The Mexican American War
The Mexican-American war it is the year of 1830 even though Mexico got its independence some years earlier in 1821 from Spain after a revolution and an armed conflict which lasted over a decade the country was in total chaos looking at the map of that time we can see a larger Mexico than the one we know today a stretched country one of the biggest at that time the newly independent nation was in dire straits after eleven years of war no plans or guidelines were established by the revolutionaries so internal struggles for control of a government ensued Mexico suffered a complete lack of funds to organize a country of around 4.5 million square kilometers at that time Mexico faced the threats of emerging internal rebellions and of invasion by Spanish forces from their base in nearby Cuba.
This government was characterized by instability and it was ill-prepared for international conflict when war with the Americans broke out only two decades later in 1846 the United States was an expansion and the country was much bigger than it was when it became independent the United States of America expanded deeper into the Native American territories and they purchased the huge Louisiana territory from the French although the country was expanding there was an opportunity for more due to Mexico’s internal problems several regions rebelled and tried to break away Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836 initially the United States declined to incorporate it into the Union largely because northern political interests were against the addition of a new slave state the Mexican government was also encouraging border raids and warning that any attempt at annexation would lead to war since.
The Mexicans still considered Texas as part of their land nonetheless annexation procedures were quickly initiated after the 1844 election of Polk who campaigned that Texas should react and that the Oregon Territory should be reoccupied pulk also had his eyes on California New Mexico and the rest of what is today the u.s. Southwest looking to expand Pulte offered to purchase those lands but the offer was rejected and soon after he instigated conflict by moving troops into a disputed zone between the Rio Grande and Nueces River that both countries had previously recognized as parts of the Mexican state of Coahuila the tension grew more and moreover the disputed lands Texas was annexed by the United States on December 29th, 1845 and became the 28th state, however, the United States inherited the southern and western border dispute with Mexico which it refused to recognize Texas as independence or the us’s offers to purchase the territory thus through this act the tensions between the two countries transformed into a war. [Music]
On April 25th, 1846 Mexican cavalry attacked a group of US soldiers in the disputed zone under the command of General Zachary Taylor killing about a dozen they then laid siege to an American fort along the Rio Grande Taylor called in reinforcements and was able to defeat the Mexicans of the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca De La Palma following those battles pulk told the US Congress that the cup of forbearance had been exhausted even before Mexico passed the boundary of the United States invaded our territory and shed American blood upon American soil on May 13th Congress declared war while no official declaration of war ever came from Mexico in terms of how the war began the situation is debatable we have an ill-prepared Mexico with internal revolts and an emerging power that looks to expand more and more Mexico was weaker but the US did not want to look like a bully, even so, Ulysses s grant who had opposed the war.
But served as an army lieutenant in Taylor’s army claims and his personal memoirs that the main goal of the US Army’s advance from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande was to provoke the outbreak of war without attacking first to debilitate any political opposition to the war after Mexican Independence there was a man Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana a controversial character who in the first place didn’t support Mexican independence from Spain but then fought in support of it he then backed the monarchy of the Mexican Empire then revolted against the Emperor and then supported a republic the country tried to find its path and these shocks led to more trouble
And weakness over time Santa Ana served 12 non-consecutive presidential terms over a period of 22 years after u.s. declared war on Mexico in 1846 an internal coalition including forced out President Mariano Parra Dez sought a return to a federal republic with Santa Ana as the president he wrote a letter to Mexico City stating he did not care to return to the presidency but would like to come out of exile in Cuba to use his military experience to reclaim Texas for Mexico president Valentin Gomez furriers driven to desperation accepted the offer and allowed Santa Ana what was unknown for the current president furious is that Santa Ana has been secretly dealing with US representatives to sell all contested territory to u.s. at a reasonable price on the condition that he be allowed back in Mexico through the u.s. naval blockades and so Santa Ana returned to Mexico taking his place at the head of the army once in this powerful position he went back on his word declaring himself president and prepared to fight off the US forces invasion.
The Americans achieved two victories at the Battle of Palo Alto and Resaca De La Palma general Steven Watts Kearny and his troops started to advance in the disputed territory and in New Mexico, the American troops encountered no Mexican forces when they arrived on August 15th they enter Santa Fe and claimed the New Mexico Territory for the United States without a single shot being fired Tierney declared himself the military governor of the new territory and August 18th and he established a civilian government a temporary legal system was created now known today as the Kearney code Kearney set out for California on September 25th, 1846 in December of 1846 after the successful conquest of New Mexico parts of Kearney’s Army of the West moved into modern-day Northwest Mexico they were led by Alexander Doniphan continuing what ended up being a year-long 5,500-mile campaign.
