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The Mexican-American War

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



Republic of Texas

American President John Quincy Adams tried to buy Texas from Spain for one million dollars in 1819. Texas is as large as France but was only inhabited by 4,000 Spanish subjects.

When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, it claimed Texas as part of its new empire. Since Texas was nearly devoid of people, and decades of efforts to entice people from Spain or Mexico to settle there had failed, Mexico invited Yankees (Anglo-Americans) to buy land and reside in Texas, with the condition that they agree to embrace Mexican citizenship, and convert to Roman Catholicism.

By 1831, there were 30,000 Yankees living in Texas along with 1,000 African slaves. The family of Stephen Austin alone had purchased 15,000 acres of Texas land from the Mexican government. The population of Mexicans in Texas totaled 5,000—they called themselves Tejanos.

The people of Texas were allowed to govern themselves until 1834, when the new government of Mexico revoked their autonomy. Stephen Austin went to Mexico City to plead the case of Texans to direct their own affairs, but instead he was imprisoned for a year. He came home a rebel who favored independence for Texas.

American President Andrew Jackson attempted to buy Texas from Mexico for five million dollars, and might have succeeded had he not sent the arrogant, Mexican-hating Anthony Butler to make the offer, who offended everybody in Mexico City.

Texas declared its independence in 1836, after the President of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, had become a dictator.

Texas was not alone: eleven Mexican states rebelled against Santa Anna. Texas was one of three Mexican states that declared independence, but the only state that was successful at winning independence from Mexico. Texas was far different from the other Mexican states in that 20,000 Anglo-Americans owned ranches there.

President Santa Anna led an army north to punish Texas. He arrived at San Antonio with perhaps 4,000 soldiers, and surrounded 200 or so Yankee settlers inside a mission called the Alamo. In the fighting, all but one of the Texans was slain. The Mexicans counted 1,544 dead.

Word circulated around Texas that Santa Anna had executed prisoners at the Alamo. It is doubtful there were any prisoners, as the men inside the Alamo fought to the death. Santa Anna did execute 350 Texan prisoners three weeks later, who had surrendered after the Battle of Goliad, and the two events may have been confused. In any event, "Remember the Alamo" became the battle cry of Texas. The United States remained neutral in this conflict, and even refused to loan money to Texas for armaments.

One month later, the Texans defeated the army of Santa Anna in the fifteen minute Battle of San Jacinto, and captured him. In exchange for his freedom, Santa Anna acknowledged Texas as an independent republic, and skulked back to Mexico City in disgrace. Sam Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas.

In the meantime, Anastasio Bustamante was elected president of Mexico (again) and his new government refused to accept the independence of Texas. Texas would remain an independent nation for the next nine years.

In 1850, a census of Texas revealed a population of 212,000 Americans; 58,000 African slaves; and 11,000 people of Mexican descent. 90 percent of the Americans had come to Texas from the southern United States. They put on aristocratic airs, but they were proud and violent men who loved to gamble, drink, duel, and race horses. Many of them were Scots-Irish.

Texans were the loneliest people in America. Few of them had access to schools, churches, or courts. Their education came from the family Bible; their justice from the Colt 45. In legend Texas is western; in reality it is southern.

In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the United States. By 1865, King Cotton had become King Cattle.









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Santa Anna

After his disgrace, General Santa Anna redeemed himself in 1838, when he defeated French troops that had invaded Mexico. He lost his leg to a French cannon during the battle, and he once again became the national hero of Mexico.

Santa Anna was installed as dictator of Mexico for the fifth time, and put down a rebellion led by two Mexican generals. In 1842, he attacked Texas again, which gained him nothing but intense anti-Mexican feelings by Texans, who from then on sought to become part of the United States for protection. In 1844, Santa Anna was deposed, and went into exile in Cuba.

The United States did not think highly of Mexico. In its view, Mexico started out with an equal land mass and 2/3 of the population of the United States, as well as incredible natural resources, when it became a nation. But it was not a success story, as was the United States.

Mexico was a basket case that was full of impoverished people in a stagnant economy, and rife with banditos. The only commodity of Mexico was silver. Mexico did not encourage foreign investment and in fact was known to declare "Death to foreigners!"

Liberal Mexicans wanted war against the Yankees, thinking this would help forge a national identity. In 1844, Mexican President Jose Joaquin Herrera accepted that Texas was lost, and declared Mexico's intention to make peace with Texas as long as it remained an independent country.

In 1845, Mexico severed diplomatic relations with the United States because the people of Texas had made it known they now wanted to join the United States.

The United States annexed Texas in 1845, because Texans begged it to do so. Texas sought to join the United States because Santa Anna—back from exile and presidente yet again—had publicly sworn to drown Texans in their own blood. The terms of the annexation included five million dollars of American money given to Texas, which it needed to defend itself against the feared coming onslaught by Mexico. But the annexation outraged Mexico.

