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Was the United States Justified in Going to War with Mexico?:

Was the United States Justified in Going to War with Mexico? The Mexican-American War

Objective:

Objective Students will be able to analyze the Mexican-American War and the territorial expansion of the U.S by reading primary source documents, orally participating in group discussion, and by writing a thesis statement in support or opposition of the war.

Texas Revolution :

Texas Revolution Mexican laws April 6 th 1830 Prohibited further immigration by Anglos into Texas Prohibited bringing slaves into Texas Americans simply ignored the laws. By 1835 there was about 4 times as many Texans as there were Mexicans and there was open talk of rebellion and wanting to be annexed by the United States. Many were angry about anti-slavery laws, taxes, and having no freedom of religion President Santa Anna dispatches troops to Texas in 1835 to crush the rebellion. Resistance leads to Santa Anna stepping down as President and assuming control of the army

Revolution:

Revolution The Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836)- Mexican army led by Santa Anna and Texan army led by William B. Travis. Santa Anna and the Mexican army arrived in San Antonio and surrounded the Alamo mission It was a massacre- Santa Anna was confident he had crushed the rebellion Notable deaths: Davy Crockett, William B. Travis Goliad Massacre (March 23 rd , 1836) - 342 Texans had surrendered in Goliad. Santa Anna ordered them all executed. Battle of San Jacinto (April 23 rd 1836) Texan army led by Sam Houston. 700 Texans swept down on the Mexican army in San Jacinto and caught them off guard. Brief battle but a humiliating loss for Mexico. Santa Anna was captured.

The Treaty of Velasco:

The Treaty of Velasco Fearful of losing his life Santa Anna signed the treaty surrounded by the Texan Army The treaty ended hostilities in Texas and the Mexican army withdrew Treaty was never ratified by Mexico and the government concluded that Santa Anna had no legal standing in the Mexican government to agree to those terms or to negotiate a treaty. This was not over…

Manifest Destiny and President Polk:

Manifest Destiny and President Polk “From sea to shining sea”- the idea that the United States was destined to own the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It was “god’s plan” for the Americans to own land from ocean to ocean President Polk was a firm believer in Manifest Destiny using that term in his campaign to win the election President Polk had his eye on California and New Mexico and believed he could bully Mexico into selling their territories or provoke them into war and just take it. Interesting note: German geographer Friedrich Ratzel visited North America in 1873 and saw the effects of Manifest Destiny. He went back to Germany and argued for expansion of German territory. This argument was later incorporated into Nazi ideology calling it Lebensraum which means living space. Did the Manifest Destiny influence Nazi ideology?

Annexation of Texas:

Annexation of Texas President James K. Polk was elected in large part because he supported annexing Texas Texas was annexed in 1845 which infuriated Mexico. Mexico broke off all diplomatic relations with the United States. The Mexican Ambassador to the United States immediately resigned in protest. Mexico took it as an act of war and threatened to take Texas back by force. Polk moved an army of 4,000 led by future President Zachary Taylor to the Nueces River to “protect” Texas.

The Border conflict: Rio Grande or Nueces River?:

The Border conflict: Rio Grande or Nueces River? Congressmen John Slidell visits Mexico- he is told by Polk to offer 30 million for California and New Mexico Territories and Rio Grande being the border. Slidell and his team are told to go home- tensions rise Polk ordered troops from the Nueces River south to the Rio Grande- he was attempting to provoke conflict. (Video clip) Conflict occurs on April 25 th 1846. 11 Americans are killed and 52 are taken prisoner in the “disputed territory” between the Nueces River and Rio Grande. Polk orders Congress to declare war against Mexico The Battle of Palo Alto ( May 8, 1846)- 1 st battle of Mexican American War. American victory- Mexican army was driven out of Texas

The Mexican American War:

The Mexican American War The Battle of Monterrey (September 21–24, 1846) General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army were defeated by U.S. forces under the command of Zachary Taylor. Taylor agreed to an 8 week armistice and allowed the Mexican army to peacefully retreat Polk was infuriated and ordered a change in commanders Taylor was to hold his position and was stripped of his best soldiers. 3 main armies : The army of the west led by Stephen Kearney met little resistance at first. Kearney took New Mexico without firing a shot. California was a different story. Much resistance in California, Kearney suffers heavy loses and almost died. The central army led by Zachary Taylor, and the army of occupation led by Winfield Scott Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Santa Anna had been in exile in Cuba but was summoned back by the Mexican government

Overwhelming the Mexican Army:

Overwhelming the Mexican Army The Battle of Buena Vista (February 23 rd 1847). Santa Anna vs. Zachary Taylor. Santa Anna was on the verge of victory but was forced to retreat due to the instability of the government in Mexico City. This was one the bloodiest battle of the war, ended in a draw. The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican seaport of Veracruz. Lasting from March 9 to March 29, 1847, it began with the first large-scale assault conducted by United States military forces. Veracruz was bombed for 20 days before they surrendered. Many civilians were killed. The American Army led by Scott marched on to Mexico City

U.S. victory is imminent:

U.S. victory is imminent Battle of Cerro Gordo- outside of Veracruz Santa Anna vs. Scott U.S. Army easily overwhelmed the brave Mexican Army Scott and his army march on to Mexico City The final battles : The Battles for Mexico City refer to the series of engagements from September 8 to September 15, 1847, in the general vicinity of Mexico City. Included are major actions at the battles of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec, culminating with the fall of Mexico City. Scott’s army defeated what was left of the Mexican Army. Santa Anna retreated. Los Ninos Heroes The United States takes Mexico City and wins the war

Opposition to the War:

Opposition to the War Abraham Lincoln stated the war "was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President.“ Ulysses S. Grant in his memoirs referred to the war as “one of the most unjust wars ever waged.” Alexander H. Stephens , a southern Whig of Georgia, said, "The principle of waging war against a neighboring people to compel them to sell their country is not only dishonorable, but disgraceful and infamous.“ Henry David Thoreau was jailed for his refusal to pay taxes to support the war, and penned his famous essay, Civil Disobedience . San Patricio Battalion - deserted the American Army to join the Mexican Army. Reason for doing so has varied over the years.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Under the terms of the treaty negotiated by Nicholas Trist and Winfield Scott, Mexico ceded to the United States Upper California and New Mexico. This was known as the Mexican Cession and included present-day Arizona and New Mexico and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Mexico relinquished all claims to Texas and recognized the Rio Grande as the southern boundary with the United States. Mexico received $15,000,000 dollars in exchange for half their land. Mexicans living in New Mexico and California suddenly found themselves suddenly being foreigners in their own land

The Legacy of the War:

The Legacy of the War In the United States schools rarely teach the war. It is almost as if the war never happened, it is rarely mentioned, maybe because evidence shows the United States had no valid reason to take Mexico’s land. In Mexico, the war is referred to as the American Invasion. It is difficult to see the American-Mexican war as anything but a war of conquest. By provoking the war, the United States took half of the Mexican territory. In an article in the New York Times, Tim Weiner reports that in Mexico the American-Mexican war is still known as “the Mutilation.” It is a war that “almost no one in the U.S. remembers . . .but in Mexico, almost no one has forgotten.”

Mexico(1821) to Mexico (1836) :

Mexico(1821) to Mexico (1836)

Mexico (1848):

Mexico (1848)

Was the United States Justified in Going to war with Mexico?:

Was the United States Justified in Going to war with Mexico? Document A Document B Document C Document D

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