The Mexican-American War Tiara Missey AP U.S History 5th Period Mr. Gill December 1, 2018 The Mexican-American War was between both the United States and Mexico. It began on April 25, 1846 and was ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848. The United States’ President James Polk played a large part first by declaring war on Mexico May 13, 1846. The war was primarily driven by the need to expand as the result of Manifest Destiny in the minds of the Americans. Though not all citizens agreed with it. Such as Henry David Thoreau, a writer, was so against it he wrote “Civil Disobedience” about how he opposed the war. He also refused to pay a poll taxes to show he felt the war was unethical and unjust1. Around eleven years before the war, Texas was at war with Mexico for their independence. The Battle of Almo, one of the early battles of the war, occurred in December 1835. A group of Texan volunteers took charge over the Mexican troops at the Almo and captured the fort. Under the lead of George Collinsworth and Benjamin Milam, they gained control of San Antonio2. Though, later the Mexican forces would take over the Almo again. General Santa Anna took over the fort, with thousands of troops, from the Texan stronghold of 200 men that were command by James Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett. For 13 days, the Texans at the fort held up bravely and courageously, until the Mexican troops finally took over. Davy Crockett was a very famous frontiersman, who died while he proudly stood alone defending the fort, which led him to fight until his death3. For the Texans, the Almo became a very important symbol, showing the fight they were taking to gain independence from Mexico. The last and the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution was the Battle of Jacinto. On April 21, 1836, Sam Houston and around 800 other Texans went up against Santa Anna’s Mexican forces over 10004. Sam Houston fought under Jackson in the Red Stick war and he had a very successful political career. Soon after he became governor in 1827, he went off the grid, making friends with Indians, after the scandal with his wife. Though, he did come back, but this time he accepted command for the Battle of Jacinto leading them to a victory that would gain Texas’ independence from Mexico5. Santa Anna was 1 "Henry David Thoreau in Manifest Destiny & Mexican-American War." Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.shmoop.com/manifest-destiny-mexican-american-war/henry-david-thoreau.html 2 "The Almo." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/alamo. 3 Bell, Bob Boze. "How Did Davy Really Die?" True West Magazine. June 16, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://truewestmagazine.com/davy-crockett-how-did-davy-really-die/. 4 "Battle of San Jacinto." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/battle-of-san-jacinto. 5 "Sam Houston." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/biographies/sam_houston.html. taken prisoner during the battle. He reluctantly signed a peace treaty at Velasco, Texas recognizing Texas as independent as the quid pro quo for his freedom. After Texas gained their independence, they elected Sam Houston as their president. The “Lone Star Republic” wanted to be annexed by the United States because they feared that the Mexican government would recapture the. The North United States did not like the idea of adding a new slaves state to the union, so instead of causing an uproar in America, Jackson denied annexing them. So, “the Lone Star flag flew proudly over the Lone Star Republic for nine years6.” After the 9 years, congress agreed to annex Texas. Once Polk one the 1844 election he agreed to annexing Texas. After six months, December 29, 1845, Texas entered the United States as the 28th state, and a slave state. This caused a more differences in America and set off the Mexican-American War7. President Polk then carried out the Slidell Mission by dispatching John Slidell to Mexico City. His job was to negotiate: Mexican recognition of Rio Grande as border between them and US, American forgiveness of claims by US citizens against Mexican government, purchase of New Mexico area for $5 million and the purchase of California at any price. It never was received though because Mexican government affairs were in a stage of chaos8. President Polk feared that the Mexicans would claim control over territory in southwestern Texas because of the 6 "The Lone Star Republic." Ushistory.org. Accessed December 10, 2018. http://www.ushistory.org/us/29a.asp. 7 "Texas Enters the Union." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/thisday-in-history/texas-enters-the-union. 8 "United States History." Douglas MacArthur. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.u-shistory.com/pages/h158.html. Texas annexation9. With orders from Polk, Zachary Taylor went into Texas with forces to defend the Rio Grande border. After General Mariano Arista found out about the plan Taylor was taking fourth, he ordered his troops to continue to siege Fort Texas and led other troops to intercept Taylor while he was on his way back with supplies. On May 8, 1846 the two forces encountered each other at the crossroads of Palo Alto. The Americans boldly stepped up and immediately showed their good tactics. After 3 hours of not being able to successfully defeat the US, General Arista commanded his troops to move out and set up a strong position at Resaca de la Palma. Zachary Taylor brought forth a victory with the “first battle” of the war10 . 9 10 https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/zachary-taylor-fights-the-battle-of-palo-alto "The Battle of Palo Alto." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/war/palo_alto.html. A day later, May 9, 1846, the Battle of Resaca de la Palma took place. General Taylor thought he could just use the same tactic as the Battle of Palo Alto, but it was extremely slowed down based of the terrain of the battle area. It was difficult to even spot targets because of the heavy brush. Taylor became very frustrated with how slow the progress was happening, so he sent Captain Charles A. May with a squadron from the 2nd US Dragoons to charge the Mexican battery. As they did that, the 4th US Infantry began probing Arista’s left plank. May’s troops captured Vega and many officers, leaving the Mexican line leaderless. Taylor then ordered the 5th and 8th infantry to complete the task. The Mexicans soon after began to retreat11. After another victory by Zachary Taylor, the Mexican forces re-crossed the Rio Grande ending the siege of Fort Texas. Zachary Taylor quickly was granted a promotion to major general after the two back to back victories. Throughout his journey he gained the nickname “Old Rough and Ready” because of his willingness to get his boots dirty alongside his soldiers. Once promoted to major general he led his men across the Rio Grande into Mexico then capture the stronghold of Monterrey in late September. After this, Taylor began gaining political likeness from the Whig party and doing things against Polk’s wishes. He granted the Mexicans an eight-week armistice and marched his troops south to Buena Vista defeating a Mexican force three times the size of his. 11 Hickman, Kennedy, and Military. "Mexican-American War: Battle of Resaca De La Palma." Thoughtco. