TexasHistoryNotesTest3 - October 31 I. Mexican American War...

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October 31 I. Mexican American War manifest destiny Guadalupe Hidalgo The Mexican-American War grew out of unresolved conflicts between Mexico and the Republic of Texas and from the desire for U.S. imperialism, an idea known as "Manifest Destiny". Mexican officials warned that annexation of Texas to United States would mean war. Texas became the 28th state of the United States. The Mexican government complained that the United States, by annexing its rebel province, was intervening in Mexico's internal affairs and had unjustly seized sovereign Mexican territory. British envoys had repeatedly attempted to dissuade Mexico from declaring war, but British efforts to mediate were fruitless as additional political disputes (particularly the Oregon boundary dispute) arose between the United Kingdom and the United States. After the annexation of Texas, newly elected President James K. Polk set out to acquire the Mexican province of California. -American expansionists wanted California in order to have a port on the Pacific Ocean, which would allow the United States to participate in the lucrative trade with Asia. - In 1845, Polk sent diplomat John Slidell to Mexico to purchase California and New Mexico for up to $30 million. Slidell's arrival in Mexico caused political turmoil after word leaked out that he was there to purchase additional territory and not to offer compensation for the loss of Texas. The Mexicans refused to receive Slidell, citing a problem with his credentials. Slidell returned to Washington, D.C. in May 1846. Polk regarded this treatment of his diplomat as an insult and an "ample cause of war", and prepared to ask Congress for a declaration of war. Polk increased pressure on Mexico to sell by sending troops, under General Zachary Taylor, into the area between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande—territory that was claimed by both Texas and Mexico. Taylor ignored Mexican demands that he withdraw, and marched south to the Rio Grande, where he began to build Fort Brown. Mere days before Polk intended to make his request to Congress, he received word that Mexican forces had crossed the Rio Grande and killed eleven American soldiers. On 24 April 1846, Mexican cavalry had attacked and captured one of the American detachments near the Rio Grande. After the border clash, battles between Mexican and American troops followed at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. Polk now made this the casus belli, and in a message to Congress on 11 May 1846 stated that Mexico had “invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil.” 1
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He did not point out that the territory in question was disputed. A number of U.S. Congressmen expressed doubts about Polk's version of events, but Congress overwhelmingly approved the declaration of war, with many Whigs fearing that opposition would cost them politically. War was declared on May 13, 1846. Northerners and Whigs generally opposed the war, while Southerners and
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2009 for the course HIS 2053 taught by Professor Kelly during the Spring '08 term at Texas San Antonio.

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TexasHistoryNotesTest3 - October 31 I. Mexican American War...

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