Mexican American War Essay

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The Mexican-American War “Although most Americans believed in Manifest Destiny, few could agree on exactly which lands the United States was supposed to govern.” -Charles W. Carey Jr. The Mexican-American War, also known as the Mexican War, was a war between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico occurring between April 25, 1846 and February 2, 1848. It all began when a Mexican cavalry attacked a group of U.S. soldiers in the disputed zone under the command of General Zachary Taylor, killing around a dozen troops. When Texas gained their independence from Mexico in 1836, the United States declined to add the territory into the union because of politics. If Texas was occupied as a state, the addition of another slave…show more content…
When President James K. Polk arrived in office in 1845, his ideal was determined to acquire the additional territory from Mexico. Polk believed that obtaining the lightly inhabited Mexican land that stretched from Texas to California was vital to the future of the United States. After the trouble that occurred while trying to buy the land from Mexico, Polk ordered American troops under Zachary Taylor to march to the Rio Grande River. When fighting erupted, Polk, claiming that Mexico fired first, went to congress to declare war on Mexico. Numerous Americans, as well as at the time Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln, opposed the war and questioned whether the fight began on American soil and was provoked by Polk’s men. After Congress overwhelmingly permitted the declaration of war on May 13, the United States entered the war at odds on their views. Democrats most favoured the quarrel while most Whigs thought that Polk’s intentions were irrational land grabbing. The focal problem that existed was whether Polk had the right to unilaterally declare that a state of war existed. This problem endured well into the conflict taking place. In January 1847, the Whig controlled House voted 85 to 81 to condemn Polk for having “unreasonably and unconstitutionally” initiated war with Mexico. Also, Abolitionists viewed the war as an attempt by the slave states to enlarge slavery and develop their power with the formation of additional slave states out of the soon to be acquired Mexican
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