In 1846, upon rumors that Mexico was planning an attack to retake Texas, the United States declared war on Mexico. The Mexican government soon returned the favor.

Indeed the Mexican government was under pressure to stand up to the hated Yankees. 63 American soldiers were ambushed and killed by Mexicans on the north side of the Rio Grande prior to the declaration of war.

Many Americans opposed the war. Those in favor viewed the territories of New Mexico and California as only nominally Mexican possessions with very tenuous ties to Mexico, and as actually unsettled, ungoverned, and unprotected frontier lands.





The Mexican-American War

Mexico and the United States approached the Mexican-American War unprepared. 70 percent of the American forces were volunteer militias of raunchy frontier toughs, devoid of uniforms, equipment, and discipline. They wore dirty, torn shirts, had uncombed hair and unwashed faces, they hollered and cursed like fiends. Some of them were not above plunder, rape, and murder.

The Mexican army lacked training, discipline, and munitions. Most Mexican troops were forced into the army, many from Mexican prisons, which made them less than enthusiastic fighters. Mexican artillery pieces were obsolete and faulty. Their cannonballs traveled so slowly that there were reports of American soldiers dodging them as if it were a game of dodge ball.

Mexico had an empty treasury, a corrupt bureaucracy, no navy, a demoralized, poorly equipped, unpaid army, and no arms industry. But the Mexican army was battle-hardened, featured a magnificent cavalry, and was far larger than the American army. Mexico hoped the Tejanos and African slaves in Texas would join their side in the conflict.

The U.S. Army under General Zachary Taylor moved into northern Mexico with 2200 soldiers, won two quick victories, and occupied Matamoros. In the battle for Matamoros the Mexicans had 1500 killed; the Americans 35.

General Taylor then marched on Monterrey, the metropolis of northern Mexico, which was guarded by mountains, a river, and 10,000 troops. Military manuals dictated it would take 20,000 soldiers to take such a fortification, but Taylor had only 6,645. Taylor won anyway, thanks to his skilled artillerymen and engineers.

The Mexicans responded by making Santa Anna their fourth president in two years. He marched north with 20,000 men to vanquish the 4,700 soldiers Taylor had left. Santa Anna was met by the "Mississippi Rifles" of Jefferson Davis, who sounded a banshee howl later called a "Rebel Yell." Santa Anna withdrew from the fight and beat a hasty retreat.

General Winfield Scott invaded Mexico with a 2nd U.S. Army, and the first amphibious craft—shallow-draft gunboats. General Scott safely landed 8,600 men at Veracruz without a single casualty—an incredible military feat.

Winfield Scott was an honorable man who forbade the mistreatment of civilians, and insisted that his men purchase, rather than simply take, provisions. Among his officers were Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, as well as Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, George McClellan, George Pickett, and George Meade.

General Scott quickly captured Veracruz despite its three formidable forts manned by 135 cannon and 3500 men. The Americans lost 73 men in the assault. Scott then marched toward Mexico City, 250 mountainous miles away.

While Scott made his way to Mexico City, Santa Anna offered to surrender for a $10,000 bribe. General Scott paid him but Santa Anna reneged on the surrender part.

Scott descended out of the mountains to Mexico City with 10,000 men. The capital was defended by 30,000 soldiers. Scott overcame heroic resistance, even from desperate civilians.

Mexico City fell in 1847. 10,000 Mexican soldiers were killed in action defending their capital. The United States lost 1,000 men.

Again Santa Anna went into exile. After this victory, the Duke of Wellington, a man not given to hyperbole, called Winfield Scott "the greatest living soldier."

The unsung hero of the Mexican-American War was Quartermaster General Thomas Sidney Jesup. He was in charge of purchasing for the army; managed 23 federal arsenals that produced tens of thousands of weapons, uniforms, boots, and tents; and transported those supplies to distant, primitive locales.

The United States suffered 1,548 men killed in action in the Mexican-American War. In every battle they were outnumbered, but not outgunned. 10,970 American troops succumbed to dysentery, influenza, smallpox, measles, venereal disease, snakebites, and tarantula bites. It was the first war led by graduates of West Point; and the first reported by modern war correspondents.













The Peace Treaty

In 1848, a peace treaty was signed by which Mexico agreed to sell the United States its northernmost territories for just over eighteen million dollars ($500,000,000 in today's dollars).  This land included the future states of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and California. 

Spain had utterly failed in its attempt to colonize these lands as it had done successfully in Mexico proper.   The largest town north of the present border of Mexico was Santa Fe, with only 6,000 people, followed by San Antonio with 1500.  The Spanish were not that interested in this territory because it appeared to lack precious metals, and it had a far larger population of fierce Amerindians than they wanted to handle. 

