Political Outcomes of the Mexican-American War

Topics: Mexico, United States, Slavery in the United States Pages: 6 (2039 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Political Outcomes of the Mexican – American War
Post the Mexican – American War in 1846, there would be a plethora of political change that would be inevitable for the Mexicans, and the Americans. These changes would bring about a divide between the two countries that would keep them in a rivalry spanning over numerous decades. However, before this rivalry could occur, something would be needed to induce it. The Mexicans and the Americans would fight against each other for over a year until a victor would succeed. Ultimately, all the fighting would have an outcome of epic proportions due to the political losses and gains each country would encounter. Though the end of the war brought Mexico further independence, it also contributed to political changes that resulted to territory loss, slavery disputes and many other aspects both the U.S. and Mexico would encounter.

Ironically, the cause of the Mexican – American War was due to the politics of the U.S. President at the time, President Tyler. Tyler wanted to achieve a second term in presidency, but his name among the American people was not as well known in contrast to his opponent James K. Polk. President Tyler contemplated ways to make himself a more popular candidate, and came to a conclusion that would essentially foreshadow the coming of the war. He wanted his name to be associated with the thought of “American Expansion”, unfortunately he would never get that chance officially because he lost the election. However, in regards to his loss, he still had a desire to finish is initial plan. He went to Congress and made use of the Joint Resolution for an annexation, instead of a treaty. This will require a two-thirds majority agreement that Tyler did not have. On the last day of his term however, he would send messengers to Texas (which at the time was not a U.S. territory) for the purpose of immediate annexation. This would not sit well with the Mexican nation (Heys) .

After President Tyler’s little mishap, the war would come and go leaving the American and Mexican politics with remnants of its outcome. After the war ended, a slavery controversy began to rise between free and slave states. If the newly acquired Mexican territory allowed for slaves to be permitted, than the original slaveholding states would request greater representation in Congress. Although the Southern states (slaveholders) had a smaller population size as a whole, they were the ones who suffered the most casualties in comparison to the North. Obviously, the Southerners believed the Wilmot Proviso was unjust towards them, seeing that they were the ones risking the majority of their lives (“Westward Expansion”). The Wilmot Proviso was written by a Pennsylvanian Senator David Wilmot which was an amendment that stated none of the territory acquired from the Mexican War would permit slavery (Wilmot Proviso, 2007). The bill was passed twice through the House without having a vote from the Senate. Instead, the Senate created its own bill that excluded the proviso. The Wilmot proviso created a drastic bitterness between the Northern and Southern states and how they viewed slavery in relation to their political perspectives. By the new election period of 1848, the Wilmot proviso would be ignored by the Whig and Democratic parties leaving it for the Republicans to take hold of later on.

In addition to the Southern slave states having discrepancies with the Wilmot proviso, they would also participate in the repealing of the Missouri Compromise. This particular compromise states that anything beneath the 36”30’ latitude of Missouri is a slave state with (with the exception of Missouri). This regulated which states would permit slaves and which would not. In layman’s term, it would physically characterize the Northern (free) and Southern (slave) states, drawing the line at Missouri’s southernmost boarder (Kansas – Nebraska Act, 2010). Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, would introduce the Kansas –...
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