Jun 05, · The Mexican-American War Begins On April 25, , Mexican cavalry attacked a group of U.S. soldiers in the disputed zone under the command of General Zachary Taylor, . The Mexican-American War was a conflict between the United States and Mexico, fought from April to February Won by the Americans and damned by its contemporary critics as expansionist, it resulted in the U.S. gaining more than , square miles (1,, square km) of Mexican territory extending westward from the Rio Grande to the Pacific Ocean.
Troops at the Siege of Veracruz. The U. The Mexican-American War was the first major conflict driven by the idea of "Manifest Destiny"; the belief that America had a God-given right, or destiny, to expand the country's borders from 'sea to what is ub- 04 used for sea'.
This belief would eventually cause a great deal of suffering for many Mexicans, Native Americans and United States citizens. Following the earlier Texas War of Independence from Mexico, tensions between the two largest independent nations on the North American continent grew as Texas eventually became a U. Disputes over the border lines sparked military confrontation, helped by the fact that President Polk eagerly sought a war in order to seize large tracts of land from Mexico.
The war between the United States and Mexico had two basic causes. First, the desire of the U. Ever since President Jefferson's acquisition of the Louisiana Territory inAmericans migrated westward amfrican ever increasing numbers, often into lands not belonging to the United States. By the time President Polk came to office aemricanan idea begib "Manifest Destiny" had taken root among the American people, and the new occupant of the White House was a firm believer in the idea how to lay a block foundation for a house expansion.
The belief that the U. The fact that most of those areas already had people living upon them was usually ignored, with the attitude that democratic English-speaking America, with its high ideals and Protestant Christian ethics, would do a better job of running things than the Native Americans or Spanish-speaking Catholic Mexicans.
Manifest Destiny did not necessarily call for violent expansion. The Mexican government refused the opportunity to sell half of its country to Mexico's most dangerous neighbor.
The second basic cause of the war was the Texas War of Independence and the subsequent annexation of that area to the United States. Not all American westward migration was unwelcome. In the 's and 's, Mexico, newly independent from Spain, needed settlers in the underpopulated northern parts of the country. An invitation was issued for people who would take an oath of allegiance to Mexico and convert to Catholicism, the state religion. Thousands of Americans took up the offer and moved, often with slaves, to the Mexican province of Texas.
Soon however, many of the new "Texicans" or "Texians" were unhappy with the way the government in Mexico City tried to run the province. InTexas revolted, and after several bloody battles, the Mexican President, Santa Anna, was forced to sign the Treaty of Velasco in This treaty gave Texas its independence, but many Mexicans refused to accept the legality of this document, as Santa Anna was a prisoner of the Texans at the time.
The Republic of Texas and Mexico continued to engage in border fights and many people in the United States openly sympathized with the U. As a result of the savage frontier fighting, the American public developed a very negative stereotype against the Mexican people and government. Partly due to the continued hostilities with Mexico, Texas decided what caused ww2 to begin in 1939 join with the United States, and on July 4,the annexation gained approval from the U.
Mexico of course did not like the idea of its breakaway province becoming an American state, and the undefined and contested border now became a major international issue.
Mexico claimed territory as far north as the Nueces River. Both nations sent troops to enforce the competing claims, and a tense standoff ensued. On April 25,a clash occurred between Mexican and American troops on soil claimed by both countries.
The war had begun. The Mexican-American War was largely a conventional conflict fought by traditional armies consisting of infantry, cavalry and artillery using established European-style tactics. As American forces penetrated into the Mexican heartland, some of the defending forces resorted to guerrilla tactics to harass the invaders, but these irregular forces did not greatly influence the outcome of the war. After the what year did the mexican american war begin of hostilities, the U.
In a series of battles at Palo Alto and Resaca de Palma near current-day Brownsville, Texasthe army of General Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexican forces and began to move south after inflicting over a thousand casualties.
In September,Taylor's army fought General Ampudia's forces for control of the northern Mexican city of Monterey in a bloody three-day battle. Following the capture of the city by the Americans, a temporary truce ensued which enabled both armies to recover from the exhausting Battle of Monterey. During this time, former President Santa Anna returned to Mexico from exile and raised and trained a new army of over 20, men to oppose the invaders.
Despite the losses of huge tracts of land, and defeat in several major battles, the Mexican government refused to make peace. It became apparent to the Polk Administration that only a complete battlefield victory would end the war. Continued fighting in the dry deserts of northern Mexico convinced the United States that an overland expedition to capture of the enemy capital, Mexico City, would be hazardous and difficult. To this end, General Winfield Scott proposed what would become the largest amphibious landing in history, at that timeand a campaign to seize the capital of Mexico.
