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.
- 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.
- 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.