What is the "War of a thousand deserts" and how does it pertain to the formation western historyi know it has to deal with mexican american relations and the formation of the greater american west....

What is the "War of a thousand deserts" and how does it pertain to the formation western history

i know it has to deal with mexican american relations and the formation of the greater american west. But one of the main pieces to this question is the inclussion on indian raiding; mainly being the commanche, and how this effected the west

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Stephen Holliday | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Most discussions of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) focus on the relations between the United States and Mexico, which is natural, but many historians have failed to consider the effects of Indian activities--particularly the Apaches and Comanches--against Mexico that helped convince America to take Mexican territory.

Beginning in the early 1830's, Indians from the Apache, Comanche, and Navaho tribes were routinely raiding towns and ranches all across northern Mexico, not only destroying settlement but killing thousands of men, women and children, enslaving others, and generally wiping any evidence of European civilization off Mexican territory.  These attacks literally altered the nature of northern Mexico from a relatively settled, cultivated land, with a thriving and viable economy, to a new desert, completely void of inhabitants, settlements, cultivated land, and an economy.

Although it is natural for historians to focus their discussions on the relations between states, they must also take into account the dramatic effects brought about by the aboriginal inhabitants of an area, in this case, the Indians whose actions dramatically altered the nature of the territory eventually fought over by two nation states.

 

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