The Shady Causes of the Mexican American war 1846-48

  • Alfred Jones

  • 3 years ago

The Shady Causes of the Mexican American war 1846-48

The U.S. and Mexican army fought one another from 1846 to 1848 in the war called Mexican-American War. The war resulted due to boundary conflicts between the two nations. In this conflict, Mexico was fighting to keep land that they thought belonged to them; on the other hand, America was fighting to retain their land back in Mexico's northern parts. According to Congress (p. 64), “Polk's statement on the start of the war continued to be a matter of dispute between defenders of the war and its opponent.” In the end, the United States President, James K. Polk, declared war on Mexico as he claimed that Mexico had passed the United States boundary. This essay evaluates the significant causes of the Mexican-American War and its outcomes for both countries.
The primary cause of the Mexican-American war was the boundary between American and Mexico. The annexation of Texas was considered the cause of war. Therefore, under Article I, Section 8, Congress was mandated to declare war if the nation's boundary had been passed. Thus, President Polk asked Congress to declare war. The annexation of Texas took place in 1845 under President James Polk. In 1846, more tension arose, as now Texas had become a state, as Mexico claimed Nueces River was supposed to be Texas border while the United States claimed that the border was to be further at around Rio Grande River. According to Congress Globe (p. 64), “the declaration that the Rio Grande was the western boundary of Louisiana, as purchased by France.” Therefore, this was a known boundary that had existed for a long time. Both countries were claiming the boundary and no one was ready to settle to look at the treaties that were made early by Spain. Congress Globe (p. 64) stipulates that, “If Texas had always claimed that the Rio Grande was her western boundary, had not Mexico always claimed directly the reverse? So that it was nothing but claim against claim.”
Another possible cause of Mexican American war was the idea of manifest destiny. From the analysis of the situation that led to this war, America believed it was given the power to civilize and colonize the whole continent. Most Americans were migrating towards the west, and they ended up displacing those who originally occupied those areas. Most of the initial landowners, such as most of the Mexicans, were ignored. There was a notion that those English-speaking Americans were the best land managers than the Native Americans, mostly Mexicans, who contributed to this.
President Polk led the Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican government declined his offer to buy the southwest land. Therefore, the desire to occupy this land led to a massive crisis and led the war. Later, it led to the Mexican President's capture, Santa Ann, who was forced to sign the treaty to surrender that land to Texas. According to the Congress Globe, “nobody supposed it was a treaty, because it was well known, as it has many times been stated, that Santa Anna, being a prisoner of war at the time.”
Then came the resistance to the Civil Government by Henry Thoreau. Henry had refused to pay poll tax as one way of showing solidarity against the injustices America was subjecting Mexicans to. According to Henry (p. 63), “he saw the war as an effort to extend the realm of slavery.” Henry was against any form of slavery by the civil government. He insinuated that the conflict between Mexican and Mexico was an approach America used to make more Taxations who could not agree to form a state with American slaves. Henry says that it is time for honest men to rebel against such injustices done across the nations. Henry (p. 64) stipulates, "when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun…" this saw prominent people such as Abraham Lincoln and Henry David Thoreau disobey the civil government because America was using the war to trigger slavery. According to Henry, it is wrong to obey unjust laws in the government. Henry believes that the government takes so long time to amend the rules, and by that time, people's lives would have demised. Henry believes that the American government imprisons people unjustly, and the only place a just man can be found is in prison. He says, "The true place for a just man is also a prison." Therefore, in this situation, civil disobedience was to show that there were injustices in the civil government through slavery and Mexican-American War.


Congressional Globe, 30th Congress. Representative Abraham Lincoln Disagrees with
President Polk (1846). 1st Session, p. 64.
Henry David Thoreau,The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau: Reform Papers,ed. Wendell Glick
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 63–76, 86–90

Tags: 1846 to 1848 , Mexican-American War