Western Expansion and the War with Mexico

Better Essays
Jennifer Lopera
04/19/2013
HIST100-970

Western Expansion: Texas and the War with Mexico
In the mid-nineteenth century, the United States found expansion necessary. Many factors necessitated the increase the countries size. The population of this young country grew from five million to almost twenty-three million, and by 1850 almost four million people had migrated westward. Two economic depressions, one in 1818 and another in 1839, further provoked migration, leaving the nation searching for hope, prosperity, and a new life in the frontier land. The people of the United States were enticed by inexpensive, vast, plots of land, opportunities to become self-sufficient. The vast lands of the west seemed to hold a chance for individuals to advance themselves and partake in new commercial interests promised in these new western territories.
However, while the Anglo-Saxon’s openly welcomed the opportunity to migrate into western territories, they may not have anticipated the differences they would have assimilating with their new neighbors. The Caucasians who moved to the western frontier, specifically those who found themselves on the border of Mexico, felt superior to their brown-skinned, Catholic neighbors. This racial superiority was motive for the notion of Manifest Destiny, or, a god-given right for those from the United States to usurp land from less-worthy counterparts in order to continue with the expansion of commerce. Mexico, on the other-hand, had difficulties with the fact that the Americans were bringing slaves into their territory, since Mexico had already eradicated slavery. When General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna sent troops in to promote a centralized authority, however, this did not go over well. This attempt at imposing a central government resulted in a rebel government comprised of American’s and Tejano’s striving for Texan independence. Santa Anna put an end to this provisional government at The Alamo, which killed 187 Mexican and American



References: Forner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. 2012. W. W. Norton & Company. Web. Madaras, Larry, and James M. SoRelle. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in United States History. Dubuque, Iowa.: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Web. Masri, L.. N.p.. Web. 19 Apr 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/index_flash.html>.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Western Expansion

    • 1473 Words
    • 6 Pages

    westward expansion was the key to the nation’s health: He believed that a republic depended on an independent, virtuous citizenry for its survival, and that independence and virtue went hand in hand with land ownership, especially the ownership of small farms. (“Those who labor in the earth,” he wrote, “are the chosen people of God.”) In order to provide enough land to sustain this ideal population of virtuous yeomen, the United States would have to continue to expand. The westward expansion of the…

    • 1473 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Western Expansion

    • 837 Words
    • 4 Pages

    pushed into the trans-Mississippi West. Motivation for the expansion west had great impact on the United States. American settlers and business were attracted to western expansion as opportunity came up. Cattlemen, miners, and railroads had all greatly impacted the United States, but of the groups railroads held the most significant impact on the United States and the growth of the nation. For years wild cattle had wandered the western open range until protein-rich beef was in demand to feed city…

    • 837 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Western Expansion Dbq

    • 1042 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Yuta Ogawa Segal, Samantha US History I Honors May 17, 2010 Westward Expansion DBQ Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States of America had the destiny of expanding across North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This terms meaning has changed and been misused over the years. It was used as a justification for the Mexican War, and eventually was led to believe that it was to expand slavery. The main purpose of Manifest Destiny was not to expand the institution of slavery…

    • 1042 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The expansion of Western Europe started with the Iberian phase. Spain and Portugal, the two countries of the Iberian Peninsula, had a short-lived yet important role in European expansion. European expansion then turned to Western Europe. Western Europe consists of the Dutch, French, and British. While Western Europe was exploring new worlds overseas, the Russians were expanding westward across all of Eurasia. Religion played a major role in expansion for both the Portuguese and the Spanish due…

    • 1107 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    War With Mexico

    • 2806 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Just War? Write an essay that answers the following question: Was the United States justified in going to war against Mexico in 1846? Use the primary source material on pages 3–5 of this document and the information in Chapter 16 to help you answer the question and provide support for your answer. Refer to the scoring rubric on the last page to see how your essay will be scored. (100 points) Write an essay that answers the following question: Was the United States justified in going to war against…

    • 2806 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The western expansion was a better life for the American people. The Louisiana purchase changed the united states for the better. People loved the idea that the west provided to them. The United States population had tripled to thirteen million people.(pg.9) Of course it was better for the settlers to move because there was no room for new farmers in the east. Even though settlers were always willing to move where ever there was better land so it wasn't a big surprise. The settlers did not have any…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Furthermore, new territories gained during western expansion added to this conflict between different sections of America. Southern states wanted new slave territories, while the North wanted to contain the spread of slavery. While Western expansion contributed to growing sectional tensions between the North and South from 1800-1820, sectionalism intensified significantly from 1820-1850. Since the turn of the nineteenth century, Western territorial expansion started to increase a sense of sectionalism…

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Webster's War With Mexico

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Webster argued that the war with Mexico and the admission of new states would be horrible. This was his own opinion, but many individuals during this time period felt the way that he did. Webster talks of what the president has his mind set on and how that mindset cannot be changed. This is viewed as a problem that Webster can not get over, he feels that the president should listen to the people and not be caught up in his own mindset. The mindset of the president was one that was given to him…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Western Expansion DBQ Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, many Americans considered the lands west of the Mississippi as the "Great American Desert" and unfit for civilization. However, by the mid-1840s, migrants from the eastern United States transformed this vast desert into a fruitful land awaiting settlement and civilization known as the frontier. The development of the frontier was the result of the mass population of the many different regions of the far West. These regions…

    • 867 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Western Expansion’s Contribution to Growing Sectional Tensions between the North and South from 1800 to 1850 G11 Jinpyung Suh Once in America, there was a time when Eastern South and Eastern North were divided. This division during 1800 to 1850 is one of the important events in American history. There are few reasons for this division such as slavery compromise, pursuit of ideal government, and also the western expansion. It will make members of the society to be curious why the territorial…

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays