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The Mexican- American War: Whig vs Democrat

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Tracey Ibezim

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of The Mexican- American War: Whig vs Democrat

The Mexican- American

Whigs' General
Do not agree with Manifest Destiny
Most found in the North during this time
Advocated a strong federal government
Supported tariffs
Internal division
President James K. Polk

http://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/1749 ~ Background on Whigs' views


Democrats' General Point of View (Majority)
The mexican-american War:
Views of the whigs VS. democrats

Time period: 1846-1848
Caused by 1845 Annexation of Texas which was considered part of
It was supported by President James K. Polk (Democrat)
The war was highly controversial in terms of political groups
+ Democrats VS Whigs ( Both originated from the
Democratic -Republican Party)
There was internal political group tension as well in both parties and
views varied

Pro-slavery (no abolitionists)
Supports manifest destiny
Opposed tariffs
Opposed government spending
Preferred a weak federal government
Sectional division within party
-Due to slavery
Quote taken from his Inaugural Speech

I regard the question of annexation as belonging exclusively to the United States and Texas. They are independent powers competent to contract, and foreign nations have no right to interfere with them or to take exceptions to their reunion...Foreign powers should therefore look on the annexation of Texas to the United States not as the conquest of a nation seeking to extend her dominions by arms and violence, but as the peaceful acquisition of a territory once her own... with the consent of that member, thereby diminishing the chances of war and opening to them new and ever-increasing markets for their products

Favored the southern Democrats
-Lowered tariffs and denied funds for internal improvements
The addition of Texas to the union is not hostile but rather a peaceful agreement that will help Texas in the long run economically.
No reason for there to be a war since it has been decided by the only two parties truly involved the United States and Texas.
There is no need for there to be intervention from foreign powers (Mexico).
This is justification for manifest destiny.

John O' Sullivan
Quote from "Annexation" and "Manifest Destiny"

The time has come for everyone to stop treating Texas as an alien, and to stop thwarting our policy and hampering our power, limiting our greatness and checking the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions

The American people having derived their origin from many other nations, and the Declaration of National Independence being entirely based on the great principle of human equality, these facts demonstrate at once our disconnected position as regards any other nation... "

Views :
Sees the overall picture/positives of Manifest Destiny
Texas should be accepted
Accepting the space will bring economic growth and power (Manifest Destiny)

David Wilmot

Quote from Wilmont Proviso

Provided, That, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted

Slavery should not spread to won land in U.S. Mexican War
Did not agree with James K. Polk
Slave labor was competition to white people looking for jobs
Also felt the cabinet was dominated with Southern thinkers
General Taylor


Henry Clay
How did we unhappily get involved in this war? It was predicted as the consequence of the annexation of Texas to the United States. If we had not Texas, we should have no war. The people were told that if that event happened, war would ensue. They were told that the war between Texas and Mexico had not been terminated by a treaty of peace; that Mexico still claimed Texas as a revolted province: and that, if we received Texas in our Union, we took along with her, the war existing between her and Mexico. And the Minister of Mexico [Juan N. Almonte] formally announced to the Government at Washington, that his nation would consider the annexation of Texas to the United States as producing a state of war. But all this was denied by the partisans of annexation. They insisted we should have no war, and even imputed to those who foretold it, sinister motives for their groundless prediction
Strongly opposed war on Mexico
Thought the people of the Union were wronged by claiming of Texas when it was known that war would come from it
However, in the "Alabama letters", stated support of annexation if it had common consent of Union and was accomplished without war
John Quincy Adams
Opposed annexation of Texas
Opposed the Mexican War and believed it was morally unjustified.
Supported manifest destiny until it was used to justify the war and the annexation of Texas
"I can never join with my voice in the toast which I see in the papers attributed to one of our gallant naval heroes. I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong. Fiat justitia, pereat coelum. My toast would be, may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right."
Quote from
Letter to John Adams
-respected general during the mexican war who was ordered by current president James K. Polk (democrat)
- personally saw himself a Independent and did not believe in the whig and democratic views.
-was not the best man to talk about slavery
-Elected by the Whig party.
Full transcript