On March 9,General Scott landed with an army of 12, men on the beaches near Veracruz, Mexico's most important eastern port city. From this point, from March to August, Scott and Santa Anna fought a series of bloody, hard-fought battles from the how to authorize your computer for itunes music inland toward Mexico City. Finally, on September 14, the American army entered Mexico City.
The city's populace offered some resistance to the occupiers, but by mid-October, the disturbances had been quelled beegin the Amercian. Army enjoyed full control. Following the city's occupation, Santa Anna resigned the presidency but retained command of his army. He attempted to continue military operations against the Americans, but his troops, beaten and disheartened, refused to fight.
His government soon asked for his military resignation. Guerrilla operations continued against Scott's lines of supply back to Veracruz, but this resistance proved ineffective. The treaty called for the annexation of the northern portions of Mexico to the United States.
In return, the U. The bravery of the individual Mexican soldier goes a long way in explaining the difficulty the U. Mexican military leadership was often lacking, at least when compared to the American leadership. And in many mexicab the battles, the superior cannon of the U. America had defeated its weaker and somewhat disorganized southern neighbor, but not without paying a yera price. Something new and historical: Want to learn how to drive a tank?
Check out these tank driving experiences. Thr Santa Anna lost power in Mexico following the war. Relations between the United States and Mexico remained tense for many decades to come, with several military encounters along the border. For the United States, this war provided a training-ground for the men who would lead the Northern and Southern armies in the upcoming American Civil War.
The defeat of Mexico was the first time a foreign enemy force occupied the capitol of the nation. The French would also occupy Mexico City in the 's. Despite gegin popularity at home, the war was marked by the growth of a loud anti-war movement which included such noted Americans as Ralph Waldo Emerson, former president John Quincy Adams and Henry David Thoreau. The center of anti-war sentiment gravitated around New England, and was directly connected to the movement to abolish slavery.
Texas became a slave state upon entry into the Union. One interesting aspect of the war involves the fate of U. This group of Catholic Irish immigrants rebelled at the abusive treatment by Protestant, American-born officers and at the treatment of the Catholic Mexican population by the U. At this mexicsn in American history, Catholics were an ill-treated minority, and the Irish were an unwanted ethnic group in the United States.
In September,the U. Army hanged sixteen surviving members of the San Patricios as traitors. To this day, they are considered heroes in Mexico. In Mexicab, a special day is remembered to celebrate the bravery of the teenaged military cadets at the military academy at Chapultepec Castle, which was attacked by Scott's army on September 13, Ordered to retreat by their Commandant, these young cadets joined the fight- the boy heroes amegican are honored every year are the four teenaged cadets Francisco Marquez, the youngest, was thirteen yer old!
Mexico -- How to coordinate a wedding day higher than the U. One figure put Mexican casualties at what year did the mexican american war begin 25, Outside Links for the Dis War. Wars of Mexico A list of Mexican wars and conflicts. Tyler, Polk, and War with Mexico --Information on the war presented in outline form.
Contains some interesting information as well as a good list of printed resources for research. The Cottonbalers: Waar Regiment of U. Infantry Living History -- This web page, run by a "living history" association, is dedicated to the 7th Infantry Regiment which fought in the Mexican-American War. Interesting information on the unit's history and life are found here, as well as several useful links. Descendants of Mexican War Veterans --Very informative site on the war and the men who fought it.
This author looks at the controversy around these "traitors", from the Mexican and Irish viewpoint. Worth reading! San Patricio Battalion. Invasion Yanqui --Contains wxr of the U. Very interesting, and is available in both Spanish and English. The English translation is a bit rough in its grammar, but is worth reading. Historic Sites of the U. John Charles Fremont --On this site you will find over pages of new and original information that cannot be found elsewhere on John Fremont.
Eisenhower, John S. War With Mexico New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday. Winders, Richard Bruce. Polk's Army. Frazier, Donald S. Macmillan Library Reference,
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Mexican-American War was waged between the United States and Mexico from to Learn more about the causes of the Mexican-American War and its outcome. May 14, · A Brief Overview of the Mexican-American War Two long years had passed after the initial shots were fired, sparking the Mexican American War in After United States forces under General Winfield Scott captured and occupied Mexico City in , Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna surrendered. Jul 03, · From to , the United States of America and Mexico went to war. There were several reasons why they did so, but the most important ones were the U.S. annexation of Texas and the Americans' desire for California and other Mexican territories.