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-of-resaca-de-la-palma2361050. In the midst of Taylor being told to remain in northern Mexico, Polk transferred the best of Taylor’s troops to the army of General Winfield Scott. Scott, known as “Old Fuss and Feathers”, was sent to attack starting at the port of Veracruz, which would continue inward to Mexico City. Veracruz was invaded in March of 1847 and it lasted 12 days until the Mexicans finally surrendered. After completing this victory, General Scott continued to push west to Mexico City. The Battle of Cerro Gordo was one of the most impressive battles of Scott’s which occurred on April 18, 1847. General Scott, with 8,500 men, went up against General Santa Anna with 12,000 Mexican troops. General Santa Anna thought that they had the upper hand because of the position they were in, he thought that because of the terrain La Atalaya was impassable. But after scouting the land, Captain Robert E. Lee and his men found a small path up the lower hill, which would allow for them to attack the Mexican troops from the side. A victory that only played out because Santa Anna left La Atalaya unprotected12. General Scott also had victories at Battle of Contreras, the Battle of Churubusco, and the Battle of Chapultepec before the capturing of Mexico City. Scott captured Mexico City on September 14, 1847, after 3 days of intense fighting. General Scott did not win all those battles alone, he had the help of his lieutenants: Robert E. Lee, George B. McClellan, P.G.T Beauregard, and Ulysses S. Grant. 78 of Scotts men would fight for the Union in the Civil War and 57 would fight for the Confederate forces. They made up 135 of General Scott’s men that would become generals. Ulysses S. Grant would later become a fearless soldier commanding almost the entire US army, he would make, a fellow companion he once fought with in the American Mexican war, Robert E. Lee surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia 1865 in the Civil War13. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed February 2, 1848 and ended the Mexican- American war. America added an additional 525,000 square miles to its territory. The United States received land that makes up present day: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Mexico finally gave up claims of Texas and recognized Rio Grande as America’s Southern Boundary, known as the Mexican Cession14. From the beginning the idea of Manifest Destiny caused problems. Manifest Destiny was the idea that the United States was destined by God to expand across all North America. When the Texas Annexation took place, soon after was the MexicanAmerican war. When the Mexican cession took place, it caused brutal mistreatment and displacement of 12 Sandoval, Mariana. "StMU History Media." StMU History Media - Featuring Historical Research, Writing, and Media at St. Mary's University. December 20, 2016. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.stmuhistorymedia.org/the-great-military-career-of-old-fuss-and-feathers-winfield-scott/. 13 14 h"Ulysses S. Grant." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/biographies/ulysses_grant.html. "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexican-american-war/treaty-of-guadalupe-hidalgo. Native Americans and fueled the growing debate over slave sates which would eventually lead to the American Civil War15. Around the same time the Treaty of Guadalupe was signed, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill happened. In 1849, men across the US borrowed money and mortgaged their property to travel to California. The ‘49ers, as they were called, caused gold mining towns to spring up all over the region. The area grew to be very lawless with gambling, prostitution and violence. California quickly was added to the Union as the 31st state with a constitution preventing slavery. This caused chaos between the people in congress who were for slavery and the abolitionist. The Compromise of 1850, proposed by Henry Clay, allowed California to enter as a free state while Utah and New Mexico could decide for themselves16. This compromise increased sectionalism and strengthens the two completely opposite opinions about slavery which would ultimately lead to the splitting of the union then to the Civil War. 15 "Manifest Destiny." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/manifest-destiny. 16 History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/westwardexpansion/gold-rush-of-1849 References "Battle of San Jacinto." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/battle-of-san-jacinto. Bell, Bob Boze. "How Did Davy Really Die?" True West Magazine. June 16, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://truewestmagazine.com/davy-crockett-how-did-davy-really-die/. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Antonio López De Santa Anna." Encyclopædia Britannica. June 17, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antonio-Lopezde-Santa-Anna. "Davy Crockett." HistoryNet. Accessed December 10, 2018. http://www.historynet.com/davy-crockett. Hickman, Kennedy, and Military. "Mexican-American War: Battle of Resaca De La Palma." Thoughtco. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-of-resaca-de-la-palma-2361050. "James K. Polk." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/uspresidents/james-polk. "Manifest Destiny." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/manifest-destiny. Minster, Christopher. "How Did Jim Bowie Become a Famous Texas Hero?" Thoughtco. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/biography-of-jim-bowie-2136241. "Sam Houston." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/biographies/sam_houston.html. Sandoval, Mariana. "StMU History Media." StMU History Media - Featuring Historical Research, Writing, and Media at St. Mary's University. December 20, 2016. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.stmuhistorymedia.org/the-great-military-career-of-old-fuss-and-feathers-winfield-scott/. "Scott Captures Mexico City." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/thisday-in-history/scott-captures-mexico-city. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Manifest Destiny & Mexican-American War." Shmoop. November 11, 2008. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.shmoop.com/manifest-destiny-mexican-american-war/. "Texas Enters the Union." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/this-dayin-history/texas-enters-the-union. "The Almo." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/alamo. "The Battle of Palo Alto." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/war/palo_alto.html. "The Lone Star Republic." Ushistory.org. Accessed December 10, 2018. http://www.ushistory.org/us/29a.asp. "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/mexican-american-war/treaty-of-guadalupe-hidalgo. "Ulysses S. Grant." PBS. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/biographies/ulysses_grant.html. "United States History." Douglas MacArthur. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.u-shistory.com/pages/h158.html. "Zachary Taylor." History.com. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/uspresidents/zachary-taylor.