The Mexican-American War [serii.info]
The Mexican-American War, waged between the United States and Mexico from to , helped to fulfill America's "manifest destiny" to expand its territory. Impact of the Mexican-American War enact a leva or conscription, which resulted in the deaths of many peasants; there were more than 25, military and civilian casualties. Links: President Polk's Address to Congress. Territories obtained in the Mexican American War of caused further which had not recognized Texas independence, broke off diplomatic relations.
The Mexican planners erred in assuming that they could hold fixed points in the face of far superior U. From the start of hostilities to the end, the United States Army seized every fixed objective its commanders assaulted. The United States government erred in assuming that the act of conquering the territory the United States wished to absorb would convince the Mexicans to surrender.
Polk also erred in assuming that the regular army of some 8, men and an additional 20, volunteers would be able to bring the war to a successful conclusion. The northerners opposed the conflict for several reasons. First, they feared that the addition of new territory would expand the space into which the slave-based southern economy could expand. In addition, New England senators such as Daniel Webster understood that the admission of more states to the Union would diminish the power of New England in both chambers of the federal legislature.
In the South, a number of Whigs feared that the result of the conflict might a ring of states that banned slavery surrounding their section of the nation. Many Americans of both political parties opposed the war on ideological grounds. Mexican leaders also made erroneous political assumptions about their own nation. Most significantly, they did not believe that the underclass that constituted the majority of the people stood ready to rebel. However, as a string of battlefield defeats reduced the Mexican Army to a shadow of its former strength, rebellions erupted throughout Mexico and grew to such an extent that the national government considered the survival of the socioeconomic order to be threatened.
Repeatedly, potent military forces refused to leave their state or locality and march to the aid of the national government. Juan Alvarez exemplified that mentality. When he received orders to march from Acapulco to Mexico City for the defense of the capital, he declined to obey on the specious grounds that his men could not endure the change of climate involved in such troop movement.
Although the United States Army in comprised only slightly more than 8, men, that force possessed three particular strengths. First, the officers constituted a well-trained and well-prepared group of leaders, a substantial number of who would distinguish themselves both in this conflict and as generals in the coming U. Taliaferro, and John Reese Kenly.
Secondly, the artillery corps had small but critically important sections of weapons that would enable the regular army to dominate any conventional battlefield. Known as the family of weapons, these cannons were made of lighter and stronger alloys than their predecessors and therefore could be moved about a battlefield far more rapidly than older cannons.
Once in place, their stronger barrels allowed their crews to fire shells at a greater range than had the previous generation of artillery. New types of ammunition rendered their fire particular deadly. However, two glaring weaknesses also existed. First, the lack of a strong cavalry arm posed a significant problem. The United States Army in consisted primarily of infantry and artillery.
Mexican–American War - Wikipedia
In the initial phase of the war, General Zachary Taylor sought to compensate for that weakness by engaging the services of a company of Texas rangers to serve as his cavalry. This response proved inadequate, and the Mexican cavalry succeeded in dominating much of the northern countryside.
As Major John R. The problems posed by the volunteer regiments also merit mention. Although all United States troops entered the army as volunteers rather than conscripts, a sharp distinction existed between the federal army and those forces recruited by the individual states: Unlike the regular army, these regiments did not receive training according to a uniform standard, and their performance consequently varied widely.
While some proved reliable, others, such as a regiment of Arkansas volunteers, broke and fled at the sight of advancing Mexican infantry during the Battle of Buena Vista. Officers of the regular army regarded them as inferior forces of questionable use.The Mexican American War
Taylor characterized their conduct and their impact on his campaign in very harsh terms: There is scarcely a form of crime that has not been reported to me as committed by them: Were it possible to rouse the Mexican people to resistance, no more effectual plan could be devised than the very one pursued by some of our volunteer regiments.
The whole volunteer system is wholly indebted for all its reputation to the regular army without which the illegible body of volunteers in Mexico would have been an undisciplined mob, incapable of acting in concert, while they would have incensed the people of Mexico by the depredations upon persons of property. First came the deficiency of their artillery. The decision of senior commanders to end the War of Independence without reference to political officials served as a prelude to frequent military assaults against the national government.
