Texas had significantly increased the southern slave institution. Because the Northerners feared the same fate as the southerners and those from the west, they labeled the war a slave power conspiracy. This inevitable question of slavery and the subsequent events are what led to the American Civil War fifteen years