|Did you know that until 1848 California, New Mexico and other
portions of the Southwest were internationally recognized
provinces of free Mexico, until the U.S. decided it wanted
those provinces, declared war on Mexico, and stole them?
Read on for the chronology of these events, and then ask
yourself : "Who are the real illegal in
|Prior to 1822
|| What is today Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico,
Colorado, Utah, and California are all Spanish colonies.
||Mexican colonists, following the American revolution, rebel
against Spain and win their own revolutionary war, making
Mexico a free nation just like America.
||James Polk campaigns for the U.S. presidency, supporting
expansion of U.S. territories into Mexico.
||James Polk, on his inagauguration night, confides to his
Secretary of the Navy that a principal objective of his
presidency is the acquisition of California, which Mexico
had been refusing to sell to the U.S. at any price.
||The Washington Union, expressing the position of James Polk,
writes: "...who can arrest the torrent that will pour
onward to the West? The road to California will be open to
us. Who will stay the march...?" "A corps of
properly organized volunteers...would invade, overrun, and
occupy Mexico. They would enable us not only to take
California, but to keep it."
|| John O'Sullivan, editor of the Democratic review writes
it is "Our manifest destiny to overspread the
continent ...for the free development of our yearly
||James Polk promises Texas he will support moving the
historical Texas/Mexico border at the Nueces river 150 miles
south to the Rio Grande provided Texas agrees to join the
union. "The traditional border between Texas and
Mexico had been the Nueces River...and both the United
States and Mexico had recognized that as the border."
(Zinn, p. 148)
|June 30, 1845
||James Polk orders troops to march south of the traditional
Texas/Mexico border into Mexican inhabited territory,
causing Mexicans to flee their villages and abandon their
crops in terror.
"Ordering troops to the Rio Grande, into territory
inhabited by Mexicans, was clearly a provocation."
(Zinn, p. 148)
"President Polk had incited war by sending American
soldiers into what was disputed territory, historically
controlled and inhabited by Mexicans." (John Schroeder
, "Mr. Polk's War")
| Early 1846
||Colonel Hitchcock, commander of the 3rd Infantry regiment,
writes in his diary: "...the United States are the
aggressors....We have not one particle of right to be
here....It looks as if the government sent a small force on
purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for
taking California and as much of this country as it
chooses....My heart is not in this business."
|May 9, 1846
||President Polk tells his cabinet: "...up to this
time...we have heard of no open aggression by the Mexican
|May 10, 1846
||Violence erupts between Mexican and American troops south of
the Nueces River. Of course Polk claims Mexicans had fired
the first shot, but in his famous "spot
resolutions" congressman Abraham Lincoln repeatedly
challenges president Polk to name the exact "spot"
where Mexicans first attacked American troops. Polk never
met the challenge.
|May 11, 1846
||President Polk urges congress to declare war on Mexico.
|May 12, 1846
||: Horace Greeley writes in the New York Tribune: "We can
easily defeat the armies of Mexico, slaughter them by
thousands, and pursue them perhaps to their capital; we can
conquer and "annex" their territory; but what
then? Who believes that a score of victories over Mexico,
the "annexation" of half of her provinces, will
give us more Liberty, a purer Morality, a more prosperous
||Congressman Abraham Lincoln, speaking in a session of
congress "...the president unnecessarily and
unconstitutionally commenced a war with Mexico....The
marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican
settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their
growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may
appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful, un- provoking
procedure; but it does not appear so to us."
|| after war is underway, the American press
February 11, 1847. The "Congressional Globe"
reports: "...We must march from ocean to ocean....We
must march from Texas straight to the Pacific ocean....It is
the destiny of the white race, it is the destiny of the
The New York Herald: "The universal Yankee Nation
can regenerate and disenthrall the people of Mexico in a few
years; and we believe it is a part of our destiny to
civilize that beautiful country."
American Review writes of Mexicans "yielding to a
superior population, insensibly oozing into her territories,
changing her customs, and out-living, exterminating her
||U.S. Army battles Mexico, not just enforcing the new Texas
border at the Rio Grande but capturing Arizona, New Mexico,
Utah, Colorado, and California (as well as marching as far
south as Mexico City).
|| Mexico surrenders on U.S. terms (U.S. takes over
ownership of New Mexico, California, an expanded Texas, and
more, for a token payment of $15 million, which leads the
Whig Intelligencer to report: "We take nothing by
|| General Ulysses S. Grant calls the Mexican War
"the most unjust war ever undertaken by a stronger
nation against a weaker one."
| Primary Source: "We take nothing by
conquest, Thank God", in A People's History Of the
United States, 1492-Present, Howard Zinn, NY:
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. (This book is available on
the shelf at virtually every bookstore in America. The New
York Times Book Review says it "...should be required
reading for a new generation of students...." )