Ariel Bong To what extent was the Mexican War inevitable? Was it necessary? Why or why not?

What might either side have done to avoid the war? The Mexican War was a culmination of a series of factors of that led to the clash between the two, budding North American countries. From the outside looking-in, the war was inevitable yet unnecessary from the viewpoints of both Mexico and the United States. Several previous agreements might have been refuted in order to avoid the war. Tensions were escalating quickly between America and Mexico in the lead up to the war. Travelers had been moving into Mexican land since the beginning of the 19th century, slowly and surely. This might have been a problem if the Americans had assimilated well into the culture of the Mexicans. The immigrants brought with them American language, trading customs, and the outlawed practice of slavery. All this eventually led to a war for the independence of Texas led by many of the same Southern warhawks from the War of 1812. After the successful Texan victory and claim of independence, the relations between America and Mexico were soured. What furthered tightened the tensions was the American annexation of the newly independent state. The annexation was seen as somewhat hypocritical because of the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine which declared no further taking of land would be allowed on the continental United States by the Europeans. Furthermore, President Polk set his sights on the California area and the upper half of Mexico. The southern border of Texas had never been settled upon between the two countries because of disdain from Mexico. Polk had sent a representative to Mexico in order to establish a price for the land, but he was never received. Similar to the XYZ affair, this was taken as a sign of complete disrespect that had to be acted upon. To initiate a response, Polk sent a small army in the undeclared land between America and Mexico as a means in exciting a certain response. The Mexicans soon responded with force and the Mexican War began. In what was a twist of the truth, Polk was able to officially declare war on Mexico with a thumbs-up from congress. The war was inevitable because there were already several disputes in creating the Texan border more southern on the Rio Grande River. In this age of Manifest Destiny, much of the country thought it was an American obligation to set out and take land. Mexico was still apprehensive from the loss of Texas, and they believed the Americans had no claim to the already established Mexican land. The geographic location also aided in the inevitability. The Southern democrats believed they could spread the reach of slavery by gaining more land. With westward expansion and more plantations, much wealth could be brought to the South. Also, they were more inclined to war; coming from the Jacksonian age of thinking, these were the same riled up fighters. The war was not necessary for Mexico. If they had simply relinquished the Californian land for a large lump sum of money, many casualties would have been saved. Their rule was already overextended, and they would have been directly west of the oncoming Western expansion. America couldn’t have had gained the land willfully from Mexico without giving back Texas, and this simply wasn’t possible with the current mindset of the people. Texas would have been an independent country before being given back to Mexico. In order to avoid the war, America would have had to not pursue the western land and follow the Whig stance of confrontation.