The Mexican-American War in 1846 was an under-appreciated moment in American history. It marked the beginning of the military careers of many of those who would go on to fight the Civil War two decades later--including Robert E Lee and Ulysses S Grant. It took General Zachary Taylor to the Presidency, and re-ignited the debate over slavery that would later result in secession. During the war, Mexico, under the leadership of Santa Anna, lost over half of its national territory to the US and many Mexicans now found themselves on the wrong side of the border and living in the United States--a situation with direct bearing on current Mexican-US immigration. Justin H Smith's classic history of the war, written in 1919 from official archives in both countries, depicts the US as the wronged party, but many Americans at the time viewed the Mexican War as simply an American land grab, in which a large strong nation bullied territorial concessions from a smaller weaker neighbor.