War with Mexico
Why did Americans want to settle the
lands in the West?
What is meant by manifest destiny?
How was the Oregon Territory
It was America’s God given right to settle
lands west of the Mississippi River
Americans viewed these lands as unoccupied
But, Native Americans and Mexicans were living
What does this tell you about Americans views of
Look at the quote on p. 407 by John
James K. Polk, 11th President felt the same
He promised expansion
James K. Polk
Manifest Destiny cont..
By the 1840s, thousands of Americans
moved into the Oregon Territory
The U.S. and Britain shared this
Polk campaigned to fight for this land
Fifty-four Forty or Fight!!!
The two countries did not fight, and
divided the territory at the 49th parallel
Trouble with Mexico
Polk and Mexico were having some issues
Congress added Texas, in 1845, as a slave
state-- despite Northern oppositions
The north did not want another slave state added
This would unbalance the majority of slave v. non-
slave states in the United States
Another problem with this is that Mexico
claimed Texas was their land!!!
Mexico said the U.S. annexed Texas, and
declared this an act of war!
Texas and Mexico could not agree on a
Texas wanted the Rio Grande river
Mexico wanted the Nueces river
Mexico said it would fight to defend it’s
Polk offered to buy Texas, California, and
New Mexico for $25 million
Mexico Laughed at this offer!
Polk felt insulted-- now he wanted a war
Sent Zachary Taylor and troops to the northern bank
of the Rio Grande
Mexico viewed this as an act of war
April 25, 1846--Mexican cavalry unit crossed the Rio
Grande, and ambushed an American patrol
Killed or wounded 16 Americans
Polk sent a message to Congress--”Mexico has
invaded our territory and shed blood upon American
Congress declared war on Mexico two days later
War has begun!
American’s volunteered from Western states
Santa Anna, president of Mexico, built up his
America was torn about this war
An Illinois representative wondered if the
President was lying about his message
His name was Abe Lincoln
Despite opposition, America went to war
May, 1846: General Taylor invaded Mexico
Everyone thought it would be easy to defeat the
Boy were they wrong!!!
Capturing New Mexico and Calif.
General Stephen Kearny and his troops
left Kansas for New Mexico
A 650 mile journey
He took New Mexico without firing a
Used persuasion and tricked the Mexicans
into thinking he was withdrawing
He then moved into California
California was occupied by 8-12k Mexican
Explorer John C. Fremont led a rebellion against
Mexican rule in Calif.
This was known as the Bear Flag Revolt
They arrested a Mexican commander, and raised
a flag with a bear and star on it
The rebels declared Calif. Independent from
Mexico, and called themselves Republic of Calif.
Americans controlled Calif. Within weeks
John C. Fremont
Bear Flag Revolt