Mexican American War

Topics: United States, Mexico, Texas, Manifest Destiny / Pages: 9 (2006 words) / Published: Mar 16th, 2013
Jessica Helin
Paper 2
U.S. History 1
GEN223

Throughout history, conflict always arose from issues with international boarders and the U.S.-Mexican border was no exception. Both Spain and England settled different regions of the New World in hopes of gaining riches and spreading religious beliefs. While the Spanish settled what is today known as Mexico, the English settled the United States. However, when the two colonial forces finally crossed paths in 1846, it wasn 't England and Spain, but Mexico and the United States, because by this time, both countries had already detached themselves from their mother countries. A great deal of conflict occurred between the two nations, especially due to a Tennessee Democrat, named James K. Polk. He wrote a, “War Message,” to Congress, convincing the U.S. to go to war with Mexico and although he provides, what seems to be, great reasoning, his intentions may not be completely authentic. According to George Perkins Marsh 's, a Whig from Vermont, speech on the Mexican War, he describes how Polk deceived an entire nation into pursuing a war based on his own moral beliefs. Based on events that led up to the war, as well as excerpts taken from both of their speeches/messages, a conclusion to this dilemma will be discovered.
The conflict that emerged between the two countries, following their encounter, was a direct result of their contrasting national policies. The United States policy was focused on expanding its western borders, while Mexico 's policy was centered around self-protection (“The Price of Freedom”). Although the Americans didn 't have any official written documentation of it 's policy for westward expansion, they did however, believe in the idea of “Manifest Destiny,” which was the belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent to the Pacific Ocean (Gevinson). Evidence, that set the rhetorical tone for the largest acquisition of U.S. territory, was America 's interests in acquiring



Cited: Gevinson, Alan. "Why Did President Polk Want War with Mexico."TeachingHistory.org. TeachingHistory.org. 11 Mar. 2013 <http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/22205>. Harshman, Ben. "Slavery In West?" War with Mexico. Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. 6 Mar. 2013. Marsh, George P. "Speech on the Mexican War." House of Representatives. 10 Feb. 1848. Polk, James K. "Polk 's War Message." Ed. James Richardson. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. Vol. 5. New York City: Bureau of National Literature, 1986. 244-47. "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War." Amhistory.si.edu. Smithsonian Museum of National History. 11 Mar. 2013 <http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=4>.

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