The Costs and Benefits of the Mexican War

Topics: United States, President of the United States, American Civil War Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: December 15, 2004
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 was negotiated with Santa Anna by Nicholas P. Trist, the chief clerk of the State Department, and gave America the area from California to Texas for only $15 million plus a United States promise to assume the claims of Americans against the Mexican government. This gave America the prize of California, which it had sought before, as well as respect from foreign nations, particularly Britain, that looked down upon the American military as week and ineffective. The war had a downside, however, it created more conflict over slavery, and basically trained American troops for the bloody battlefields of the Civil War. Although it had many costs that only escalated the divide between the north and the south, the Mexican War was beneficial to American because it increased its land by one third and gave it much needed respect for a relatively small cost.

The biggest and most lasting benefit of the Mexican war was the significant land gain that was achieved by Nicholas P. Trist in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The area that stretched from Texas to California accounted for about one half of all Mexican land increased America's land by around one third, which was a significant gain considering the relatively small cost, which ended up being around 13,000 American troops and $15 million for the land, plus a promise by the American Government to assume all American claims against Mexico. The biggest prize of the new land was California, which President James Polk had unsuccessfully attempted to buy from Mexico before the outbreak of war. Aside from giving America more room to grow, the gain in land meant that America stretched roughly from coast to coast, enhancing the spirit of manifest destiny that America had a mandate from God to cover the land all the way to the west coast. The incredible enthusiasm for this dramatic change in America's size is shown in the Democratic Washington Daily Union after the Treaty of Guadalupe...
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