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Lynbrook Mexican-American War
Transcript of Lynbrook Mexican-American War
In the 1840s, the United States, powered by new technologies and excited by the concept of "Manifest Destiny," expanded its territories westward.
The U.S. Army was unprepared for war. The number of soldiers in uniform was fewer than 5,500. Many of the commanders had entered the service before the War of 1812 and were too elderly or sick for active duty.
There were many officers who had graduated from US Military Academy at West Point. These officers were mostly young and enthusiastic. Their leadership ability and training helped make up for the fact that America had a small army when the war started.
Polk kept his campaign promise to serve one term, and left office in March 1849. But the difficulties of the last four years had worn him out. He quickly became ill, and he died just 3 months later, having added 1.2 million square miles to the nation in four short years.
Veracruz fell to American forces on March 28, 1847, after a two-week siege
General Winfield Scott landed an army of 10,000 men south of Veracruz, a vital Mexican port city. Protected by the cannons of the navy ships, the U.S. troops moved north to attack Veracruz.
From that point forward until the end of the U.S.-Mexican War, Veracruz served as a vital supply base for America's invasion of Mexico
In the early hours of September 14, a delegation of Mexican politicians surrendered the city unconditionally. The U.S. army that had begun the drive to capture Mexico City in the Spring now marched triumphantly to the national plaza, victorious at last.
The last survivor Juan Escuitia, between 16 and 20 years old, was a second lieutenant in an artillery company, and is said to have draped himself with the Mexican flag before jumping to his death to prevent it from being taken by the enemy.
The Mexican-American War was the first war caused by this belief that America had a God-given right, or destiny, to expand the country's borders from 'sea to shining sea'.
However, many in Mexico refused to accept the peace treaty with Texas, since Santa Anna was a prisoner of the Texans when he signed it.
Mexico of course did not like the idea of Texas, which used to be their property, becoming an American state
On May 11 Polk's war message went to Congress, declaring that "American blood has been shed on American soil," affirming the American position that the Rio Grande was the southern border of the United States.
This territory was called the Mexican Cession. This territory included all of the present-day states of California, Nevada, and Utah and also parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
There were many officers like Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee who later went on to be Generals in the Civil War.
When he was running for President, Polk insisted that the US should take all of Oregon- up to northern border at
One of his campaign slogans was "54- 40' or fight!"
In 1844, James K.Polk became President of the US
In 1844, the U.S. annexed Texas, making it an American territory.
but the annexation of Texas was not that simple.....
as we've learned, the Texans were inspired by their defeat at the Alamo...
..to defeat the Mexican Army at San Jacinto and win their independence
The Republic of Texas and Mexico continued to engage in border fights and many people in the United States openly sympathized with the U.S.-born Texans in this conflict.
The Mexican-American War
Meanwhile, back in America...
Polk believed strongly in Manifest Destiny,and he wasn't afraid to get tough
Texas, and now the United States, claimed the border at the Rio Grande River. Mexico claimed territory as far north as the Nueces River. Both nations sent troops to back up their claims, and a tense standoff ensued.
(both nations thought the green part was theirs)
..(yes, that same guy!) warned the world that if anyone tried to annex Texas, Mexico would be forced to fight them.
In 1843, Mexican President Santa Anna...
In the spring of 1846, a squadron of US Army soldiers were attacked by the Mexican cavalry, killing or capturing 60 men.
Several days later, the President asked Congress to declare war on Mexico
Reacting to the poor state of the army once war broke out, Congress increased the number of privates within individual companies to one hundred.
General Stephen Kearney and John. C. Fremont went to Northern California, and quickly took control from the Mexican Army
for a short time,California was its own Republic...
called the Bear Flag Republic
(California's flag today)
The American Army marched towards Mexico City....
..and the Castle Fortress of Chapultepec
After a long battle, the Castle of Chapultepec fell to the Americans. 5 young cadets, ages 13-19, refused to surrender and fought to the death.
America and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in1848
The US received an enormous area of land in exchange for $15 million.
Shortly after the war, the US bought an additional parcel of land from Mexico for $10 million
this was called the Gadsden Purchase
This area of flat land would help the US complete a railroad line from coast to coast
Despite the US Army's problems, Americans invaded California
On to the capital....
for example, both England and the US wanted the Oregon Territory
US General Zachary Taylor (a future President) moved his soldiers into the disputed territory
The young country saw a future with endless possibilities for itself and its people.
Despite what Santa Anna said, the US annexed Texas
the 5 "nino heroes" and their leader
the war was over
"War News from Mexico", by Richard Caton Woodville, 1848
Now the two sides were arguing
over where Mexico ended and
the US began
1. What emotions are being shown
in this painting?
2. What symbols do you see?
3. Which characters do not look
emotional in this painting? Why
do you think this is so?