Between andtwenty-eight changes in government took place. As the practice of politics and military command merged, political linkages became a prerequisite for promotion. Consequently, high rank often reflected not military competence, but political influence. In addition, Mexican commanders and other leading citizens often placed loyalty to their state of locality above their loyalty to the nation as a whole. In this milieu, the ambition of regional warlords took priority.
The consequences proved disastrous: Their implacable resistance repeatedly abrogated programs that could have produced a professionally socialized and technically proficient officer corps obedient to civilian authority. The apathy with which many poor Mexicans regarded both their government and a socioeconomic structure that allowed them few if any opportunities for advancement also weakened Mexican resistance to the invader.
The greatest of these proved to be her cavalry. In a rural society based to a considerable degree on the hacienda large estatea natural hierarchy of estate owners and their subordinates emerged. The hacendado hacienda owner and his riders spent many of their days in the saddle and so became highly proficient in the use of firearms and horses as they learned well the terrain of their localities.
In both the northern and central battlefields, the mobile Mexican cavalry rarely met defeat unless given irresponsible orders such as charging entrenched troops. Army made this point. Lastly, Mexico possessed the advantage of space. With some 1, square miles of territory, the Mexican government could afford to trade space for time in the hope that the invaders would grow tired of the conflict or perhaps make a grand error that would enable Mexico to attain an unexpected victory.
Conventional Conflict During the first phase of the war, U.
After reorganizing the territorial administration and leaving a garrison in place, he headed west on September 25,with a force of slightly more than men and subsequently reached San Diego in December. On May 8,2, U. Northern Mexico was a violent and chaotic area due to the Indian raids. The raids after resulted in the death of thousands of Mexicans, halted most transportation and communications, and decimated the ranching industry that was a mainstay of the northern economy.
As a result, the demoralized civilian population of northern Mexico put up little resistance to the invading U. Instead of settlement occurring in the central and west of the province, people settled in East Texaswhere there was rich farmland and which was contiguous to southern US slave states.
As settlers poured in from the US, the Mexican government discouraged further settlement, with its abolition of slavery. InMexico was relatively united in refusing to recognize the independence of Texas. Mexico threatened war with the United States if it annexed the Republic of Texas. President Polk's assertion of Manifest Destiny was focusing United States interest on westward expansion beyond its existing national borders.
Designs on California Mexico in Alta California was the northwesternmost federal territory During the Spanish colonial era, the Californias i. After Mexico became independent, it shut down the missions and reduced its military presence. France and England both have had their eyes upon it.
The Mexican-American War
Lord Aberdeen declined to participate but said Britain had no objection to U. The present-day outlines of the individual U. InSpain's colonial province of Texas Tejas had few inhabitants, with only about 7, non-Indian settlers. After independence, the Mexican government implemented the policy, granting Moses Austina banker from Missouri, a large tract of land in Texas.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo created an artificial political border, which inadvertently divided families. The Mexicans residing in the former Mexican territories were forced to assimilate into American culture and were regarded as inferior individuals by the United States. The war resulted in political and economic chaos as well.
Mexico experienced many different Presidents during the war; however, the federal republic was finally re-established in The draft weakened the national agrarian economy since most farmers were required to serve in the war. During the war, the daily paper, "El Republicano" stated, "No one had any doubts about the intentions the Washington cabinet has had now for some time with respect to Mexico One fights in the name of usurpation; the other defends justice A government that starts a war without a legitimate motive is responsible for all its evils and horrors.
The bloodshed, the grief of families, the pillaging, the destruction, the violence, and its works and its crimes Government, for having initiated the unjust war it is waging against us today. According to the theory of realism, the United States was justified in its quest for more territory since acquiring land was in the nation's national interest in order to gain more natural resources and increase the economy. In addition, the United States only resorted to military action in self-defense after American troops were attacked in Texas.
On the flip side, Mexico engaged in war to protect its national autonomy and territorial integrity.