The United States vs. Mexico
After an eleven-year war to free itself from Spanish colonial control, Mexico had won but in a sense lost greatly. In 1821, she had to begin the long struggle to rebuild an economic, social, and political stability for the huge mass it now controlled. This area included present day Mexico and what is now known as Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California and part of Colorado.
“The new republic became submerged in a “system of institutionalized disorder”
that propelled it “from crisis to crisis.” Consequently; the process of state-
building in nineteenth-century Mexico remained incomplete when the United
States confronted the young republic with war in 1846.” ( Santoni,p.1)
The growing United States colonial elite, in a race for land had developed an expansionist fever, which grew them greedy for land. “For expansion was so rationionalized that it seemed at the outset a right, and soon, long before the famous phrase itself coined, a manifest destiny”(Weinberg pg.12). They had killed/ drove millions of native from their lands as a result of this fever. As was a apparent with the actions of Henry Harrison years before the war,
“ his tactics were simple; get them drunk and promise the chiefs annuities if they signed” in his heart Harrison believed in the concept that another age would describe as “Manifest Destiny” (Leckie pg.153)
This phrase to which “mural ideology was the partner of self- interest in the intimate alliance of which expansionism was the offspring.” ( Weinberg pg.12) This phase attributed to John O’Sullivan, editor of the expansionist United States Magazine and Democratic Review, who wrote it was “ our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by providence for the development of our yearly multiplying millions” (Zinn pg.149) As the U.S grew in population, land grew scarce and the growing colonial elite government looked toward the west as an answer.
Mexico which is now populated with a new people called Mestizo of Spanish and Aztec blood, and a smaller population was that of pure Spanish blood who considered themselves socially superior. The Mestizos rebelled frequently, as a result the country was at a state of chaos with very little unity and was very thinly populated, and already weakened by an oppressive clergy and upper class.
In an attempt to populate their under populated Texas frontier with the United States they encouraged migration with the promise to become practicing Catholics and obey the Mexican prohibition of slavery. They thought this would build the nation they struggled to. This was a huge mistake, they had no intention of keeping the promise. “ These mostly southern Americans who migrated to Texas were drawn pure and simple by lure of land and no other reason.”(Leckie pg. 503) Even worse they had already caught the expansionist fever. These actions widened the eyes of opportunity of the U.S. colonial elite and in a sense paved the path to the idea of their manifest destiny. For they believed in a natural right as moral rational for their expansion. “ The law of God and nature” ( Weinberg pg. 15 ) – dictated by god to provide new land at who’s ever grievance. To contrast these ideologies,
Oregon.” In choosing the Democrats, the nation endorsed goals of “ Manifest Destiny” (Klose pg.61).
The morality of the U.S. belief “which had long held that the welfare of the state was itself it’s highest law, that expansionism was necessary to states welfare, and the dismemberment of state was “ A normal resource of diplomacy.”( Weinberg pg.14)
I see it as unfair and immoral the way the U.S. colonial elite saw Mexico at a weak point and unfairly and unfairly acted on it’s own expansionist interests, as it had done to others in the past. And as far as freedom the United States wanted to spread, they hoped to turn Texas into a slave state, so much for freedom. The whole rationale for their actions was in every way unfair, immoral, non-democratic. Only to the elites public interests, freedom rang.
No matter who may fight, it is completely unfair, inhumane, and immoral, to pick a fight with the weaker as the colonial elite did throughout it’s history. First with the Indians then with the slaves, and now with its neighbor to the west to accommodate themselves.
“the mere physical extent of the territory acquired is impressive enough, but the real astonishing thing is the range of ideas and moral doctrines that have been advanced in justification of this extension of the national domain at the expense of the other- and usually weaker peoples (Weinberg pg.x)
Almost everything the colonial elite wrote, said, and did was hypocritical. They claimed democracy but were completely undemocratic. They wrote the declaration of independence which declared freedom, only relevant to whites. They were truly sickened by the fever they had caught earlier.
Harper Collins Publishers 1980,1995
Concise Study Guide To The American Frontier, (Klose, Nelson)
University Of Nebraska Press 1964
From Sea To Shining Sea, (Leckie, Robert)
Harper Collins Publishers 1993
Manifest Destiny, (Weinberg, Albert)
John Hopkins Press 1935
Mexicans At Arms, (Santoni, Pedro)