From to , the United States of America and Mexico went to war. There were several reasons why they did so , but the most important ones were the U. The Americans took the offensive, invading Mexico on three fronts: from the north through Texas, from the east through the port of Veracruz, and into the west present-day California and New Mexico. The Americans won every major battle of the war, mostly thanks to superior artillery and officers.
This was the final straw for the Mexicans, who finally sat down to negotiate. The war was disastrous for Mexico, as it was forced to sign away nearly half of its national territory, including California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and parts of several other current U. American President James K. Polk intended to invade and hold the territories he wanted, so he sent General Stephen Kearny west from Fort Leavenworth with 1, men to invade and hold New Mexico and California.
Kearny captured Santa Fe and then divided his forces, sending a large contingent south under Alexander Doniphan. Doniphan would eventually take the city of Chihuahua. Meanwhile, the war had already begun in California. Captain John C. He had the support of some U. The struggle between these men and the Mexicans went back and forth for a few months until Kearny arrived with what was left of his army. Although he was down to fewer than men, Kearny made the difference; by January of , the Mexican northwest was in American hands.
American General Zachary Taylor was already in Texas with his army waiting for hostilities to break out. There was already a large Mexican army on the border as well; Taylor routed it twice in early May of at the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. During both battles, superior American artillery units proved the difference.
The losses forced the Mexicans to retreat to Monterrey. Taylor followed and took the city in September of Taylor moved to the south and was engaged by a massive Mexican army under the command of General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, Taylor once again prevailed.
The Americans hoped that they had proved their point. Taylor's invasion had gone well and California was already securely under control. They sent envoys to Mexico in the hopes of ending the war and gaining the land they desired, but Mexico would have none of it. Polk and his advisors decided to send yet another army into Mexico and General Winfield Scott was selected to lead it.
The best route to get to Mexico City was to go through the Atlantic port of Veracruz. In March of , Scott began landing his troops near Veracruz. After a short siege, the city surrendered.
By August Scott was at the gates of Mexico City itself. He defeated the Mexicans at the Battles of Contreras and Churubusco on August 20, gaining a toehold into the city. The two sides agreed to a brief armistice, during which time Scott hoped the Mexicans would finally negotiate, but Mexico still refused to sign away its territories to the north. In September of , Scott attacked once again, crushing the Mexican fortification at Molino del Rey before assaulting the Chapultepec Fortress, which was also the Mexican Military Academy.
Chapultepec guarded the entrance to the city; once it fell the Americans were able to take and hold Mexico City. General Santa Anna, seeing that the city had fallen, retreated with what troops he had left to unsuccessfully try and cut the American supply lines near Puebla.
The major combat phase of the war had ended. The Mexican politicians and diplomats were finally forced to negotiate in earnest. For the next few months, they met with American diplomat Nicholas Trist, who had been ordered by Polk to secure all of the Mexican northwest in any peace settlement.
In February of , the two sides agreed on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Rio Grande was established as the border of Texas. People living in these territories, including several Indigenous groups, reserved their properties and rights and were to be given U. Lastly, future disagreements between the U. Although it is often overlooked in comparison with the American Civil War , which broke out about 12 years later, the Mexican-American War was just as important to American History.
The massive territories gained during the war make up a large percentage of present-day United States. As an added bonus, gold was discovered shortly thereafter in California which made the newly acquired lands even more valuable.
Lee, Ulysses S. The tension between the pro-slavery states of the southern U. The Mexican-American War made the reputations of future U. Ulysses S. A Congressman named Abraham Lincoln made a name for himself in Washington by vocally opposing the war.
Jefferson Davis , who would become president of the Confederate States of America, also distinguished himself during the war. If the war was a bonanza for the United States of America, it was a disaster for Mexico. If Texas is included, Mexico lost more than half of its national territory to the U. After the bloody war, Mexico was in ruins physically, economically, politically, and socially. Many peasant groups took advantage of the chaos of war to lead uprisings all over the country; the worst was in Yucatan, where hundreds of thousands of people were killed.
Although Americans have forgotten about the war, for the most part, many Mexicans are still irate about the "theft" of so much land and the humiliation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Even though there is no realistic chance of Mexico ever reclaiming those lands, many Mexicans feel they still belong to them. Because of the war, there was much bad blood between the U. Share Flipboard Email. Christopher Minster. Professor of History and Literature.