Causes Of Mexican American War Essay Research

Causes Of Mexican American War Essay, Research Paper

2. Their were several events which led to the start of the Mexican-American War an there were also many things that happened as a result of the War. American belief of Manifest Destiny was a major factor in the cause of the war, Land hungry Americans were ready to do whatever it took to acquire more land to make themselves rich. This belief in Manifest Destiny caused Mexico and America to go to war but America benefited from the war politically but suffered military losses as countries do in all wars

After the annexation of Texas Mexican American relations had gone sour. Mexico was unhappy with the United States because their claim to Texas extended to the Rio Grande River instead of the Nueces River and American ambition to acquire more Mexican land. Mexico was so angry with the United States they refused to meet with the American negotiator John Slidell who was sent by James K Polk to reach an agreement. Slidell was going to offer Mexico 30 million dollars for the purchase of New Mexico and Texas and assume all Mexican debts to Americans in exchange for the Rio Grande Border. Instead in 1846 Mexican and American troops headed towards the disputed area and a minor battle took place. (Gordon, 151)

James K Polk was enraged by Mexico?s uncooperative nature and went directly to congress for a declaration of war. Polk believed war was justified because he believed Mexico had invaded American territory and killed American soldiers. Some Congressmen, mainly those from the south and the west, strongly agreed with Polk and his request for a declaration of war but others, mainly northerners, only believed the war was intended to make more land for slave holding states. With the majority congress voted to go to war with Mexico and after 17 months of fighting the United States won the war. (Gordon,151)

The Mexican American War had several effects regarding the American military. As a result of American defeat of Mexico the United States lost almost 14,000 soldiers and thousands more were wounded. Militarily this war provided a training ground for the American civil war. Almost all of the Civil war Generals were veterans of the Mexican American war. The Mexican American War was like a practice period for those men who would eventually lead armies in the Civil War. Mexican American relations remained very hostile for a long period of time with several small disputes at the border for many years after the war. Major Military General Zachary Taylor was able to use his fame in the Mexican American War to win the presidency of 1848. ( Not to mention the Mexican American war?s ?military and naval expenditures totaled $98 million? (Tindall and Shi, 619)

Along with the military results there were also quite a number of political effects. The most obvious of all other results was the land mass ceded to the United States by Mexico. As a result of the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty Mexico was forced to give up the land area of California and New Mexico to the United States as well as accept the Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and Texas. The United States did however have to pay 15 million dollars in compensation and remove all American citizens claim against Mexico. ( The Mexican American War further divided the regions of the United States, mostly the north and the south, because northerners saw the war as a blatant attempt at getting more slave holding territory while the south believed the war to be worthwhile. Also by adding these large landmasses to the United States the balance between slave states and free states would be broken forever. (Class Notes) Despite the difference of opinions the Mexican American War produced a variety of consequences, good and bad.(Tindall and Shi, 620)

There were many different causes and effects to the war, which were good in one sense but bad in another. It was good in the sense that the American borders now extended coast to coast but bad in the sense that thousands of men lost their lives over what began as a border dispute between Texas and Mexico. Mexico had much hostility towards the United States after they annexed Texas and it only grew when the United States backed the Texans claim that the border would be the Rio Grande River. From this dispute grew a war, which brought casualties and experience to those soldiers who would later lead armies in the American Civil War. The Mexican American War was one of great importance in United States history and it had causes and results like none other.


Gordon, Irving. “American History Review Text” New York 1983.



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