The Mexico-American war was a conventional conflict characterized by the use of traditional armies as American forces invaded the territory of Mexico. Before annexation of Texas, there were migrants from America who settled in the land on strict conditions. The settlers increased in number with time almost overpopulating the original occupants of the land and did not comply with the terms. It was alarming, and in dissatisfaction, the Mexican government illegalized further immigration, abolished slave labor and imposed heavy duties on imports to cut off ties with America. The settlers were treated with intolerance, and although they aired their grievances, few of them were addressed. They began to rebel the orders imposed by Mexico openly. The U.S supported Texans and eventually, a group from Texas opted for annexation to maintain its independence. However, America did not stop at the acquisition of Texas but went on to invade other territories owned by Mexico.
America believed that they had been given the right by God to expand their boundaries and hence it was their destiny to acquire Texas, New Mexico, and California among other regions. This belief was responsible for their aggressiveness witnessed during this era. Initially, there was a war between America and Mexico over Texas, and it became a U.S state. However, the tensions progressed as the two nations continued to disagree. President Pork openly sought war to seize huge pieces of land from his counterpart which sparked a military confrontation.
In an article by public affairs in 2007, it is argued that the war was merely an invasion by the Americans (Joseph). Velasco (49) states that Mexicans were ready for negotiations, but there were serious obstacles. There was resistance due to the political interests that seemed only to give conditions such as Texas annexation. In addition, the Mexican government lacked a consensus for negotiations. The proposal issued to John Slidell was largely instructions and nothing to consider in terms of negotiations. America demanded that the Rio Grande be the border of Texas and acquisition of territories of California and New Mexico.
The response of Mexico throughout the conflict, and the loss of Texas to development of Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty was just an effort to defend its territory, national security and international order (Velasco 57). As such, Mexicans can hold that their move was not irresponsible or arrogant, but perhaps it was the only manner to respond to the acts of the United States government since they did not give space for negotiations (McGowan). The war can thus be termed as U.S attack on Mexico because the events of 1846 to 1848 were a pure expression of aggression and greed of Americans.
Different interest groups of the United States precipitated the war. These groups advocated for non-peaceful demonstrations because they were aiming at covering states of Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona. Interested groups were aware that peaceful discussions would not present a chance to exploit the benefits of these nations which they viewed as strategic and full of economic potential. Historians have argued that the regions were easier to colonize while ensuring white settlers from America did not intermix or compete with Indians, Mexicans and African Americans (Wheelan). The Southerners supported the war because they intended that the annexed nations would become slave states and it could have occurred were it not for the Civil War that took place later about thirteen years after annexation.
The unbiased view is that the Mexico-American war could not have taken place were it not for the self-interests of Americans. There were amicable ways that could have been used to have an agreement, but America was not ready for peace. However, the war strengthened the invincibility and infallibility of American Westerners than Indians and Mexicans. The effects of Mexican-US war are still evident to date in the whole of American West.
- McGowan, Brian M. The second conquest of Mexico: American volunteers, republicanism, and the Mexican War. Diss. Tulane University, 2011.
- Velasco-Márquez, Jesús. “A Mexican viewpoint on the war with the United States.” Voices of Mexico 41 (2006): 49-57.
- Wheelan, Joseph. Invading Mexico: America’s continental dream and the Mexican War, 1846-1848. Public Affairs, 2007.