Was America Justified In Going To War With Mexico

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Was America Justified in Going to War with Mexico?

The Mexican-American War, fought between 1846 and 1848, was a watershed moment in American history. It resulted in the United States acquiring vast territories, including present-day California, New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. However, the war’s legacy remains a contentious one, with historians and the public alike questioning whether the United States was justified in its actions.

To fully understand the complexities of the Mexican-American War, we must examine the historical context in which it occurred. The United States had long been engaged in westward expansion, and many Americans believed that it was their “manifest destiny” to control the entire continent.

Manifest Destiny and the Road to War

The concept of “manifest destiny” was deeply ingrained in the American psyche in the 19th century. It held that the United States was destined to expand across North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This belief was fueled by a combination of factors, including economic ambition, nationalism, and a desire for adventure.

By the 1840s, American settlers had begun to move into Texas, which was then a part of Mexico. These settlers often clashed with Mexican authorities, who attempted to enforce their laws and customs. As tensions escalated, the United States began to pressure Mexico to sell the territory.

The Annexation of Texas and the Outbreak of War

In 1845, the United States annexed Texas, which Mexico considered an act of aggression. Mexico refused to recognize the annexation, and the two countries remained at a diplomatic impasse. In May 1846, American troops entered disputed territory along the border between Texas and Mexico, sparking the outbreak of war.

The Course of the War

The Mexican-American War was a one-sided conflict. The United States had a larger population, a more advanced military, and a more robust economy than Mexico. American troops quickly gained control of the Southwest, and by 1847 they had captured Mexico City. In February 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war and ceded vast territories to the United States.

The Legacy of the Mexican-American War

The Mexican-American War had a profound impact on both the United States and Mexico. The United States gained a vast amount of territory, which would later become some of the most populous and prosperous states in the nation. The war also solidified the United States’ status as a global power.


The question of whether the United States was justified in going to war with Mexico is a complex one that has been debated for generations. There are no easy answers, and both sides of the conflict have valid points to make. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they believe the United States was justified in its actions.

Are you interested in the topic you are reading?

If so, I encourage you to do some further research on your own. There are many excellent books and articles available on this topic. You can also visit the websites of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Library of Congress for more information.

The War With Mexico by Sam Anderson
Image: www.haikudeck.com

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