u.s. annexation• After Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836, Texans wanted, almost immediately, to be annexed, or “attached,” to the United States.
u.s. annexation• The people of Texas, many of whom were American slave owners, missed the rights and freedoms that they had in the United States.
u.s. annexation•In 1843, Santa Anna threatened that annexing Texas would be equal to a “declaration of war against the Mexican Republic.”
u.s. annexation• When James K. Polk, an ardent expansionist, was elected to the presidency in 1844, Congress took that as a message and approved annexation in February, 1845, even before Polk took office, and Texas became a slave state.
u.s. annexation• One month later, Santa Anna and the Mexican government broke off diplomatic relations with the United States and the reality of war was near at hand.
war• Polk used a shaky dispute over the boundary between Texas and Mexico as a justification to send troops into the region near the border with Mexico.
war• Mexico believed the border between the two countries was the Nueces River, while the US believed the border between the two was the Rio Grande.
war• The arrival of US troops, under the command of General Zachary Taylor, in the area between the two rivers angered Santa Anna and the Mexicans, who immediately set out to kick the US out.
war• When a skirmish broke out between the two forces, Polk had the excuse that he needed to ask for war with Mexico, which Congress agreed to in May, 1846.
results• The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe- Hidalgo, which was signed in February, 1848.
results• The document made the border between the United States and Mexico the Rio Grande, and gave New Mexico (including pieces of what is now Arizona, Utah, and Colorado) and California to the United States.
results• In return, the United States paid Mexico $15 million and agreed to take over the claims of American citizens against the Mexican government totaling $3 million.
results• Five years later, the United States bought 30,000 square miles more along the southern border of Arizona and New Mexico for another $10 million (Gadsden Purchase) so that the nation could build a southern transcontinental railroad.
results• The boundaries of the continental U.S. were now fixed, although the disagreements and misunderstandings between the U.S. and Mexico were going to be the cause of problems between the two nations for many years.