In alluding to my opposition to the war, I do not intend to notice the reasons which governed me on that occasion, further than is necessary to explain my motives upon the present. I opposed the war then, not only because I considered it unnecessary, and that it might have been easily avoided; not only because I thought the President had no authority to order a portion of the territory in dispute and in possession of the Mexicans, to be occupied by our troops; not only because I believed the allegations upon which it was sanctioned by Congress, were unfounded in truth; but from high considerations of reason and policy, because I believed it would lead to great and serious evils to the country, and greatly endanger its free institutions. But after the war was declared, and had received the sanction of the Government, I acquiesced in what I could not prevent, and which it was impossible for me to arrest; and I then felt it to be my duty to limit my course so as to give that direction to the conduct of the war as would, as far as possible, prevent the evil and danger with which, in my opinion, it threatened the country and its institutions.
Orders came last evening by express from Washington Citydirecting General Taylor to move without any delay to some point on the coast near the Sabine orelsewhere, and as soon as he shall hear of the acceptance by the Texas convention of the annexationresolutions of our Congress he is immediately to proceed with his whole command to the extremewestern border of Texas and take up a position on the banks of or near the Rio Grande, and he is toexpel any armed force of Mexicans who may cross that river.
Bliss read the orders to me fastevening hastily at tattoo. I have scarcely slept a wink, thinking of the needful preparations. I amnow noting at reveille by candlelight and waiting the signal for muster. Violence leads toviolence, and if this movement of ours does not lead to others and to bloodshed, I am muchmistaken.
Hitchcock was not mistaken. To the southwest was Mexico, which had won itsindependence in a revolutionary war against Spain in a large country which included Texasand what are now New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, and part of Colorado.
Congress brought it into the Union as a state. In the White House now was James Polk, a Democrat, an expansionist, who, on the night of hisinauguration, confided to his Secretary of the Navy that one of his main objectives was theacquisition of California. It was not at all clear that the Rio Grande was the southern boundary ofTexas, although Texas had forced the defeated Mexican general Santa Anna to say so when he wasa prisoner.
The traditional border between Texas and Mexico had been the Nueces River, about miles to the north, and both Mexico and the United States had recognized that as the border. However, Polk, encouraging the Texans to accept annexation, had assured them he would upholdtheir claims to the Rio Grande.
Ordering troops to the Rio Grande, into territory inhabited by Mexicans, was clearly a provocation. Taylor had once denounced the idea of the annexation of Texas.
But now that he had his marchingorders, his attitude seemed to change. His visit to the tent of his aide Hitchcock to discuss the move is described in Hitchcock's diary: He seems to have lost all respect for Mexican rights and is willing to be an instrument of Mr.
Polkfor pushing our boundary as far west as possible. When I told him that, if he suggested a movement which he told me he intendedMr. Polk would seize upon it and throw the responsibility on him,he at once said he would take it, and added that if the President instructed him to use his discretion, he would ask no orders, but would go upon the Rio Grande as soon as he could get transportation.
I think the General wants an additional brevet, and would strain a point to get it. Taylor moved his troops to Corpus Christ! Taylor'sarmy marched in parallel columns across the open prairie, scouts far ahead and on the flanks, atrain of supplies following.
Then, along a narrow road, through a belt of thick chaparral, theyarrived, March 28,in cultivated fields and thatched-roof huts hurriedly abandoned by theMexican occupants, who had fled across the river to the city of Matamoros.A People’s History: We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God, Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom & The Other Civil War Chapter eight discusses the Mexican-American War.
Zinn argues that while some people have represented the war as . Discuss how Zinn uses the phrase "We take nothing by conquest, thank God" to buttress his argument. A: Zinn uses this phrase meaning that many Americans at this time did not realize that they were taking anything by force they saw it as a blessing from God.
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BOOK TWO: The Stolen Bride Series What is a Highlander to do when he falls for the daughter of his enemy? Highland warrior.
The lesson includes a reading from Zinn’s chapter, “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God.” Here is an excerpt. Frederick Douglass wrote in his Rochester newspaper the North Star, January 21, , of “the present disgraceful, cruel, and iniquitous war with our sister republic.
“RESOLVED, That to conquer Mexico and to hold it, either as a province or to incorporate it into the Union, would be inconsistent with the avowed object for which the war has been prosecuted; a departure from the settled policy of the Government; in conflict with its character and genius; and in the end subversive of our free and popular institutions.”.
THE SPIRITUAL ARMOR OF GOD. God's protection! WHY believers need the Armor of God!