Essay On The Mexican American War

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The United States war with Mexico was fought from 1846-1848; Americas “Manifest Destiny” expansion was a primary reason for this conflict. The United States wanted Mexico’s territory, which encompassed Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. There was still a dispute over Texas, which had been ceded by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in exchange for his freedom after being captured during the 1836 Texas Revolution. The United States had offered to forgive Mexico’s $3 million it owed to U.S citizens for damages caused by the Mexican War of Independence and pay another $25 to $30 million in exchange for Mexico’s territories in the U.S. Mexico would turn down that deal because it could not keep it’s own government together and both political and public opinion agreed that selling its territories to the U.S. would taint national honor. The origins of the Mexican-American War were the border disputes between Texas and Mexico. Texas claimed land up to the Rio Grande as their border based on the Treaty of Velasco and Mexico refused to accept this by claiming the border as the Nueces River. U.S. President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor and his forces south to the Rio Grande in which Mexico ordered the Americans to withdraw from their lands and return to the Nueces River. Taylor ignored the demands of the Mexicans and built a fort on the banks of the Rio Grande opposite the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas. On April 25, 1846, a U.S. patrol commanded by Captain Seth Thornton was attacked by a Mexican force of 2,000 commanded by General Mariano Arista. The U.S. patrol was defeated and this first engagement between the U.S. and Mexico was called the “Thornton Affair”. This action gave ... ... middle of paper ... ...n. The instability of the Mexican government and its inability to give the supplies, weapons, and ammunition to its military was part of the nations defeat. The Mexican officer corps was the ultimate key player in its defeat due to seeking personal glory, financial gain and the careless attitude towards their men. Although many in the U.S. government did not want to go to war, they supported their military fully and provided every resource needed to defeat Mexico. The American forces leadership had both senior and junior officers who were capable of leading without intentions of seeking personal fame or glory but to lead their men by example both on the battlefield and in camp. It was the stability of the U.S. government and the willingness to fully support the war with a good supplies and leadership that ultimately defeated its opponent in every phase of war.
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