But in the territory a rebellion that happened known as the Taos revolt there were multiple separate skirmishes but the US military moved quickly to subdue the revolt Meanwhile the commander of the US Navy’s Pacific squadron John D Sloat had received orders to seize San Francisco Bay and blockades California port captain John Seif Ramon leading u.s. topographical expedition to survey the Great Basin entered the Sacramento Valley in December 1845 pheromones party was at upper Klamath lake Oregon Territory when it received words that war between Mexico and the US was imminent the party then returned to California on Sloat’s orders Fremont brought one hundred and sixty volunteers to Monterey in addition to the California battalion.
on July 15th Sloat transferred his command of the Pacific squadron – Commodore Robert F Stockton who was more militarily aggressive general Castro and Governor Pio Pico wrote farewells and fled separately to the Mexican state of Sonora Stockton’s army entered Los Angeles unopposed on August 13th at that point he sent a report to the Secretary of State that California is entirely free from Mexican Dominion meanwhile US Colonel Stephen W Kearney had performed a march across New Mexico and the Sonoran Desert and crossed the Colorado River in late November 1846 on December 7th 100 Lancers under general Andres Pico brother of the governor fought Kearney’s army of about 150 at the Battle of San Pasquale the wounded Kearney pushed on until he had to establish a defensive position on a hill general Pico kept the hill under siege until a 215 man American relief force arrived a 600 man American force under Kearney began a 150 mile march to Los Angeles On January 8th 1846 the Stockton Kearney army defeated the Mexican force in the two-hour battle of Rio San Gabriel the Treaty of Cal when go was signed which marked the end of armed resistance in California.
The conflict continued elsewhere the Mexican Army’s defeats at Palo Alto and Resaca De La Palma caused even more political turmoil in Mexico led by Zachary Taylor 2,300 US troops crossed the Rio Grande and proceeded south the hard-fought battle of Monterrey resulted in serious losses on both sides the Mexican forces were under general Pedro de ampudia Anakin’s they repulsed Taylor’s best infantry American soldiers were not familiar with urban warfare they marched straight down the open streets and were caught by surprise by well-hidden Mexican defenders even though the Mexicans repulsed the Americans general Taylor created an eight-week armistice with the Mexican army allowing them to evacuate in return for the surrender of the city under pressure from Washington Taylor broke the armistice and occupied the city of Saltillo on February 22nd 1847 Santa Ana personally marched north to fight general Taylor with 20,000 men the 4600 Americans had entrenched at a mountain pass called Buena Vista the Mexicans suffered desertions on the way north and arrived with 15,000 men in a tired state knowing that his numbers were still superior he demanded the surrender of the US Army.
But was refused thus he attacks the next morning Santa Anna flanked the US positions by sending his cavalry and some infiltrate up the steep terrain that made up one side of the pass while a division of infantry attacked frontally along the road leading to Buenavista being superior in numbers the Mexicans had nearly broken the American lines at several points but suffered heavily from the American Horse Artillery even though the initial reports of the battle, as well as some propaganda news, credited the victory to the Mexicans instead of attacking the next day Santa Anna retreated having heard the word of a rebellion and upheaval in Mexico City some military historians agree that the US Army probably would have been defeated if the Mexicans had gone through with their final attack
an important detail for the United States to have success in the war against Mexico was to secure its naval presence across Mexico’s coasts the US Navy cleared the way for US troops and supplies especially to Mexico’s main port of Veracruz even before hostilities began in the disputed northern region the US Navy had created a blockade the US President did not send reinforcements to Taylor’s army for a continued advance instead he sent a second army under General Winfield Scott he transported to the port of Veracruz by sea to begin an invasion of the Mexican Heartland on March 9th, 1847 Scott performs the first major amphibious landing in US history in preparation for the siege of Veracruz the city replied the best it could with its own artillery against the extended barrage but because of the numerically superior force of the Americans.
The Mexicans surrendered the goal was obviously the capital Scott marched westward towards Mexico city with almost 9,000 troops on April 2nd, 1847 Santa Ana had set up a defensive position around the main road about 50 miles northwest of Veracruz at Cerro Gordo Santa Ana had entrenched with 12,000 troops and artillery that were trained on the road where he expected Scott to appear and catch him by surprise however general Scott had sent 2600 cavalry troops ahead they reached the pass on April 12th and the Mexican artillery fired upon them revealing their positions the Battle of Cerro Gordo started the Americans won the battle and continued to their advance even though the guerrillas harassed the American troops with his remaining forces
General Winfield Scott advanced on Mexico City the capital was laid upon by a series of battles around the right flank of the city defenses after the American victories at the Battle of Contreras and Battle of Churubusco peace negotiations started which broke down on September 6 1847 with the subsequent battles of Molino Del Rey and Chapultepec and the storming of the city gates the capital was occupied Scott became military governor of occupied Mexico City his victories in this campaign made him an American national hero desertion was a major problem for the Mexican army depleting forces on the eve of battle most soldiers were peasants who had loyalty to their village and family but not to the generals who had conscripted them often hungry ill under-equipped only partially trained and never well-paid the soldiers were held in contempt by their officers and had little reason to fight the Americans now that the US had gone far beyond the territorial gains it envisioned by invading central Mexico with its dense population. The question was raised about whether to annex Mexico itself but many oppose this idea due to cultural differences overextension and the huge instability this would cause the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave the u.s. control of Texas Alta California and Nuevo Mexico those territories were organized in other states over time in return Mexico received fifteen million dollars an approximation of just 443 million today which was less than half the amounts the US had attempted to offer Meck to go before the areas were sparsely populated and that is probably the reason for such a low cost for the US with Texas and the secession from Mexico the u.s. gained more than 900,000 square miles of land the Gadsden Purchase was another acquisition for the United States and fixed the current border between Mexico and the USA.