I Am America. Hear Me Roar.
Flexing our muscles at Mexico!

With the annexation of Texas by the government of the United States
of America, war with Mexico seemed to be inevitable. Yet was it really?
Historians then and today question Polk's motives on declaring war, and
whether or not blood had to be shed at all for us to get what we wanted. True,
the war was one of aggression and territorial glorification between two
relatively new nations who had fought and won their freedom from respective
foreign nations and were perhaps equaled in pride and determination.
However, I do not believe that the U.S. entered into the ordeal entirely
unprovoked, and anything provoked is likewise justifiable. Right from the
start, the President of the United States, James K. Polk, took the stand that
?all of the U.S.'s military and naval movements shall be strictly defensive,
and that we will not be the aggressor upon Mexico; but if her army shall
cross the Rio Grande and invade Texas . . .surely we are bound to giver her
(Texas) aid in her own defense.? 1 Polk hoped desperately to settle matters
peacefully, but was determined to have his way by war if necessary.
And indeed it was Mexico, in open defiance towards the hated
American government and army, that insighted the rebuke by U.S. forces. At
the time, boundary rights were bitterly disputed between the United States
and Mexico. As a country, our goal was to ?adjust a permanent boundary
between Mexico and the United States.?2
It appeared that whether or not the border was the Rio Grande or the Rio
Nueces was the question most often fought over, and also that how could you
tell if one party had invaded or killed on your land if they don't even
recognize the same border as you do? Extremist militant Mexican leaders
pushed the buttons of the U.S., until Polk had no chioce but to send in the
troops and make a stand.
This all started following Texas' break-away from Mexican rule. For
nearly ten years the Republic of Texas was an independant country, and was
recognized by many foreign nations. However, Mexico refused to acceptthe
loss of Texas, considering it to still be Mexican territory that was simply
under the temporary rule of a rebel government. So of course they wouldn'e
accept the terms offered by the United States in the annexation of Texas in
1845. ?Congress doth consent that the . . . Republic of Texas may be erected
into a new state, to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of
government, to be adopted by the people of said Republic.?3Instead of their
ambassador, they sent threats of open war.
Any attempts to forestall or persuade the Texans that joining the U.S.
was a bad idea were immediately shot down, and on July 4 a Texas
convention officially accepted the U.S. offer, and was soon after admitted to
the Union. U.S. soldiers, under the command of Zachary Taylor, were then
sent to be stationed in Texas along the east bank of the Rio (grande) del
Norte, to protect the newly acquired land and people, and to patrol the
borders. Polk had given Taylor free navigation of the river and the privilege to
deal with the Mexicans in any way he deems proper at the moment.
Remember, that at this time Mexico is not our ?enemy?, rather a new friend
who we do not know whether or not we can trust yet. It wasn't until an
overthrow in the Mexican government and the subsequent denial of U.S.
offers to purchase California and New Mexico that hostility bacame palpable.
Polk sent a Mr. Slidell to deal with the negotiations and make demands. He
was refused to be seen or heard by the Mexican leaders. As tensions mounted
along the border, raids and small battles had begun. ?No one can doubt which
of the two republics is responsible for this war: a war whcih any sense of
equity and justice, and respect for the rights and laws of civilized nations,
might have avoided . . .?4 The Americans had managed to build substantial
fortifications, but were outnumbered nearly two to one. Still, in almost every
battle of the war the Amerivan troops were victorious. It was quite a
one-sided conflict.
Another reason, perhaps the most important when looked at closely,
for the collision in the U.S.-Mexican War was the struggle between two white
governments out to determine which would have the priority in ruling the
non-white populations of the continent. Rather, perhaps in a deeper
introspection into the nature of the war, we would