President Polk’s War

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William C Martin


American History to 1877

Kelly McMichael

June 13, 2014

President Polk's War

Mexican War is a military conflict that took place in 1848-1848 between the USA and Mexico. Among the major reasons for the war are the territorial disputes between the two countries that followed the annexation of Texas to the United States. The military conflict is often referred to as "Mr. Polk's War" because the war was declared during President's Polk term in office and became divisive both in the Congress and in the country.

Polk's policy of expansionism became evident early in his career after he reached the settlement over the disputed territory of Oregon and initiated the annexation of Texas (DeLay 245). However, the president was not planning to go to war until his efforts to persuade Mexican authorities to sell the disputed territories failed. Polk decided to draft a war message and send it to the Congress because he was growing tired of waiting and all the negotiations had proved futile.

Yet, on May 9. 1846 Polk received the news about the attack by Mexican soldiers on US troops stationed in the disputed territory On May11, 1846, the president to address the Congress with a special message for a declaration of war (DeLay 247). Polk claimed that: As war exists, and, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon, by every consideration of duty and patriotism, to vindicate, with decision, the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country" (Polk).

Despite the fact that Congress passed the war resolution, the war was not universally supported. Polk's opponents claimed that the President and his party initiated the conflict with a weaker neighbor state not to protect...