For a considerable period between Mexico and the United States, there were controversial issues. The American government claimed the whole of the mainland (the so-called concept of “predestination of Fate”) and was contemptuous of a republic that could not restore order in its territory. The Mexicans were afraid of the expansion of the Anglo-Saxons. After Mexico gained its independence in 1821, the American government tried to raise the question of US territorial concessions to the United States as a condition for its recognition. The first US envoy to Mexico City, Joel Poinsett, in 1822, put forward a project to include Texas, New Mexico, Upper and Lower California, and several other territories in the United States. It is clear that such a project did not find understanding among the Mexican authorities.
The United States did not give up hope for the accession of Texas and California even after the conclusion of an agreement with Mexico on borders in 1828, confirming the demarcation established by the Transcontinental Treaty of 1819. Attempts by the administrations of Andrew Jackson and John Tyler to buy from Mexico at least part of the California coast were unsuccessful. They also failed to achieve a change in the border with Mexico in such a way that it is important for whaling fleet San Francisco harbor departed to the United States. The origin and rapid development of whaling in the second quarter of the century was of great importance for the United States. From 1825 to 1845, the total registered whaling tonnage of the American whaling fleet grew from 35 thousand to 191 thousand tons. The vast majority of whalers hunted in the Pacific Ocean, and they needed a convenient base on its coast.
Another problem was the question of the loss of American citizens. American citizens living in Mexico suffered heavy losses as a result of the unrest involving coups and military confiscations. Americans first sought damages through the Mexican courts. Not having achieved a positive result, they appealed to their government. In America, always anxiously treated money issues, and then there was a reason to legally blame Mexico. When peaceful protests failed, the United States threatened war. Then Mexico agreed to transfer the American claims to arbitration. Three-quarters of these claims turned out to be illegal, and in 1841, an international court rejected them, although it awarded Mexico for the rest to pay - in the amount of about 2 million dollars. Mexico paid three installments for this debt, and then stopped payments.
But the more serious problem that spoiled relations between the two countries was Texas. By the middle of the 1830s, the dictatorship of President Antonio Santa Anna and the unrest in Mexico caused the state to be on the verge of collapse - Texas decided to secede. In addition, slavery was abolished in Mexico, and in Texas, immigrants from the United States refused to comply with this law. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the central administration, which is hampering their administration of the territory. As a result, the free state of Texas was created. An attempt by the Mexican army to regain control of Texas led to the battle of San Jacinto 21 on April 1836 between a squad of Texans in 800 and a man led by Sam Houston and twice the largest army of the Mexican president, General Santa Anna. As a result of a surprise attack, almost the entire Mexican army led by Santa Anna was captured. Texans lost only 6 people. As a result, the Mexican president was forced to withdraw Mexican troops from Texas.
Mexico did not recognize the secession of Texas and the clashes continued for almost 10 years and depended on whether the positions of the Mexican government were strengthened or weakened. Washington did not officially intervene in this struggle, although thousands of volunteers in the United States were recruited to help Texans. Most Texans welcomed the accession of the republic to the United States. But the northerners feared that the adoption of another slave-owning state would shift the domestic balance in favor of the South, and therefore delayed the accession of Texas for almost ten years. As a result, in 1845, the United States joined the Republic of Texas and recognized Texas as the 28 state of the united state. Thus, the United States inherited a territorial dispute between Texas and Mexico.
Mexico complained that the United States had intervened in the internal affairs of the country and unreasonably seized its territory by joining its “rebellious province”. In turn, the US government also sought war to secure the result. The pretext was the question of the border of Texas. Mexico, which has never recognized the independence of Texas, declared the Nueces River between Texas and Mexico, which lies about 150 miles east of the Rio Grande. The States, referring to the Velaskie Treaty, declared the Rio Grande River itself the border of Texas. Mexico argued its position that the treaty was signed by General Santa Anna in 1836 year under duress when he was being held captive by Texans, and therefore was invalid. In addition, the Mexicans claimed that Santa Anna did not have the authority to negotiate or sign agreements. The treaty was never ratified by the Mexican government. Mexicans feared that Texas was just the beginning and the Americans would continue their expansion.
