Historians understand that all history is interpretation, and as Professor Weber states, “we understand the past only in imperfect ways.” We use facts to create these interpretations and thus see that many truths constitute the past, rather than one single truth. In the war between Mexico and the United States, Americans have known and cared so little, even though this war created their country’s future shape, and adversely, it diminished the land belonging previously to the Mexican people. This great loss caused an “inferiority complex” for Mexico, one that could arguably still be there today.
Professor Weber believes that the American people have “forgotten about this war with Mexico”, because much of it was fought on Mexican soil, rather than unfolding in the 13 Colonies east of the Mississippi, as the previous national history had been. As a result of the war being beyond this central region, it was seen as more of a western concern and was regarded as a regional issue, even though the consequences and gains were national.
Along with being pushed aside for the external location, the Mexican War was pushed to the side by the Americans due to their internal concerns. The Civil War followed quickly after the American victory in the Mexican War and took the forefront of American concern. The “great victory” faded away with the sectional conflicts and Americans killing Americans. The latter of the two conflicts made a greater story for the conflicts of the middle of the century, and remains the more popular of the two, to the point where the Mexican-American war is considered forgotten by the Americans, despite their vast victory. Weber proposes that this victory is particularly not remembered due to its aggressive nature to seize territory, saying, “When Mexico didn’t cave in, we finally took what we wanted in war.” This is shows a great contrast between the honorable moments in American history that we all know so well. Even though the war is...
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