Sins of Omission

The Mexican War

It’s popular in academe today to describe the Mexican War as an example of an aggressive and expansive colossus beating up on a weak neighbor, but that was not the case in 1846.  The war was really a second phase of the Texas Revolution.  Most people don’t understand that Mexico never recognized Texas independence.  It is, however, well understood that Mexican President and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was defeated and captured at the Battle of San Jacinto by the Texas rebel Gen. Sam Houston on April 21, 1836.  Santa Anna signed the Treaty of Velasco, which recognized Texas independence and established the Rio Grande as the boundary of Texas.  Later, though, Mexico repudiated the treaty.  This had little effect on the newly established Republic of Texas, which was recognized by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Belgium, among other countries.

For nearly ten years the Republic of Texas remained an independent country.  Then, in 1845, negotiations began over annexation of Texas by the United States.  Mexico announced that Texas was not an independent republic but Mexican territory under the rule of a rebel government, and that U.S. annexation of Texas would be an act of war.  When the United States offered Texas a formal treaty of annexation, Mexico recalled her ambassador from Washington.  Mexico also threatened to invade...

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