From the Annals of Thievery – In 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War and redrawing the international boundary. Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico lost approximately a third of its national territory including New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Mexico also gave up any claim to the former Republic of Texas. In return, the U.S. paid Mexico a paltry $15,000,000 and assumed responsibility of all claims against Mexico by American citizens. The MAW was clearly a war of territorial aggression waged against a weaker opponent and justified by questionable claims. Still many of the major battles were relatively close affairs, but luck was not on the side of the Mexicans. Mexico should have built a wall.
In his classless non-concession speech last night, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) was touting the values of the United States – many of which Red agrees with. But one particular statement caught Red’s attention. “America does not wage wars of conquest.” Well, Ted is either ignorant or as usual lying to serve his rhetorical purposes. Both the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War were clearly started as wars of conquest. And while we let go of much of what was conquered during the SAW – we are still holding on to Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and of course we kept everything we took from Mexico in the MAW.
From the Annals of the Border – In 1859, Mexican rancher, politician, military commander and at times outlaw Juan Cortina rode into Brownsville with a band of 80 men and seized control of the town. Cortina had a long running feud with the Anglos in south Texas who were attempting to oust him from his family’s extensive holdings on the north side of the Rio Grande in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. For his efforts, Cortina was viewed as a champion of Mexicans living along the border in the years after the War. The first “Cortina War” arose from an incident on July 13, 1859, when Cortina saw the Brownsville city marshall, Robert Shears, arrest and brutally beat a Mexican who had once been employed by Cortina. Cortina shot the marshall in the shoulder and rode out of town with the prisoner. Early on the morning of September 28, 1859, he rode into Brownsville again, and seized control of the town. Five men, including the city jailer, were shot during the raid. Cortina’s hold on Brownsville was short-lived as residents of Matamoros convinced him to return to Mexico which he did on September 30.
From the Annals of the Border Wars – In 1846, U.S. forces under the command of Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force in the Battle of Palo Alto near present day Brownsville. The battle was the first major engagement of the Mexican-American War but was fought prior to the actual declaration of war against Mexico. The movement towards war had begun when the U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas as a new state in 1845. Mexico had refused to recognize Texas as an independent country and disputed the Rio Grande as an international boundary instead claiming sovereignty up to the Nueces. After the Texas annexation and in a move to deliberately provoke the war, President James K. Polk ordered Taylor to defend the Rio Grande border. Taylor positioned his forces along the Rio Grande. Mexican General Mariano Arista viewed this as a hostile invasion of Mexican territory, and on April 25, 1846, he took his soldiers across the river and attacked. Polk having achieved the conflict that he desperately sought asked Congress to declare war which they did on May 13. But the real fighting had already started. In the weeks following the initial skirmish along the Rio Grande, Taylor engaged the Mexicans at the battle of Palo Alto on May 8, and the next day at Resaca de la Palma. Taylor, nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” by his soldiers, emerged from the war a national hero ultimately becoming President in1848. He proved to be an unskilled politician who accomplished little before dying in office in 1850.