America’s Forgotten War with Mexico

Hits: 7086

America’s war of expansion over Mexico, backed by newspapers and politicians, has repercussions to the present day.

Reflecting on his life while dying of throat cancer in 1885, the former US President Ulysses S. Grant said the Mexican-American War was, “the most wicked war in history. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign”.

Grant had first-hand experience as he himself fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), then as a junior officer in his mid-20s. Less than two decades later, he rose to prominence as one of the most important figures during the American Civil War – as Commanding General his powerful Union Army finally crushed the under-resourced Confederates.

Grant would become a two-term American President (1869-1877), initially taking the job with reluctance. “I have been forced into it in spite of myself”, he wrote to William Sherman, a fellow Union Army general during the civil war.

Despite involvement in various conflicts, the Mexican-American War haunted Grant to the end. 

“I had a horror of the Mexican War and I have always believed it was on our part most unjust. The wickedness was in the conduct of the war. We had no claim on Mexico. Texas had no claim beyond the Nueces River, and yet we pushed on to the Rio Grande and crossed it. I am always ashamed of my country when I think of that invasion”.

What is striking about Grant’s views today is how remarkably forthright they are. It would prove unthinkable for US presidents in later centuries to express ethical misgivings about the attacks on Korea or Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq – despite the much greater destruction and loss of life.

The defeat of Mexico consolidated US expansion of its territorial size by almost 25%. Texas had initially been annexed from Mexico in 1845, a state almost three times the size of Britain.

The Mexican government refused to recognize Texas’s illegal incorporation into American terrain. By May of the following year (1846), the US had declared war on its southern neighbor. US President James K. Polk utilized the pretext that attacking Mexican forces had “passed the boundary of the United States [in Texas], has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon American soil”.

In truth, the “American soil” was Mexican soil annexed to become part of the US. The Americans were awaiting a ruse in which they could attack Mexico without causing unwanted popular uproar, allowing the US to make further gains into Mexican land.

In all the time since, there has been little demand from democratic leaders for the US to return Mexico’s stolen territories – or at least to recognize a gross injustice was inflicted upon her.

Instead, we hear hypocritical laments over Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea in 2014 – a region that was firstly part of Russia (from 1783-1917) and then later under the sphere of the USSR (1917-1991).

The principal purpose for America’s war of conquest over Mexico was gaining monopoly over cotton production. In the 19th century, cotton was as vital as oil is today, and also represented a key commodity of the slave industry. Control over cotton “would bring England to its feet”. President Polk openly recognized this, as did his immediate predecessor, former President John Tyler.

Indeed, Tyler said of Texas’s 1845 annexation, 

“By securing the virtual monopoly of the cotton plant”, America had acquired “a greater influence over the affairs of the world than would be found in armies however strong, or navies however numerous”.

Tyler continued,

“That monopoly, now secured, places all other nations at our feet. An embargo of a single year would produce in Europe a greater amount of suffering than a fifty years war. I doubt whether Great Britain could avoid convulsions”.

The American victory over Mexico in February 1848, led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It saw the US take not only Texas from Mexico, but also California, half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada and Utah, along with parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Much of these areas were rich in cotton, with the conquests signifying an epic land-grab whose repercussions last to the current day.

In keeping with modern times, the Free Press championed America’s illegal interventions. James Gordon Bennett – editor and founder of the New York Herald – then the US’s biggest selling newspaper, wrote approvingly that Britain was “completely bound and manacled with the cotton cords. A lever with which we can successfully control” their main rival. Not a word of the unwarranted acts perpetrated against Mexico.

Indeed, Bennett was hopeful that the Mexicans’ fate would be 

“similar to that of the Indians of this country – the race, before a century rolls over, will become extinct”. He wrote about the “imbecility and degradation of the Mexican people”.

Bennett was one of the major figures in the history of the American press, and felt that “the idea of amalgamation [of races] has been always abhorrent to the Anglo-Saxon race on this continent”.

The Cincinnati Herald editor described Mexicans as “degraded mongrel races”, along with Native Americans. The editor of the Augusta Daily Chronicle, in Georgia, offered prior warning in 1846 that attacking Mexico would likely reveal, 

“a sickening mixture, consisting of such a conglomeration of Negroes and Rancheros, Mestizoes and Indians, with but a few Castilians [Spaniards]”.

