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The Mexican and American War. By Apollo and Kyle. Overview. The Mexican-American War is one of least known wars in the history of the United States. Even though this war isn’t well known, it has hap a profound effect in making America what it is today.

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  • The Mexican-American War is one of least known wars in the history of the United States.
  • Even though this war isn’t well known, it has hap a profound effect in making America what it is today.
  • Though this war has had some positive effects on America it has helped create a civil war .

A map of the military campaigns

how it all started
How it all started
  • The war started when Americans wanted to expand to the west because of Manifest Destiny.
  • Manifest destiny was the idea that America should be connected from the east to the west.
  • The Americans stopped expanding however when they where blocked by the Mexican Territories.
  • Still wanting to expand west, they decided to live in the Mexican territories under the rule of Mexico.
  • After 10 years of harsh treatment, the Americans turned against the Mexican government and created the Republic of Texas.
  • After that, the Republic of Texas then wanted America to make them a state, but the president of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, didn’t want the Americans to get involved and stated that if America makes Texas a state a war would break out.
  • President James K. Polk disregarded Antonio’s words and declared Texas a new state anyway.He then asked Mexico to purchase the other territories it owned. Mexico refused, and America decided to take the territories by force and declared war.
  • Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

President John K Pulk

  • American military forces took up several major campaigns in the course of the Mexican War.

Stephen W Kearney

Zachary Taylor

John E. Wool


General Taylor's force participated in the first significant engagement of the conflict at Monterrey in September of 1846. Taylor boldly divided his force and took the city on September 24. After negotiations, the two sides agreed upon an eight-week armistice during which each general would correspond with his government and await further orders.


President Polk had hoped that a set of quick American victories would compel the Mexican government to bargain away their northern territories. But the Mexicans gave no evidence of capitulating. The president ordered General Taylor to resume operations. But he had decided against marching across the rugged central Mexican terrain to Mexico City. Instead, he ordered Taylor to send his regular Tampico on the Gulf of Mexico, where they would come under the command of General Winfield Scott and proceed toward Mexico City from the east. Wool was ordered to abandon his march on Chihuahua in order to reinforce Taylor's depleted commands. A new force, led by Colonel Alexander Doniphan, left Santa Fe and proceeded toward Chihuahua.


While the American forces in central Mexico changed strategies, Mexicans in California and New Mexico struck back in attempts to throw off American occupation. In California the arrival of Kearney's force enabled Americans to defeat Mexican Californios at the Battle of San Gabriel and occupy Los Angeles, effectively ending the conflict there. In New Mexico, American troops under the command of General Sterling Price defeated Mexican rebels at Taos after they had killed officials of the new American government.


Mexican forces counterattacked in February of 1847 at Buena Vista, where they confronted the remainder of Taylor's army and Wool's reinforcements. After using his numerical superiority to batter Taylor's Americans, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna inexplicably retreated from the field, allowing Taylor to claim victory.


Winfield Scott's new force opened the final phase of the Mexican-American War when they landed unopposed at Veracruz and occupied the city. As his army marched westward, Scott learned that Santa Anna's forces had dug in at a mountain pass called Cerro Gordo, effectively blocking their path to Mexico City. Advance scouts including Captain Robert E. Lee of Virginia discovered a path around Santa Anna's right flank that allowed American soldiers to circle behind and surprise the enemy. Other American units had succeeded in dragging several artillery pieces to a high point that overlooked the Mexican fortifications. On April 18 Scott's army routed the Mexicans from their positions and cleared the way to the Mexican capital.


After this victory Scott spent three months refitting his army in the Mexican city of Puebla. Many of his soldiers, at the end of their one-year enlistments, returned to their homes. Lacking enough soldiers to continue fighting, Scott waited for reinforcements. Wracked by confusion and retreating toward their capital, the Mexican Army failed to attack Scott's depleted corps.


In August of 1847 Scott turned his rebuilt Army toward Mexico City. Attacking from the south in order to avoid a heavily armed fortress blocking his path, Scott won victories at Contreras and Churubusco. Aware that his army was shrinking rapidly, largely due to the toll taken by subtropical diseases, Scott pressed for a quick conclusion to the fighting. On the morning of September 13, American forces took Chapultepec Castle on the capital's western flank. By that evening they had arrived at the gates to the city, only to find that Santa Anna's forces had evacuated to fight another day.


In the following months Mexican officials carried out a guerilla war, attacking American supply lines. The day after Scott's seizure of Mexico City, Mexican forces laid siege to the American supply depot and hospitals at Puebla. Hoping to force Scott to abandon Mexico City in order to secure his supply base, Santa Anna's remaining troops soon joined the siege. Although Scott had been unable to correspond with Washington due to his insecure supply and communication lines, Polk had wisely sent reinforcements to his commander. These forces arrived at Puebla on October 12 and broke the siege, effectively ending the Mexican-American War.

why did the mexicans lose
Why Did the Mexicans Lose
  • The desertion rate was a major problem for the Mexican army, depleting forces on the eve of battle. Most of the soldiers were peasants who had a loyalty to their village and family, but not to the generals who conscripted them. Often hungry and ill, never well paid, under-equipped and only partially trained, the soldiers were held in contempt by their officers and had little reason to fight the Americans. Looking for their opportunity, many slipped away from camp to find their way back to their home village.
  • Outnumbered militarily and with many of its large cities occupied, Mexico could not defend itself and was also faced with internal divisions. It had little choice but to make peace on any terms
illinois role
Illinois role
  • On May 25, 1846 Illinois Governor Thomas Ford issued a proclamation calling for the enlistment of three regiments of infantry. The vast majority of these troops enlisted for twelve months' service, which led the Governor to make a second call for troops in April of 1847. The state raised two more regiments of men. In total, the State of Illinois provided 6,123 men to the Mexican War, of whom 86 were killed and 160 wounded. Twelve of the wounded later died of their injuries. Illinois troops participated in the Battle of Buena Vista, and the state's Third and Fourth regiments won distinction at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo. These regiments also participated in General Winfield Scott's march into Mexico City.
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
  • The American diplomat Nicholas Trist negotiated the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo,
  • Because of this treaty, we claimed over 500,000 of land which would make up the states of California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Mexico also got $18,250,000 because of the new territory bought and American claims against the Mixican Government.
  • in which the United States claimed over 500,000 square miles of new territory. These lands included Texas, as well as the Mexican territories of New Mexico and Upper California. Eventually they would become the American states of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and comprise significant parts of Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming. For this territory Mexico received $15 million, as well as $3,250,000 to settle American citizens' claims against the Mexican government. The United States Senate ratified the treaty on March 10, 1848. The Mexican Congress approved it on May 25.
  • The new territories acquired in the Mexican-American War quickly stoked the flames of sectional controversy in American national politics. Even as the fighting continued, northerners partial to free labor and southerners seeking the expansion of slavery began to quarrel over the fate of the impending acquisitions. In August of 1846 the Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman David Wilmot had introduced his Proviso, which sought to prohibit the introduction of slavery into any territory gained by the war. Northern Democrats supported the Wilmot Proviso because it allowed them to support the popular war without advancing the cause of slavery's expansion. Southerners reacted angrily to the Proviso, declaring that it represented a northern conspiracy against their interests. Although Congress defeated the Proviso in 1846, it reappeared again in bills to supply troops and conclude the war. Although it never became law, Wilmot's proposal quickly split the Democratic Party into northern and southern wings and paved the way to Civil War.
  • It’s Quiz time. Time to answer some questions that we have for you based on this presentation.