Mexican-American War -1848) the Great Essay

Pages: 4 (1318 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
In this regard, Huston emphasizes that, "In their search for an understanding of what the future might bring under the Wilmot prohibition, southerners were misled by classical economic theory; and thus they read into the Wilmot Proviso a more grim outcome than was likely."

Although history provides 20-20 hindsight, it appears that few observers at the time could have predicted the unintentional impact that the Wilmot Proviso would have on America's historical course. As Huston concludes, "By this route, by leading southerners to miscalculate the effects of a prohibition against slavery's geographical expansion, Malthusian population theory, and classical political economy in general, helped push the South to secession and the nation to civil war."

The Popular Sovereignty proposal to allow voters to decide on slavery within their territories resulted in the Compromise of 1850 and finally achieved the immediate goals of the Wilmot Proviso.

Critics of popular sovereignty argued that its provisions were too weak and failed to guarantee slaveholder access to the territories.

Nevertheless, the Compromise of 1850 bought the country a few more years of troubled peace. In this regard, Huston reports that, "In state conventions in late 1850 and in the congressional and gubernatorial elections; of 1851, those who accepted the Compromise of 1850 -- dramatically triumphed. At least for a few years, the sectional issue of slavery in the territories slumbered."

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The Meaning of the Mexican-American War

Essay on Mexican-American War (1846-1848) the Great Assignment

In the final analysis, the meaning of the Mexican-American War was the message that the United States took its Manifest Destiny very seriously and would prosecute this historical course of action with military force if necessary. For example, Yoo reports that, "Although the United States has used force abroad more than 100 times, it has declared war only five times: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American and Spanish-American wars, and World War I and II."

Despite the inexorable force of Manifest Destiny in shaping the country's course during the mid-19th century, the United States' invasion of Mexico in response to a provocation it created prompted President Ulysses S. Grant to characterize the Mexican-American War as "one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."

For many modern Mexicans, this is the real meaning of the Mexican-American War.

References

Coward, John M. "Dispatches from the Mexican War," Journalism History 26 (2000, Spring) 1:

39.

Huston, James L. "Southerners against Secession: The Arguments of the Constitutional

Unionists in 1850-51," Civil War History 46 (2000, December) 4: 280-291.

Huston, James L. "Theory's Failure: Malthusian Population Theory and the Projected Demise of Slavery," Civil War History 55 (2009, September) 3: 354-361.

Kurth, James. "America's Grand Strategy," The National Interest 43 (1996, Spring): 3-9.

"The Mexican-American War," Public Broadcasting Service Special Features. [online]

available: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-mexican-american-war/.

Reiter, Dan. How Wars End (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

Varon. Elizabeth R. Disunion! The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (Chapel Hill,

NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

Yoo, John. "Exercising Wartime Powers: The Need for a Strong Executive," Harvard

International Review 28 (2006, Spring) 1: 22-25.

James Kurth, "America's Grand Strategy," The National Interest 43 (1996, Spring) 3.

John M. Coward, "Dispatches from the Mexican War," Journalism History 26 (2000, Spring) 1: 39.

Dan Reiter, How Wars End (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009): 220.

Reiter 220.

Reiter 220.

Reiter 220.

James L. Huston, "Southerners against Secession: The Arguments of the Constitutional Unionists in 1850-51," Civil War History 46 (2000, December) 4: 281.

James L. Huston, "Theory's Failure: Malthusian Population Theory and the Projected Demise of Slavery," Civil War History 55 (2009, September) 3: 355.

Huston 355.

Huston 356.

Huston 356.

Huston 356.

Huston 356.

Elizabeth R. Varon. Disunion! The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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