The U.S War with Mexico

The U.S War with Mexico - Juan Pesantez HIST 101 The U.S...

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Juan Pesantez HIST 101 12/05/10 The U.S. War with Mexico In May 20, 1846, New York officials gave their signal to support Congress’s declaration of war against Mexico, while the President George Washington Dixon took the stage and claimed, “I am going to defend our soil! I am going to march onward and plant our standard of liberty in the halls of the Montezuma!” (1) Racism shaped the depiction of Mexicans as “half-savage scamps” and “Montezumas” in the lyrics of Dixon’s song which he used in order to justify the war. The ambition of acquiring more land was the major motivation for the United States in pursuing the war. When Dixon says, “The Mexicans are our soul,” he is describing a contested porting of Texas as U.S. land. The U.S War with Mexico is a conflict that has a process, which developed by: the forces leading to the war, the conflict itself, and its aftermath, paying close attention to race and racialization, nationalism and nation building, and the U.S. quest for western territory. (2) In the 1840s, U.S. pursuit of western territory was inspired by the idea of manifest destiny, the belief that Americans had a God-given right, based on racial superiority, to expand to the Pacific Ocean. The concept dates back to the Puritans, John L. O’Sullivan who said this phrase in 1845, first using it in his newspaper, the United States Democratic Review. The theory called from the territorial expansion of the United States and was a justification used by southerners for extending slavery. It promoted the notion of American racial superiority, cast all nonwhites – Indians, Mexicans, and blacks – as inferior beings. In 1787, the Constitution granted full citizenship only to white, property-owning men and upheld slavery. The new nations established racial limitations, the Naturalization Act of 1790, which permitted 1
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only white persons to become naturalized U.S. citizens, thereby institutionalizing a racial prerequisite for citizenship. The congress passed the Trade and Intercourse Act, which classified Indians as “foreign nations”, women were also excluded from full citizenship. (3) In 1824, the Mexican Constitution established the United States of Mexico as a federal republic comprising nineteen states and four territories. A fundamental difference between the United States and Mexico was that the Mexican republic included Indians as citizens. The U.S. had a strong belief of expansionism, and that in order to grow, it needed to acquire western land. The Trade and Intercourse Act of 1790 designated Indian tribes as foreign nations, so the United States could acquire Indian land only through treaties negotiated by the federal government. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act, Indian tribes lost the power to retain their homelands. In 1831, the Supreme Court ruled in Cherokee v. Georgia that Indian tribes were not foreign nations but “domestic dependent nations.” (4) Indian removal, though a tragic and important event in its own right, is significant in the context
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The U.S War with Mexico - Juan Pesantez HIST 101 The U.S...

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