Mexican American War The Manifest Destiny essay

MexicanAmerican War: The Manifest Destiny

Thisis the war of the United State of America against the Mexicans thewar was about the Texas annexation where the Americans claimed thatit ended at the Rio Grande while the Mexicans claimed that it endedat the Nueces River. The war was the American first war on foreignsoil which ran between 1846 and 1848. This paper will analyze theevents and treaty that led to the end of the war.


Manifestdestiny is the idea that the US had of having the right, which wasGod given, to expand their territories from ‘sea to shining sea’as well as civilize the whole continent (Carlisle, 2007). This ideamade many Mexicans, Unites States citizens as well as the NativeAmericans to suffer. Pressure between the two nations in the NorthernAmerica had piled due to the past Texas War of Independence fromMexico. Texas in the long run was incorporated as a US statenevertheless James Polk the then US president sought war in order tograb huge strips of land from Mexico. This led to wrangles eruptingover the boundaries which ultimately became a confrontation betweenthe two nations’ militaries.

Themajor causes of this conflict was the US desire to spread across theNorthern America, the manifest destiny, to the Pacific Ocean. Thisled to conflicts with all her neighbors including British in Canada,the Mexicans in the South west as well as the Native Americans. Thismanifest idea had been instilled in the Americans’ minds after theUS acquisition of Louisiana (1803) which made them to migratewestward to lands which did not belong to them. In addition, thethen President Polk was a firm believer of the manifest idea. Theidea did not necessarily dictate violent expansion however, thedemocratic English speaking Americans had high ideals and protestantChristian ethics thus their attitude towards the Native Americans andthe Spanish speaking catholic Mexicans (Di Consiglio, 2012). Thisattitude was based on the idea that they were better at runningthings than their counterparts.

Theother major cause of the war was the Texas war to Independence andthe ultimate annexation of the state to the US. Just before thetreaty was signed ceding the land to US, gold was discovered atCalifornia the process was hurried by Polk who insisted that Texasshould be re-annexed and that they should occupy the Oregonterritory. An offer to purchase the lands (California and New Mexico)was rejected and it was at this point that the war began. During thewar, the American government provided a stable leadership given thefact that the US economy was expanding as compared to the Mexican onewhich was declining. In addition, the American military had artillerydivisions as well as innovative tactics as compared to the Mexicanmilitary (McCaffrey &amp James , 1992)

USexperienced victories along the Rio Grande when they started. WhenTexas gained its independence from Mexico, the US initially refusedto include it the basis of their refusal was their politicalinterests in the north which were not in favor of addition of anotherstate. On the other hand, the Mexican were waging war on any attemptat annexing. After independence, many Mexicans did not accept thelegal document granting Texas independence and the war continuedbetween Texas Republic and Mexico. US citizens sympathized with theUS born Texans which led to their dislike of the Mexico government aswell as its people. In the end, Texas decided to join the US Statesand the annexation was approved by the Congress the Mexicansnevertheless did not like the idea of Texas becoming a US State.

SpotResolutions on the Mexican war.

Therewere different views on the war against Mexico by differentAmericans. There was a division with some supporting it and othersagainst it when it began due to their differences regarding itsmotives. The democrats were for the war while others especially thosein the Whig party believed that Polk was on some land grabbingmission. In addition, the legislature was not in agreement as towhether Polk had the right to unilaterally declare that there was astate of war in existence.

Nevertheless,the Americans were not aware where the conflict had taken place andthey also did not want to acknowledge what the Mexican had contendedthat the Nueces River formed the border between the two countries.The opposition not only doubted Polk’s legitimacy but also the waritself. By 1847 the legislature which was mainly made up of the Whigsvoted for censure of Polk giving the reason that he had‘unnecessarily and unconstitutionally’ initiated the Mexican war.

Inconclusion, despite all this trouble, the American army entered theMexico City where they enjoyed full control the Mexican militarywere beaten and disheartened. The Mexican troops were defeated andits government surrendered. This led to the signing of the GuadeloupeHidalgo treaty (1848) which was ratified by the US and the MexicoCongresses. The treaty provided that portions of the Northern Mexicobe annexed to the US and in return the US would pay 15 milliondollars as compensation for the seized territories. The war was quiteexpensive on the US both moneywise and the many lives that were lost.


McCaffrey,James M. Armyof Manifest Destiny: The American Soldier in the Mexican War,1846-1848.New York: New York University Press, 1992. Print.

DiConsiglio , John. TheMexican-American War.Chicago, Ill: Heinemann Library, 2012. Print.

Carlisle,Rodney P. ManifestDestiny and the Expansion of America.Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Print.