Mexico was in no position to argue.  The previous decade had seen it wracked by numerous and massive revolts by its Indian population, especially the Mayans in the Yucatan, who were determined to turn their backs on the "white world," and throw out white sugar farmers that threatened their corn culture. 

The Indians of Mexico demanded that land be confiscated by the Mexican government from landowners and farmers to be redistributed to peasants.  Mining states were also facing revolts; bandits ravaged estates in central states; peasants pillaged towns and haciendas in the north at will.  Mexico was disintegrating from within. 

There were plenty of voices in America that wanted to annex all of Mexico—for the sake of the miserable Mexicans.  They thought Mexico would benefit from Yankee law, religion, and enterprise. They did not win the day.





Republic of California

When Mexico became independent in 1821, California was a remote and nearly uninhabited land.  It had no schools or industry; life was lived in chaos and anarchy.  The Spanish only occupied California with soldiers, farmers, and missionaries in the late 18th century because they had received reports that the Russians had their eye on it. 

Spanish missionaries established 21 bucolic adobe plantations along the El Camino Real (the "royal road") from San Diego to Sonoma, one day's journey apart.  Spanish soldiers established presidios at eight of these locations.  Spain awarded huge tracts of land to ex-soldiers in California, which had been made into successful cattle ranches.

Disease carried by the Spaniards killed off 75% of the 75,000 Native Americans in California. By 1800, only 2,000 Hispanics lived in what is now the American state of California, which the Spanish called Alta (upper) California (as opposed to Baja [lower] California, which is a state in Mexico today). 

Andrew Jackson unsuccessfully tried to buy northern California.  The fledgling Republic of Mexico had neither the resources nor the inclination to do anything with this immense piece of land.  This was the era that inspired the "Legend of Zorro."

What Mexico did do was pass a colonization act in 1824 that granted 700 Mexicans vast estates of 4,500 to 50,000 acres of California land. These men became known as rancheros.  They treated Native Americans like slaves—in fact the death rate for Indians working for rancheros was double that of African slaves in the American South.  The rancheros lived the high life, gambling, horse-racing, bull-baiting, riding the range, and dancing. 

In 1834, the rancheros convinced the Mexican government to confiscate the lands of the California missions, expel the Franciscan friars, and divide the land up amongst the rancheros.   

In 1845, U.S. President James K. Polk offered to buy California and New Mexico for what is today over $800,000,000.  Britain was also interested and Polk did not want the British to have them.  Many Americans believed it was the Manifest Destiny of America to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. 

Everybody knew Mexico was strapped for cash, and had no real interest in the land itself. But the offer was refused, in large part because the government of Mexico was in total chaos.  In 1846 alone, the presidency changed hands four times, the war ministry six times, and the finance ministry sixteen times. 

In 1848, the entire population of California was 40,000—10,000 Americans; 10,000 Mexicans; 20,000 Native Americans.  An independent California Republic was declared that year.  Californios of substance saw no advantage to any connection with Mexico.  On the other hand, they greatly admired the United States. 

No one foresaw the discovery of gold in 1848 at Sutter's Mill.  Sutter had purchased 49,000 acres at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, with a dream of building a little Switzerland.  After the discovery of gold, 100,000 Americans rushed out to live in California in just two years.  Then, California applied to become a state of the United States, and was accepted in 1850.











Aftermath of the Mexican American War

Some Americans look back at these events as dark days in American history. Their voices may have been summed up best by Ulysses S. Grant in his memoirs:

"I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. . . . The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."

American veterans of the Mexican–American War suffered from debilitating diseases contracted during war, long after the war itself was over. If the post-war deaths of these soldiers are considered, this was proportionately the most deadly in American military history.

Mexico lost half its territory after this war. The lost territories were essentially unsettled and ungoverned. The 30,000 Hispanics who lived there mostly stayed on, though some moved south into Mexico. The tiny populations of these immense areas had become substantially American.

A quarter of the population of America lives in these lands today. Due to massive legal and illegal immigration from Mexico, over a third of these people are of Hispanic origin, and of those 33 percent were born in Mexico. Perhaps the land is being reconquered through immigration. It is infinitely more valuable today than it was in 1848.

This article is a companion piece to my article The History of Mexico. These articles were preceded by a look at Mexico before it became an independent nation: Colonial Mexico. Next time, I am going to write about Modern Mexico, and explore why Mexicans are leaving their homes and towns to pour into the United States.

My sources include: The Penguin History of Latin America by Edwin Williamson; Latin America: A Concise Interpretive History by E. Bradford Burns and Julie A. Charlip; Throes of Democracy by Walter A. McDougall; and America by George Brown Tindall and David E. Shi.






