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U.S and Mexico Boundary Conflict Leads to War

U.S. History, A Nation on the Move: Westward Expansion, 1800–1860, The Mexican-American War, 1846–1848 | OER Commons

Expansionistic fervor propelled the United States to war against Mexico in 1846. The United States had long argued that the Rio Grande was the border between Mexico and the United States, and at the end of the Texas war for independence Santa Anna had been pressured to agree. Mexico, however, refused to be bound by Santa Anna’s promises and insisted the border lay farther north, at the Nueces River (Figure). To set it at the Rio Grande would, in effect, allow the United States to control land it had never occupied. In Mexico’s eyes, therefore, President Polk violated its sovereign territory when he ordered U.S. troops into the disputed lands in 1846. From the Mexican perspective, it appeared the United States had invaded their nation.

History of the War

From 1846 to 1848, U.S. and Mexican troops fought against one another in the Mexican-American War.  Ultimately, it was a battle for land where Mexico was fighting to keep what they thought was their property and the U.S. desired to retain the disputed land of Texas and obtain more of Mexico’s northern lands.  Thus, the roots of this war long precede the fighting that began on April 25th, 1846. 


Battle at Buena Vista

The U.S.-Mexican War . Prelude to War . A Mexican Viewpoint on the War With the United States | PBS

Choose a section from this menu:
A Go-Ahead Nation
The Power of an Idea
Native American Displacement
An Ideal or a Justification?
An Early Agenda of Expansion
A Mexican Viewpoint on the War
Manifest Destiny - Sam W. Haynes
Manifest Destiny - Robert E. May
Boundary Disputes
Expansionism and Imperialism

Monuments, Manifest Destiny, and Mexico | National Archives

En Español Summer 2005, Vol. 37, No. 2 By Michael Dear © 2005 by Michael Dear

The Mexican-American War and the Media, 1845-1848

A selected chronological bibliography of secondary sources in English
on the Mexican-American War with abstracts of articles from Historical
Abstracts and various journals