American Mexican War Reflection

October 17, 18450

As the United States have grown tremendously, through immigration and nativity, they have ran into many issues regarding expansion. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 provided hundreds of thousands of square miles to accommodate the rapid growth of the United States population. This new land inspired many people, like myself, to take advantage of the huge opportunity and migrate West. Most of us stopped in the Republic of Texas but some went even further to the fertile land of Oregon. Though Texas was not yet admitted to the union of the United States, the two republics shared very similar beliefs. The Louisiana Purchase Treaty not only added a great sum of land the the United States but it enforced a necessity for a signed treaty when capturing land. This will play a major role in the further expansion of the United States.

I lived in Texas quite sometime before it had earned its independence in 1836. I will never forget how wildly it had happened. One week I was visiting San Antonio interviewing James Bowie, and the next week James Bowie was dead and Mexico had overcome the Alamo. We lost good men over that week, but without their tough battle Texas wouldn’t have had a chance at independence. With Mexican forces pouring into Texas, Sam Houston was running out of options. Texans kept losing battles and a retreat was called for all troops. Once gathered, under the rule of Sam Houston, they made one fine surprise attack which lead to the expulsion of Mexican’s from Texas and the capture Mexican commander Santa Anna. Santa Anna signed Texas’ treaty for independence in exchange for his life.

Ten years later in 1845 Texas joined the Union of the United States. When annexed, Texas gained much stronger defense against Mexico and the United States grew even larger and stronger. This annexation lead to a series of events that lead to the Mexican American War of 1846. Despite Texas’ Independence in 1836, Mexico still considered Texas its territory and the annexation of Texas created an issue between Mexico and the United States. The war was initiated after the Thornton Affair, in which a troop of 16 was sent to patrol the new land north of the Rio Grande and was killed by Mexican cavalry. The war lasted from the¬†spring of 1846 to the fall of 1847. In the end, the United States gained almost one million square miles of land. Mexico redrew there border with Texas at the Rio Grande. Overall, the United States earned a new respect and lots of new land from Mexico.

Battle of Buena Vista, fought Feb 23, 1847, Courier and Ives, 1847-500

This image shows the undying will of the United States combined with the ever increasing patriotism of the United States. This image tells a lot about the time period, the style of war, and the courage of soldiers. In the seventeen and eighteen hundreds most wars were more formally fought, rows upon rows of soldiers would line up, waiting for orders to fire there guns. This image depicts just that, telling us the nature of this war, which might otherwise be uncertain considering that a style of guerrilla warfare was used in the Revolutionary War.

How is (local/regional/national) identity shaped by the interaction of different cultural groups?

The national identity of Mexico and the national identity of the United States and Texas are shaped by this war quite significantly. Like two rival sports teams I’m sure this war created a strong patriotism within each country and a hatred of one another. The Mexican’s decision to not negotiate and give up land identifies there society as proud and resilient against even the worst odds. The United States’ annexation of Texas and the immediate defending of Texas identifies there society as loyal, strong, and courageous.

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