James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2019:

Brad Masters ~ You are welcome. Thank you.

Brad on March 23, 2019:


You are welcome and an inspiration to the use of facts over fantasy.

I did write an article on the democrat plan to take the White House in 2020. And it started its development in 2008 and it was no coincidence that the democrats dumped Hillary and floated up Obama as the great left hope.

Thank You and Have a great weekend

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 23, 2019:

Brad Masters ~ God Bless You Brother!

Brad on March 21, 2019:


So true!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 21, 2019:

Brad Masters ~ You're welcome. What is happening in Central America is that leftists are encouraging those people to go to America, the Land of Milk and Honey. The plan is to overwhelm our borders, get them inside our country, keep them here, and make them voters for the Democrat Party. Ten or twenty million new voters might sway our elections forever and give the Left permanent power.

Brad on March 19, 2019:


Thanks, and that should be a sobering thought to realize that Mexico is the problem, Then if we pursue the states they want to take back as Mexico, they would then be knocking the rest of the US states because they can make a living in Mexico. I thought of it more like Texas as you also mentioned. That is why people aren't running across the border to Mexico.

The separation of Mexico from Central America is another conundrum as people from Guatemala and other Central American countries can't really use that take back, but it didn't stop them from demanding to get into the country.

It is going to be quite the political ride under 2021 because of the border and immigration issues that won't be resolved, but will take up the entire presidential campaign, in my opinion. .

What about making it like Puerto Rico? Just kidding, one Puerto Rico is more than we can handle.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 19, 2019:

Brad Masters ~ You are quite welcome. I appreciate you coming over to read it. Thank you for your comments and kind compliments.

What would have happened if America had annexed all of Mexico? I don't know. I'd like to think Mexico would be like Texas, Arizona, California, or at least similar to New Mexico. But we've got to remember Mexico got messed up by Mexicans.

I can tell you this, the open borders Latinos who say they are taking back the Southwest are so slow they do not realize that had those states remained in Mexico they would be like the rest of Mexico today - not like America - not like they are. They want to take back what we made into fantastic places. It is not as if Mexicans would have made states like Texas and California. If they could have they would have.

Brad on March 18, 2019:


Thanks for letting me know about this article. It should be printed in Spanish and given to AOC. The Rancheros was an interesting and unknown to me background in history.

Santa Anna seemed to be like Jason in the horror movies, he just kept coming back.

"Mexico was a basket case that was full of impoverished people in a stagnant economy, and rife with banditos. The only commodity of Mexico was silver. Mexico did not encourage foreign investment and in fact was known to declare "Death to foreigners!""


Today, it seems that little has changed in over 150 years. Today, we have the Drug Cartel, illegal drugs, and illegal immigration from Mexico. The presidents in Mexico come and go, but the Mexicans keep trying to sneak into the US. At the same time, the US keeps giving aide to Mexico, with little given in return.

The Mexican American War should have been a win for the US, but as it victory is still under attack after more than 150 years, that win is questionable. My definition of winning of a war is that it doesn't keep coming back. It may be a military win but politicians seem to give away the farm at the end of a military victory.

That is why WWI became WWII and that became the Cold War and followed by the Korean War, Vietnam War and on. Anyway, based on your article Santa Anna and Mexico won their victories initially by having their large numbers overcome their opponent. But, when the US encountered those same odds, they won.

It is interesting to see the two main generals in the US Civil War working on the same side for the US. Then they faced each other, what a shame, can you imagine how they could have worked together for the US.

As, I have said before you are the historian, and this article was not only well written, it was an easy and interesting read. I as most other people had no idea that there was anything after the Alamo.

Finally, what do you think would have been the result today, if the US had annexed Mexico as proposed?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 27, 2018:

Susie Mann! Thank you for reading my article and leaving such an encouraging note. I really appreciate it.

Susie Mann on August 22, 2018:

Excellent and very informative. I wanted to read more!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2015:

qq~ I had to shake my head with sadness upon reading your comments, which show a complete lack of historical knowledge and show you to be totally devoid of wisdom or even the awareness of what wisdom might be. No nation in the history of this planet has done 1/10th as much GOOD for humankind as America has. The way you paint it, you might be surprised to learn that over 100 million people have willingly immigrated here and they still come by the millions, some across shark-infested waters on rickety rafts. Your mind is clouded by evil spirits. I will pray for you.

qq on April 17, 2014:

Here is a part of history that u cannot find in schools or see at TV.This is america propaganda at its finest...There are lots of historians that told the truth about this..."a lie told often enough becomes the truth meaning" this is the main weapon of american right now. Basically "merica" stoled 2000.000 km2 from Mexico,an independent and sovereign state that was weaken by the war against Spain.

