The Civil War, “Mexico’s Revenge” Assignment

The Civil War, “Mexico’s Revenge” Assignment Words: 1834

The Civil War: “Mexico’s Revenge”? The Mexican ??? American War was the first major conflict embedded in the idea of “Manifest Destiny”, the belief that Americans had a God given right to extent the United States borders from ‘sea to shining sea’. This belief would lead to a great deal of suffering for many Mexicans. As a result of winning the Mexican War, the United States acquired the northern half of Mexico; which became California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah (Meed 13). As the states joined the Union, the slavery debates became heated and the states found themselves at war with one another.

The American Civil War has been called “Mexico’s Revenge” for the American victory in the Mexican War. My goal is to review the Mexican War, Pre Civil War Era, and the Civil War to establish that the Civil War can be interpreted as “Mexico’s Revenge” for the nations defeat during the Mexican War. MEXICAN ??? AMERICIAN WAR (1846 ??? 1848) The events leading to the Mexican ??? American War were two fold. First, President Jefferson’s acquisition of the Louisiana Territory in 1803 began the migration of American settlers westward.

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Many times the settlers were moving into land which did not belong to the United Sates. When President Polk came to office in 1845, the idea of “Manifest Destiny” had taken root among the American people, and Polk firmly believed in expansion. The fact that most of those areas were already settled was usually ignored. The Americans had the attitude that democratic English-speaking America, with its high ideals and Protestant Christian ethics, would do a better job of settling the land than the Native Americans or Spanish-speaking Catholic Mexicans.

In both 1835 and 1845, the United States offered to purchase California from Mexico, for $5 million and $25 million, respectively. The Mexican government refused the opportunity to sell half of its country. (Swogger, “Causes of the Civil War: The Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso”). Second, after the Texas War of Independence from Mexico, tensions between Texas and Mexico continued to escalate. On July 4, 1845, Texas decided to join the United States, and Mexico did not like the idea of Texas becoming a state.

Because Texas was part of the union, America claimed the border at the Rio Grande River, and Mexico claimed territory as far north as the Nueces River. Both nations sent troops to enforce the competing claims, and a tense standoff ensued. On April 25, 1846, a conflict occurred between Mexican and American troops on soil claimed by both countries, and the Mexican ??? American War began (Swogger, “Causes of the Civil War: The Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso”). The War was relatively short; the Americans soldieries were outnumbered but better organized.

American troops were able to defeat Mexico; but at a heavy cost, 104,556 Americans served in the Mexican War, and 13,768 were killed. This is the highest death rate of any American war up to that time (Swogger, “Causes of the Civil War: The Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso”). At the conclusion of the war, Mexico was literally a broken nation. Mexico’s armies had been shattered in combat, with battle losses estimated at between 12,000 and 15,000, and many more soldiers had deserted.

Several of her major cities had their most productive industries smashed into rubble, their foreign markets and imports had been destroyed, transportation was disrupted, and hunger was rampant. It has been estimated that disease, starvation, and dislocation caused thousands of civilian deaths during the war years (Meed 88). America not only acquired the Texas territory, but also the California and New Mexico territories (Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming).

The United States acquired more than 500,000 square miles of Mexican territory. If Texan territorial claims are counted, the total amount of land torn from Mexico exceeded one million square miles. The newly claimed land had the vast mineral resources of the western states as well as the agricultural wealth of California (Meed 88). The question of whether or not these territories would allow slavery came to the surface; and Northerners were basically against fighting a war for the cause of slavery expansion.

However, since most of these new territories were south of the Missouri Compromise line, Southerners argued they had the right to expand slavery to the new territories (Swogger, “Causes of the Civil War: The Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso”). PRE CIVIL WAR (1848 ??? 1861) The Mexican War renewed debates regarding the westward expansion of slavery; and some historians claim that in many ways the Mexican War was the first round between the Northern and Southern states. On one side were the Whigs and a growing number of Northern abolitionists, who were strongly against the spread of slavery.

In opposition, was the entire South and a majority of Democrats, who believed that expanding slavery was crucial to the Southern the survival of their economy and society. This debate became the major issue during the next decade and lead to the Civil War. While southerners spoke loudly in support of slavery, the abolitionist movement grew from a small band in the 1820s to a powerful social and political movement by the 1840s and 1850s. Though the abolitionists opposed slavery, they did not totally advocate racial equality. Most abolitionists wanted only gradual emancipation or even resettlement of blacks in Africa.

As the United States struggled to find a balance for the slaveholders and abolitionists; the events referred to as Bleeding Kansas were set into motion. The Kansas ??? Nebraska Act of 1854 nullified the Missouri Compromise line and implemented the concept of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty stated that the inhabitants of each territory or state should decide whether it would be a free or slave state. Fearing that Kansas would become a slave state, hundreds of Northern abolitionists headed to Kansas and established their own government in Lawrence.

