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Mexican-American War

Warning! This is based on Wikipedia reading. So I'm whatever comes after tertiary sources.

I vaguely knew what it was about, but not deeply. Stuff about manifest destiny, Mexican slavery, and alleged immigration to Texas (disputed). So, I've read the article now and can share an outline:

Mexican independence in 1821. Not very unified; major factions included centralistas, republicanos, and monarchists. Mexico City was having a civil war even as Americans invaded the country, later.

Americans originally invited into Texas, then slavery banned and taxes raised in 1829; resisted, so immigration banned but illegal immigrants kept coming. Santa Anna dictator in 1834, independence in 1836, annexed by 1845. Texas claimed a border at the Rio Grande, Mexico claimed a more northern border.

Polk offered to buy the Rio Grande border, Alta California and Neuvo Mexico (all the other northern stuff), Mexico didn't want to sell and was inclined to still claim all of Texas. Spark was attack on a US patrol in disputed territory.

John Quincy Adams voted against war. Whig Lincoln opposed. Thoreau jailed for not paying taxes for it.

Northern Mexico had been depopulated by Comanche and Apache raids; there were under 100,000 people in it, possibly not counting tribes like the Hopi and Navajo.

Mexican troops conscripted peasants with little national fervor, also hungry and ill-paid, armed with British muskets from the Napoleonic era, while the Americans had cutting edge breech-loading rifles and artillery. We captured all the Baja California ports, Veracruz, and Mexico City itself.

War involved Lee, Grant, Jackson, Perry, McClellan, Davis, Sherman.
Grant later claimed he viewed it as most unjust.

Ended up taking half of Mexico, comparable to Western Europe. Including Texas, over 2 million km2; the modern US is about 10 million.

Of postwar settlers:
"However, they recognized the value of a few aspects of Mexican law and carried them over into their new legal systems. For example, most of the southwestern states adopted community property marital property systems."

First useful telegraph was 1845, by the war years of 1846-1848 there was enough wire to be useful for newspapers, not sure about military control.

Some people called for annexing all of Mexico, but that was opposed, partially on racist grounds (e.g. by Calhoun): making millions of part-Spanish, part-Indian Mexicans American citizens? Hell no, Manifest Destiny was for the white race!

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/368120.html#comments

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