Lots of historicans only worked with facts that "mericans" cant deny. Most of them knew how big american propaganda is nowdays that's why they only referred to facts skipping stories about crimes,rape and such even they were part of the american behaviour. They did the same with the indians,but they don't talk ... about them since they took their lands and killed most of them. Killing indians was the national sport of America. Watch most of the movies from 50s and u will understand. Indians had more common sense,respect for humans or nature then americans.

In fact,americans are europeans,even if most of 'mericans'talk ... about Europe. The problem is that a big procent of the europeans fled to USA because they had problems with the law in their countries. Maybe that's why USA influence is so harmfull overall.

By the way,you don't start a war because you believe that someone might attack you. =))They did the same with Iraq,history repeats itself. Mass distruction weapons,y right:) Nice joke folks. Its so funny,someone remember WEAPONS OF PS 2 DESTRUCTION before the Iraq war? Lol,its not a funny joke,CNN propaganda said on TV that Hussein might try a chemical attack in US by station consoles:) Rofl:) Lets put this way,Hussein was bad,a terrorist or whatever u might say,i agree,but George Bush is worse...

And btw,back to history again,after USA took Texas,Mexico admitted that they lost Texas BUT THEY REFUSED TO SELL CALIFORNIA so USA started a second war.I repeat,u don't start a war because u believe that some1 might attack you. In this way,Russia can conquer all the little countries around its borders. If u a democracy,ofc USA is a fake one,u WAIT UNTIL THAT country actually start a conflict with u and then u go to war:) Lol. Mexicans had no plans for another war,they had no resources after the war with Spain. And these are facts. Historians had official statements from american politicians like Abraham Lincoln statement,he said something like this: wait until Mexico herself became the aggressor and we all know the rest of the story:) Mericans went to war regardless of the reality or other people misery,because MERICA! Read history,not propaganda,u will find out that USA was build out of people misery, takeing advantages of wars. In ww1, ONLY 50k US troops died DURING THE WAR AND NO CIVILIANS,a small amount of troops put foot in Europe,but somehow,i got few ideas why, american public think that they saved EU in WW1. Facts,numbers,who care? You can listen to CNN now:)

WW2, only 400k US troops,2k civilians,died during the war but MERICA again saved Europe;) 25millions from Russia died in ww2. FACTS! Biggest fights were fought on eastern front,9 out of 10 germans were killed by the russians,BUT...US saved EUROPE...=)) History repeats itself. Now USA fight wars in name of democracy:)) I got a question,why no wars in Sudan or Congo if u guys care about that?:)) Why 1% of the resources for those areas and 90% for Iraq? And btw,what are the results of 10 years of democracy there? And u think that's how u fight vs terrorism? Do u believe that US troops fought for democracy,defended local civilians? Well,i don't even want to talk about that or have such facts in my PC. Stories about USA natzi soldiers are all over the internet:)When they get back to US they talk with an army of psychologists and they still doing dumb things. How many kids lost legs,hands,how many little grils,talking about those under the age of 14 only were raped? Do u heard something about this? Do u heard about the "OILF FOR FOOD PROGRAM? Ofc,u don't see such things at CNN. Youtube,google,yahoo,delete them pretty fast also:)Even Facebook data base is used by NASA:) Why?Easy,u folks are control freaks:) And btw,american public don't know how its to actually have tanks in your city,to live in fear...Then u guys wont be so

enthusiastic about going to wars...Europes knows how its,we learned our leasson.And i speak facts only. The indoctrination and hate in US is huge. Im don't HATE AMERICA,i don't hate anybody,but im here to tell the truth. Facts. This world is obviously is not going in tot he right direction under the influence of USA. Canada influence would be much better but there are only 40mils of canadians:P :((

There is an experiment,involving kids from all over the planet. An easy one. I can elaborate if someone wants to figure out. Pretty much someone tested the level of hate and racism on random kids from all over the world: Iran,Iraq,France,China,USA and so on...and i can elaborate and talk about this for years...The experiment shows that the level of hate,racism,indoctrination,lack of respect was huge @american kids...He started this experiment asking himself why americans kids kill themselves in school if they got no wars in USA and a 58k pib per capita.

You expect such things to happen in other places,not in the great democracy of USA=)))

USA democracy is fake,USA influence over the world is bad,either we talk about politics,fiancial crisis,culture and so on...And this modern life style from US is so harmful.

And i can talk on and on,America history is fake most of the time...

And Europe should keep away USA influence for the love of humanity...but CNN propaganda and media is hiding all this things.Like i said,"a lie told often enough becomes the truth meaning".

If i watch a news channel from Canada i get informations,if i watch a news channel from USA i get a headache.

And i addmit that terrorism,China or Russia influence is bad overall and all that,i addmit everything that u guys might say,BUT,im here to say that USA influence is worse then all these bad things combined.

