The Mexican American War (1846-1848) was an exercise in American imperialism. The United States had long been interested in expanding its territory, and the war provided an opportunity to do just that. Mexico was a weak country, and the US saw an opportunity to take advantage of that.
The war resulted in the US annexing large portions of Mexican territory, including present-day California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. This was a major expansion of US territory, and it firmly established the US as a major player on the global stage. Imperialism was a key factor in the US’s decision to go to war with Mexico, and the war itself was an example of American imperialism.
The Mexican-American War, fought from 1846 to 1848, was the first conflict between the United States and Mexico. This war began a long history of tension and hostilities between these two nations. The primary cause of the war was American expansionism and Manifest Destiny. At this time in history, America was growing rapidly in commerce and industry.
To maximize profits, business leaders needed more land for factories, roads, railways, etc. They turned their eyes southward to Mexico with its rich resources an undeveloped lands ripe for exploitation by American businesses interests
Prior to the Mexican-American war, America had been rapidly growing. This was due to the commercial and industrial revolution that was occurring in the country. However, this growth created a problem for America. The country needed more land to support its increasing population and businesses. Imperialism provided a solution to this problem.
The Mexican-American War was fought over the issue of imperialism. The Americans wanted to control Mexican land in order to expand their own country. The Mexicans, on the other hand, did not want to be controlled by the Americans. As a result, the two countries went to war.
Polk won the election largely because of his radical expansionist views, and he quickly sent representatives to Texas to safeguard the border and plan for American takeover. Congress passed a measure making Texas a state, but Mexico opposed Polk’s compromise, leading to conflict. American troops continued into Mexican territory, resulting in war.
Mexico then viewed this as an act of hostility and declared war on the United States. Mexico had good reason to be outraged by Polk’s actions. America essentially provoked Mexico into a war, and it was nothing more than an exercise in American Imperialism. The Mexican American War was fought from 1846-1848, pitting the United States against Mexico. It began over the expansion of slavery into new territories and the disputed ownership of Texas.
The United States won the war, resulting in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty added 525,000 square miles (1,360,000 km2) to American territory, including present-day California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Mexico also ceded parts of Texas to the United States.
Later, Polk stated that the only reason the Mexico-American War started was due to Mexico’s lack of cooperation and their attack on Americans. He said that “American blood had actually been shed on American soil.” However, this is not reliable because at that time, no one knew who the land truly belonged to. The Americans thought it belong to them just as much as the Mexicans did.
Mexico had as much of a right to the land as the Americans did. In fact, Mexico had been living on the land long before America even existed as a country. The only reason America thought they had more of a claim to the land was because they wanted it and believed that Manifest Destiny gave them the God-given right to take it.
The Mexican American War was an exercise in American Imperialism. From the very beginning, America had designs on taking over Mexican territory. President Polk used any excuse he could to go to war with Mexico, and when he finally got his chance, he took full advantage of it. The war resulted in massive loss of life and property, all so that America could expand its territory. It was a shameful chapter in American history, and one that should not be repeated.
Before the war begun, Polk had already taken measures to gain control of Texas. If not for imperialist ambitions, why would he have done this if war was his only other option? This demonstrates that Americans were behaving in an imperialistic way because President Polk would most likely reject Mexico’s terms for partial recognition – due to his desire to own all the land up until the coast.
It is also important to note that during the Mexican American War, Mexico lost nearly one-third of its territory. Most of this territory was located in present-day California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. These five states would eventually come to be known as the American Southwest or the “Mexican Cession.”
The Mexican American War was a blatant exercise in American imperialism. With the annexation of Texas and the subsequent war with Mexico, the United States added nearly one million square miles of new territory to its holdings.
This vast expansion westward fulfilled the longtime dream of many Americans to see their country become a true “continental nation.” In addition, the war allowed the United States to emerge as a major player on the international stage. The Mexican American War was truly a transformative event in American history.
The Anglo-Saxons considered that their God had provided them the authority to conquer and settle in all of North America. They believed it was their purpose to spread their religious beliefs to those who did not think like them. In his book The War With Mexico Reviewed, Abiel Abbot Livermore gives a great description of Americans during this time: “more, more, offer us more.” He is referring to Americans’ incessant desire for new land.
“The thirst for territorial aggrandizement was not to be appeased.” Imperialism is the practice by which powerful nations extend their economic, political, or military control over weaker territories. This is exactly what America did to Mexico during the Mexican American War.
America had been interested in Mexican land for quite some time. Thomas Jefferson even proposed a bill to Congress in 1803 that would annex Spanish Florida, which was adjacent to the Louisiana Purchase. The bill was ultimately unsuccessful, but it demonstrated America’s interest in acquiring more territory. In 1819, when Spain ceded Florida to the United States, John Quincy Adams – then Secretary of State – negotiated with Spain for the purchase of Texas. Mexico – which had recently won its independence from Spain – was not happy about this. They saw it as a violation of their sovereignty.
In 1836, American settlers in Texas declared independence from Mexico and established the Republic of Texas. Mexico refused to recognize the independence of Texas and continued to claim the territory as its own. In 1845, America annexed Texas, further angering Mexico.
On April 25, 1846, American troops crossed the Rio Grande into Mexican territory, sparking the Mexican American War. Mexico had no real army to speak of and was no match for the well-trained American troops. The war ended in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico ceded California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming to the United States.
The Mexican American War was an exercise in American imperialism. The United States took advantage of a weak Mexico in order to expand its territory. Imperialism is a practice that has been used by many countries throughout history, but it is certainly not something to be proud of.