For Mexicans, the Texas issue was a matter of national honor and independence. In Mexico City, it has been stated more than once that the annexation of Texas will mean war. In addition, Mexico hoped for help from England. True, the Mexican president, Jose Joaquin de Herrera (1844-1845), was prepared to accept the inevitable, provided that the injured pride of the Mexicans received proper reassurance. However, the Americans themselves did not want peace. In 1844, the president of the United States was James Knox Polk. The Democratic Party, to which the regiment belonged, was a supporter of the annexation of Texas. In addition, the Americans claimed to California. This deserted but rich land seemed to be asking for expansion. In the XVIII century, the wave of Spanish expansion reached its peak and swept California. Then the degradation of the Spanish colonial empire began, and in California there were only a few Creole-landowner families who lived in luxury, owning huge Asienda-estates. They owned huge herds of horses and herds of cattle. And the Mexican government, weakened and virtually bankrupt after the Mexican War of Independence, was experiencing enormous problems in managing its northern territories, which were hundreds of miles from Mexico City. The Mexican government had almost no power in California. From the middle of the 1830, American immigrants began to penetrate into California.
The US government, alarmed by rumors of England’s desire to buy California, decided to offer a deal to Mexico. The regiment planned to offer Mexico to abandon the demand for payment of unsatisfied claims in exchange for establishing an acceptable border between Texas and Mexico, and also wanted to buy California. The Americans also claimed the New Mexico. For California, the United States offered 25 million dollars, for New Mexico - 5 million dollars. The disputed territories between Nueces and Rio Grande should have moved to Texas. Such a deal, as the Americans assured, was beneficial to Mexico, as it gave her the opportunity to pay debts. Herrera told Regiment that he would accept his representative. The regiment immediately appointed John Slidel as envoy to Mexico.
In the meantime, outrage in US policy grew in Mexico. Under these conditions, the country's government, consisting of a party of moderate liberals, led by Herrera did not dare to accept Slidel. Moreover, the Mexican government could not begin negotiations with him due to political unrest in the country. In 1846, only the president of the country changed four times. President Herrera’s military opposition viewed Slidel’s presence in Mexico City as an insult. After the more nationalist government of the Conservatives, led by General Mariano Paredes y Arriillyag, came to power, it reaffirmed its claims to Texas. 12 January Washington received a message from Slidel that the Herrera government had refused to meet him. The regiment considered that the unpaid claims and the expulsion of Slidel were sufficient grounds for war.
American President James Knox Polk (1845-1849)
Simultaneously with the negotiations, the Americans were actively preparing for war. Back in May, 1845, General Zachary Taylor, received a secret order to transfer troops from West Louisiana to Texas. American troops were to occupy the neutral zone between Nueces and Rio Grande, which Texas claimed, but never occupied. Soon, most of the US regular army from 4, thousand people, was stationed at Corpus Christi. Naval squadrons were sent to the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean to block the coast of Mexico. Thus, the US government provoked the war. Washington covered its aggressive goals with the alleged aggression of Mexico. The Americans planned to seize California, New Mexico and Mexico’s main life centers in order to force Mexico City to accept the world on the terms of Washington.
Mexican President Paredes considered the advance of General Taylor’s troops as an invasion of Mexican territory and ordered resistance. 25 April 1846 The Mexican cavalry attacked several American dragoons, and forced them to surrender. Then a few more collisions happened. When news of this reached Washington, the Regiment sent a message to Congress with a declaration of war. The American blood, explained Polk, was spilled on American soil - by this act Mexico caused the war. The joint session of the Congress overwhelmingly approved the declaration of war. Democrats unanimously supported military action. 67 representatives of the Whig party voted against the war when discussing the amendments, but in the last reading only 14 of them were against it. 13 May, the United States declared war on Mexico.
Mexico, with its outdated weapons and a weak army, was doomed to defeat. In terms of population and economic development, the United States exceeded Mexico. The number of the American army at the beginning of the war was 7883 man, and in total during the years of the war the USA armed 100 thousand people. Most of the US Army was made up of volunteers with a 12-month service life. They were eager to war. The possessions of the former Spanish empire have always been a magnet for northerners who “dreamed of feasting in the palaces of Montezuma”. At the beginning of the war, the Mexican army numbered over 23 thousand people and consisted mainly of recruits - Indians and peons (peasants) who were not eager to fight. Gunshot weapon and the artillery of the Mexicans was an outdated sample. Unlike the United States, Mexico almost did not produce its own weapons and practically had no military fleet.
