Summary Of the War
The Mexican american war occurred between 1846 and 1848. President James K. Polk noticed that there were many citizens entering Texas, so he decided to create an annexation of Texas. He also wanted land in California and New Mexico. The annexation stated the border between Texas and Mexico, which was the Rio Grande.President Polk sent troops under General Zachary Taylor to the region between the Rio Grande and Nueces Rivers. Texas believed that its southern boundary was represented by the Rio Grande River. The Mexicans, however, did not acknowledge this boundary and instead believed that it was the Nueces River. So, the Americans believed they were on Texan (soon to be American) soil, while the Mexicans believed that the Americans were on Mexican soil . When Mexican forces attacked the Americans in this region, Polk believed that Mexico "invaded our territory, and shed American blood upon the American soil" . With this information in hand, Polk proceeded to ask the Congress for a declaration of war, which he received easily. However, according to Polk's diary and other sources, he planned to ask Congress for a declaration before word of the Mexican "attack" ever reached Washington . Refuting this "Mexico's Fault" theory even more is the fact that the government of Mexico at this time was in a period of chaos . Still, the attack proved an effective scapegoat for not only Polk, but many other pro-war politicians. Many battles took place, where the Mexicans had thousands of of more troops than the Americans, and in the end, the Americans would win. This went on for about two years. American gained the land that they wanted, and Texas eventually became a U.S state. On February 2, 1848, The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo was signed, later to be ratified by both the U.S. and Mexican Congresses. The treaty called for the annexation of the northern portions of Mexico to the United States. In return, the U.S. agreed to pay $15 million to Mexico as compensation for the seized territory. The bravery of the individual Mexican soldier goes a long way in explaining the difficulty the U.S. had in prosecuting the war. Mexican military leadership was often lacking, at least when compared to the American leadership. And in many of the battles, the superior cannon of the U.S. artillery divisions and the innovative tactics of their officers turned the tide against the Mexicans. The war cost the United States over $100 million, and ended the lives of 13,780 U.S. military personnel. America had defeated its weaker and somewhat disorganized southern neighbor, but not without paying a terrible price.