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The Mexican American War. Completing America’s Manifest Destiny 1846-8. James K. Polk. Dark Horse Election of 1844 Unfinished business after the joint annexation of Texas and Oregon. Mexico’s condition in 1844. Reasons for interest in Mexican lands?. The land calls.

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The mexican american war

The Mexican American War

Completing America’s Manifest Destiny


James k polk
James K. Polk

  • Dark Horse

  • Election of 1844

  • Unfinished business after the joint annexation of Texas and Oregon.

  • Mexico’s condition in 1844.

  • Reasons for interest in Mexican lands?

The land calls
The land calls

  • The land possessed great promise.

  • Texas revealed its significance.

  • Mexico was afraid expansion would continue South into Mexico itself.

It wasn t just about mexico
It wasn’t just about Mexico

  • Ute Warrior

  • The land was rich in its tribal diversity of Native Americans.

The wars course
The wars course

  • The propaganda machine in US newspapers had been in high gear since the days of Texas.


  • Tyler annexes Texas shortly after Polk’s platform calling for its annexation is successful in the general election of 1844.

  • Polk’s inaugural message to Mexico City and London was clear. The US was pursuing expansionist desires.

Pursuing peace and war
Pursuing Peace and War

  • Slidell Mission

  • Sent to Mexico to buy lands for 30,000,000.

  • Refused to even be seen.

  • Taylor sent to the Nueces River in Texas (Southern border with Mexic0) with 4,000 men.

War breaks out
War breaks out!

  • Mexico responded to Taylors aggressive stance.

  • Killing or wounding 16 capturing the rest of the party.

  • “Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and ,shed American blood upon American soil….war exists”

Mr polk s war
“Mr. Polk’s War”

  • War’s popularity

  • Polk’s work ethic

  • Mexico would sue for peace after several key victories

  • US would keep occupied lands.

The call to arms
The Call to Arms

  • US Army stood at 7400 prior…Polk’s call for volunteers garnered 112,000!

Taylor gets key victories kearny wins without firing a shot
Taylor gets key victories, Kearny wins without firing a shot!

  • Taylor takes Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.

  • Kearny takes Santa Fe ad Monterrey

  • Also captured San Diego and Los Angeles.

War ends
War ends shot!

  • Taylor pummels Santa Anna at Buena Vista.

  • The amphibious landing at Veracruz.

  • The victory was a stunning success. Winfield Scott wrote Polk “Mexico no longer has an army”.

  • Short lived statement. Santa Anna rallies for one final defense of Mexico City with 30,000 men, the city would soon be captured.

The civil war begins
The Civil War begins… shot!

  • What to do with Mexico?

  • Northern and Southern perspectives emerge.

  • Wilmot Proviso…