In May, 1846. American troops defeated General Arista. Mexicans could not hold their positions under the fire of American artillery for a long time. 18 May 1846, Taylor crossed the Rio Grande and captured Matamoros. After spending two months in Matamoros and losing several thousand people from dysentery and the measles epidemic, Taylor decided to move south. In early July, from Matamoros, Taylor headed for Monterrey, from which the main road to the capital ran. He stormed Monterrey, who defended General Pedro de Ampudia’s 7-thousand army, and finally settled in Saltillo.
General Zachary Taylor
At the same time, the American fleet captured California with the help of the Americans who lived there. American settlers captured Sonoma and proclaimed the Republic of California. The US fleet 7 July occupied Monterey, July 9 - San Francisco. In early August, the United States captured San Pedro. 13 August US troops captured the capital of California, Los Angeles. Next, the Americans captured the ports of Santa Barbara and San Diego. The population of California in most passed on the American side. 17 August California was annexed to the USA. True, the Mexican partisans recaptured Los Angeles at the end of September.
The Western Army, by Brigadier General Stephen Kearney, was sent to capture New Mexico. He was to make his way from Fort Leavenworth (Missouri) to Santa Fe, and after taking New Mexico, head for the Pacific Coast. In July, 1846, an army of Kearny, 3 numbering thousands of people, with 16 guns, entered New Mexico. 14 August The Western army captured Las Vegas, 16 August - San Miguel, 18 August - the main city of the state of Santa Fe. 22 August issued a decree declaring the whole of New Mexico as part of the United States. Then Kearney with a squad of 300 dragoons moved to the Pacific Ocean. Kearney and Stockton combined their troops and moved to the headquarters of the partisans - Los Angeles. 8-9 On January 1847, they triumphed on the San Gabriel River and on January 10 entered the city. Thus, California was conquered.
In the meantime, another coup took place in the country, Paredes showed a complete inability to wage war and power in Mexico was seized by extreme liberals led by Gomez Farias. They reinstated the 1824 constitution of the year and returned Santa Anna from exile in Cuba, whom many considered the most capable of all Mexican generals. However, Santa Anna only wanted to return power and he was ready for territorial concessions, he led secret negotiations with the Americans. In exchange for the unimpeded passage through the American naval blockade and 30 million dollars, he promised to give the Americans the land for which they claimed. August 16 Santa Anna landed on Veracruz, and on September 14 entered the capital. Santa Anna marched on September in San Luis Potosi, where he was to form an army. The Mexicans convened a liberal congress, which appointed Santa Anna as acting president; Gómez Farias became vice president.
In August and October, the Americans made two unsuccessful attempts to seize the port of Alvarado. November 10 squadron Commodore Matthew Perry took one of the largest Mexican ports on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico - Tampico. The American government, convinced of Taylor’s inability to end the war, replaced him with Winfield Scott. He was supposed to land in Veracruz. And Taylor was ordered to withdraw, leaving the forward position in Saltillo. Taylor retreated, but remained near Saltillo, provoking the enemy to battle.
By January, 1847, the city of Santa Anna gathered 25-thousand. army, funding it through mass confiscations, including church property. At the end of January 1847, the commander-in-chief of the Mexican army, Santa Anna, marched north towards Taylor, who stood with 6 thousand people 18 miles from Saltillo. Upon learning of the approach of Santa Anne, Taylor retreated by ten miles and took a favorable position from Hacienda Buena Vista. The battle took place 22 — February 23 1847, in a narrow mountain pass on the road from San Luis Potosi to Saltillo. Santa Anna threw his excellent cavalry between the US Army and the mountains on the east side of the pass. This site Taylor, incorrectly assessing the nature of the terrain, left unprotected. But if Santa Anna was the best commander, then American artillery literally mowed down the Mexicans. Taylor’s position was ominous, but reinforcements from Saltillo allowed the Americans to regain their lost ground. By nightfall, both armies were at their starting positions. There were three times fewer Americans than Mexicans, and they awaited the continuation of the battle with trepidation. However, Santa Anna decided otherwise. His army, composed of peasant recruits and Indians, did not want to fight. Santa Anna unexpectedly retreated to San Luis Potosi, leaving burning fires to hide the waste. He captured several cannons and two flags, that was enough to demonstrate victory. Losses Taylor's army amounted to killed, wounded and missing 723 man. According to American data, Mexicans have lost over 1500 people killed and wounded. Mexican troops retreated in disarray, the soldiers were dying from hunger and disease, froze.
