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  1. 1. The U.S.-Mexican War 1846-1848
  2. 2. Motivation
  3. 3. California <ul><li>President Polk, motivated by Manifest Destiny, desired California and desperately wanted to buy it from Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to buy it because of bitter relations between the two nations </li></ul><ul><li>In 1845, Polk sent John Slidell to Mexico City to offer $25 million for California, the Mexicans wouldn’t even allow him to present his “insulting” proposition </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mexican Debt <ul><li>The U.S. had claims against Mexico for $3 million in American damages </li></ul><ul><li>Mexico agreed to pay up but defaulted on its payments </li></ul>
  5. 5. Texas <ul><li>Mexico threatened war if the U.S. annexed Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Then the U.S. annexed Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Mexico pulled its ambassador to Washington, cutting off diplomatic relations </li></ul>
  6. 6. Texan Boundary Dispute <ul><li>SW boundary had been Nueces River but the expansive Texans claimed more southerly Rio Grande </li></ul><ul><li>Polk felt morally obligated to defend Texas in its claim, once it was annexed </li></ul><ul><li>Mexicans believed that all of Texas was still theirs, just temporarily in revolt, and a fight over the two rivers seemed pointless </li></ul>
  7. 7. War
  8. 8. Polk’s Eagerness <ul><li>Polk sent General Zachary Taylor with four thousand troops from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande </li></ul><ul><li>On May 9, 1846, he considered waging war before Mexican attack on the basis of unpaid claims and Mexican rejection of Slidell’s offer </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet felt as if he should wait until the Mexican troops fired </li></ul><ul><li>That very night, news of bloodshed arrived </li></ul>
  9. 9. “ Jimmy Polk’s War” <ul><li>After hearing that Mexican troops killed Americans, Polk spoke to Congress </li></ul><ul><li>He claimed that they did everything they could do to avoid a clash but the Mexicans were persistent and killed Americans on “American soil” </li></ul><ul><li>The patriotic Congress voted for war but Polk’s claims were twisting the truth </li></ul>
  10. 10. Santa Anna <ul><li>The exiled dictator persuaded Polk into allowing him to return to Mexico, saying he would sell out his country </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, he proceeded to rally his countrymen to defend their soil </li></ul>
  11. 11. California Bear Flag Republic <ul><li>American operations in the SW and California were completely successful </li></ul><ul><li>General Stephen W. Kearny led 1700 troops from Leavenworth to Santa Fe which was easily captured </li></ul><ul><li>Before Kearny could get to California, it was already won </li></ul><ul><li>Captain John C. Frémont just “happened” to be there when the war started up </li></ul>
  12. 12. Buena Vista <ul><li>Zachary Taylor fought his way into Mexico where after several victories, he reached Buena Vista </li></ul><ul><li>There his weakened force was attacked by march-weary Mexican troops under Santa Anna </li></ul><ul><li>Mexicans were repulsed but with extreme difficulty </li></ul>
  13. 13. General Winfield Scott <ul><li>Hampered by small number of troops, expiring enlistments, bigger enemy, mountainous terrain, disease, and political back-biting at home </li></ul><ul><li>Still battled way to Mexico City in one of the most brilliant campaigns in American military history </li></ul>
  14. 14. Resolution
  15. 15. Nicholas P. Trist <ul><li>“ Blundering” chief clerk of the State Department, sent with Scott’s army to make treaty </li></ul><ul><li>Arranged ceasefire with Santa Anna where S.A. pocketed $10,000 and used time to strengthen defenses </li></ul><ul><li>Polk, disgusted in Trist, recalled him to Washington then Trist wrote a 65-page letter explaining why he wasn’t coming back </li></ul>
  16. 16. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo <ul><li>Signed by Trist on February 2, 1848 </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmed American title to Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Gave up land stretching westward to Oregon, including California (about one-half of Mexico) </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. to pay $15 million for land and assumed the Mexican debt </li></ul>
  17. 17. Overview <ul><li>Cost thirteen thousand American lives (most by disease) </li></ul><ul><li>Fruits of fighting were enormous—an addition greater than the Louisiana Purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Provided battlefield experience for a lot of Civil War soldiers, both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant participated </li></ul>