The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, was a war that was fought between the United States of America and Mexico in the 19th century, lasting from April 1846 to February 1848. The U.S. started and won the war, with Mexico ceding a large portion of its territory to the U.S. as part of the terms of surrender of Mexico. The war was a highly controversial and divisive one in U.S. politics, with anti-slavery advocates seeing it as a ploy of naked aggression by the U.S. Democratic Party to greedily annex foreign land in which to spread and introduce slavery into. This heated political tension over slavery increased after the war, leading to the creation of the anti-slavery U.S. Republican Party, and ultimately, the American Civil War, which resulted in the ending of slavery in the U.S.
- Whereas, by the act of the Republic of Mexico, a state of war exists between that Government and the United States...
- Having lived in Texas as a youth and been forced to study Texas history, I thought I knew the story of its admission to the Union pretty well. But I never knew the profound importance of race to that history. In particular, I did not know that Mexico had abolished slavery and that this was a key reason for the war for Texas independence. The Texans were determined to keep their slaves and were willing to fight to the death for that right. And of course, the admission of Texas as a state was critical to the maintenance of slavery in the United States, which was threatened both economically and politically in the 1840s.
- Charge of inferiority is an old dodge. It has been made available for oppression on many occasions. It is only about six centuries since the blue-eyed and fair-haired Anglo Saxons were considered inferior by the haughty Normans, who once trampled upon them. If you read the history of the Norman Conquest, you will find that this proud Anglo-Saxon was once looked upon as of coarser clay than his Norman master, and might be found in the highways and byways of Old England laboring with a brass collar on his neck, and the name of his master marked upon it were down then! You are up now. I am glad you are up, and I want you to be glad to help us up also... The story of our inferiority is an old dodge, as I have said; for wherever men oppress their fellows, wherever they enslave them, they will endeavor to find the needed apology for such enslavement and oppression in the character of the people oppressed and enslaved. When we wanted, a few years ago, a slice of Mexico, it was hinted that the Mexicans were an inferior race, that the old Castilian blood had become so weak that it would scarcely run down hill, and that Mexico needed the long, strong and beneficent arm of the Anglo-Saxon care extended over it. We said that it was necessary to its salvation, and a part of the 'manifest destiny' of this Republic, to extend our arm over that dilapidated government.
- After the United States gobbled up California and half of Mexico, and we were stripped down to nothing, territorial expansion suddenly becomes a crime. It's been going on for centuries, and it will still go on.
- Hermann Göring, at lunch during the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal (11 December 1945); Nuremberg Diary p. 66, 1947 edition
- Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day, regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.
- The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.
- It’s been well said—and by many people in many circumstances—that whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. These people in the Deep South were mad because they could have elected Douglas, and Douglas would have given them everything they wanted—everything that they wanted that was consistent with his election in the free states... Douglas was a radical expansionist. Both parts of the Democratic Party in 1860 called for the annexation of Cuba. And there were 100,000 slaves in Cuba, and Cuba was the place that slaves were still being brought from Africa and then resold in the United States. So under a Douglas presidency, we would have taken over the rest of Mexico and Central America whenever we had the resources and the appetite to take to do so. You can be sure that most of the Mexicans would have either been reduced to peonage or to slavery. In the Mexican War itself, in Case You don't know it, we appropriated 60 percent of the land area of Mexico as it was then defined through the Spanish Conquest. So we increased the size of the United States by 40 percent and reduced Mexico by 60 percent.
- In April 1846, U.S. Army Colonel Seth Thornton led 80 dragoons toward the Rio Grande. Just above the river, they encountered 1,600 Mexican cavalrymen heading north from Matamoros. The Mexican cavalry quickly overpowered the much smaller U.S. force. Eleven Americans were killed, and forty-nine others were captured. When President James K. Polk received news of the skirmish, he declared, “Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon American soil.” On May 13, the U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico.
The entire chain of events was a set up. In 1845, the U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas, which had declared its independence from Mexico nearly a decade earlier. However, Mexico asserted that Texas remained part of its sovereign territory. Moreover, Mexico asserted that the Nueces River – not the Rio Grande – was the boundary between the province of Texas and its neighbors. Even if the U.S. had a right to annex Texas, the international boundary would be located far to the north of where Thornton’s dragoons were defeated. Polk had ordered the invasion of Mexican territory and then presented it to the U.S. public as a Mexican invasion of the U.S.
- Jacob F. Lee: Venezuela and the Long History of U.S. Imperialism, CounterPunch (4 March 2019)
- Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right — a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit... Military glory,—that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.
- Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us" but he will say to you, "Be silent; I see it, if you don't."
The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.