However, in 1856 a gang of proslavery men burned Lawrence to the ground. In revenge, a ban d of abolitionists, led by John Brown, killed five border ruffians at the Pottawatomie Massacre (Tindall 566-568). Kansas had two separate governments, each with its own constitution, but only one was federally recognized. Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state on January 29, 186, and within three months the Civil War began (Spark Notes Editors. “Spark Note on The Civil War 1850???1865”). CIVIL WAR (1861 ??? 1865)

A month after Lincoln’s presidential election (January 1861), legislators in South Carolina voted unanimously to secede, within several weeks, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas followed suit. Meanwhile, in February 1861 delegates from the secessionist states met in Montgomery, Alabama to form the government of the new Confederate States of America. They drafted a new constitution, chose Richmond, Virginia as their capital. Jefferson Davis was selected as the Confederate President (Spark Notes Editors. “Spark Note on The Civil War 1850???1865”).

In April 1861, the Civil War began with in Battle at Fort Sumter. In the beginning, both Union and Confederate leaders conducted a somewhat war; the armies usually fought each other, without inflicting damages on innocent civilians or private property. The Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Vicksburg, both in 1863, were the major turning points in the war. The Union troops crushed Lee’s forces at Gettysburg, and General Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at Vicksburg gave the Union control of the Mississippi and divided the South. In 1864, General William T.

Sherman began a March to the Sea, from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. Sherman’s men destroyed everything in their path, including crops, homes, livestock, and the entire city of Atlanta. Sherman’s rampage and a devastated economy caused the South to fall (Spark Notes Editors. “Spark Note on The Civil War 1850???1865”). In April 1865, Ulysses S. Grant’s troops pierced through Robert E. Lee’s defenses and the Confederates retreated. The Confederate soldiers burned Richmond as they let the city. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia (McPherson 858).

The war produced about 1,030,000 casualties, 3% of the population, including about 620,000 soldier deaths – two-thirds by disease (Nofi “Statistics on the War’s Cost”). The war accounted for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in other U. S. wars combined (McPherson xix). The South was devastated; Sherman’s path had left a path of ruins and battered landscapes (Tindall 661). CONCLUSION Several of her major cities had had their most productive industries smashed into rubble, their foreign markets and imports had been destroyed, transportation was disrupted, and hunger was rampant.

It has been estimated that disease, starvation, and dislocation caused thousands of civilian deaths during the war years (Meed 88). By the end of the Civil War, the South was in a state of political upheaval, social disorder, and economic decay. The Union’s tactics of total war destroyed southern crops, plantations, and entire cities, and hundreds of thousands of emancipated slaves rushed to Union lines as their masters fled the oncoming Union army. Inflation became so severe that by the end of the war a loaf of bread cost several hundred Confederate dollars.

Thousands of southerners starved to death, and many who did not starve lost everything they owned: clothing, homes, land, and slaves. At the conclusion of the Mexican War, Mexico was literally a broken nation. Her armies had been shattered in combat, with battle losses estimated at between 12,000 and 15,000, and many more who had deserted. Several of her major cities had had their most productive industries smashed into rubble, their foreign markets and imports had been destroyed, transportation was disrupted, and hunger was rampant.

It has been estimated that disease, starvation, and dislocation caused thousands of civilian deaths during the war years. The northern half of Mexican territory was sheared off by the harsh Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Including Texas, the United States acquired what was to become the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. The United States acquired more than 500,000 square miles of Mexican territory. If Texan territorial claims are counted, the total amount of land torn from Mexico exceeded one million square miles.

With it went the vast mineral resources of the western states as well as the agricultural wealth of California. (Meed 88) The annexed territories contained about 1,000 Mexican families in Alta California and 7,000 in Nuevo Mexico. [citation needed ? Works Cited McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. , 1988. Print. Meed, Douglas V. Essential Histories The Mexican War 1846 – 1848. New York: Taylor & Francis Routledge, 2003. Print. Nofi, Al. “Statistics on the War’s Cost”.

Web. 13 June 2001 Spark Notes Editors. “Spark Note on Reconstruction 1865???1877”. SparkNotes. com. Spark Notes LLC. 2005. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. Spark Notes Editors. “Spark Note on The Civil War 1850???1865”. SparkNotes. com. Spark Notes LLC. 2005. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. Swogger, Michael J. “Causes of the Civil War: The Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso”. Suite101. com, Inc. Web. 23 November 2006. Tindall, George Brown and David Emory Shi, America A Narrative History, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007. Print.

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