Compare and contrast the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.

Topics: United States, Mexico, Rio Grande Pages: 5 (1463 words) Published: August 21, 2003
The War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War are two wars that physically appear two opposites. The War of 1812 involves plenty of naval battles and a few major land battles, while the Mexican-American War involves numerous land battles and few, if any, naval battles. However there are numerous similarities.

The War of 1812, The US saw Great Britain as a major problem because of their definition of "contraband" and the impressment of American sailors into the British Navy. And around this time the "warhawks" are elected to the House of Representatives. They wanted war because the British were supplying the Indian with guns and ammunition and encouraging Indian trouble.

William Henry Harrison is sent west to face off against Indian warchief, Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe. After the fight the Americans find British weapons with the fallen Indians. The Warhawks are convinced that we can capture Canada, which they wanted for its fish, furs, land, and lumber. Warhawk Henry Clay is elected Speaker of the House, and appoints warhawks to the house committee on Foreign Relations.

The Mexican American War was partly began by the president and Mexico together. Polk wins the Election of 1944, and Tyler annexes Texas on March 2, 1845.

We aren't sure on the southern boundary of Texas. Mexico claims it's the Nueces River while the US say it's the Rio Grande. On top of this the US wants a war with Mexico with the hope of forcing Mexico to hand over California. Polk sends an army commanded by General Zachary Taylor into the disputed territory.

So both of these wars are started with the expansion of the United States' boarders as a main idea. The Warhawks want Canada and Polk wants California, both for reasons of commerce.

Mexico sends its own army and camps out on the opposite side of the river from Taylor's men. On April 25, 1846 the Mexican army crosses the Rio Grande and attack's Taylor's army. When Polk hears of this he immediately goes to congress and asks to declare war. His reasons: The Americans have been attacked on American soil. Congress declares war.

Madison's reason's for war on Great Britain in 1812: Impressment of US Sailors into the British Navy, and the seizure of non-contraband cargo off American trade vessels. The house passes the declaration 79 - 49, while the Senate passes it 19 - 13. They declare war on June 18, 1812, without knowing that Britain repealed the Orders of Council on June 16, 1812.

The Americans being attacked on American soil can be counted as a similarity because the Chesapeake/Leopard Affair happened in US Territorial waters and so did this first attack in the Mexican American War.

However, one of the big differences between the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War is the people's reactions. The people war begging for war with Britain to save the nation's honor, while the Mexican American War was not very popular. Another difference is that the Mexican American war is the first war not fought entirely on US soil.

I also think that the in 1812 the US was a little more prepared for war then they were at the start of the Mexican American war. The Mexican American War is a good deal more popular in the south than in the north because the south look at the war as a chance to defeat Mexico and gain land to grow more cotton. So the southern states send a lot more men than the north does.

And the same with all wars way back when, more men died of infection and disease than on the battlefield. Dysentery was one of the big illnesses during the Mexican American war.

The US defeats Britain several times and wins control of Lake Eerie. US makes attempts to capture Canada but fails every time because the US Generals were Veterans of the American Revolution and most were incompetent, state militias, especially New York, never left the state to fight. Early in the war the US captures Toronto and burns Canadian Parliament to the ground, which we pay for later on in the war;...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Mexican-American War Essay
  • Mexican American war Essay
  • Mexican American War Final Essay
  • Mexican American War Essay
  • Mexican American War Research Paper
  • Mexican American War Essay
  • The Mexican-American War Essay
  • Mexican war Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free