General Winfield Scott
At this time in Mexico began another distemper. Farias and his supporters - Puros met many difficulties in the capital. The clergy prayed for victory and arranged solemn processions, but did not want to share money. Eventually, Congress allowed the confiscation of 5 million pesos from church property. This caused the resistance of the clergy and the growth of sympathy for the Americans. They say that the invaders may seize Mexico, but they will not touch the church estates. The church took 1,5 million. Pesos, and then the civil war began. Police in Mexico City, which was assembled to defend against the Americans, defended the clergy. Several regiments of Creos revolted against Farias. When Santa Anna arrived at the capital, all parties supported him. And he decided to seize power. Farias expelled. Santa Anna received another 2 million pesos from the church for the promise of immunity in the future and marched east, against Scott's army.
9 March 1847 began the landing of an American landing party three miles south of Veracruz. 29 March, after heavy bombardment, Veracruz was forced to capitulate. Read More Scott moved to the Mexican capital. 17 — 18 April, on the way to Mexico City, in the gorge of Cerro Gordo, the battle of 12 by thousands of soldiers under the command of Santa Anna against the 9-thousandth American army took place. Mexicans took a strong position where the road goes uphill. However, the Scott sappers found a way to bypass the Mexicans from the northern flank, and a squad of Americans pulled guns through the gorges and dense forests, which Santa Anna declared impassable. The Mexican army, attacked from the front and left flank, was cut into pieces, and those who survived fled in disarray along the roads back to Mexico City. The Mexicans lost 1000 — 1200 people were killed and wounded, 3 thousand were captured, including 5 generals. The loss of American troops amounted to 431 man.
22 April, the vanguard of the American army under the command of General Worth occupied the city of Perote, seizing a large number of weapons. 15 May Worth's troops entered the clerical city of Puebla. The city was surrendered without resistance, and American troops were favorably received by clergymen opposed to the liberals in power.
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
In Mexico City, panic began. Moderados ("moderate", right-wing liberals) and puros, clerics and monarchists all blamed each other for the troubles of Mexico. Everyone was united in the distrust of Santa Anna. There were rumors of his talks with the Americans. They began to ask questions as he broke through the American naval blockade. However, in Mexico there was no person who could lead the people in this situation. Santa Anna recognized the only person who is able to overcome the crisis. Santa Anna began to form a third army and prepare the capital for defense.
In August, Scott left Puebla and the Americans climbed the pass over the snowy summit of Popocatepetla, which overlooks the valley of Mexico City with lakes, fields and estates. In the afternoon of August 9, the bells of the Mekhikan Cathedral notified the population about the approach of the enemy. The Mexican army was waiting for invaders on the isthmus between two lakes, east of the city. The battle began. This time the Mexicans hit the enemy with their courage and tenacity. The quarrels between the parties were forgotten, the Mexicans fought for their homeland. The army already consisted not of recruits, but volunteers, ready to die, but not to give up the capital. And Santa Anna, tirelessly organizing troops, quietly standing under fire at the forefront, recalled his nickname - “Napoleon of the West”. At that moment he was a real national leader.
However, the Americans broke through the defenses of the enemy, using the power of their artillery. 17 August Americans occupied San Augustine. Further, near the village of Contrares, they met with the troops of General Valencia. 20 August Valencia, which did not obey Santa Ana’s order to retreat, was defeated. On the same day, a bloody battle took place near the river Churubusko, defeating General Anaya. Here the Irish Catholics were captured. As part of the Mexican army was the battalion of St. Patrick, it consisted of the Irish Catholic, who left the American army and joined the Mexicans. The Irish were shot as deserters.
