Mexican-American War

Mexican-American War
   A war in which Mexico ceded the present-day area from Texas to California to the United States, establishing the boundary between the two nations at the Rio Grande River and extending the United States “from sea to shining sea.” Conflict over Texas and the American President James Polk’s expansionist politics precipitated hostilities on April 25, 1846. When both nations signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, the United States fulfilled its self-proclaimed Manifest Destiny to expand westward.
   Polk won the presidency on an expansionist platform in 1845, leading to the annexation of then independent Texas. As Texas became the 15th slave state, an infuriated Mexican government broke diplomatic relations with the United States; Mexico never recognized its former territory’s independence. In response, Polk incurred further ire by sending an envoy to Mexico City with an offer to settle Texas’s disputed lower boundary at the Rio Grande and purchase Mexico’s territories to the west. When the government refused to negotiate, Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to advance his troops through the disputed area to the Rio Grande.
   Mexican cavalry, considering this an act of aggression, attacked an American patrol on April 25. Congress declared war on May 13, 1846. Polk argued that Mexico had shed “American blood on American soil.” Taylor proceeded to push southwest into Mexico along the Rio Grande to defeat troops at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterrey and in February 1847, at Buena Vista against Mexican hero General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. A second force under General Stephen W. Kearney seized New Mexico and occupied California by January 1847. Finally, General Win-field Scott led an army from the coast to Mexico City, where he defeated Santa Anna in September 1847. Mexico ceded more than 500,000 square miles to the United States for $15 million and $3.25 million in American claims against the government. The United States became a continental power with vast natural resources and access to newly discovered gold in California.
   Territorial expansion had its costs. Approximately 13,000 Americans and 50,000 Mexicans died during the war, most from disease rather than bullets or bayonets. The conflict lasted much longer than expected, costing the United States close to $75 million. The war bitterly divided Americans along sectional lines; discredited many of the moderate voices who had previously held sway; contributed mightily to the breakdown of the two-party system; and helped bring about the American Civil War, which claimed in excess of 600,000 lives.
    Bergeron, Paul H. The Presidency of James K. Polk. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1987;
    Pletcher, David M. The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon and the Mexican War. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973;
    Weinberg, Albert I. Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1935.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mexican–American War — Mexican–American War …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican–American War campaigns — The following are synopsis of the campaigns of the Mexican–American War. Contents 1 Introduction 2 Palo Alto, May 8, 1846 3 Resaca de la Palma, May 9, 1846 4 M …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican American War campaigns — The following are synopsis of the campaigns of the Mexican American War.IntroductionThe Mexican American War (1846 1848) was the U.S. Army s first experience waging an extended conflict in a foreign land. This brief war is often overlooked by… …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican-American War — ▪ Mexico United States [1846 48] also called  Mexican War , Spanish  Guerra de 1847 , or  Guerra de Estados Unidos a Mexico (“War of the United States Against Mexico”)        war between the United States and Mexico (April 1846–February 1848)… …   Universalium

  • Mexican-American War — n. war fought during the years of 1846 1848 between Mexico and the United States over the U.S. annexation of Texas (resulted in victory and great territorial for the United States) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Battles of the Mexican–American War — The battles of the Mexican American War include all major engagements and most reported skirmishes, including the Battle of Palo Alto, and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, which took place prior to the official start of hostilities.BackgroundThe …   Wikipedia

  • Naming the Mexican–American War — There have been numerous alternative names for the Mexican American War that reflect the historical, political, and cultural sensitivities of different groups and regions.Naming the warThe following names have been, or are, used to describe the… …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican American — Mexican Americans 1st row: Bill Richardson • Salma Hayek • Roy Benavidez • Hilda Solis 2nd row: Rosa Gumataotao Rios • Carlos Santana • Jessica Alba • César Chávez 3rd row: Robert Rodriguez • Eva Longoria • Cain Velasquez • …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican Drug War — Date December 11, 2006 (when Operation Michoacan commenced)[1] – present ( 100000000000000040000004 years …   Wikipedia

  • Mexican American Political Association — This article is part of the series Chicanos and Mexican Americans Chicano · La Raza · Latino Mexican American · Hispanic Pre Chicano Movement …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”