What were America's motives for waging war in Mexico in 1848 ? Does the war against Mexico represent the values Americans associated with the United States ? How similar is our current political...

What were America's motives for waging war in Mexico in 1848 ? Does the war against Mexico represent the values Americans associated with the United States ? How similar is our current political situation in Iraq and Afghanistan linked with this idea of manifest destiny?

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The immediate casus belli of the Mexican-American War was the Thornton Affair, an arranged confrontation between United States and Mexican forces in the territory of Texas. In early 1846, President James Polk ordered the U.S. Army to establish fortifications along the Nueces River, a provocative maneuver in a disputed sliver of land straddling the Texas-Chihuahua border. That April, a sacrificial company of American dragoons was sent on patrol deep into the Nueces Strip, at a convenient distance to be struck by Mexico. The subsequent ambush and routing of the American patrol by the Mexican Army led to the U.S. declaration of war against Mexico.

The deeper causes of the war with Mexico originated in the U.S. designs on Mexican possessions beyond the newly annexed Texas’ western border, specifically Alta California and the sparsely inhabited territories of Apacheria and Comancheria.

At the time it occurred, the Mexican-American War was deeply divisive. A portion of the Whig Party, and the...

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