The MexicanAmerican War



The war with Mexico had fundamentally broken out because of America’s rapid
expansion and confidence due to their great size and wealth. Also, because Mexico had
owed money to America, many people thought that they could obtain the money
forcefully. Furthermore, Mexico had never fully recognized Texas’ independance and to
maintane their pride, broke off diplomatic relations when the US annexed the republic.
President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor into Texas to defend the border which at
the time was in dispute. In July, 1845, Taylor reached the Nuccess River with about
1500 toops and crossed into the disputed area. He did not go all the way to the Rio
Grande to avoid provoking the Mexicans and instead stopped at Corpus Christi. In
November, Polk sent a delegate (John Slidell) to try and make negotiations about the
disputed land. Slidell was given the right to cancel the Mexican debt in return for
recognition of the annexation of Texas and approval of the Rio Grande border that
America had wanted. He was also authorized to offer 30 million dollars to Mexico for
all or part of New Mexico and California. The Mexican government refused the offers
and their claim to Texas was reinstated. By late March, 1846, Taylor’s army had grown
to about 4000and had taken positions in the Mexican town of Matamoros. The Mexicans
crossed the river in April and attacked an American mounted patrol. They were driven
back easily, but Polk asked congress to declare war anyway. Congress accepted and
without declaring war, voted to raise and supply an additional 50000 troops. Even in the
first battle, the result was obvious. Within a week, the Mexicans had been driven across
the Rio Grande and General Taylor had his troops firmly established on the southern
bank. The Mexican War was fought between the United States and Mexico from May
1846 to February 1848. It was significant because it led to the Mexican Cession of 1848.
This was the ceding of New Mexico and Alta California to the United States by Mexico
as a result of the U.S. victory in the Mexican War.



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