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U.S. Mexican War and Explaining Theories of International Conflict

explanatory Essay
2748 words
2748 words
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U.S. – Mexican War and Explaining Theories of International Conflict The United States and Mexico went to war between 1846 and 1848. The war was an essential event for both sides that participated in the war, as Mexico lost almost half of its territory to the United States, and the United States became a political super power. Two theories will be analyzed and applied to this specific case to determine whether or not they can be used to explain the conflict known as the U.S.- Mexican war. The economic interdependence theory and the deterrence theory and their assumptions will be the two theories examined in this paper. This war between Mexico and the United States is a prime example to study because many theories that explain the causes of conflict can be applied to this specific case. However, in this paper only two theories will be applied. The economic interdependence theory branches off of a more broad theory, the interdependence theory. In this theory, interdependence refers to the mutual dependence between countries. Mutual dependence requires countries to be highly sensitive and vulnerable to each other, where Keohane and Nye (1977) defines sensitivity as the degree to which countries are affected by the actions of others, and vulnerability as the degree to which countries can protect themselves from events that occur somewhere else that may be potentially costly. (Keohane and Nye). This theory claims that relationships between countries that are built on interdependence are costly to break and therefore interdependence causes a decrease in international conflict. Often times, liberalism is used to link interdependence theory with conflict. Liberalism explains how cooperation can develop and be continued. In this paper ... ... middle of paper ... ... University Press. Hirschman, Albert O., (1977) The Passions and the Interests. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Hirschman, Albert O., (1982) Rival Interpretations of Market Society; Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble? Journal of Economic Literature. 20:1463-1484. Keohane, Robert O., and Joseph S. Nye (1977) Power & Interdependence: World Politics in Transition. Boston: Little Brown. McMillan, Susan M., (1997) Interdependence and Conflict. Mershon International Studies Review. 40: 33-58. Pletcher, David M. James K. Polk. PBS. 21 Apr. 2014. . Quackenbush, Stephen L., (2011) Deterrence Theory: Where do we Stand? Review of International Studies. 37:741-762. Salvucci, Linda K., Trade Routes. PBS. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. .

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the different types of deterrence, such as unilateral versus mutual, nuclear and conventional, and bargaining.
  • Explains that deterrence theory can be explained by many different strategies.
  • Explains that decision-theoretic deterrence theory works because both states agree that conflict is the worst outcome.
  • Explains hayes, sam w., manifest destiny and empire: essays in american antebellum expansionism.
  • Describes quackenbush, stephen l., deterrence theory: where do we stand?
  • Explains that economic interdependence and deterrence theories will be used to explain the u.s.-mexico war.
  • Argues that the u.s.-mexican war is an example of a conflict to test theories of conflict.
  • Explains hirschman, albert o., keohane, and nye. rival interpretations of market society; civilizing, destructing, or feeble?
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