In 1845 James Buchanan, future US President, insisted that

“our race of men can never be subjected to the imbecile and indolent Mexican race”.

Texas Senator Sam Houston went even further, saying in 1848 that

“the Mexicans are no better than Indians, and I see no reason why we should not go on in the same course now and take their land [all of Mexico].”

Walt Whitman, America’s famous journalist and poet, asked 

“What has miserable, inefficient Mexico… to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race?”

With these prevailing attitudes, a quick, easy victory was expected over Mexico. However, it was anything but, as the Mexican Army fought valiantly, surprising its over-confident American foe. The conflict lasted almost two years, before the weight of superior US forces finally told.

Following Mexico’s defeat, a new artificial border was imposed which remained quite open. Those wishing to cross it to visit relatives or engage in commerce found it a straightforward affair. That is, until the 1990s, when the Clinton administration began fortifying and militarizing the Mexican border.

George W. Bush then aggressively expanded upon Clinton’s initiatives along the frontier – under the pretexts of shielding the US from illegal immigrants, terrorists or drug dealers.

The territorial gains over Mexico have largely been erased from memory, despite having occurred comfortably within the past 200 years. It seems plausible that many Americans living in Texas or California may be unaware they are sitting on occupied Mexican land.

The American writer and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

“It really doesn’t matter by what means Mexico is taken, as it contributes to the mission of ‘civilizing the world’ and, in the long run, it will be forgotten”.

It has not been forgotten by Mexicans, however. In April last year Mexico’s former presidential candidate, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, urged his government to bring a lawsuit against America in the International court of Justice, for reparations and indemnification.

A lawyer working for Cardenas said,

 “We are going to make a strong and tough case, because we are right. They were in Mexican territory in a military invasion”.

One suspects Ulysses S. Grant would be in their corner. 


Originally published on 2017-12-03

About the author: Shane Quinn obtained an honors journalism degree. He is interested in writing primarily on foreign affairs, having been inspired by authors like Noam Chomsky.

