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Following the earlier Texas War of Independence from Mexico, tensions between the two largest independent nations on the North American continent grew as Texas eventually became a U. The war between the United States and Mexico had two basic causes. Ever since President Jefferson's acquisition of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, Americans migrated westward in ever increasing numbers, often into lands not belonging to the United States. basically had a God-given right to occupy and "civilize" the whole continent gained favor as more and more Americans settled the western lands.By the time President Polk came to office in 1845, an idea called "Manifest Destiny" had taken root among the American people, and the new occupant of the White House was a firm believer in the idea of expansion. The fact that most of those areas already had people living upon them was usually ignored, with the attitude that democratic English-speaking America, with its high ideals and Protestant Christian ethics, would do a better job of running things than the Native Americans or Spanish-speaking Catholic Mexicans.Guerrilla operations continued against Scott's lines of supply back to Veracruz, but this resistance proved ineffective. The treaty called for the annexation of the northern portions of Mexico to the United States. The bravery of the individual Mexican soldier goes a long way in explaining the difficulty the U. And in many of the battles, the superior cannon of the U. artillery divisions and the innovative tactics of their officers turned the tide against the Mexicans. America had defeated its weaker and somewhat disorganized southern neighbor, but not without paying a terrible price. Despite early popularity at home, the war was marked by the growth of a loud anti-war movement which included such noted Americans as Ralph Waldo Emerson, former president John Quincy Adams and Henry David Thoreau.
This group of Catholic Irish immigrants rebelled at the abusive treatment by Protestant, American-born officers and at the treatment of the Catholic Mexican population by the U. In Mexico, a special day is remembered to celebrate the bravery of the teenaged military cadets at the military academy at Chapultepec Castle, which was attacked by Scott's army on September 13, 1847.
The more important battles of this campaign include the Battles of : Cerro Gordo (April 18), Contreras (August 20), Churubusco (August 20), Molino del Rey (September 8) and Chapultepec (September 13).
Finally, on September 14, the American army entered Mexico City. Following the city's occupation, Santa Anna resigned the presidency but retained command of his army.
As American forces penetrated into the Mexican heartland, some of the defending forces resorted to guerrilla tactics to harass the invaders, but these irregular forces did not greatly influence the outcome of the war. Two American armies moved south from Texas, while a third force under Colonel Stephen Kearny traveled west to Sante Fe, New Mexico and then to California.
In a series of battles at Palo Alto and Resaca de Palma (near current-day Brownsville, Texas), the army of General Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexican forces and began to move south after inflicting over a thousand casualties.