The real problem is that u can see the bad meaning in a terrorist attack or whatever,but u cant see the bad things from USA influence over the world as clear. Maybe Europe will once again pull something out will have a big impact over the world...This time not with the use of guns,but with a modern life style. Its obiously to anyone with common sense that the american one is wrong and harmful. I believe that wars were part of our development as a species but now aint cool at all.Europe,China have 5000years culture so this is my hope.

Look whos making moneys out of wars and such...If u believe that Microsoft,Google and such,are the biggest coorporates,well think again...

Shell Gas is bigger then all the cars manufacturers combined,but the ones related to guns are much bigger...Most of the countries have huge debts,including USA,WHERE ARE ALL THE MONEYS? hmm,good question:) Maybe we should ask those greedy pricks who started the financial crisis?Also i don't understand why CNN is so concerned over the China poluation so much...

Well,i have some news,no,u wont find such things by watching tv,

USA alone=40% of the global poluation. More then China,Russia,Germany or France combined...

Again,other facts: USA government is responsible for killing more innocent people then all the terrorist groups combined. I only talk about kids and womans that had no connection with the wars whatsoever.So figure that out...

And i don't want to talk more about Wall Street or NASA and all their bullshit...

USA history is fake,USA democracy is fake right now,and most important,USA INFLUENCE IS SO HARMFULL OVERALL. Unfortunately I don't see anyone powerfull enough to say such things because Europe is just a USA colony right now:( . NASA can listen to Merkel or another one of US 'allies" and no1 will dare to question that...USA=control freak. Is Merkel a terrorist to or another Eu lider? What if Poland will do such things?Well,there will be bombs over Warsaw in no time,that's for sure...In the name of democracy ofc.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 25, 2011:

George Shirey— You are welcome. Thank you for reading my work and leaving your comments.

As I noted in my article: "In 1850, a census of Texas revealed a population of 212,000 Americans; 58,000 African slaves; and 11,000 people of Mexican descent."

As far as President Polk goes . . . let me see . . . two days before Polk took office Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to take up positions along the Rio Grande in case of invasion by the Mexican Army. Mexcican regulars killed eleven Americas May 9th in Texas. Then Polk told Congress: "Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed American blood on American soil." Congress approved Polk's plans for war but there was much opposition among Whigs, 67 of whom voted against the war resolution.

George Shirey on January 24, 2011:

Thanks for this concise piece on the Mexican American Relations in the mid-19th C. Do you have an estimate on how many total Mexicans were living in the area sold prior to the treaty sale? Also, do you know of any good articles pointing to how Polk influenced Congress to approve a war resolution. I have heard that it was through deception and lies.

Thanks, again.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 20, 2010:

tracykarl99— How nice to hear from you again! :)

I had to take a break from writing my book and get away from it for a while. After the 1st of the new year, I'll stop writing Hubs and finish the book. I have a clear plan now on how to wrap it up. It was too long.

Thanks for your kind compliments. I'm glad you like this Hub.

Tracy from San Francisco on December 19, 2010:

I was impressed by this hub and your historical knowledge of Mexico as related to California and the war which left the missions in devastation. You are a passionate writer, James! Hope the book publishing project is coming along to fruition. Great to read your hubs:)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 06, 2010:

magnoliazz— What a pleasure to hear from you again! Thank you for coming by to visit, and for your gracious compliments.

I agree about that wall. There must be people in the government, or behind the scenes, that just don't want that wall built.

I'm going to write one more Hub soon about Mexico. How it got where it is, and why tens of millions left there to come here. Stay tuned! :D

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on December 05, 2010:

A great history lesson, your writing skills are above excellent.

When I was reading this, I thought to myself that history is repeating itself in so many ways. Mexico to this day has more natural resources than the US, but they fail to drag themselves out of 3rd world status.

Right now there is a border war going on, but the mass media never really tells us much about it. How can these borders continue to be so wide open?

We need a Berlin type wall on the border. Where is it?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2010:

Polly— There is a lot in history that is sad, to be sure. I am glad you loved this little story, though. Thank you for reading it and leaving your comments. And you are surely welcome. It's always a good day when I hear from you. :-)

Pollyannalana from US on November 26, 2010:

Wow that was a lot of money, especially that far back, but I guess they printed up their own however much they wanted just like today. You know all through school I was an honor roll student and I made high grades in history too but it went in one eye and out the other, I couldn't stand it and all those dead soldiers, but I like catching up on it now, well maybe it started a little when I was sixteen and went to Massachusetts. Paul Revere, shot heard round the world, Old North Church and Witches grave yard and seeing those things they were bound in, head and arms. All history does seen sad though. I loved your story. Thx

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 23, 2010:

lone77star— Thank you for your gracious compliments, kind sir. I have read that about Texas having the right to split into five states. I think it also is the only state that reserved the right to secede from the union?

