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Essay on The U.S.- Mexican War

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The United States has always has been an oppressor of its neighboring countries, making any and all populations that stand in the way of what it wants an enemy. The U.S.-Mexican War was a violent and shattering event for Mexican citizens that lasted from 1846-1848. It drastically altered the course of Mexican and American history for years to come. Once the debilitating battle ended, the United States emerged a world power having acquired more than 500,000 square miles of valuable territory and Mexico spent years recovering from the loss of land and Mexican citizens. Ultimately, it was the “insatiable ambition of the United States, favored by [Mexican] weakness” that was the principle cause of the U.S.-Mexican War. This can be broken down into many potentially feasible explanations on the core causes; including, fault lying with American slaveholders in their support for the conquest of Mexico, the war as an American plot, and responsibility lying with President Polk of the United States. This paper discusses several of these concrete theories including Manifest Destiny, which is the belief that the U.S. has the right and responsibility to expand its borders outward, the unsettled disputes regarding the borders of newly annexed Texas, and the expansion of slavery.
While the U.S. maintained the belief that it was destined to expand itself from ocean to ocean, it caused a large amount of conflict and sorrow for citizens living within Mexico. Dispute first began after the U.S. surrounded the nation of Mexico after the Louisiana Purchase. With so much open territory available to settlers, it was a natural inclination for illegal inhabitation to occur. The U.S. “soon saw themselves masters of Louisiana, [ready to] spread their snare...


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Pletcher, David M. “Annexation Completed and The Push to the Pacific.” In The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War, 172-226. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973.
Robinson, Cecil, ed. The View from Chapultepec: Mexican Writers on the Mexican American War. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1979.
Ruiz, Ramon Eduardo, ed. The Mexican War: Was It Manifest Destiny? New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963.
Smith, Justin H. “The Relations Between the United States and Mexico 1825-1846, The Mexican Attitude on the Eve of War and The American Attitude on the Eve of War.” In The War with Mexico, 58-137. Volume 1. Norwood, Mass.: Norwood Press, 1919.
Vazquez, Josefina. “War and Peace with the United States.” In The Oxford History of Mexico, 339-69. Edited by Michael C. Meyer and William H. Beezley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.


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