Source: The Duran

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
North Macedonia Is Being Used by NATO to Target Serbia and Russia
The North Macedonian House of Representatives unanimously approved on Monday for their country to accept the NATO Accession Protocol, taking the former Yugoslav Republic a step closer towards accession into NATO which is expected to be completed and finalized in the spring. North Macedonia’s rapid accession into NATO is only possible because of the Prespa Agreement signed between Athens and Skopje in June 2018, bringing an end to the name dispute between the two countries that emerged in 1991 with the breakup of Yugoslavia.The Prespa Agreement, named after a lake that traverses the borders of Greece, North Macedonia and Albania, defined ...
READ MORE
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
USAID is spending $300,000 to fight traditional Christian morality in the Republic of Macedonia.A reader passes along a government document putting out bids for a contract. Here’s the top of the document:Apparently the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia, is insufficiently progressive on LGBT issues. So the American government is spending $300,000 to undermine the traditional Orthodox Christian culture of the country. Excerpts from the document (emphases mine):Macedonia has ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention. Through ratification of these human rights treaties, Macedonia has ...
READ MORE
The US Independence Day
The 4th of July is Independence Day for the United States of America and commemorates the 4 July 1776 Declaration of Independence for America, the key passage of which is “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Unfortunately American racism has grossly violated the proposition that “all men are created equal” and the worst form of racism involves invasion of other countries. The US has invaded about 70 countries since its inception ...
READ MORE
War and Empire: The American Way of Life
A few months ago I received a message from a professor at the Khomeini Institute for Education and  Research in Tehran, Iran, informing me that my 2010 book “War and Empire: The American Way of Life” (London, Pluto Press) had been translated into Farsi. He requested that I write an Introduction for Iranian readers. What follows is that Introduction. Two years ago the Xinhua Peoples’ Press in Beijing, China also published a translation in Mandarin. In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s 1991 attempt to annex Kuwait, the U.S. deliberately destroyed much of Iraq’s water and sewer infrastructure. The Pentagon even admitted ...
READ MORE
U.S., U.K., & France, Certainly Committed an International War Crime against Syria on April 14th, 2018
It is now clear that on 14 April 2018, the three Governments of U.S., UK, and France, fired over a hundred missiles against Syria, on no more 'justification' than staged videos that had been done by those regimes' own proxy boots-on-the-ground fighters in Syria, who are trying to overthrow Syria's existing, non-sectarian Government and replace it by a Sharia-law regime that would be selected by agents of Saudi Arabia's ruling family. In other words: the fighters whom the U.S., UK, and France, had been arming and training, had themselves created this pretext of a faked 'gas attack' having been perpetrated ...
READ MORE
Countering NATO Propaganda on Russia: NATO Intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Ukraine
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part VA follow-up of Professor Vladimir Kozin’s comments on NATO’s Fact Sheet about relations with Russia published in December 2014. The topics to be covered in this part:NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure;The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade;NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate;NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate;The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical;Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified;The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate.NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failureNATO claim: NATO took over the command of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ...
READ MORE
Paul Craig Roberts’ Address to the International Conference on the European/Russian Crisis Created by Washington
Paul Craig Roberts’ address to the Conference on the European/Russian Crisis, Delphi, Greece, June 20-21, 2015 
Paul Craig Roberts, formerly Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. The United States has pursued empire since early in its history, but it was the Soviet collapse in 1991 that enabled Washington to see the entire world as its oyster The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the rise of the neoconservatives to power and influence ...
READ MORE
Libya: Ten Things about Gaddafi They don’t want You to Know
What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide. For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa. So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media. Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about… 1. In Libya a home is ...
READ MORE
Amnesty International Publishes a Fabricated Report on Mass Executions in Syria
On Monday, February 8 (2016), the human rights organization Amnesty International published a 48-page report accusing the Syrian government of mass executions and tortures in Saydnaya prison. According to the watchdog, between September 2011 and December 2015, an estimated 5,000 and 13,000 people were extrajudicially executed. The methods used by the report to count the alleged ‘victims’ is quite contradictory. Amnesty International admits it had little direct evidence for its claims. Instead, the report was based on conjectures and the words of former prison detainees and commentators who are linked to the Syrian opposition and have lived outside the country for ...
READ MORE
Western Media Propaganda Threatens Peace and Prolongs the Deadly Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence.Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from MoscowOn August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.The ruling elites in Sweden and Finland have been quietly pushing for NATO membership for years. In May, the Swedish government pushed through the Riksdag a proposal for a ‘cooperation agreement’ with NATO, ...
READ MORE
Genocidal Corporate Media
Genocidal corporate media presstitutes follow the all-too-familiar script of blaming the victim for the crimes perpetrated by aggressor nations. NATO terrorists, for example, are invading and occupying Syria, and the Syria government is blamed for the ensuing disasters, but the presstitutes omit this this from their narratives and instead find creative ways to blame the al Assad government whose duty it is to protect Syria, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. When terrorists are occupying cities, as they do in Syria, innocent people will always be victimized, including during government operations to clear out the terrorist infestations, but the presstitutes blame ...
READ MORE