23 August was a truce until 7 September and peace negotiations began. General Valencia declared Santa Anna a traitor. Santa Anna, continuing to assure Americans that he is committed to peace, hastily strengthened the defense. The United States demanded to transfer to them more than two thirds of the territory, not counting Texas. Fearing a popular uprising, the Mexican government rejected these conditions.
When the Mexicans rejected the proposals of the United States, the American troops launched a new assault. September 8 Americans launched an assault on the fortified Molino del Rey, which defended 4 thousand people. The number of American troops was 3447 people, but the Americans had twice the artillery. The Mexicans were defeated in this battle. The Americans climbed the heights of Chapultepec and on the evening of September 13 broke into the capital. Santa Anna decided to withdraw its troops from the capital and retreated to Guadalupe. September 14 Americans entered Mexico City. Townspeople revolt. Snipers fired from shelters, and the townspeople threw the invaders with stones. Throughout the day there were bloody street battles. But by morning the city authorities persuaded the townspeople to stop the resistance.
Santa Anna planned to continue the war. He was going to gather fresh troops and cut off Scott's army from the main base in Veracruz. Mexico could go on to guerrilla warfare and hold on indefinitely. Quite a few American troops in such a war had no chance of success. In winter, the squadrons of patriots, as well as semi-gangs, raided the Americans and caused bloody acts of revenge on the part of the invaders. But after the attack of the troops of Santa Anna on the garrison in Puebla ended in failure, the power passed to the supporters of the world - moderados. The President of the Supreme Court, Manuel de la Peña y Peña, became interim president. The solution to the question of peace was given to the Mexican Congress. Santa Anna fled to the mountains, and then went to a new exile, to Jamaica.
A rich part of the population was afraid of the devastating guerrilla war. Landowners and churchmen were afraid that the country would begin a complete anarchy. Half of the northern states were ready to proclaim independence. The Indian tribes in the Yucatan, whom the greed of the white landowners brought to revolt, captured almost the entire peninsula. In such circumstances, the Mexican government decided to go for the world.
Storm Chapultepec. Lithograph by A. J.-B. Bayo by drawing K. Nebel (1851)
Under the threat of renewed hostilities, most of the Mexican congress accepted the conditions of the Americans, and a peace treaty was signed on February 2 in Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 12.
Mexico was forced to cede the USA to Texas, California and the vast, almost uninhabited territory between them. On this territory are now the US states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and part of Wyoming. Thus, Mexico has lost more than half of the territory. As compensation, Mexico received 15 million dollars, plus the cancellation of unpaid claims. I must say that in the United States at that time there were strong sentiments to occupy the whole of Mexico. But once the contract was concluded, the Regiment decided to accept it. 10 March The 1848 Treaty concluded at Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified by the US Senate. By the end of July, American troops were withdrawn from Mexico. As a result of the war with Mexico, the United States established its undivided hegemony in North America.
Mexico was devastated and devastated. The country was in full decline. Officials competed in abuse and corruption. The generals were revolting. All roads were teeming with bandits. Indians from Texas and Arizona and no less bloodthirsty Anglo-Saxon gangsters raided the Mexican territories. Indians from the Sierra Gorda devastated the northeastern lands. In the Yucatan, the war of the Indians with the descendants of the whites (Creoles) continued to rage. She claimed half the population of the peninsula. And American politicians and journalists, intoxicated by victories, insistently demanded to push the borders of the American empire all the way to Guatemala. However, the beginning of the American Civil War halted American expansion.
At the start of the 1850, the American government came up with the idea of building a railway along the 32 parallel. Part of the future road was planned through the Mesilla Valley between the rivers Rio Grande, Hila and Colorado. The valley belonged to Mexico and the US envoy to this country, J. Gadsden, was commissioned to buy it. For 10 million. US dollars purchased an area of 29400 square. miles The agreement concluded by 30 December 1853 of the year completed the design of the modern southern frontier of the United States.
Mexico, however, began to recover from 1857, when the liberal republic was proclaimed. The new government contributed to the colonization of the vast and sparsely populated northern Mexican states to avoid further territorial losses.