#OnThisDay: War in Mexico, 1847

Today’s blog post is a brief memory refresher about the Mexican-American War. The deciding battle of the war took place 173 years ago today in Mexico City.


Manifest Destiny

United States President James K. Polk’s belief in the “manifest destiny” of the US to reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific was at the root of the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War. Specifically, there was a dispute between the two countries over where Texas ended and where Mexico began along the Rio Grande and Nueces Rivers.

President Polk pushed the issue by sending troops into the disputed zones, which resulted in a skirmish between Mexican and American troops on April 25, 1846. The US Congress declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846.

Village scene in Mexico
Photo credit: Freestocks via Unsplash.com

Santa Anna

Mexico’s General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was in exile in Cuba. (You, no doubt, remember him from the Battle of The Alamo in the 1836 Texas Revolution.) He convinced President Polk that he would end the war on terms the US would like if he could get back into Mexico. It was a trick. Upon returning to Mexico, Santa Anna took control of the Mexican army and led an attack. In March of 1847, he assumed the presidency of Mexico.


End of the Mexican-American War

General Winfield Scott led the American forces in a march from Veracruz to Mexico City. In September, 1847, US troops laid siege to Mexico City and captured the Chapultepec Castle.

Chapultepec Castle
Castillo de Chapultepec
Photo credit: Arpa Sarian on Unsplash.com

The war was essentially over once the US had taken control of Mexico City on September 14, but the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo wasn’t signed until February 2, 1848.

The treaty established the Rio Grande River as the boundary between the US and Mexico. Included in the treaty was Mexico selling California and the rest of its territory north of the Rio Grande (which was most of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada) to the US for $15 million!


“Halls of Montezuma”

Incidentally, the opening words of the hymn of the US Marine Corps, “From the halls of Montezuma” are believed to refer to the Chapultepec Castle, although the castle was actually built by the Spanish 200 years after the overthrow of Aztec Emperor Montezuma.

For purposes of my blog post today, I was unable to verify that the beautiful stained-glass windows pictured above were part of the castle in 1847. At the time of the battle, the castle housed the Military College for cadets.


Since my last blog post

I’ll try to get today’s blog post out on schedule, since it’s an #OnThisDay edition. Last Saturday when I clicked on the publish button to schedule my post for Monday morning, it “went live” immediately. That’s the second time that’s happened, and I’m sure it’s due to operator error.

I’m once again focusing on getting the 174 local history newspaper columns I wrote from May 2006 through 2012 published. I formatted 292 pages for self-publishing on CreateSpace. When Amazon absorbed CreateSpace in 2018, I put the project on the back burner. My interest in getting this work published was rekindled the other day. I’m reformatting it as a Word document and adding my research notes for the many newspaper columns I didn’t get to write because the newspaper suddenly ceased publication. I’ll keep you posted.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read.

If you’re a writer or other artist, I hope you have fulfilling creative time this week.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, please be safe. Wear a mask out of respect for others.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my blog post today!

Janet

18 thoughts on “#OnThisDay: War in Mexico, 1847

  1. This blog post was a little off the beaten path for me, but “variety is the spice of life.” Thank you for being such a loyal reader of my blog. I need to catch up on some of your recent posts I’ve missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting Janet. I did not know much about that part of North American history, so manifest destiny had a lot to do with that war…very good post. Thank you for the knowledge. It’s now fall in Spain, thankfully the hot weather has left us and the days are shorter but much more pleasant.
    All the best my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much, Francisco. A lot of the information in that blog post was new to me, too. We never really studied the Mexican-American War much in school. I enjoyed doing the research and putting it together. I’m glad you enjoyed it. This week has been in the upper 70s and 80s instead of the 90s, so perhaps fall is coming a bit early here, too. Keeping an eye on Hurricane Sally down on the Gulf coast tonight. It’s predicted to come through NC as a rain maker on Thursday and Friday. The people along the coast of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi are getting pounded tonight with 30-foot waves and rain that will be measured in feet instead of inches by the time it makes landfall and moves inland. It’s only moving 2 miles per hour, so the coast there is really taking a beating. I’m sure you don’t miss the hurricane season. Enjoy the mild weather and natural beauty you have there. My best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Beverley. I didn’t know much about the Mexican-American War, so I learned a lot while doing the research for the blog post. I’m glad you’re learning some American history from my little blog. I’m trying to keep finding interesting topics to write about.

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  5. Thank you Janet, I have good friends and family both in Florida and Louisiana so I have been keeping an eye on Sally as well, and my prayers are with those facing the worst of that storm. Here our weather is much cooler as well, thank God! Take good care Janet and I look forward to your next post! All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janet—I’m glad you are publishing your local history newspaper columns. My husband and I enjoy visiting local history museums across NC. Although we live outside Raleigh and so have access to the NC Museum of History, we get a whole different take on NC history in the local museums. I guess it’s because we all live locally somewhere that that perspective is so much more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Hallie. I’m more than a bit envious of you for living close to the NC Museum of History and very envious of you for living equally close to the State Archives. I spent two years in graduate school at NC State, but didn’t have free time to take advantage of the museums while there. I agree with you, though, that the local history museums give you more of a feel for what life was really like back in the day. I’m excited about publishing my local history newspaper columns. It looks like it will need to be two books: one for the 174 published articles and one for my research notes on the topics I didn’t get to write about when the newspaper ceased publication. I thought it could all go in one book, but I’m up to 315 pages now and not anywhere near finished. Looks like I need to pull out the notes and plug it into a different file for book two. This is all a learning curve for me. I’m not very computer literate. Thank you for reading my blog. I always appreciate your comments.

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