Mexican-American War

Mexican-American War

by R. Conrad Stein
     
 

Years ago American schools taught children that their country began when the Pilgrims established a settlement at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Pilgrims, teachers said, were the first people other than Indians to build a permanent colony on what became United States soil. That information was incorrect. Men and women from what is now Mexico built towns and villages in

Overview

Years ago American schools taught children that their country began when the Pilgrims established a settlement at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Pilgrims, teachers said, were the first people other than Indians to build a permanent colony on what became United States soil. That information was incorrect. Men and women from what is now Mexico built towns and villages in the present-day American state of New Mexico before the Pilgrims arrived. The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was founded by Mexicans in 1608, twelve years earlier than Plymouth Rock.

In the early 1800s, all of the American southwest, from Texas to California, belonged to Mexico. This vast region above the Rio Grande was undeveloped and underpopulated. Mexicans called the area the Northern Frontier. The United States, the Northern Frontier's nearest neighbor, was an ever-expanding country driven by a spirit called Manifest Destiny. According to the principals of Manifest Destiny the United States borders were fated to sweep west and reach the Pacific Ocean. But blocking the westward expansion was Mexico's Northern Frontier. In 1846 the United States and Mexico went to war over the issue of land.

The Mexican-American War was fought from 1846 to 1848. Today the war is somewhat over-looked in American history books because the great Civil War broke out a dozen years later and dominated subsequent events. However, the war is studied in Mexican classrooms where it is generally called the American Invasion of Mexico. Because of the war, Mexico lost its entire Northern Frontier to the United States. For the Americans, Manifest Destiny was complete as their nation now spread from sea to shining sea. The Mexicans suffered a humiliating defeat and saw about half their land swallowed up by their aggressive northern neighbors. To a certain extent bitterness over the Mexican-American War lingers in Mexico even today.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Ancient Mexico begins with speculation about when the Paleo-Indians arrived in the Americas and then highlights each major culture until the conquest of the Spanish conquistadors. The Mexican-American War starts with Texas declaring its independence from Mexico, the war itself, and then concludes with the aftermath. The paragraphs are long and information rich. The text is punctuated with vibrant pictures, paintings, and political cartoons that help re-create history for readers. However, the writing style is more academic than lively, with sporadic quotes from historians. The specialized subject matter and in-depth examination of the topics restrict these titles to a narrow audience. Purchase only if you have an extensive Mexican history collection.—Samantha Larsen Hastings, Riverton Library, UT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599351605
Publisher:
Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Series:
Story of Mexico Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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