The Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848 was the culmination of the spirit of Manifest Destiny in the United States. The war gave the United States around one-third of its present-day territory and led to the American Civil War. It also became one of the defining factors in the relationship between the two neighbors, even to this day.
In my project, I seek to explain why the Mexican-American War occurred. In doing so, I identified three main theses on this subject. The first states that the Mexican-American War came out of pro-slavery desires to expand the institution. The second states that the American president at the time, James Polk, caused the war in order to seize Mexican territory. The third argues that tensions between Mexico and the United States made war inevitable.
After analyzing these three theses, I conclude that Polk’s expansionist tendencies offer the best explanation for why the Mexican-American War occurred.
Martin Reimer, ’15
El Cerrito, CA
Majors: International Relations, Economics and Business
Sponsor: David Yamanishi