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The Mexican War-Was It in the National Interest

Most Americans were advocates of expanding the Union to make a larger stronger country, but some also saw the Mexican War as a barefaced plot to expand slavery; however, the Mexican War was seen as something that was necessary to settle disputes between the two countries, and through the support of the “Manifest Destiny,” the unresolved conflict that took place between the Texans and Mexicans in the early 1800’s, and Polk’s failed attempts for peace between Mexico and the United States, it can be proved that the Mexican War was in the National interest.

Manifest Destiny” was the spirit that prevailed in American life during the 1840’s where Americans believed that they were pre-ordained to expand the territorial borders of the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and from Canada to the Rio Grande River. “It is the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent”; therefore, annexing Texas was justified (Document B). The Mexicans were “miserable” and “inefficient” in dealing with their people, so they could not even handle the extra land of the Texas territory (Document C).

The President, Andrew Jackson, said that “the annexation of Texas to the United States promises to enlarge the circle of free institutions,” so if the President that the people voted into office believes in the concept of manifest destiny, then it must have been in the national interest. Causes of the Mexican War began when Texas was settled by Americans led by Stephan Austin in the early 1800’s; these Texans declared their independence from Mexico’s over- controlling government and stated that they wanted to be part of the Union. The seizure of the Alamo sparked Americans to help Texans in their fight against Mexico for their land.

Again, when the prospect of war arose for the Americans, “Remember the Alamo” launched those Americans in their fury against Mexico. After Polk was elected in 1845, Texas was annexed and became part of the Union on February 28; however, the problem with Mexico did not stop, actually, they had just began. The questioning of the border of Texas being the Rio Grande or the Nueces River justified the Americans to go to war to fight for their rightful territory between the two rivers. Without declaring war, the United States would lose their rightful territory through the manifest destiny.

President James Polk, during his presidency, had a vision to fulfill the manifest destiny by expanding the power and the borders of the United States. Mexico was not very happy with the United States annexing part of “their” territory and reacted violently, but Polk attempted to make peace. Polk viewed that the “land was necessary to [the U. S. ] merely as a right of way to the ocean ports” (Document D). Polk attempted several times for peace; one attempt sent John Sidell to Mexico City to negotiate the purchases of California for 25 million dollars, but it was rejected by the Mexicans.

The rejection of this proposed treaty and the concept of the manifest destiny inspired Polk to protect the U. S. ‘s rightful territory with troops on the Texas border. The Mexicans responded by also installing troops on the border for protection despite the deal Polk had with Santa Anna. The Americans saw the Mexican War as a fight for their destiny and were willing to fight for their manifest destiny. “Manifest destiny” enlightened Americans to their right of land. It was the justification for the war that the Mexicans could not control their extra land, so it was the right of the Americans to control it for them.

When Stephen Austin and his settlers settled in Texas, it showed that the Mexican Government could not handle the extra territory. In order to get even with Mexico after the Alamo war was a necessity. Polk tried time and time again to negotiate peace but his vision of a better America and respected stubbornness allowed him to keep his mind set for the interest of the American people. The manifest destiny, Texan’s previous conflicts with the Mexico government, and Polk’s vision and continued efforts for peace showed that the American people were in support of the Mexican War and it was in the national interest to declare war.

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