I appreciate your keen comments. It is good to hear from you on this subject, my Texan friend.

Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on November 22, 2010:

James, this is another awesome work. Kept me reading hungrily to the end.

I'm from Texas and I thought I knew the whole story, but you've educated this Texan with a few things I hadn't known. Nicely done!

One tidbit I learned in Texas History lessons in grade school: Texas, when it joined the Union, apparently reserved the right to split into 5 states because of its great size. Today, Texans with big egos might find such an idea more than a little fantastic. Split Texas? Hogwash!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 22, 2010:

Writeme ASmile— I am glad you enjoyed it. I'll be writing about Mexico of the present in the next week or so. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I do appreciate it.

Writeme ASmile from on November 21, 2010:

I enjoyed the history lesson. History was my least favorite subject in school. However, I enjoyed your article, very much. I cannnot wait to read your views and research on why Mexicans are leaving their homes and towns to pour into the United States.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 16, 2010:

tonymac04— You are welcome, my friend. Yes I suppose history is largely written by the victors. The view of the losers might be summed up this way:

"The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights. What law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot - we will not- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."

Jose Angel Gutierrez, Prof. Univ. Texas at Arlington, founder La Raza Unida Party at UC Riverside 1/1995

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 15, 2010:

Robert— Thank you, my brother, for coming to see me. I enjoyed reading your warm words. You are a true friend. Thank you for being you.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on November 14, 2010:

Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Reading it I was reminded of the dictum (I'm not sure who first said it?) that "History is always written by the victors."

Thanks for an interesting and informative read.

Love and peace


Robert on November 14, 2010:


Your dedication is humbling and your ability to draw in people even those with different views is extraordinary. Keep up the good work. I never liked History this much.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2010:

akirchner— I am glad you liked the pics. I spend a lot of time on them and rarely are they recognized. Thank you for visiting and commenting. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2010:

Rod Marsden— It is amazing the lineup of officers in this war who became famous in the American Civil War. I appreciate your readership, my Aussie friend. Thank you for your always excellent comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

drbj— You are quite welcome. I surely enjoy your Hubs very much, too. You are a first class wit. Thank you for visiting and commenting. :D

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on November 13, 2010:

Always wonderful taking a history walk with you, James. Well done and as always the pics are delightfully informative.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on November 13, 2010:

A good summing up. I like the way you touched upon the big movers and shakers of the American Civil War. Yes, Grant did not approve of the war with Mexico but went anyway. He knew Lee from the Mexican war.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

quietnessandtrust— Ecce Homo! Thank you brother! That is priceless.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

always exploring— "When will they ever learn?" Reminds me of the song "Where have all the flowers gone?"

Thank you for visiting me. I appreciate your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

quietnessandtrust— Thank you, my brother! I still need to show the rest of the story. I'll be doing that soon, as I bring the history of Mexico up to present day. There is a reason why tens of millions wanted to get out of there. And we need to understand it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

Hello, hello,— You are welcome! Thank you for coming!

I always enjoy hearing from you. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 13, 2010:

davidseeger— You are welcome. Thank you. Baja-Oklahoma!? That's funny! :)

Thank you for taking the time to read my work. It is good to hear from you again.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 13, 2010:

Thanks again, James, for tremendously augmenting and enlarging my education about this subject. My previous knowledge was limited to inattention in History class and seeing "The Alamo" film - twice.

You performed your accustomed magic with the subject, my friend. :)

quietnessandtrust on November 12, 2010:

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

deepthought— You are quite welcome. Glad to provide the fix. I hope I am not viewed as a pusher! :-)

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Cmerritt— De nada, my friend. I have always thought history can be exciting if presented right. I am doing my best. Thank you for the affirmation. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

aguasilver— You are most welcome, John. I always look forward to hearing your voice. Thank you for checking in.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Stan Fletcher— You are welcome, brother. It is great to hear from you again. You are one witty writer. Thanks for visiting! :D

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 12, 2010:

Very interesting and well written.War is terrible.Will we never learn?.


quietnessandtrust on November 12, 2010:

Fantastic work here brother!!!

I have often wondered why to this day, Mexico is still in poverty, ignorance and despair.

I have my opinions on the matter as well.

It is strange to me that some here in California and Mexico want to retake California.

I say BRING IT man!!!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 12, 2010:

Thank you, James, for a great historical hub. I have learned a lot form it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

b. Malin— You are most welcome. I love history, too. I thank you for visiting my Hub, and for your gracious compliments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Tamarajo— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your kind comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Tom Whitworth— Good for Captain Whitmore!! One thing I can say for sure: it has been a blessing for Texas, California, Nevada, and Arizona to be part of the United States, rather than part of Mexico. Thanks for the visit, my good friend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Micky Dee— You are welcome, sir. It is a pleasure to see that you've been by to visit and left your words here for me.

davidseeger from Bethany, OK on November 12, 2010:

Good hub, James. Thanks. There is no way that this history can be related with agreement by all readers. There are people who dispute "facts" because of family stories which are irrrefutable. But I think what you have written here is as nearly unbiased history as is possible. Well done. One quible. I've always refered to Texas as Baja-Oklhoma. I am of course unbiased. However I think this is more appropriate. Especially during football season.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

onegoodwoman— It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I appreciate your expression of admiration for my "talent." If I have any, it is a gift for which I have done nothing to deserve. Therefore, I am grateful.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

ehern33— Thank you for the commendation. I sincerely appreciate you reading my Hub and leaving your kind comments.

Deep from In the middle of nowhere and worldwide but still that T.O.kid from da north of America on November 12, 2010:

Well James my friend here I am once again to get my hitory fix once more, and as usual you have enlighten my head with knowledge and history so long forgotten

so thank you

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on November 12, 2010:

Thanks.......AGAIN!!....for sharing James...

seriously, I never tire of your history lessons. Subjects I had NO interest about 15 minutes ago, I walk away, so glad I read, and learned. Gracias

John Harper from Malaga, Spain on November 12, 2010:

Learned a lot form this one James, many thanks.

Stan Fletcher from Nashville, TN on November 12, 2010:

well done! I haven't thought about a lot of this since taking Texas history in Jr. High. Thanks for the accurate portrayal of Santa Anna....

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

Vladimir Uhri— You are welcome, Brother. Thank you for your kind comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2010:

J D Murrah— Few people would know this history better than you, my friend. For the sake of postmodern attention spans, I had to present a truncated history here. You filled in important gaps in my presentation with these words:

"Santa Anna intentionally butchered the bodies of the defenders of the Alamo. There is something about bayoneting dead bodies which is distasteful. The religious freedom issue was a major item in Texas Independence as well. The Tejanos objected to the lack of religious freedom and the political oppression. Santa Anna nationalized the churches and wanted one single religion, which riled up a lot of the people."

I was aware of the next paragraph where you wrote about Polk, Santa Anna, and Cuba. I should have included that.

I didn't mean to rile you up, my friend. Thank you very much for helping complete the picture for me.

b. Malin on November 12, 2010:

I have to agree with Tamarajo. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful Hub, History Lesson with us. I always loved History...such a learning experience.

Tamarajo on November 12, 2010:

a strange but fascinating piece of history I did not know. Well presented.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on November 12, 2010:


My freshman year at WVU I had a liberal history professor who climed America was an Imperialistic Country and cited the Mexican-American war as an example. I told my ROTC instructor Capt. Whitmore and he came to history class and set Professor Bagby straight in quick order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Micky Dee on November 12, 2010:

Looks like an unbiased account of the history. There are arguments from all sides. Thanks for the history.

onegoodwoman from A small southern town on November 11, 2010:

I always learn something from you.

And I admire your ability to put

history into a 'conversational' is a talent not

given to me.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 11, 2010:

eovery— Thank you for the high marks, brother! I appreciate you!

ehern33 on November 11, 2010:

Great write-up and refresher course for me as I haven't read the history of this area for a very long time. Interesting read and commend you.

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on November 11, 2010:

Great information my friend. Thanks

J D Murrah from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas on November 11, 2010:


You took on a large task on this one. I enjoyed it although as a Texas historian, I had some issues with the portrayal of the militia, which consisted of Texas Rangers and a few other items. Some of the things are that Santa Anna intentionally butchered the bodies of the defenders of the Alamo. There is something about bayoneting dead bodies which is distasteful. The religious freedom issue was a major item in Texas Independence as well. The Tejanos objected to the lack of religious freedom and the political oppression. Santa Anna nationalized the churches and wanted one single religion, which riled up a lot of the people.

Another item is that at the start of the Mexican American War, Santa Anna was in Cuba. President Polk made him an offer to come to Mexico and end the war. Santa Anna took the money, returned to Mexico and then pressed the war more vigorously. He was often stunned at how his forces were beat by inferior numbers. he commented "God must be a Yankee" as his forces were beaten repeatedly.

I know doing an overview of so much history is often a challenge. It was a good overview, and I, being a Texan tend to look at the events with a more critical eye than most. I enjoyed it, even if I did get riled up about a few items.

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on November 11, 2010:

Marked up as always.

Keep on hubbing!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 11, 2010:

stars439— Thank you for being my first visitor!! I appreciate your gracious laudations, my brother. God Bless You!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on November 11, 2010:

Fantastic Hub. Your work is always impecably perfect to the letter. GBY.And Awesome photographs.

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