Washington has Found the Solution: “Let’s Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!”
Editor’s note: This article by Michel Collon was first published by Global Research in December 2003. It outlines with foresight the strategy of the US, through covert intelligence operations, of breaking up Iraq into a number of separate states. The unleashing of a civil war with a view to deliberately breaking up Iraq was part of the US war agenda from the outset. They have found the solution! Divide Iraq into three mini-states and then pit them against one another. Does that remind you of something else? Oh, yes! It’s not the first time something like this happened…. The New York Times published ...
READ MORE
Understanding the U.S. War State: The New Fundamentalism, “America is God”
Note: This article was original published by GR in May 2003“It is easy. All you have to do is tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” - Hermann GoeringGenocide used to be a crime without a name. Although the most heinous of all crimes, the concept was not introduced into international language until after World War 2. Until then, military invasion and destruction of other peoples and cultures masqueraded under such slogans as progress and spreading civilisation.I was shocked many years ago when I heard Noam ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities
President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with ...
READ MORE
The Balkans and American Gangsters
“The earthly Kingdom is for earthly people, but the heavenly Kingdom is forever” Serbian national epic about the Kosovo Battle against the Ottoman Turks in 1389[1]The American gangsters and the destruction of ex-YugoslaviaSouth-East Europe, and especially the Balkan Peninsula as the main part of it, have traditionally been the object of numerous geopolitical, geostrategic and publicist analyses, as well as the subject of debates among the Balkan, European and global experts in international relations. The new Iron Curtain between western and eastern Europe was not the end of the Balkan’s importance for the US administration and the NATO as well. At ...
READ MORE
9 of the World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations were all Targeted by U.S. Intervention
The 2017 Global Peace Index has declared Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan to be among the “least peaceful” countries in the world. Incidentally, all four have been targets of U.S.-led destabilization efforts that were used to pursue economic interests that suit the U.S. MINNEAPOLIS– The annual Global Peace Index, recently released for June 2017, has found that while the world is more peaceful now than last year, violence has increased significantly overall in the past decade. Although the situation has improved in many countries, the ten lowest-ranking nations – known as the world’s “least peaceful” countries – have shown little change ...
READ MORE
Serbs Survive in Ghettos in the Heart of Europe: The “Republic of Kosovo”, a Criminal Entity
After 19 years since a part of the international community, under the auspices of NATO and the US, took control over the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, following two ethnic pogroms of the Serbs and non-Albanians occurred in 1999 and in 2004, which resulted in ethnic cleansing of around 250 000 Serbs and other non Albanians, the rest of Serbian population still survive in ghettos across the territory of self-proclaimed independent Republic of Kosovo.Destroyed 14th-century Serbian Orthodox church Samodreža in Kosovo by Muslim Albanians in March 2004 The Self proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, as a creation of the USA/NATO joint ...
READ MORE
Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The Israeli historian Benny Morris has been very vocal of late in denying that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” of Israel to be established. In a series of articles in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Morris has debated the question with several of his critics who contend that ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred. Not so, argues Morris. So who’s right?It’s worth noting at the outset that, while such a debate exists in the Israeli media, the US media remains, as ever, absolutely silent on the matter. Americans who get their information about the ...
READ MORE
Venice and Lombardy: Why is the Request for Independence Growing?
The following article was written before the recent referendum in Venice and Lombardy. It remains relevant as far as, everything happening in Europe those days is becoming, more a more, a manifestation of extreme social “egotism”, of generalized destruction of any form of solidarity and adherence to more general projects. This is especially true after the strategic defeat and capitulation of the European Left on the Greek question. “Everybody for himself” seems to dominate the continent. It is the historic triumph of the neoliberal Europe, but it reminds somehow the triumphs of the cancer on living organisms. Europe will hardly ...
READ MORE
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Somewhere in the 20th century — it is difficult to determine precisely when, but many point to the 1990s anti-Serb craze — historical revisionism on WWI that would have been laughed out of the room in the 1920s and 1930s became widespread in the western mainstream media.Nobody should be surprised to learn this is an ailment that therefore also affects RT. The Russian-funded outlet is staffed by westerners and modeled after western news channels – and is as such frequently only marginally less wrong on numerous issues than its western counterparts. (All the more so when it comes to the little-understood Balkans.)Covering ...
READ MORE
North Macedonia Is Being Used by NATO to Target Serbia and Russia
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
The US Independence Day
War and Empire: The American Way of Life
U.S., U.K., & France, Certainly Committed an International War Crime against Syria on April 14th, 2018
Countering NATO Propaganda on Russia: NATO Intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Ukraine
Paul Craig Roberts’ Address to the International Conference on the European/Russian Crisis Created by Washington
Libya: Ten Things about Gaddafi They don’t want You to Know
Amnesty International Publishes a Fabricated Report on Mass Executions in Syria
Western Media Propaganda Threatens Peace and Prolongs the Deadly Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Genocidal Corporate Media
Washington has Found the Solution: “Let’s Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!”
Understanding the U.S. War State: The New Fundamentalism, “America is God”
Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities
The Balkans and American Gangsters
9 of the World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations were all Targeted by U.S. Intervention
Serbs Survive in Ghettos in the Heart of Europe: The “Republic of Kosovo”, a Criminal Entity
Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Venice and Lombardy: Why is the Request for Independence Growing?
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu